“The true poem rests between the words.”
Poetry. Even the word has a nice ring to it. A rhythmic expression of feelings and ideas, poetry has the ability to speak to each of us on a very personal level, evoking all sorts of emotions, imagery, and memories that are uniquely our own.
This being National Poetry Month, I wanted to join in this celebration today and express my appreciation and love for this literary medium. My love for poetry came to me from my Irish mother. I can remember her reciting those beautiful Irish poems, and of course, Robert Frost was one of her favorites. Poetry is part of my being. My dear friend’s son, Scott Cunningham, a poet, actually realized his poetry dream and founded O’ Miami, a yearly month-long celebration of poetry with the desire for all residents of Miami and beyond to encounter a poem during the month of April. Really beautiful, right?
I love all sorts of poetry, and this one poem in particular changed my life the first time I read it. It is called “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver. It appears in her book New and Selected Poems (Beacon Press, Boston, MA, 1992). The Library of Congress posted this poem in its entirety on their website if you would like to read it. Here is the link: https://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/133.html.
The last two lines of Mary Oliver’s poem offer a thought-provoking question, one that each of us may wish to consider:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
This isn’t always an easy question to answer, is it? Contemplating how we would respond to this question, however, can bring us closer and closer to leading the life we wish to live.
When I sit in silence in the mornings, I tune in to my heart, where I can listen for the answer. The heart whispers to us its deepest desires, and when we give ourselves a chance to hear what it has to share with us, we can approach our day ahead with the intention to answer its calling. This leads us little by little, and day by day, along the path to living our “one wild and precious life” in the most magnificent way possible!
What poems speak to you? Please share one of your favorites in the comments below.