I love poetry. I write a little of it. I read a lot of it. Billy Collins is my favorite poet. He once came to St. John's, Waterbury because we invited him. He read his poetry to 300 high school kids who by been studying it because he was coming to Waterbury. He then spent an hour with a dozen or so extraordinary students and that night had dinner with a hundred or so people who had paid real money just to meet him.
Billy's poetry is wondrous and quirky and powerful. But the 'truest poem' I've ever read was written by a woman named Elsie Langstron. It perfectly outlines what each of us must be striving to do and living into and leaning against.
Here it is. Read and ponder.
Song to my other self
Over the years I have caught glimpses of you
in the mirror, wicked,
in a sudden stridency of my own voice, have
heard you mock me,
in the tightening of my muscles, felt the pull
of your anger and the whine
of your greed twist my countenance, felt your
indifference blank my face when pity was called for.
You are there, lurking under every kind act I do,
ready to defeat me.
Lately, rather than drop the lid of my shock
over your intrusion,
I have looked for you with new eyes,
opened to your tricks, but more,
opened to your rootedness if life.
Come, I open my arms to you, once dread stranger.
Come, as a friend I would welcome you to stretch your apartments
within me from the cramped to comforting size.
Thus I would disarm you. For I have recently learned,
learned looking straight into your eyes:
The Holiness of God is everywhere.
That for me speaks to the heart of Yungian Psychology and Christian theology as I understand it.
Not much better than that....
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