Posts Tagged ‘poem’

The Precarious and Precious Days of Billy Collins

January 8, 2014

Poet Billy Collins

Poet Billy Collins

Ah, how precious and fragile is each and every day. The simplicity and innate joy of this Billy Collins poem calls to mind the story that my friend, Leslye, told me about her niece. Leslye said the little girl woke up, walked to the window, looked out, and gasped, “It’s a brand new day!”

Indeed it is, ripe with beauty and sweetness that is yours for the taking.

by Billy Collins

Each one is a gift, no doubt,
mysteriously placed in your waking hand
or set upon your (more…)

The Pitcher Cries for Water to Carry

February 18, 2012

This poem by Marge Piercy perfectly illustrates Robert Byrne‘s maxim, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” There’s no better feeling than immersing yourself in work that is important, that calls to you, that feeds your soul. What a dreadful experience life would be without finding some way to be of use!

by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to (more…)

Rilke on Life’s Journey

September 7, 2010

German poet Rainier Maria Rilke

Rainier Maria Rilke nicely captures the arc of a life with this 1923 poem. Once innocence passes and we are caught in the grip of the world, it becomes necessary to stand apart from all we once cherished, yearning for something more, some connection back to innocence and yet beyond innocence. And then . . . discovery!


First a childhood, limitless and without
renunciation or goals. O unselfconscious (more…)

Desiderata—Now You Know the Rest of the Story

October 4, 2008

No matter how familiar you are with this lovely bit of prose, it’s worth reading again. I hope you enjoy its timeless wisdom.

By the way, Desiderata, which is Latin for “things to be desired,” was not discovered, as legend has it, in Old St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore in 1692. Read the real history of Desiderata immediately after the poem.


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without (more…)