I am, as a friend refers to: ‘a verbivore’….living off words and finding sustenance from them. Writing is my passion and purpose; what feeds my soul. The words emerge from the vastness of my limitlessly vivid imagination. Poetry is one way in which my inspiration expresses itself. That is why I’m delighted to announce that today is World Poetry Day. It was proclaimed such by UNESCO in 1999, by way of encouraging the creative use of rhyme and verse. On this day, I encourage you to immerse yourselves in poetry…reading, writing and reciting. Do it for the love of it, to splash about in word soup, to run around the poetic playground, to wander whimsically.
Some of my favorite poets, in no particular order and a smidgen of a sample from them:
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
from New and Selected Poems, 1992
Beacon Press, Boston, MA
Copyright 1992 by Mary Oliver.
Passion lops off the bough of weariness.
Passion is the elixir that renews:
how can there be weariness
when passion is present?
Oh, don’t sigh heavily from fatigue:
Seek passion, seek passion, seek passion! Mathnawi VI, 4302-4304
Every child has known God
Every child has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts,
Not the God who ever does Anything weird,
But the God who knows only 4 words.
And keeps repeating them, saying:
“Come Dance with Me , come dance.”—“The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the great Sufi Master” translated by
Daniel LadinskyAnd one of mine
From the depths of memory, emerges a soundless call
The unstruck note, inviting an opening past limitation
Fully stretching beyond fear, centered in what is so
Trusting what is sensed, silencing the voice of doubt.
Expansiveness, freedom from all that has kept you earth
Moving beyond restriction of expectation; the Higher Self
Solid in your determination to live as you were born to
Quieting the chaos, soaring into wonder.
Following inner wisdom as guided by the Goddess
To whom you have offered devotion.
Standing in the essence of grace before the One
Who knows your innermost soul, seeing you as you
would be seen.
No hesitation now, your divine destiny beyond
Witnessing the light within and around
Time to allow for all gifts as yet unaccepted
The seeds planted eons before, manna-festing your
Hands in anjali mudra placed before wide open heart
Boundless energy illuminating the healer and the healed
The love that you are shines forth unmistakably
As the devidasi experiences ananda.
Edie Weinstein, 2006