Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


September 1st ~

We must love one another or die…

~ September 1, 1939 by W. H. Auden

He’s an unlikely mentor for a middle-aged female writer & teacher, this fiercely cynical, battered gay British poet. Yet every September 1st, I take out this poem and read it — often to my classes, as well. No one better captures the despair that washes over so many of us when we look around at today’s politics, today’s horrifically polarised and darkly self-centred world.

And yet, at the centre of his work, there is this stubborn spark of hope, a heart that still believes in possibility. It’s this, I think, that draws me to him. That, and the always fresh craftsmanship of a consummate word-smith. But poetry is more than craft — it’s also a kind of magic that translates our own Byzantine hearts into something we can (almost) understand.

So today, I offer this poem that always comforts my beginner’s heart. Enjoy.

 



Previous Posts

marathons, half-marathons and the enemy of good
I'm doing a half-marathon tomorrow. Working HARD for hours. And now that I have you thinking what a sleek athlete I must be, I'll confess: it's a poetry half-marathon. :) The Poetry Marathon 2014 (24 po

posted 3:13:54pm Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

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 »




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