Thursday, February 23, 2012

Be Ignited, Or Be Gone

Native Cleveland Poet, Mary Oliver
Below is a poem by one of my favorite fellow Cleveland poets, Mary Oliver. I have been a poetry word nerd ever since I was a kid, and I went on to study creative writing during my undergraduate. So it's refreshing to have a successful female poet who is also a native Clevelander. She is a wonderfully accomplished wordsmith, winning both the Pulitzer Prize & the National Book Award. In this short poem, she captures so many questions we must face everyday about making ethical decisions and life choices and utimately, she offers the best advice there is in life....

What I Have Learned So Far
Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of — indolence, or action.
Be ignited, or be gone.

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