Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Faith

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

According to the old expression, seeing is believing. But in this week’s hopeful poem for the new year, Robert Chute of Poland Spring shows that believing can be seeing.

Faith by Robert M. Chute

I’ve never found an arrowhead,
one flinty chip of history.
Young Thoreau, they said, if he walked by
some farmer’s fresh plowed field, could just
stoop down and pick one up. As if
the spirit that had shaped them drew them
up to his attention. Stoney bread crumbs
no birds will eat, these points and flakes
led him from the town into the
saving woods and wilderness, marked
the path to a wildness which might
save us all. His faith led him on
to find what he believed. We find,
he said, what we are prepared to see.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2012 Robert M. Chute. Reprinted from Favorites From the First Fifteen Years, Encircle Publications LLC, 2012, by permission of Robert M. Chute. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.