Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Like the beam of a lightless star
Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what
What a bizarre thought, knowing that every year, without fail, we all pass the day on which we will someday die. The thing that struck me most about this poem as I read it was the lack of punctuation. It almost seems rushed, hurried, as if we are all thoughtlessly passing out death days. Life as a cloak we all wear is an interesting image. What are we, if not cloaked in being alive? It's the most fundamental shared experience. Is it so remarkable that it merits that image? What essence have we outside of life?
I think I'm so disarmed by the core image and thought of this poem that I'm unable to focus on any of the raw poetic merits at work. The language is very nice, and the images potent, but compared to the certain knowledge that my death-date has passed 22 times now, it's insignificant.