Published on Academy of American Poets (


Wither me to within me:
Welt me to weal me common again:
Withdraw to wear me weary:
Over me to hover and lover again:

Before me to form and perform me:
Round me to rill me liquid incisions:
Behind me to hunt and haunt me:
Down me to drown indecision:

Bury me to seed me: bloom me
In loam me: grind me to meal me
Knead me to rise: raise me to your mouth

Rive me to river me:
End me to unmend me:
Rend me to render me:


Copyright © 2015 by Philip Metres. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 22, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“During a struggle of chronic pain years ago, I began searching restlessly for prayers that might reach past my own resistance to prayers I’d inherited in my own faith tradition, and to write my own—often through the rhetoric or language of other prayers. This poem is born from an old prayer by Lancelot Andrewes, and plays with the paradox embedded in prayers of petition—that we are trying to reach outside of ourselves, but for something of ourselves.”
Philip Metres


Philip Metres

Metres is the author of four poetry collections: Pictures at an Exhibition (University of Akron Press, 2016); Sand Opera (Alice James Books, 2015); A Concordance of Leaves (Diode Editions, 2013), winner of the 2014 Arab American Book Award; and To See the Earth (Cleveland State University Press, 2008).

Date Published: 2015-05-22

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