Welcome to the first issue of ‘Found Poems’ – A project that is meant to be alive and evolving with the one constant of poetry at its core. Thank you for signing up! I will be curating a poem to send right to your inbox every couple of weeks.
Why do I love poetry so much and believe that everyone should have a little dose of it in their lives you ask?
To me, poetry is connection;
It is meaning-making. It is the thing that connects me to the lives and experiences of people across the world, as much as it connects me to myself. Poetry is also the most powerful antidote I have found to the complexities we sometimes find ourselves unprepared for. Sending poetry is something I have done over my entire adult life in one way or another, my email and postal history is a testament to over a decade of efforts to bring poems that have moved me, out of books and forgotten corners of the internet and share them with those that want to listen. Hundreds of poets over the years have reached out to us, having felt the same way in another time, another place and while you read along, for a few moments, you are allowed to breathe with them. See and be seen.
In this moment in time;
A lot of the crises and disorder we see unfolding around us — be it immigration, health, climate change or the rise of nationalism, the one common thread I find, is chronic disconnect & apathy. Disconnect from ourselves, our purpose, from each other’s humanity, from this planet and the universe as a whole. And although I don’t suggest looking to poetry if you are seeking answers, I believe strongly in its power to bring us closer together, to get us to care and to bring that little bit of play back into our lives. As William Carlos Williams wrote famously in ‘Asphodel, That Greeny Flower’ - “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.”
So, here is my song to you, if you will.
by Mary Oliver
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds will
never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
In closing, I write this on a trip in India, and between the threat of global and local politics, religious pogroms and disease, it feels all too easy to give into despair, or feel the need to seek answers, but often what is so much harder, is to seek joy and resilience in the face of it all. I hope this dose of Mary Oliver and her relentless affinity to life brings you some of these mysteries too.
If you’ve enjoyed this first issue, if you have any requests/feedback, or if something here inspired you to create too, I invite you to a dialogue. I’ll be here listening.