Monday, December 12, 2005

The Poet with His Face in His Hands 

Oh, I smiled when I read this, which appeared in my inbox today from the Panhala poetry group. Smiled in recognition of myself, so full of mistakes and equally full of naïve resolve not to burden the world any longer with their exposition. Why worry though? My paltry whinings wouldn’t alter the balance one iota.

But why am I explaining? Mary Oliver says it so much better.

The Poet with His Face in His Hands

You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn't need anymore of that sound.

So if you're going to do it and can't
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can't
hold it in, at least go by yourself across

the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets

like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you

want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(picture courtesy of Panhala)

I even got as far, a few months ago, as creating a second, anonymous blog which could have been my cave behind the falls, where I could roar and drip with despair to my heart’s content. Or should that be heart's discontent, coming as it does from a malcontent? That was just after I quit counselling, which itself is a story I might tell when I’m far enough removed from it to be able to see it all in a context that is something other than a landscape of mistakes.

I made two posts, but abandoned it. What’s the point of all that introspective angst? The thrush will sing just as sweetly.

Back to current posts