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

day 25 of Thanksgiving month: gratitude in the wake of #Ferguson
Today, in the wake of Ferguson, my beginner's heart is breaking. There seems so very little to be grateful for. I wasn't even going to write. And then I thought -- there is one sad, terrible thing for which I am gra

posted 10:57:00pm Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »

day 24 of Thanksgiving month: getting ready (or not...)
I'm not at the 'in the pie pan' stage yet, but I did make the dough today. My family is BIG on pie, and especially at Thanksgiving. (Countdown: 3-2-1...) I think my beloved could eat an entire pie b

posted 3:47:13pm Nov. 24, 2014 | read full post »

day 23 of Thanksgiving month: soundtracks
The other day I wrote about how much I love music, how it's one of my everyday gratitudes. Which set me to thinking: what would my life's soundtrack be? What would I like to exit to? You have to realise: I pick

posted 6:07:08pm Nov. 23, 2014 | read full post »

day 22 of Thanksgiving month: the kindness of strangers
Today's gratitude is slightly abashed. I'm grateful for kindness -- even my own, actually. And abashed that it's noticed so...noticeably...? Because if just joking w/ the Starbuck's barista, and teasing her about

posted 10:42:50pm Nov. 22, 2014 | read full post »

day 21 of Thanksgiving month
Today a very simple gratitude, but profound. Music. That ineffable language writers have tried to capture for centuries. Working to replicate its nuance, the way it creates dancing in the bones, melancholy in the he

posted 9:01:39pm Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »




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