Monday, October 5, 2009

Read Poetry each day

(Artwork by Ken Sprague)

Speaking to a friend on the weekend who told me he does not read poetry. How I like Pablo Neruda's description of poetry as combining solitude with solidarity. Or Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish who once wrote "every beautiful poem is an act of resistance". I try to read some poetry every day. Here's why!
"When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting for their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and I am free"
Wendell Berry
"Impossible to choose between absolutes, ultimates.
Pure light, pure lightlessness cannot be perceived..

We are all of us born of fire, possessed by darkness"

Judith Wright
"What if you slept
And what if

In your sleep
You dreamed

And what if

In your dream
You went to heaven

And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower
And what if

When you awoke

You had the flower in your hand

Ah, what then?"
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"Where is the life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
T.S Eliot (Choruses from the Rock)
"Rich man and his poorer brother
Stood and looked at one another
Till the poor man softly swore:
You'd not be rich if I weren't poor."
Bertolt Brecht

"Death does not pain the dead
It pains those who are alive"
Mahmoud Darwish

'Sleep gently in your words
And dream that you are dreaming'

Mahmoud Darwish

"When I looked for myself I found others
And whenever I looked for them I only found my estranged self
Am I the collective I?"

Mahmoud Darwish

"It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings."
Wendell Berry

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