Commemorating September 11: Secular

Secular Poems & Readings
Suggested readings for the September 11 anniversary from the Council for Secular Humanism.

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Selected Secular Readings

After great pain a formal feeling comes--
The nerves sit ceremonious like
tombs;
The stiff heart questions--was
it he that bore?
And yesterday - or centuries
before?

The feet, mechanical, go round
A wooden way
Of ground, or air, or ought,
Regardless grown,
A quartz contentment, like a
stone.

This is the hour of lead
Remembered if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the snow--
First chill, then stupor, then the
letting go.
--Emily Dickinson

*****


"Why is it so hard to think about dying? Because," Morrie continued, "most of us all walk around as if we're sleepwalking. We really don't experience the world fully, because we're half-asleep, doing things we automatically have to do.

"And facing death changes all that?"

"Oh yes, you strip away all that stuff and you focus on the essentials. Whenyou realize you are going to die, you see everything much differently.Learn how to die and you learn how to live."
--From "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom

*****


The time to be happy is now.
The place to be happy is here.
The way to be happy is to make others so.
--Robert Green Ingersoll

--Compiled by The Council for Secular Humanism, www.secularhumanism.org.

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