For Friday, February 19, 2016:
“Only the poet can look beyond the details and see the whole picture.”
“The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it.”
Two or three days ago I read a poem by a friend who is able to see the whole picture and show it to the rest of us in two short stanzas. I don’t remember specific words now, but I do remember the essence of them, and they gave me hope as I read them, even as they made me consider my own actions.
They give me hope now because her words – her vision – went deeper than most, reminded me of the dirt and dust from which we come and that we ourselves can cause, yet still there are people who are willing to go into the muck and the mess that we make and can rise above it, who care for the well-being of the world we all live in and the earth we live on.
We need her voice and her vision, and many more like her. They are the ones who are willing to go deep into their own and our collective darkness in order to show us the way through, the way up and out. They’ve done the hard work of making their way through and beyond the details for us. They are the ones whose words distill all that into the essence that is the whole picture.
Think of haiku and the other forms of short Japanese poetry. We are asked to grasp the image(s) of a three-month season in seventeen syllables, without the season being named. Yet somehow we do, if the poet is skillful. If the poet is even more skilled, we learn something from his or her words as well, or find something that turns our thinking in a new way, or makes us more aware of the world around us.
Poets help bring our world into focus. For those of us who are short-sighted and for those of us who are far-sighted, they help us see what we can’t. Their words are our lenses, and for that I say Mahalo. Thank you!