Ursula Le Guin says of her poetry –

          My poems begin in two ways (that I am aware of) which I think of as “catching” and “following”. One is a desire to catch, hold, surround, describe the sight, the emotion, the vision, a passionate desire that forces the words into poetry. A longing to take hold, a long to make sense.

  Or the words begin to make a rhythm, or grow out of a rhythm, coming of themselves and following their own logic, and lead the writing hand and the writer’s mind to follow them–halting or racing, amazed or bewildered–wherever they go. If they make sense, it comes as a gift, a discovery.

Here, her poem. For me it does both – and many other things as well –




We make too much history.


With or without us

there will be the silence

and the rocks and the far shining.


But what we need to be

is, oh, the small talk of swallows

in evening over

dull water under willows.


To be we need to know the river

holds the salmon and the ocean

holds the whales as lightly

as the body holds the soul

in the present tense, in the present tense.



From her book “Sixty Odd”, her fifth collection of poems; given to me by my late friend, Carole Gale, who gave me many gifts while alive….and still does.

2 comments on “Infinitive

  1. Adriana Degetau says:

    como dices M. Duras: la cresta de la ola de las palabras.

  2. Adriana Degetau says:

    *como dice… sorry

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