Poetry Sunday: To the New Year by W.S. Merwin

On this the first, unblemished day of this brand new year, all things are achievable. World peace. A cure for cancer. Justice for Donald Trump. It could happen. For on this day, all our hopes are "invisible before us - untouched and still possible." 

To the New Year

by W.S. Merwin

With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible


  1. Yes, we still have hope. Despite the daunting challenges ahead of us we still have hope. Hope tinged with realism and the will to work hard at the barriers in our path. Hopeful New Year, Dorothy.

  2. Dorothy, this is a lovely poem that is new to me. I ran across In Memoriam by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and I was surprised at how contemporary it felt, though it was first published in 1850, I think. Here's a bit of it that I've been sharing today:

    "Ring out the old, ring in the new,
    Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
    The year is going, let him go;
    Ring out the false, ring in the true...

    Ring out a slowly dying cause,
    And ancient forms of party strife;
    Ring in the nobler modes of life,
    With sweeter manners, purer laws...

    Ring out false pride in place and blood,
    The civic slander and the spite;
    Ring in the love of truth and right,
    Ring in the common love of good."

    Happy New Year! Here's to a year of wonderful reads and small joys!

    1. Tennyson never grows old or stale. Thanks for sharing, Deb, and a happy New Year to you.

  3. Even as a young girl, I felt the hope and newness of each January 1. Our hopes are still possible. Monday (or maybe Tuesday), back to reality.

    1. Each new January does give us hope for good things ahead.

  4. Happy New Year, Dorothy! I hope 2023 turns out to be an amazing one for you and your family. :D

    1. And the very same to you, Lark. Thank you for being a faithful reader of the blog in 2022.


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