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Top Poems to Lift Spirits

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 3 7

 

Feeling ho-hum upon arising? Do all the fears from the previous days descend upon your thoughts making obsession a state of agony? Whether the immigration debacle is bothering you, or maybe the unknown cosmic stuff about 11-11-11  to 12-12-12 never leaves your thoughts or death or birth, it adds up to a viscous circle of descending paralysis almost rendering your getting out of bed obsolete.

fence flowers

No worries, we all experience those crucial mornings where the image of health and beauty has been replaced by fear, hatred, more fear, magnified dramas more horrific than any Hitchcock films, and whatnot. It's okay, because there is relief from the bondage of self. It's literary art at a high level, it's pure poetry. Granted, the ones I offer are by dead poets, but don't let that dissuade you from giving it a chance for relief.  When the fear paralysis experience grips you, you can reach for your favorite get-out-of-fear fast poems. These are among my top poems to lift spirits.

St. Thomas Aquinas is credited with the first top poet page read today. He had stories coming from his being during reported states of enchantment, not conscious to his surroundings. He quit writing three months before he died. His explanation was, "I can no longer write, for God has given me such glorious knowledge that all contained in my works are as straw - barely fit to absorb the holy wonders that fall in a stable."

ON BEHALF OF LOVE

Every truth without exception-no matter
    who makes it - is from God.
If a bird got accused of singing too early
    in the morning
if a lute began to magically play on its own
    in the square
and the enchanting sounds it made drove a pair of young lovers
    into a wild, public display of
        passion,
if this lute and bird then got called before the inquisition
    and their lives were literally at stake,
    could not God walk up and say before the court,

"All acts of beauty are mine; all happen on the behalf of love"?

And while God was there, testifying for our heart's desires,
    hopefully the judge would be astute enough
        to brave a question,
        that could go,

"Dear God, you say all acts of beauty are yours;
surely we can believe that. But what of all actions we see in this world,
for is there any force in existence greater than the power
    of your omnipresent hand?"

And God might have responded, "I like that question,"
    adding, "May I ask you one as well?"
   
    And then God would say,

"Have you ever been in a conversation when children entered
    the room, and you then ceased speaking because your

wisdom knew they were not old enough

    to benefit--to understand?


As exquisite is your world, most everyone in it
    is spiritually young.
Spirituality is love, and love never wars with the minute, the day,
    one's self and others. Love would rather die
        than maim a limb,
            a wing.

Dear, anything that divides man from man,

earth from sky, light and dark, one religion from another...
    O, I best keep silent, I see a child
        just entered the
            room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The next is from St.Theresa of Avila. She was one amazing and fabulous woman who achieved mystical states despite the Inquisition and persecution of females in her lifetime. Interestingly enough, a year after her death her body was exhumed because the grave was not in Avila, and some friends wanted her body returned to her home. Guess what? Her body was intact and emitted a delightful fragrance, a miraculous find for sure. The church who had persecuted her then allowed for some of her work to be preserved, and of course, granted her sainthood. All this after finding 17 Carmelite convents and two monasteries.

MORE TRAFFIC THAN YOU THINK

"God stood at the shore of Himself and dove in.
    How can He do things like that?
        Anything goes with
        the Big Guy, I
            guess?

A divine splash happened,

billions of drops were propelled into space,

I said to a drop shooting past me one night
    "Where ya going, what's the hurry,
        slow down."

It did, and we talked for a while, that drop and I;
        some angels too
            came by.

There is more traffic than you think--
    cruising."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mt. Sopris

Part of the low spirits that lead to hard- to- get- up- in- the- morningness is the desire aka wanting obsession. This poet says it so clearly in this one poem that will follow. His name is Kabir, and he was born in Varanasi, North India. His poetry is well known throughout India, and was brought to Western attention, translated, in 1915. I can't get enough of him!

WHERE THE SHOPKEEPER WOULD SAY

        I was

    looking for that shop

where the shopkeeper would say,

"There is nothing of value in here."

    I found it and did

        not leave.

    The richness of not wanting

        wrote these

           poems.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


This wouldn't be complete without mention of Rumi, whom I used to read daily. One bit of beauty that fits in here goes like this.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
        Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
        Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
        where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
        Don't go back to sleep.

Actually, this is a good poem to keep inside oneself and recite it upon awakening. It helps the morning mystery unfold peacefully, not fearfully.

On those same lines, Rumi suggests another way to arise.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Whatever way you choose to arise fearlessly is probably a good thing. I know that the wonderful poets whose words have been translated for the sheer beauty of them, and the desire to share them, have helped me to arise fearlessly.


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Comments

Feb 7, 2012 5:07pm
Aleo
Wonderful ideas, really good article.
Feb 7, 2012 5:07pm
Aleo
Wonderful ideas, really good article.
Feb 8, 2012 3:08pm
footloose
Thank you. There are so many wonderful poms out there needing attention!
Feb 8, 2012 3:53pm
southerngirl09
Thanks for sharing these great poems to life spirits. A great read!
Feb 9, 2012 11:24pm
footloose
I'm so glad you enjoy poetry. I used to read poetry every morning, and will return to it again I hope!
Feb 8, 2012 7:19pm
miravu
Beautiful footloose...Thank you for sharing.
Feb 9, 2012 11:25pm
footloose
So glad you read my article and enjoyed, thank you!
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Bibliography

  1. Daniel Ladinsky Love Poems from God. New York: Penguin Group, 2002.
  2. Translations by Coleman Barks The Essential Rumi. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1995.

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