I'm Going to Start Living Like a Mystic
Today I am pulling on a green wool sweater and walking across the park in a dusky snowfall. The trees stand like twenty-seven prophets in a field, each a station in a pilgrimage—silent, pondering. Blue flakes of light falling across their bodies are the ciphers of a secret, an occultation. I will examine their leaves as pages in a text and consider the bookish pigeons, students of winter. I will kneel on the track of a vanquished squirrel and stare into a blank pond for the figure of Sophia. I shall begin scouring the sky for signs as if my whole future were constellated upon it. I will walk home alone with the deep alone, a disciple of shadows, in praise of the mysteries.
From Lay Back the Darkness by Edward Hirsch Copyright © 2003 by Edward Hirsch. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Born in Chicago on January 20, 1950, Edward Hirsch is a poet and literary advocate. His second collection, Wild Gratitude (Knopf, 1986), received the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Date Published: 2003-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/im-going-start-living-mystic