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10 April 2008

Poets tell us what life is

Tess_with_rainbow_3 A Note    

Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on the sand,
rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain
from everything it's not;

to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes.

An extraordinary chance
to remember for a moment
a conversation held
with the lamp switched off;

and if only once
to stumble upon a stone,
end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;
and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;
and to keep on not knowing
something important.

-Wislawa Szymborska

Tess_with_rainbow2_2 This Nobel prize-winning poet speaks to me, reminds me of those important conversations with the lamp switched off, where truth gets told in the dark or sitting side-by-side, shoulder to shoulder, when not knowing becomes owned and voiced, heard. Life is the way, the vehicle for extraordinary things to happen. If we pay attention.

My thanks to Lee Hancock for introducing me to this poem.

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I love this. It's such a puzzle being both spirit and meat at the same time, and she does a wonderful job of painting it.

I was not familiar with Wislawa Szymborska at all, and in tracking down some info about her, I discovered that the poem you included today is from Monologue of a Dog, a collection published in 2005.

And, the intro that opens Monologue of a Dog? Yep. Billy Collins.

I love the prism pictures. It reminds me that we haven't seen the rainbows cast through our two window-sill-sitting crystals for months, but the sun should be coming around the corner very soon to light up the kitchen walls and ceiling for the summer.

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