Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2 Poems for the Soul

Dear Readers,

Before I let another moment go by, I want to share these two poems with you. One is from the Writer's Almanac for Saturday, October 16, 2010. The other I found while searching for a perfect poem to send one of my good friends. Enjoy. Let the words and the spaces between the words sink in. Read them out loud. Go outside and read them sitting in the harsh October sun under a tree that is setting its leaves free. Let the poems sit with you, for a while. Let the poems challenge you and what you believe words can do; repeat your favorite phrases, words, sounds...

And then, if you feel especially inclined, write one of your own, either just for you or for someone you love.


The Thing Is

by Ellen Bass

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

Bach Transcribing Vivaldi
By Lisel Mueller
One remembered the sunrise, how clearly it gave
Substance and praise to the mountains of the world;
The other imagined twilight, the setting in blood,
And a valley of fallen leaves where a stranger might rest.
One avoided the forest and made his way through fields
Where the sky was constant and clouds rang in his ears;
The other cut through the thicket, the thorns and vines
And was not touched, except by the dying of men.
One asked the road to the land of the golden lion
Whose eyes never weep, whose lifted hand scepters
The seasons of stars and the grafting of generations;
The other searched for the kingdom of the lamb
With the trembling fleece, whose live unreasoning heart
Consumes the mortal treasures of his loves.
Still, at one point of the journey one must have seen
The afternoon dip and drop away into shade
And the other come to a place where the forest cleared
Into white and violet patches of stars.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Hil. Just wow. Of course I already loved the Mueller, but the Bass one just stuck to my soul. I just read it aloud to my roommate and she loves it too. Wonderful. Thanks!!


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