Through its invitations to more mindful living, poetry offers ways to both explore and celebrate the human spirit. Poetry can serve as a tool for helping us stay awake to the creative and healing voices within. It can serve as a valued companion to the complex experiences of being human in this increasingly complex and interdependent world. It provides, as Lucille Clifton liked to remind us, windows to help broaden our perspectives and mirrors to help us reflect on our experiences. Poetry addresses our shared desire for what is meaningful and beautiful while also serving to help bring increased thoughtfulness, grace and vision into both our lives and into the public discourse.
As Benjamin Demott has written, poetry can “help us explore our human connections as well as our distinct human otherness.” Both reading and writing poetry encourages us in our efforts to create a kinder and more just world by living attentive and compassionate lives.
Wanting more than hope
I turn to poetry for revelation,
instruction for my spirit,
courage for my re‑awakening soul,
call it what you will‑‑
truth or rapture
or love’s embrace,
call it what it is‑‑
of Beauty’s human face.
. . . . .Michael S. Glaser
first published as cover of Friends Journal, August, 1996
Copyrighted: please do not use without permission from the author.