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Reading Poems of Love

Love Poems or poems of ecstatic delight, they are like sunshine for the soul.  I read a poem nearly every day .  I have returned to works by Mary Oliver already a number of times this year as I love to touch the earth and her wisdom.  For this February, I am working through Kabir: Ecstatic Poems by Kabir and Robert Bly.

Oh to drench oneself with the words of love and of the writer’s passion, which has survived since the 15th century, and then to have Bly create a more accessible text is just fulfilling.

I wanted to share several of his poems that have truly infused me with a celebration of love.

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think…and think…while you are alive.
What you call ‘salvation’ belongs to the time before death.

If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
Do you think
Ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
Just because the body is rotten –
That is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
You will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death
If you make love with the divine now, in the next life
You will have the face of satisfied desire.

So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!

Kabir says this:  When the Guest is being searched for,
It is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that
Does all the work
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.

Robert Bly is an award winning poet, translator and writer. Bly has been a leader in the ‘expressive men’s movement’ and has been described as a change artist.  Literary critic Charles Molesworth says of him, “writes religious meditations for a public that is no longer ostensibly religious.”   Bly has a new book of poetry out in 2011 called: Talking Into the Ear of a Donkey.

I know the sound of the ecstatic flute,
But I don’t know whose flute it is.
A lamp burns and has neither wick nor oil.
A lily pad blossoms and is not attached to the bottom!
When one flower opens, ordinarily dozens open.
The moon bird’s head is filled with nothing but
Thoughts of the moon,
And when the next rain will come is all that the rain bird things of.
Who is it we spend our entire life loving?

So who is it we spend our whole life loving?  What are we seeking? Who is the guest?  Do you have a favorite poem?  Love poem or quote?

Anything that is purchased from this site from Amazon or Powell’s will put a few beans in my bucket.

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No one paid or promoted this book to me.  It is from my own collection.

Related Reading:
Love Poem to a Glorious Morning
Mending Fences
Inspiration from Walt Whitman

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23 Responses to “Reading Poems of Love”

  1. Terrill Welch Says:

    Oh I am very much a Mary Oliver fan though I like poetry of most sorts. There is one of Mary Oliver’s poems that always comes to mind this time of year “Winter”

    “And the waves
    gush pearls
    from their snowy throats
    as they come

    And I received my copy of THE SWAN THIEVES by Elizabeth Kostova today – Chapter 6 Marlow is at the National Gallery.
    Terrill Welch recently posted..GREETING DAWN original painting by Terrill WelchMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Yes, that is exactly what I love about Mary Oliver the stunning word pictures. Thank you for sharing…I immediately think of all the snow drops sprouting forth
    Today I saw a plum or cherry tree with a pink cast…a nice break from the gray rain.

    I hope you like the book as much as I did…but it made me think of you

  2. Talon Says:

    Poetry is truly food for the soul, isn’t it? And I love re-reading beautiful poems – it’s like sitting down for a chat with a really good friend. The thing I love is how the language endures. It’s a beautiful thing.

    Patricia Reply:

    When you think that Kabir wrote in the 15th century and it is still so lush today – wow.
    I wish I could learn to write Haiku…it is very mathematical and does not fall into my mind. Poetry is very difficult for me to write.

    It gives me a lovely pause and thoughts

  3. Catherine Says:

    Nice sharing of poem..I really like to read it..
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    Patricia Reply:

    Thank you – I love to read it too

  4. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. I’m afraid I’m not knowledgeable about poetry – and obviously need a course at some stage to get past the limited limits of what’s residing inside the skull.

    I do love some poems .. probably the normal ones – Keats, Masefield et al .. and then the poems that come up in Gilbert and Sullivan, Flanders and Swann et al ..

    I should learn some more – one day … cheers and hope the weekend has better weather .. cheers Hilary

    Patricia Reply:

    I have a very difficult time with poetry. I just find what I like and the read it…but I never did well in class with it
    Yes, I love to sing poetry and hear it put to music…
    Then one day I just decided to read a poem every day – I started with before bed and with Robert Frost’s word pictures….now I start everyday with a poem…

    For me poetry is like art – you like the painting or photograph or collage or sculpture or you don’t. It is an easy way for me to use my massive doses of emotion!

    Hilary Reply:

    Hi Patricia .. I think you’ll find JD’s latest post very (VERY) interesting .. cheers H

    Patricia Reply:

    Thanks Hilary
    I always read JD on Fridays
    Headed there now

    Patricia Reply:

    Hilary is correct
    I suggest you might wish to read JD’s post


  5. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    I start each morning with a cuppa tea and a bit of Mary Oliver.

    Patricia Reply:

    I think Mary Oliver has been my favorite read for many years now…what a great way to start the day :)

  6. Sam Juliano Says:

    The Robert Bly poem is very beautiful. Whenever I am asked about my ‘favorite poem’ at this time of the year, I always answer with this: (I won’t of course insult you by including it’s title. Ha!)

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound’s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.
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    Patricia Reply:

    Oh Sam you have shared on of my favorite poems of all times, as a matter of fact my IT Gal did an animation of this poem to music for our PW Holiday card one year – it was so beautiful and all her animation and programing/music talents just came out to play in beauty.

    I see that you both have it well memorized also :)
    Patricia recently posted..Reading Poems of LoveMy Profile

    Davina Haisell Reply:

    Sam, I echo your choice of Robert Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.” I just love that poem! It is my favourite too.

    Patricia, I remember when you shared the animation of your IT Gal. She did an awesome job!

    I’m pretty fussy when it comes to poetry. My preference is for poems that have an even rhythm and that rhyme.
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    Patricia Reply:

    Yes Davina,
    IT Girl did a beautiful animation of that poem and she has that poem memorized and can just say it on command…

    I truly enjoy poetry of most every kind…I have found it to be very difficult to write …so I appreciate those who can write it all the more :)

  7. Sam Juliano Says:

    As to love poems I would pose two Shakespeare sonnets and Poe’s “Annabel Lee” I think. Noyes’ “The Highwayman” is another.

    Patricia Reply:

    More loving done in verse…I just looked them up Sam for remember them and be renewed

  8. suzen Says:

    Hi Patricia! Thanks for the delicious poetry! It is not something that has been in my reading pile for a l-o-n-g time, so this was a treat.

    As for the question who do we spend our whole life loving – well it better be ourselves – and I don’t mean that in any egotistical fashion, but a healthy self-love and acceptance. I’ve found few people who really get this – and love themselves, warts and all.

    Patricia Reply:

    I remember well, the very day that I figured out that all these religious folks over the centuries when they were talking about the beloved that they were speaking of the DIVINE within each of us…and then this ancient poetry just came alive…
    I felt a bit silly for awhile thinking that they were talking about the Almighty, but it was the softer side of self..

    Yes, many folks are confused about being loving and your own best friend…

    I think that is why so many blogs are filled at this time of year with the message that it is okay to like yourself and even to love yourself

  9. Sara Says:

    I love reading poetry. I usually read it a loud because most poetry is like singing without the music.

    I loved the poems you shared and that you read a poem a day.

    Your conversation with Suzen is so true. That’s one of the things I love about blogging and the community I’m in. It’s very loving and caring:~)
    Sara recently posted..Photo Challenge: The Face-OffMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Thank you

    This blogging community is extremely loving and caring.

    I will add Talon’s love poems to the list of fabulous reads…yep a poem every day
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