Thursday, September 5, 2013

Poem for the Day: Seamus Heaney, "Anything Can Happen"

And since the spirit needs to be fed, when we (I really mean, when I) spend too much time wrestling with pigs (who, as George Bernard Shaw famously observed, enjoy being in the mud), a poem for you all today: this is the poem that the Academy of American Poets circulated this morning in its poem-for-today email--Seamus Heaney, "Anything Can Happen":

Anything can happen. You know how Jupiter
Will mostly wait for clouds to gather head 
Before he hurls the lightning? Well, just now 
He galloped his thunder cart and his horses 

Across a clear blue sky. It shook the earth 
And the clogged underearth, the River Styx, 
The winding streams, the Atlantic shore itself. 
Anything can happen, the tallest towers 

Be overturned, those in high places daunted, 
Those overlooked regarded. Stropped-beak Fortune 
Swoops, making the air gasp, tearing the crest off one, 
Setting it down bleeding on the next. 

Ground gives. The heaven’s weight 
Lifts up off Atlas like a kettle-lid. 
Capstones shift, nothing resettles right. 
Telluric ash and fire-spores boil away.

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