Monday, May 14, 2007

The longing for the dance

The poet Stanley Kunitz died last year at the poetic age of 100. Late in his career, as he drifted like most of us into sentimentality and reminiscence, he wrote these lines in a poem called Touch Me:
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
My friend Bluebird Bob invited me along the other day as he checked the nesting boxes in Sheep Pasture. He has quite a number of eggs this season, small and blue in their cups of grass. He said, "You know, although I have been doing this for many years, I'm still moved almost to tears each spring when it happens all over again." For Bob, it is a confirmation of his faith in God. I respect that, and certainly Bob's dedication to the bluebirds has about it a touch of the divine. If one dropped the anthropomorphic personhood implied in his belief, I could almost concur.

Call it God, if you wish. Or call it desire, desire, desire.