Sunday, May 1, 2011

Poetry Jam: Endings and Beginnings

While the official National Poetry Month just ended, poetry seems to have infiltrated our lives. The kids still want me to read several poems every night, often Jack Prelutsky. And tonight they wrote cinquains, or five-line poems, for their teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week. Perhaps most surprisingly of all, I've signed up for an online course on poetry and spirituality, a first in many ways--I have never taken an online course and I'm just not that familiar with poetry. So that's exciting. And so I end with something both spiritual and poetic, from a book my mom got me called Ten Poems to Change Your Life compiled by Roger Housden.

The Journey
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver

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