Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Wish I'd Said...

I don't tend to post poems by other poets very often; maybe I've done it once before. But the poem below spoke so closely to where I've been this summer, I think I might have dreamed these words into being on my screen. It's one of those poems I wish I'd written, I wish I'd said this in exactly these words, but David Whyte got to this particular combination  first. Damn the man.

Self Portrait
It doesn't interest me if there is one God or many gods,
I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned,
If you can know despair or see it in others.
I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you.
If you can look back with firm eyes saying this is where I stand.
I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living falling toward the center of your longing.
I want to know if you are willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God.

David Whyte from Fire in the Earth
© 1992 Many Rivers Press

I can't write here about why this poem touched me in just the right places, but maybe you will have your own reaction to it. Maybe you too have lived with "the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat." I have. I might again.

I'm working on several posts right now, some I promised weeks ago, and then allowed myself to be distracted from even though they were half written, a list poem of my own, and one on what's it's like in the dungeon that I'll post later today. And I've got a series of posts coming up about my summer study topic: psycho/sociopaths. They're closer to you than you think! 

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