Philosophia Perennis

By Anne Waldman b. 1945 Anne Waldman
I turned: quivering yellow stars in blackness   
I wept: how speech may save a woman
The picture changes & promises the heroine   
That nighttime & meditation are a mirage

To discuss pro & contra here is mute
Do I not love you, day?
A pure output of teleological intentions
& she babbles, developing a picture-theory of language

Do I not play the delicate game of language?   
yes, & it is antecedent to the affairs of the world:   
The dish, the mop, the stove, the bed, the marriage   
& surges forth the world in which I love

I and I and I and I and I and I, infinitely reversible   
Yet never secure in the long morning texture
A poor existing woman-being, accept her broken heart   
& yet the earth is divinity, the sky is divinity
The nomads walk & walk.

Anne Waldman, “Philosophia Perennis” from Helping the Dreamer: Selected Poems, 1966-1988. Copyright © 1989 by Anne Waldman. Reprinted with the permission of Coffee House Press, Minneapolis,

Source: Helping the Dreamer: Selected Poems 1966-1988 (Coffee House Press, 1989)


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Poet Anne Waldman b. 1945

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Philosophy