Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


poetry & star-stuff ~

This week’s New Yorker carries an article by scholar Stephen Greenblatt on the Roman poet Lucretius, and his poem On the Nature of Things. Who remembered that it’s Lucretius who brings atomism — the theory that we are all made of the same materials, stars and earth and solar wind and trees and the human heart — to the  West? And that he does this in the Dark Ages? And who but Stephen Greenblatt could make the case that this single poem changes the course of human history…?

As a result of thinking about Lucretius & atomism, I’ve been contemplating that saying by Carl Sagan  ~ ‘We are star stuff.’ While I don’t believe in any origin mythologies, I love the poetry of many. This one perhaps most of all. :) As a Unitarian Buddhist, my thought is more that we begin w/ the stars and are all connected — our superficial differences really the same inside. That we share our destinies w/ the moon and stars, w/solar wind and dark matter. And that we are far more alike than different…our blood fragrant w/ the iron of mountains, the salt of oceans. It’s the best argument I know for environmentalism: we’re all part of this web. And we’re only part of it…

Greenblatt says that although Lucretius’ poem was lost for centuries (five, to be exact :)), ‘poems are hard to silence.’ That may be the perfect poet’s tattoo :). It resonates w/ so many poets I can never meet — dead long before I found them, but critical to who I am: Auden, Bishop, Pound; Chinese poets and Japanese poets and Rumi and Enheduanna and Lorca — so many many poets. Poems live far beyond the scope of a single human life.

So star stuff and poetry are in my head this week. Wondering how those poets do it. Why their star stuff seems to shine so much more brilliantly. And what it was that inspired Lucretius to think about the common stuff of the universe. And finally ~ so glad, these many centuries later, that he wrote his musings down ~

 



Previous Posts

the healing comfort of quiet
When it's noisy, I can't think. My mother used to say -- I can't hear myself think!! Now, these many years later, I get it. When the dogs are barking (frequent!), and the phone is ringing, and someone (or 2 someones

posted 5:11:19pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

sitting with suffering
"Instead of asking ourselves, “How can I find security and happiness?” we could ask ourselves, “Can I touch the center of my pain? Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away

posted 6:27:09pm Oct. 18, 2014 | read full post »

the rock of the multiplication, and feeding the hungry
If I were a Christian, I would be a member of a small church. A very small church indeed, in Tabgha, a small village on the Sea of Galilee. The Church of the Multiplication, where the miracle of the loaves &

posted 3:57:43pm Oct. 17, 2014 | read full post »

ch-ch-changes
Ben Franklin is on record as having said, "When you are finished changing, you're finished." I LOVE that. And I heartily agree, although I confess: there are all kinds of change I resist fiercely. I don't like ANY  kind of changes to my schedule -- if it interferes w/'my' time, it's a pain. I'm

posted 9:21:07pm Oct. 15, 2014 | read full post »

rainfall and intimations of moving
Although I love rain (honest), I don't think about it a lot. Truth is, I take rain for granted. The drought in California is real for me, but it doesn't come to mind when it rains. At least not usually. But this

posted 4:27:14pm Oct. 13, 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.