Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: From Cadillac Mountain

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

No one has written more eloquently of the view from Maine's Cadillac Mountain than Elizabeth Coatsworth of Nobleboro in today's poem.

From Cadillac Mountain by Elizabeth Coatsworth

So might a Chinese sage have seen the world,
seen the mist and humpbacked islands from a mountain,
with a hawk hanging in a silver sky.
So might a Chinese sage have seen his heart
and its tranquility shown in elements
of earth, sky, water, the only fire
white fire of the sun. Here the wind
has come from far away, unhurriedly
traveling from plains and forests, nameless lakes 
to seek the ocean and new hemispheres.
The mind, stiffened with routine, stretches, floats 
off with the mist, off with the quiet wind
to undefined horizons of its own.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2006 Elizabeth Coatsworth. Reprinted from The Maine Poets: An Anthology of Verse, Down East Books, 2006, by permission of the Catherine B. Barnes Estate. Please note that the column is no longer accepting submissions; comments about it may be directed to special consultant to the poet laureate, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.