An Idea ran about the world
screaming with the pain of the mind
until it met a child
who stopped it with a word.
The Idea leaned over those newborn eyes
and dreamed of the nature of things:
the nature of memory and the nature of love;
and forgave itself and all men.
Quieted in a sea of sleeping
the Idea began its long return –
renewed by the child’s sea-colored eyes
remembered the flesh, smiled and said:
I see birds, spring and the birthplace
unknown by the stable stone.
I know light and I know motion
and I remember I am not alone.
The Idea voyaged nearer my breathing, saying
Come balance come
into the love of these faces and forces
find us our equilibrium.
And the child stirred, asking his questions.
The Idea grew more fleshly and spoke:
Beaten down I was
Down I knew very long
Newborn I begin.
And the child went on asking his questions.
The Idea journeying into my body
returned, and I knew the nature of One,
and could forget One, and turn to the child,
and whole could turn to the world again.
Until the pain turns into answers
and all the masters become askers
And all the victims again doers
And all the sources break in light.
The child goes alive, asking his questions.
Muriel Rukeyser in The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser
Song: “Who Will Save Your Soul” by Vitamin String Quartet