Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas with Poetic Wisdom

Poetry is that which arrives at the intellect by way of the heart" -R.S.Thomas


Christmas Eve may not always see the stars, but poem goes down the page like shooting star;

Christmas Day may not always be covered by snow white; but the thought can dance like snowflake;

Christmas Day may not always be full of joy; but your heart shall fill with Sunshine; 

Christmas Day may not always be so poetic; but we can always enjoy some great poems.



Four Quartets    -Wisdom of T S Eliot

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time" 

Small excerpt from the Navajo Night Chant
May it be beautiful before me.
May it be beautiful behind me.
May it be beautiful below me.
May it be beautiful above me.
May it be beautiful all around me.
In beauty it is finished.
In beauty it is finished.


The Christmas Life -Cope

Bring in a tree, a young Norwegian spruce,
Bring hyacinths that rooted in the cold.
Bring winter jasmine as its buds unfold 
Bring the Christmas life into this house.

Bring red and green and gold, bring things that shine,
Bring candlesticks and music, food and wine.
Bring in your memories of Christmas past.
Bring in your tears for all that you have lost.

Bring in the shepherd boy, the ox and ass,
Bring in the stillness of an icy night,
Bring in the birth, of hope and love and light.
Bring the Christmas life into this house.



Forgotten Language by Shel Silverstein

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?


Begin     -Brendan Kennelly

Begin again to the summoning birds
to the sight of light at the window,
begin to the roar of morning traffic
all along Pembroke Road.
Every beginning is a promise
born in light and dying in dark
determination and exhalation of springtime
flowering the way to work.
Begin to the pageant of queuing girls
the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal
bridges linking the past and future
old friends passing through with us still.
Begin to the loneliness that cannot end
since it perhaps is what makes us begin,
begin to wonder at unknown faces
at crying birds in the sudden rain
at branches stark in the willing sunlight
at seagulls foraging for bread
at couples sharing a sunny secret
alone together while making good.
Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.



IF               -Rudyard Kipling's

”If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; 

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on"; 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son! "


Now (Robert Browning)

OUT of your whole life give but a moment!
All of your life that has gone before,
All to come after it, -- so you ignore,
So you make perfect the present, -- condense,
In a rapture of rage, for perfection's endowment,
Thought and feeling and soul and sense --
Merged in a moment which give me at last
You around me for once, you beneath me, above me --
Me -- sure that despite of time future, time past, --
This tick of your life-time's one moment you love me!
How long such suspension may linger? Ah, Sweet --
The moment eternal -- just that and no more --
When ecstasy's utmost we clutch at the core
While cheeks burn, arms open, eyes shut and lips meet!


Thoughts about Pain in Pleasure --Elizabeth Barrett Browning

A THOUGHT ay like a flower upon mine heart,
And drew around it other thoughts like bees
For multitude and thirst of sweetnesses;
Whereat rejoicing, I desired the art
Of the Greek whistler, who to wharf and mart
Could lure those insect swarms from orange-trees
That I might hive with me such thoughts and please
My soul so, always. foolish counterpart
Of a weak man's vain wishes ! While I spoke,
The thought I called a flower grew nettle-rough
The thoughts, called bees, stung me to festering:
Oh, entertain (cried Reason as she woke)
Your best and gladdest thoughts but long enough,
And they will all prove sad enough to sting !

Aedh wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by W. B. Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Inwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


Frithjof Schuon, The Garland

A finite image of Infinity:
This is the nature of all poetry.
all human work to its last limit tends;
Its archetype in Heaven never ends.

What is the sense of Beauty and of Art?
To show the way into our inmost Heart.

The singing of a bird came from the sky;
The world had been a dream; the song was I.


Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore
....
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

O'Donohue:

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you. 

Little Gidding  - T.S.Eliot:

"...There are three conditions which often look alike
Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:

Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment
From self and from things and from persons;
and, growing between them, indifference
Which resembles the others as death resembles life,
Being between two lives—unflowering, between
The live and the dead nettle.

This is the use of memory:
For liberation—not less of love but expanding
Of love beyond desire, and so liberation
From the future as well as the past..."  



With the cycle of life in mind and with one eye firmly shut: 

She learned the three Rs and she learnt what was what
She searched for the truth and she searched high and low
She had mountains to climb and she had places to go
She wandered all day and she wondered all night
She wrote in the dark and she read in the light
Soon she arrived in the land of the Know
Where no means yes and yes means no
Where red is green and green is red
Where what we hear is not what’s said
Where black is white and white is black
Where going forward is going back
Where all is nothing and nothing is all
Where tall is short and short is tall
Where right is wrong and wrong is right
Where light is dark and dark is light
Where left is right and right is left
Where weft is warp and warp is weft
Grasping the nettle and grappling at the door
Her head was aching and her feet were sore
So she went hopping back to where she began
With a run along, spin along, twist along man
Along the hall, through the hatch and up the stair
With one eye open - to - we know not where 



















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