Meryl Streep: The 'Old Man of the Mountain' Crumbles

Actress Meryl Streep thinks it might be a sign.

BY: Meryl Streep


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And now I'm going to read you a poem, because I believe that every solemn, joyous, tedious and important rite of passage should and must be celebrated and elevated by poetry.

This is "Begin," by Brendan Kennelly.

Begin again to the summoning birds
to the sight of light at the window,
begin to the roar of morning traffic
all along Pembroke Road.
Every beginning is a promise
born in light and dying in dark
determination and exaltation of springtime
flowering the way to work.
Begin to the pageant of queuing girls
the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal
bridges linking the past and the future
old friends passing though with us still.
Begin to the loneliness that cannot end
since it perhaps is what makes us begin,
begin to wonder at unknown faces
at crying birds in the sudden rain
at branches stark in the willing sunlight
at seagulls foraging for bread
at couples sharing a sunny secret
alone together while making good.
Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.

And lastly, as to the whole sad thing with the Old Man of the Mountain; 200 years ago, Daniel Webster remarked of the rocky crag: "God has hung out a sign to show that in New England he makes Men." I say, "Hmmm.maybe God is changing the sign."

The mountains may crumble
Gibraltar may crumble
They're only made of clay, But-
Our love is here-to stay!

I speak for all here who send you out into your future with love, respect for your hard work, and high happy hopes for each and every one of you. Good luck, and thank you.

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