Home » Uncategorized » Mixed-Tape: May Sarton’s “Now I Become Myself” & Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me

Mixed-Tape: May Sarton’s “Now I Become Myself” & Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me

Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt

Which is the real soundtrack of our lives?

Poetry?

Music?

Both?

Bonnie Raitt’s rock blues have been with me for a long time.

May Sarton’s poetry struck the right note for me today.

May Sarton’s lovely poem goes out to Marilou, my roommate who scotch-taped art to the walls of our hospital “suite.”  Bonnie Raitt’s song goes out to all of us who have taped ourselves together with vinyl/tapes/CDs.  (Although the lyrics of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” no longer apply to me, I think it is her most beautiful song.)

First, the poem:

May Sarton’s “Now I Become Myself”

Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
‘Hurry, you will be dead before-‘
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

And here is Bonnie Raitt’s stunning performance of “I Can’t Make You Love Me”

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