Writing

Poetry Inspires Life Dance

Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach, California

Are you passionate about being alive?

Words and rhythm grab me. I realize I’ve always enveloped this perspective, even as a pigtailed girl on the lookout for ladybugs. I never want to become jaded and bitter, sightless. I want to wake up with fresh eyes every day, orientate toward appreciation, and know that the world conspires with us and for us, not against us. I seek meaning and significance in the ordinary.
Maybe you think and feel the same way I do.

Poetry opens portals to appreciation, to seeing. The shape of words in my mouth, together with images and sensation in my body guide and provoke aliveness. Some poets have a particular gift of vision. Mary Oliver is tops in my world. I discovered her when I attended the University of California, Irvine, and enrolled in a poetry class with professor and poet Michael Ryan. That was eighteen years ago. I relish every one of her books, period.

Oliver’s book, Evidence: Poems arrived to me in Alaska this week. I am slowly inhaling the pages. I’ve belly-laughed—startling my dogs. I’ve wept. With very few words, Oliver paints reality. Her artistry accompanies me in my workshop preparation for “Learning to Trust Love” that will be offered at WOMENSPEAK 2010, an international gathering of women in Mobile, Alabama, March 12-14, 2010 .

I share this poem, and encourage you to discover poets that inspire a life dance in you.

Prayer
May I never not be frisky,
May I never not be risqué.

May my ashes, when you have them, friend,
and give them to the ocean,

leap in the froth of the waves,
still loving movement,

still ready, beyond all else,
to dance for the world.

–Mary Oliver, Evidence: Poems, 2010

This is my prayer, too. I want to “dance for the world.”
What prays alive in you?
Who are the poets that accompany you?

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3 thoughts on “Poetry Inspires Life Dance

  1. “Words and rhythm grab me!”
    Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver
    is the book I hold in my hands this
    morning. Her poems are evidence
    that she knows the dance.

    Your presentation at WS will be awesome.
    I already know it. Mary Oliver and
    David Whyte share the top of my list
    too!

    See you soon, my friend!

    • Thank you Wendy–and you my friend are a fabulous poet! We are shaped well by the Mary Oliver’s and David Whyte’s of the world. I look forward to being with you at WS, and appreciate your presence in this dance of life.

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