When I had no roof I made Audacity my roof. When I had No supper my eyes dined. When I had no eyes I listened. When I had no ears I thought. When I had no thought I waited. When I had no father I made Care my father. When I had No mother I embraced order. When I had no friend I made Quiet my friend. When I had no Enemy I opposed my body. When I had no temple I made My voice my temple. I have No priest, my tongue is my choir. When I have no means fortune Is my means. When I have Nothing, death will be my fortune. Need is my tactic, detachment Is my strategy. When I had No lover I courted my sleep.
Copyright © 2011 by Robert Pinsky. Reprinted from Selected Poems with the permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
The author of several collections of poetry, Robert Pinsky won the 1997 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for his book The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996
Date Published: 2011-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/samurai-song