HeartNote, October 30, 2019: Peace, Conversation and Poetry

Read this in The New Yorker just yesterday:

"The poet W. H. Auden once remarked that those who complain about the ambiguity or obscurity of modern poetry “should first examine their consciences and ask themselves with how many people and on how many occasions they have genuinely and profoundly shared some experience with another.”

For years I have done my best in reading and listening to "The Writer's Almanac" by Garrison Keillor. From his readings and my own, I have tried to reach into a deeper reception of poetry, if not a clearer understanding.

Auden is right. Poetry is that vehicle for profound emotional embrace, an opening to quieter parts of our spirits, ones that we hold closely only with those that know. Poetry lays the rhythmic blueprint for conversation's depth, a context that reaches into a hidden and more emotionally vulnerable part of ourselves, the good parts, the ones that bring us to the openness and humility of our first grade selves wrapped in longing, shaded and blanketed in layers of adult-ness.

Feelings are designed to be ambiguous and obscure. Poetry gives these feelings weight and clarity. Conversation carries our own poetry, the poetry of ourselves, into a thing to be grasped, held between one another, to let the meaning seep in. The cadences, the pauses, the searching for the right words to say just precisely what we mean, so that the other words make more sense.

Poetry is the visceral place of inexplicability. So is a good, long, sharing, open-eared, receptive hearted conversation.

Beginning with two people, within the poetry of conversation, Peace most easily and openly in this place.

The poetry of meaningful conversation is the cornerstone of Peace.


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