Living Like Poetry

IMG_0070I recently found this wonderful poem by noted American poet William Stafford where he captures, as poetry does, the essence of what it means to be authentically alive. We live soulfully from a place of spontaneity and presence. We are aware of greater happiness and joy and celebration in each moment. We are less concerned with the confines of social norms.

I’ve always thought of poetry as being written by the soul for the soul. From this place we have access to expanded ways of knowing and being. We connect with what we really value in our hearts and can make choices from a place of greater clarity. Poetry can open us to new ways of seeing ourselves and the world.

Read Stafford’s poem below. Drink it in. Dance with it. Let it play in your imagination. Then ask yourself, “What would it look like, feel like for me to live like poetry?” What traits of spirit do I want to embody? Freedom, peace, joy, happiness? Pick one and play with experiencing it in your daily life. See if you don’t feel lighter and more open to new possibilities. Consider reading a poem a day for inspiration. Most of all poetry would ask you to have fun with this.

Poetry

Its door opens near. It’s a shrine
by the road, it’s a flower in the parking lot
of The Pentagon, it says, “Look around,
listen. Feel the air.” It interrupts
international telephone lines with a tune.
When traffic lines jam, it gets out
and dances on the bridge. If great people
get distracted by fame they forget
this essential kind of breathing
and they die inside their gold shell.
When caravans cross deserts
It is the secret treasure hidden under the jewels.

Sometimes commanders take us over, and they
try to impose their whole universe,
how to succeed by daily calculation:
I can’t eat that bread.

– William Stafford

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