In Other Words…

April 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

Favorite and I meet with a fabulous group of folks for Sabbath dinner on Sunday nights.  We close those Sabbath meetings with the reading of this poem, which I have come to love, and which captures to some lovely degree the intention of my heart for this blog.

A Ritual to Read to Each Other
by William Stafford

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider-
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give- yes or no, or maybe –
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.



§ One Response to In Other Words…

  • Ovi says:

    I find myself quoting this poem at different times throughout the week when I feel that I don’t want to express myself, when I want to be ambiguous.

    Thank you, Karyn

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