To the Dust of the Road, by W. S. Merwin

Authored by
10 July, 2021

I found this in my 180 More anthology. I love the careful rhyming that is quieted by the lengths of the sentences, how, reading it aloud, I want to pause mid-line, making the rhymes fall irregularly internally.

That structure, that soft nudge toward reading it conversationally, in a low voice, finding my way to the invisible punctuation, made me want to read it three times, four, five, and I in my initial rush read it as if it were a poem about travelling, about the dust on your own feet as you rush through and across the world, but no, it's an ode, to dust, to road dust,

and shows me again the magic and craft that, in poets' hands, reveals the beauty and truth of the ordinary world, the cars, the asphalt, the dust.