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Spiritual Poetry

The following pages contain a collection of poetry from the past two years - most of the entries are favorites from my spiritual diary. Preceeding the poems, below, is a wonderful description of poetry by Roger Rosenblatt of the News Hour.

T.S. Eliot and Poetry

...This suggests that all meaning is hidden, which Freud suggested too... The syntax is abnormal, the logic is illogical.

Underlying that thought is that language is always inadequate to the truth of experience - inadequate to who we are. So Beckett wanted to reduce his plays to a single word. So Wallace Stevens wrote about the nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. But it also goes back into poetry. Shakespeare, no less, wrote about making nothing of nothing. "I get it, but I can't say it. I say it, but I can never say it all." That is poetry, both ancient and modern.

That is why poems are constructed in columns, or column-like arrangements in the centers of pages, rather than the whole page itself. Every poet says in effect, "I cannot put the truth into words in a row. I cannot make linear sense. So I'll put my words into stacks, like the rungs of a ladder, and beg the reader to see that the spaces between the rungs are where the meaning lies."

Reading between the lines is how one makes sense of poetry. And, at the same time, always implicit is the idea that sense is never to be made, at least not with words. And yet he remains the poet's poet -- not for the voice or the bearing, not even for the individual poems, but for the fact that he, perhaps more than any other, knew that poetry is ambiguity, impression and mystery; just like us readers.

Roger Rosenblatt, on T.S. Eliot and Poetry from the National Public Radio News Hour 4/18/01


I don't believe in God.
And I don't believe in no God.
Because belief is a limit,
That must be transcended

Mystery converts to 'certainty'
but not certainty of the mind.
The greatest knowing is 'not-knowing'
when the mind comes to utter rest.

Belief based religion
Is an eternal struggle.
Belief in any one thing
Gives nourishment to its shadow.

Answers become clear
When questions disappear.
But to strive for not-knowing
Is truly a fool's career.

Let it all go.
Give it all up.
And the veils of confusion
give rise to the dawn of freedom.

Inherent Refuge

I take refuge in my own native intuition.
I take refuge in hard won and gracefully given equanimity.
I take refuge in the boundless space of a freed self-position.
I take refuge in the heat of the spiritual impulse.
I take refuge in the urgency to freedom in the short space of a lifetime.
I take refuge in an expanding View and clarity.
I take refuge in the View of non-solidity of all appearances.
I take refuge in the strength of the spiritual process.
I take refuge in the blissful space of the Heart.