, April 24, 2024

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A Wedding Toast

  •   1 min read
A Wedding Toast
Photo by Victoria Priessnitz on Unsplash

Intro by Ted Kooser

I am often asked if I know of a good poem to be read at a wed­ding, and here’s one by James Bertoli­no, from his new and select­ed poems, Rav­en­ous Bliss.Bertoli­no lives in Wash­ing­ton state and I have been a read­er of his poet­ry for almost fifty years. When he and I were younger, we often pub­lished in the same lit­er­ary jour­nals, most of which have slipped away into the past.

By James Bertolino

May your love be firm,
and may your dream of life together
be a river between two shores—
by day bathed in sunlight, and by night
illuminated from within. May the heron
carry news of you to the heavens, and the salmon bring
the sea’s blue grace. May your twin thoughts
spiral upward like leafy vines,
like fiddle strings in the wind,
and be as noble as the Douglas fir.
May you never find yourselves back to back
without love pulling you around
into each other's arms.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2014 by James Bertolino, "A Wedding Toast," from Ravenous Bliss, (MoonPath Press, 2014). Poem reprinted by permission of James Bertolino and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2022 by The Poetry Foundation.

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