(Poetry) matters because it’s beautiful. It matters because it tells the truth, the human truth about the complexity of life. . .
It tells the entire truth about what it is to be alive, about the way of the world, about life and death.
Art embodies that complexity and makes it more understandable, less frightening, less bewildering.
It matters because it is consolation in times of trouble.
Even when a poem addresses a painful subject, it still manages to be consoling, somehow, if it’s a good poem.
Poetry has an unearthly ability to turn suffering into beauty.
Be a good steward of your gifts.
Protect your time.
Feed your inner life.
Avoid too much noise.
Read good books,
have good sentences in your ears.
Be by yourself as often as you can.
Take the phone off the hook.
Work regular hours.
~Jane Kenyon from A Hundred White Daffodils
There’s nothing “regular” about the hours I work and I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to obsessive commitment of my time. My phone is attached to me day and night for good reason. I don’t read enough, don’t particularly enjoy being alone, don’t spend enough time walking nowhere in particular and am immersed full time in the noise of life.
Yet I recognize beauty when I hear it, see it and read it. Sometimes I actually write it.
In the meantime, I cleave to good sentences in my heart and the cadence of good phrases in my ears. It’s what a good steward and harvester of words must do.