Learning to Read Poetry – October 8 2017

How does the ordinary person come to the transcendent? For a start, I would say, study poetry. Learn how to read a poem. You need not have the experience to get the message, or at least some indication of the message. It may come gradually.
Joseph Campbell,
Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor
 
Wild Geese
 
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes, 
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting  
over and over announcing your place 
in the family of things.
from Dream Work by Mary Oliver
 
Today I will look for the poetic in my life. I will seek beauty in the way my partner brushes her hair, straightens his shirt, touches her ear as she thinks about her day.
Flanges in Blacksmith Shop, Young’s Point, Montana
All original material copyright © 2017 Jeff Kober