Poetry Is Proof That Humans Exist


Poetry is proof that humans exist. Where else could poems come from?

Many of you know that I find poetry to be a luminous guide and supportive and thoughtful friend in my spiritual life. I recently led a roundtable conversation with coaches on the topic of using poetry in coaching, leadership, parenting, wellness, and significant relationships. Our conversations were full of surprises, just like good poetry. Here is a poem by Mary Oliver,"Flare," that we explored during our conversation. Note which line speaks to or surprises you. I know which one(s) caused me a deep pause.

When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider the orderliness of the world. Notice something you have never noticed before,

like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.

Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain, shaking the water-sparks from its wings.

Let grief be your sister, she will whether or not. Rise up from the stump of sorry, and be green also, like the diligent leaves.

A lifetime isn’t long enough for the beauty of this world and the responsibilities of your life.

Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away. Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.

In the glare of your mind, be modest And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.

Live with the beetle, and the wind.

Photo by Mattio Astorino, Unsplash

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