Treasure Island

Galway Kinnell

(1 February 1927 / Providence, Rhode Island)

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Wait


Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Wait.
Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Wednesday, June 06, 2012

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Read poems about / on: music, hair, trust, pain, memory

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Comments about this poem (Wait by Galway Kinnell )

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  • * Sunprincess * (5/31/2014 2:17:00 PM)

    ......a very creative write....never heard this music before....
    ~Music of hair,
    Music of pain,
    music of looms weaving all our loves again.~ (Report) Reply

  • Minka Wrks (9/22/2012 10:49:00 AM)

    the poem becomes animated in the beautiful andrew bird version: http: //www.youtube.com/watch? v=wx6ikxdNfbU&feature=BFa&list=PL4958B23BB2E74595 (Report) Reply

  • Tim Gavin` (12/4/2004 6:08:00 PM)

    This has always been a favorite Kinnell poem of mine. The imagery is rich and the advice the speaker gives the younger person who is contemplating suicide is so practical 'Wait' and even 'Distrust everything, if you have to./ But trust the hours. Haven't they/ carried ' to this point and won't they carry the young person from this point onward. A beautiful poem! (Report) Reply

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