Thursday, April 21, 2022

Poetry on Thursday: Forgiveness

The theme for this week's shared poems is forgiveness, which seems to me an emotion that is probably well represented in poetry. After all, when a poet needs to ask forgiveness of someone, don't they naturally turn to verse? I read a number of poems when I was choosing one to share, and many of them (unsurprisingly) were a little too religious in tone for me, but I found that the one I've selected to be unexpectedly touching and more subtle in its message. I hope you enjoy it.


Dark August
by Derek Walcott

So much rain, so much life like the swollen sky
of this black August. My sister, the sun,
broods in her yellow room and won't come out.

Everything goes to hell; the mountain fume
like a kettle, rivers overrun; still,
she will not rise and turn off the rain.

She is in her room, fondling old things,
my poems, turning her album. Even if thunder falls
like a crash of plates from the sky,

she does not come out.
Don't you know I love you but am hopeless
at fixing the rain? But I am learning slowly

to love the dark days, the steaming hills,
the air with gossiping mosquitoes,
and to sip the medicine of bitterness,

so that when you emerge, my sister,
parting the beads of the rain,
with your forehead of flowers and eyes of forgiveness,

all will not be as it was, but it will be true
(you see they will not let me love
as I want), because, my sister, then

I would have learnt to love black days like bright ones,
The black rain, the white hills, when once
I loved only my happiness and you.

You can learn more about Derek Walcott here, and don't forget to visit Bonny, Kat, and Kym today to read more poetry!


  1. Your photo and poem are a great match! Derek Walcott is really a master at using words to paint vivid pictures, and I especially love the line about "I would have learnt to love black days like bright ones." Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

  2. Derek Walcott is one of my most favorite poets! No one can conjure a feeling quite like him, and this poem is proof.

  3. What a beautiful poem. I love the line, "all will not be as it was, but it will be true."

  4. I love this. It's so beautiful and I love that this is a really original take on forgiveness as such! (you're right, it's mostly religious or love otherwise). Thank you so much for sharing it!!

  5. I really would like to read more of his work in the future!

  6. I have this poem printed and on the metal board by my desk. I am with Kym... Derek is one of my absolute favorite poets! Thank you so much for sharing it!