Asleep and Awake – MURIEL RUKEYSER

Asleep and awake

Asleep and awake, I wake.
Never having written
What I have to say.
No poem offers of me
My central meaning,
I have danced to my naming
And danced away.

Now I move past my dreams:

They yield processions of
Changing images.
I want to speak the clear
The intricate meeting-place
Of all things with all desires:
Cut down by risk to the root
Where everything is given.
The finding of the child,
The lost voices, songs of all
Who take their meanings.
They are beginning the songs.

Mortal, awake, I sing and say
All is immortal, all
Save personality.
Yes, your passion, yes, the time of a flower.
Move in all your meanings,
Go lit by many fires,
Deep in the secret fires
All speak to all.
The deep life lives and dies
Changes, sings, and sings.
Speak before I sleep,
Before the keepings are given,
I find my time, and speak,
Driven toward love and music,
Music of forms and desires.
– MURIEL RUKEYSER (1913-1980)