My husband Dan heard this poem from Robert Bly at The Mendocino Men’s Conference in the 1980’s and brought it home and shared it with me. I was touched by Roethke’s words, so mysterious and evocative. Who knows why the words to a poem make you want to cry?
This song is an example of how trust can lead to a good result even if the trust is misplaced. A while ago I received an email from a doctor in New York which told about a young girl who had cancer and was going to die before she could enjoy being an adult. He enclosed a poem she had written which encouraged the listener to, “Slow down, don’t move so fast….before the music’s over.” I was touched. As a gift to her I set the words to music, got some musicians together and recorded it. I was all set to send it to her as a loving tribute before she died when a friend mentioned that this was a scam. Oops. I looked it up on Snopes and sure enough… It turned out to have been written by David Weatherford, a psychologist. O well, at least I got a song out of the scam.