Friday, February 21, 2014

I Am Really Just A Tambourine

I Am Really Just A Tambourine

Good poetry makes the universe 
admit a secret: 

I am really just a tambourine,
grab hold, play me against you. 

      I've enjoyed this poem for quite some time, Self Portrait by David Whyte. You can read it below, but first, I think David Whyte captured the power of poetry in this statement: "The discipline of poetry is in overhearing yourself say truths from which it is impossible to retreat. Poetry is a break for freedom. In a sense all poems are good; all poems are an emblem of courage and the attempt to say the unsayable; but only a few are able to speak to something universal yet personal and distinct at the same time; to create a door through which others can walk into what previously seemed unobtainable realms, in the passage of a few short lines."

Self Portrait 
David Whyte 

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God

or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
If you know despair or can 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.

There Is Ship, (1964) Peter, Paul, and Mary 

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