Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


‘speak truth to power’ ~

 http://irregulartimes.com/stencilspeaktruthtopowershirt.htmIt’s an old Quaker saying — one I’ve always loved. The saying hearkens back to the 1950s, although it has taken on a life of its own. It goes well w/ a poem I read today, “Albatross in Co. Antrim,” where poet Robin Robertson likens today’s poet to the unlucky albatross: The poet is like this prince of the clouds/ who rides the storm of war and scorns the archer; /exiled on the ground, in all this derision,/ his giant wings prevent his marching.

In some countries, writers are not only honoured, but actually feared. When rebels in a small Latin American dictatorship wanted the plight of citizens made public, they contacted the poet Carolyn Forché, whose subsequent poem ‘The Colonel‘ became a sensation, with its brutally beautiful images of tyranny and cruelty. Forché said she demurred initially, when asked to go to El Salvador, arguing that she was ‘just a poet.’ But the persuasive El Salvadoran urging her to come responded that poets in his country were feared. And that when Forché returned, she would write poetry that would help Americans see the truth. And then things would change.

Metta ~ the symbol for loving kindness

Speak knowledge to power. Beginner’s heart. Poets, beginners, all of us who feel that to speak up for those who lack voices (or the power to make themselves heard) is critical work. And it’s work we need desperately as the poor go unfed, and the ill untreated, and the homeless unhoused. When profit becomes more important to power than peace and kindness, we all need to speak up.



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kim Blevins

    I love the idea of poets being feared for the power of their words. Writing is powerful. I want to communicate that to my students, to live it in front of them. Thanks for reminding me that it all matters, all these things we do, even though we feel like little dandelion wisps floating with no weapons, we have our words and our wisdom and our stories.

Previous Posts

our own best friends
Here's the thing, folks: who is your best friend? Who do you trust? Who has your back? And who -- within broad limits -- will you forgive almost anything? If you yourself aren't on that list, welcome to adulthood. And how sad is THAT? Buddhism talks alot about knowing your own self. There's a

posted 3:18:30pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

my mother's heart and #Ferguson
This is my wonderful family. These are my infinitely fallible and perfect sons, my perfect daughter-in-law (known in my writings as DIL), my beloved. And this is a story about empathy. Both of my sons look -- to anyone outside the immediate family -- perfect. I will not share their private pasts,

posted 12:42:13pm Aug. 18, 2014 | read full post »

turning hatred into love, or, the importance of Unabashed Smiles
Teeth. You need them for so many things, obviously. Eating, of course. But also speaking. And singing. And to present a certain ... image, to the world around you. Imagine all your teeth suddenly gone. Compound t

posted 7:19:07pm Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »

heartsick reprised
I use this image alot in my blog. I wish I knew who first created it -- they deserve my undying admiration & gratitude. Because to me, this is beginner's heart. It's what I think of these days, especially, as

posted 1:33:59pm Aug. 16, 2014 | read full post »

heartsickness, the '60s, and Ferguson MO
I write daily. Often it's a note to family, or a response to a friend or colleague. Sometimes revising creative work, and usually this blog. Lately, the blog has probably saved my blood pressure (normally quite low)

posted 2:06:37pm Aug. 14, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.