direct the worst in us through chaos

Poet and playwright Derek Walcott (1930- ) has an impressive canon of work, but it’s this short poem of his that strikes me this evening. I recommend listening to him recite it here if you have a minute to spare.

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“The Star”

If, in the light of things, you fade
real, yet wanly withdrawn
to our determined and appropriate
distance, like the moon left on
all night among the leaves, may
you invisibly delight this house;
O star, doubly compassionate, who came
too soon for twilight, too late
for dawn, may your pale flame
direct the worst in us
through chaos
with the passion of
plain day.