A day so happy
Fog has lifted early, I work in the garden.
Hummingbirds are stopping over honeysuckle flowers
There is no thing on earth I want to possess.
I know no one worth my envying them.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I have forgotten
To think that once I was the same person, does not embarrass me.
In my body I feel no pain
When straghtening up, I see the blue sea sails.
I read this poem in Jane Hirshfield’s essay, “Facing the Lion.” She mentions that while this poem is a “good” poem, a happy poem there is a lion lurking behind. For every poem that describes joy must also hold joy’s shadow. All the things that Milosz describes here as pleasures are temporary. I changed something in the poem and made the joys permanent. I made the tense of the poem present. So instead of “Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden” — I made it present tense. Now if you read the poem, it is describing the present, the now. Now the poem is spiritual. The person who reads it does not want to possess anything and has forgotten all evil, as long as he recites this poem.
The tense of any poem
and the length of its recitation,
effects its permanence,
and therefore spirituality.
If the poem is present,
Guru Nanak, the teacher
of Satnam within us,
can be heard
singing it day and night.
As long as he sings he lives in us.
Sing now Shiv like the
present will never be over.
And keep singing
so the present stays forever.