We live in an unlikelihood,
dehubrissed by humility,
beyond the middle-aging wood,
Let us continue to defy
the probing of offensive forms
and questionnaires that ask us why
we do not corresponds to norms,
for in unlikelihood we dwell;
that is the answer to their questions,
nor do we wish to break the spell
by listening to their suggestions.
The place we live in is not free
for statisticians to discover;
its boundaries are by decree
off-limits, if not to a lover,
for only lovers have the right
to know us bad, as well as good,
throughout the year, both day and night,
accepting our unlikelyhood.
Inspired by a poem by W. S. Merwin, “To the Unlikely Event,” read on Roger Rosenblatt’s weekly program on books on KCRW on August 31, 2006. Angela Mercedes Becerra writes:
One of my favorite poems from Present Company is “To the Unlikely Event.” Merwin shared with the UTHSC audience that he wrote this poem to that line we always hear when we get on an airplane—“in the unlikely event that we…” It is amazing where a true poet can find inspiration: “how can we ever address you/in your unlikelihood boundless/indifference abroad in your/uncharted self to which only/random syllables find the way/and to what words can we entrust/our groundless hope saying there there/to them how unlikely you sound.”
I am also reminded of Dylan Thomas:
A tiny dingle is Milk Wood
By golden Grove 'neath Grongar,
But let me choose and oh!
I should Love all my life and longer
To stroll among our trees and stray
In Goosegog Lane, on Donkey Down,
And hear the Dewi sing all day,
And never, never leave the town.
© 2006 Gershon Hepner 8/31/06, 3/21/09