American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Poetry

W. S. Merwin

What the eye sees is a dream of sight
what it wakes to
is a dream of sight

and in the dream

for every real lock
there is only one real key
and it’s in some other dream
now invisible

it’s the key to the one real door
it opens the river and the sky both at once
it’s already in the downward river
with my hand on it
my real hand

and I am saying to the hand
turn

open the river

—-W. S. Merwin, “To the Hand,” Writings to an Unfinished Accompaniment. (Macmillan Pub Co February 1973)

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