There Comes a Time
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“There Comes a Time,” Ensign, Apr. 1982, 15

There Comes a Time

There comes a time in each poet’s life

when he thinks he ought to talk of death.

For that is the subject of much great poetry—

at least they tell me it’s great poetry,

and I’m inclined to be a believer

even though the great dead poets

had not yet died when they wrote

of this great mystery.

Nor did they, it seems, pay much attention

to those who had,

preferring to listen

mostly to their own voices,

suspecting a flaw, a trap,

fearing, perhaps, the words of others

might smother their own—

not a good feeling when you are a great poet.

So they sat resting on a bridge

or sometimes crossed a bar,

tired of all these things

the rest of us get used to.

And those other, those silent voices?

Jarius’s daughter, the widows’ sons?

No one bothered to write them down.

They may have seemed too small a part of the miracle.

Or maybe they were just too soon overshadowed by

“Reach hither thy hand, … handle me, and see.”