The adage, “when the student is ready, the Teacher will appear,” fits with my reading this book. I studied Poetry while in college as it was part of the curriculum for my English Major, but that genre of Literature never took root within me. The talks of “meter,” “Iambic Pentameter,” directions of “don’t read poems in cadence,” “free verse vs rhyming verse” were the conversation of a craft the tools of which I could not locate.
There seemed to be something I was missing that would turn Poetry from a point of frustration to an experience of sublimity. As I got older, I began to understand that the “something” missing in my ability to “get” Poetry was the location from where I was reading poems.
Poetry must be read with the eyes of the heart, not just the machinery of the mind. Hence this Student was ready for the teacher.
When a friend and trusted fellow-journeyperson recommended this book with the statement, “I could not consider myself a friend if I kept this (book) to myself.” I need more friends like this one in my life. This little book of poems are powerful enough to shift the reader’s very life.
Reading these poems and the discourse following each is as close to a poetry class as I can imagine without formally enrolling in an education institution.
The author’s expertise in the discipline of Poetry and following the challenges they propose is of depth, to speak to a generation who is rich, self-absorbed, busy and largely aimless. These poems and supporting couplets do, in fact, possess phrases of explosive power to one’s soul.
Throughout the book, the poems speak to responding to ones’ heart and the truth held there. It is not enough to know (your heart), you have to begin (your journey),” daring the reader to live life as they were created to live.
Taking this step requires waking up, to “not the event but the eyes that we are seeing”.
We are reminded that we are limited by our self-perception to what we are willing to admit we don’t know. Life and death are constantly present in life, existing in the same moment. We are bound by beliefs & preconceptions of how life is but “the sky will always grow larger” when we release our beliefs of how life is “supposed to go.
It is the mundane and common that causes life to be – breath, clothing and food – the things touched daily without notice. When those things are “noticed,” the “common” will become splendid. A full life flows through all the senses, allowing one to connect with the world more fully. Such living is diminished when such sensuality is confused with and limited to the erotic.
Embracing the reality that one’s days are limited gives freedom and motivation to live life more fully. Rather than being morbid about death celebrating the rarity of life is the hope offered.. Eventually, everyone will cease being “of two minds” about themselves – the person displayed for the world and the person we truly are – and the freedom found in such self-acceptance will abound in living from that point forward.