Monday, May 25, 2009

Poem Of The Week- Wallace Stevens

This poem represents one of those odd little intersections in my life which I enjoy so much, it's read out at one of Landmark Education's courses. But it's a poem that speaks for itself.

So far male poets have dominated my selections, I'm not sure how that happened but I promise to remedy it with the next poem. Have a favourite female poet? Let me know in the comments below.

Of Mere Being

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze distance.

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.

The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird's fire-fangled feathers dangle down.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another 2 second guide to the Landmark Forum

Landmarks programs are like Tai Chi for the mind. You discover ways to be free from the habitual patterns of the mind. The occurring world transforms. In place of struggle there is flow.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Poem Of The Week - Māris Čaklais

I can't tell you a whole lot about Māris Čaklais, the best information I could find, in English at least, was sadly an announcement of his death. I was given a copy of his book Premonition by a friend otherwise I am sure I would never have encountered him. No doubt Robert Frost was correct when he said "Poetry is what gets lost in translation" nonetheless this is a gem of a book with some beautiful poems, I hope you enjoy this one.

A Little Fairy Tale

It was all in the land
Whose gates are now locked against me,
Whose keys I have lost-
In my childhood.

As in everyone's childhood,
I, too, had a fairy tale,
And like everyone's fairy-tale
Mine, too, had a princess.

She did not converse like grown-ups.
She spoke our own language.
The princess sang songs.

When, behind the window, the car
Hooted, to carry the princess away,
We clung to our princess-aunt's skirts
And we cried.

When our breath had melted them all-
Every flower of ice on the window-pane,
Only then, we remembered
To finish playing at soldiers.

It was all long ago.
And the fairy-tales
Which even now I believe in
Are of a somewhat different order.

Why do I speak of it then?

There are times when the past, like a child,
Clings to one's skirts, and cries-
And one does not know what to do.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Poem Of The Week - Rabindranath Tagore

Another in my irregular Poem Of The Week series. I don't remember when/where I first encountered Rabindranath Tagore but lines from his works have been fixtures in my quote file for a long while. It was the anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore's birth yesterday so I'm a day late, I hope he and you can forgive me.

If any-one can shed light on the "Iffe" in "In the Iffe of the seeker" please comment below and also please do share your favourite poets/poems.


I wonder if I know him
In whose speech is my voice,
In whose movement is my being,
Whose skill is in my lines,
Whose melody is in my songs
In joy and sorrow.
I thought he was chained within me,
Contained by tears and laughter,
Work and play.
I thought he was my very self
Coming to an end with my death.
Why then in a flood of joy do I feel him
In the sight and touch of my beloved?
This 'I' beyond self I found
On the shores of the shining sea.
Therefore I know
This 'I' is not imprisoned within my bounds.
Losing myself, I find him
Beyond the borders of time and space.
Through the Ages
I come to know his Shining Self
In the Iffe of the seeker,
In the voice of the poet.
From the dark clouds pour the rains.
I sit and think:
Bearing so many forms, so many names,
I come down, crossing the threshold
Of countless births and deaths.
The Supreme undivided, complete in himself,
Embracing past and present,
Dwells in Man.
Within Him I shall find myself -
The 'I' that reaches everywhere.