For WS Merwin

National Poetry Month Letters to Poets Series

Amy Jasek
2 min readApr 15, 2023


Caddo Lake | film photo by author

Here I am just trying to save the world
with one love letter at a time.
Writing unfurls
slowly in a busy clime,
in the hothouse of a framework that hurls
challenges at me constantly. Effects
seem unlikely. Bravely
I pick daisies
and count the petals, aloof of all rejection
(just kidding, not really;
I’m too touch feely)
Hope keeps towing the line.
Not everything wields destruction.
I resist the anger I find;
in part, it’s my function
to not join in the hatefulness,
to cultivate instead the state
of understanding, charity, and gratefulness.

When I was younger I tried to run on
with your style, but I didn’t know
where the cordons
were meant to end. I was all show,
youth translating what it can find beyond
the familiar. In the plantation
of my teenage bedroom,
the world still loomed,
breathing heavily outside my walls. Trepidation
let my pen go to seed.
Not everything can feed
you what sustains your glow.
I lost many things, and I learned
baggage is difficult to stow.
It turned out getting spurned
was the most productive defeat,
and then the dawn comes before long
like a reunion with someone you’d pined to meet.

Undoubtedly plenty of people have
offered you tribute. Mine just piles on top,
or maybe, somewhere, you hear it and laugh,
in the cloud where your spirit hovers, lopped
off from the earth, for now, like a watch stopped
but only needing winding. Tropical
and topical, you rose to…