November 1, 2011

How to fall in love with the world

Look at the world though the eyes of a poet (or an artist).

Kaspa writes: When Fiona and I moved in together we each came trailing cases full of books. We each had some visual art too, and have collected more since, but most of our belongings are paper based and word filled.

A year and a half later I’m still finding poetry on the shelves that I’ve not read before. A few days ago I pulled a slim volume called Let Evening Come from the bookcase. It was Jane Kenyon’s third collection of poems. As I read her poems my daily preoccupations faded away and I felt myself sinking into her world, and it is beautiful.

David Brazier’s thesis in Love and its Disapointment is that all art is motivated by love. Not perfect love, perhaps, but love is at the root. Reading Kenyon’s work I get a palpable sense of that love, and of its often meloncholic flavour. And the world is melancholic, even as it is beautiful.

Her observations are full of grace and as I go into the world filled with her words I think that I am paying more attention to the world. Through being immersed in her clear vision of the world, my vision is a little clearer.

Kenyon’s style of writing fits in very well with the small stone philosophy. Look at these lines from Heavy Summer Rain:

Everything blooming bows down in the rain
white irises, red peonies; and the poppies
with their black and secret centres
lie shattered on the lawn.

Or this, the second stanza, from Lines for Akhmatova:

The narrow canals gleam black and still
under ornate lamps, and in the parks
golden leaves lie on sandy paths
and wooden benches. By light of day
old women dressed in black sweep them away
with birch stick brooms.

Beautiful. So – how to fall in love with the world? Drench yourself in some of this beautiful poetry.

I have another answer too. Start writing. Start looking at the world and writing small stones, (or something longer).

If you’d like some help getting started check out Fall in Love with the World in 30 days (write small stones) for 30 days of writing tips and small stone writing guidance.

Or why not learn The Art of Paying Attention, this November. The Art of Paying Attention is one of our month long e-course where we’ll think about how we can learn to pay attention to the world, to pay attention in relationships, to pay attention to ourselves and to pay attention to spirit. (We’re offering four different e-courses in Nov/Dec – check them out here: e-courses).

I’d love to hear what poetry has helped you fall in love with the world, let me know in the comments below.

(image by dmott9)

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