A Man Lost By A River — Michael Blumenthal

Mostly what I love from this poem (below) is the pointing to the inner voice, and the way that small things (a mandolin, already playing within) can change big things (an entire orientation to the outer).

From the anthology, The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, edited by Robert Bly, James Hillman, and Michael Meade.


A Man Lost By A River — Michael Blumenthal

There is a voice inside the body.

There is a voice and a music,
a throbbing, four-chambered pear
that wants to be heard, that sits
alone by the river with its mandolin
and its torn coat, and sings
for whomever will listen
a song that no one wants to hear.

But sometimes, lost,
on his way to somewhere significant,
a man in a long coat, carrying
a briefcase, wanders into the forest.

He hears the voice and the mandolin,
he sees the thrush and the dandelion,
and he feels the mist rise over the river.

And his life’s never the same,
for this haven been lost —
for having strayed from the path of his routine,
for no good reason.

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