Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle
by Black Elk (1863-1950) (translated from Sioux)
Everything the Power of the World does
is done in a circle. The sky is round,
and I have heard that the earth is round
like a ball, and so are all the stars.
The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.
Birds make their nests in circles,
for theirs is the same religion as ours.
The sun comes forth and goes down again
in a circle. The moon does the same,
and both are round. Even the seasons
form a great circle in their changing,
and always come back again as where they were.
The life of man is a circle from childhood to childhood,
and so it is in everything where power moves.
I was alerted to this poem by my friend, Greg Coxson, who found it in a surprise gift from an old friend: Americans' Favorite Poems, collected and edited by Robert Pinsky and Maggie Dietz (Norton, 2000) -- and the first of three anthologies collected under the Favorite Poems Project which is ongoing.