This Sunday’s poem, by Ellen Goldsmith, is a beautiful one to carry into Thanksgiving. As its speaker listens to Beethoven’s last quartets – composed once he was almost completely deaf – she finds herself transported into a deep and quiet gratitude.

Ellen Goldsmith’s books of poetry include “Where to Look, Such Distances” and “No Pine Tree in This Forest Is Perfect.” She is professor emeritus of The City University of New York and lives in Cushing.

Whatever’s Offered

By Ellen Goldsmith

As I listen to Beethoven’s late quartets,

I realize silence

is not the absence of sound.


Eyes closed, time vanishes.

Like the emptiness

at low tide, it will refill.


Listening, I vow

to take whatever’s offered –

a crack in the wall, the smaller piece of pie.

Megan Grumbling is a poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Whatever’s Offered” copyright © 2019 by Ellen Goldsmith. It appears by permission of the author.

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