Monday, March 5, 2012
is complex and the place made
in our lives
for the poem.
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
of what is found there.
William Carlos Williams, from “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower”
It is in poetry rather than the formal concepts of philosophy that the truth of existence is ultimately articulated.
Daniel Day Williams, The Spirit and Forms of Love, 292
I wonder if poetry is not a barometer for my soul. If it has been too long since I picked up a poem, the weather in my soul is usually changing for the worse. I need to encounter that complex place inside carved out by poetry, or something in me seems to die, sometimes miserably.
Lately, I have been reading the poetry of Tomas Transtromer, Swedish poet and recent winner of the Noble Prize in literature. That is a good thing for my soul.
I must be alone
ten minutes in the morning
and ten minutes in the evening.
_Without a program.
From Tomas Transtromer, “Loneliness” (tr. Robin Fulton)
By a wonderful serendipity, I also read these words from Joan Chittister in my Lenten discipline. Sinking down into the self where the Spirit resides and the waters run deep is close to impossible in a culture built on noise and talk and information and advertisements and constant movement and a revolving door schedule. Silence and space and solitude are light years away from the raging list of unending activities we carry always in our heads. (The Breath of the Soul, 33)
So I try to be alone some, without a program. Often a poem helps create that complex place of silence and space and solitude. There I encounter something of the truth of existence. There I encounter the self. There the Spirit resides and the water runs deep.
It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.
With Faith and With Feathers,