The Unbearable Lightness of Poems
I love poems for their smallness, their substance, their portability. I love that they pack so much meaning into such a tiny shape. I love how the words are surrounded by white space. When so much in life feels crowded and rushed, looking at a poem is like taking a slow, deep breath. Even if I don’t always understand what a poem is about (which is much of the time, it seems), I’m soothed by the artful gathering of images, and by language that is beautiful to read, speak, and hear.
A long time ago, when my sons were small, I learned to love poetry because I didn’t have time to read anything else. I tacked poems over the kitchen sink and read them over and over, letting them wash over and through me.
I was out for a walk last week and discovered this poem by Jan Richardson on a poetry post in someone’s yard. It is so beautiful that I am blogging after a long absence, just so I can share it with anyone who happens this way.
How the Light Comes
I cannot tell you how the light comes.
What I know
is that it is more ancient than imagining.
That it travels
across an astounding expanse to reach us.
That it loves searching out
what is hidden
what is lost
what is forgotten
or in peril or in pain.
That it has a fondness for the body
for finding its way toward flesh
for tracing the edges of form
for shining forth through the eye,
the hand, the heart.
I cannot tell you how the light comes,
but that it does.
That it will.
That it works its way into the deepest dark that enfolds you,
though it may seem long ages in coming
or arrive in a shape you did not foresee.
may we this day turn ourselves toward it.
May we lift our faces to let it find us.
May we bend our bodies to follow the arc it makes.
May we open and open more and open still
to the blessed light