And to be able to put at the end
Of the letter Anthens, Florence – some name
That the spirit recalls from earlier journeys
Through the dark wood, seeking the path
To the bright mansions; cities and towns
Where the soul added depth to its stature.
And not to worry about the date,
The words being timeless, concerned with truth,
Beauty, love, misery even,
Which has its seasons in the long growth
From seed to flesh, flesh to spirit.
And laying aside the pen, dipped
Not in tear’s volatile liquid
But in black ink of the heart’s well,
To read again what the hand has written
To the many voices’ quiet diction.
by R. S. Thomas
from Poetry for Supper (1958)