Excerpts from Little Gidding by TS Eliot

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

Not known, because not looked for

But heard, half-heard, in the stillness

Between two waves of the sea.

Quick now, here, now, always–

A condition of complete simplicity

(Costing not less than everything)

And all shall be well and

All manner of thing shall be well (Julian)

When the tongues of flames are in-folded

Into the crowned knot of fire

And the fire and the rose are one.

Holy Homesickness — Center for Action and Contemplation https://cac.org/daily-meditations/holy-homesickness/

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When the tongues of flames are in-folded

Into the crowned knot of fire

And the fire and the rose are one

THIS IS beautiful. Right up MY ALLEY. Thank you......thank you. for sharing.

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An extraordinary poem for sure…

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Ok, I am crying after reading a few of the “other” poems recommended by Pádraig this week including one of his own. I encourage all to read them.

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I’m not crying because I don’t know how., but I’m with you. Beautiful poem, diverse in their descriptions of diversity.

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As for the Other:

One of the very best things about the world is that so little of it is me.

~Andrew Grieg~

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“Grief allows me to tell the truth, somehow in the face of shock and endings, there is a capacity to name what is; threat seems diminished.” Oh Pad, what a sneaky gift you are! I needed to hear all of these today, sky high in my grief and joy equally. I agree with Elizabeth Bradfield: I could only dream to be so witty about my burdens. Can’t wait for the Unbound miniseries 🌻

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Dear Padraig,

Thank you for the thought and heart provoking poetry that you and the Poetry Unbound staff bring to us. Thank you for this newsletter that brightens and beautifies my week. I am amazed that you find the time amidst your travels and presentations and podcasts and reading and interpreting other’s poetry and writing your own poetry. Enjoy your time off. Wishing you good rest and rejuvenation.

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When I read you were “opening the post” I thought “what post? On Facebook?” Took me a minute to realize you meant the mail. Now I will post this.

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The 'other' poems touched me deeply. I especially felt Ellen Bass' poem. Can you even imagine 20 years without ever smelling a flower?

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I agree. I need to read more of her work.

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A marvelous array of poems - each one so creative and penetrating in its own way! Thank you!

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Thank you for the recommendations, Pádraig. Your recommendation comes at an interesting moment when I just read about others being mirrors of ourselves so that the things that annoy/enlighten us are true about ourselves.

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Thank you very much for the poetry you link for us. It takes my breath. Go well as you travel and prepare the podcasts.

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The Plume poetry selection you shared is phenomenal. Thank you.

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Thank you for this! It took me most of my years on this planet to learn to be embodied in myself, and to be me. Having said that, the ability to see my own strengths and flaws through another person's eyes is essential to my growth.

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3 am by Jill McDonough was my favorite!

'The cab is shaking with laughter, the poor man

relieved we’re not mad he sort of wants us dead.'

WHAT a line, WHAT an experience!

Jill's narrative hospitality is so generous. The picture of her is wonderful - yes, she makes me feel safe and cared for too.

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Here is to those many others who I see in my autobiography.

Blessed by a mother teaching me compassion for the other.

Father as travelling salesman, provision defined his reason.

Growing up in a prairie town, very simple nothing renown.

Basic roots were values baked in which today provide discipline.

College at KU beginning to learn, the path to my fascinating sojourn.

Law school in Dallas at SMU that led to a Peace Corps barrio venue.

Family, faith and friends coming together and all that that portends.

35 years of the practice of law ended with a vision I finally saw.

Somehow found the courage to become an executive coach to encourage.

And finally at this old age of 83 I’ve ripened into the authentic me.

My days now focus on clients for them to become values-based giants.

Guiding strengths and recovery & influencing them in lasting self-discovery.

Emotional intelligence and awareness of all its impactful relevance.

Men’s small groups of great fellowship with Jesus leading our followership.

3 marvelous and gifted children along with 9 way-above-average grandchildren.

Each a special love opportunity and each contributing to me and to family unity.

Importance of becoming a caregiver which I get to be for my wife Vicki aka Mia.

Smile as I write this autobiography at 83 and humbly take pride in just being me.

And I will never resist to honor all those others for their assist.

My certitude is imbedded in appreciation and gratitude.

This May 9, Happy Birthday Ron you’re doing just fine.

With family and friends toast and drink some fine wine.

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Thank you, Padraig, for recommending such intriguing poems.

In Elizabeth Bradfield's "Sissy-Fists," I smiled at her humor while reading what felt so true. Her lines "I could never/ be that witty about my burdens" (truth) and "Spine curved like he'd been taking/ a nap draped over a boulder" (smile) are wonderful. The poet sees herself in the character she is observing (and later writing about). Whereas at first The Myth of Sisyphus is recalled as "stupid," the speaker realizes it is an apt mirror for her self and her keeping such a combative relationship: "I like the rough of granite. It/ keeps/ my palms nice and smooth" as well as "I like the/ way/ my triceps look now, after all those/ years."

Jill McDonough's "3am" is interesting for how the building of relationships, however small (here, with a cab driver: the "laughter," "soothing" and "tips" of the poem) can stave off a murder. Wow. Way to underline the importance of building connections between people.

David Laverty's "Seventeen Things about Fire" numbers the important points in the context of the poem that oddly isn't distracting to the (this) reader but instead emphasizing to each part.

The beautiful "Young Mother" by Joseph Miller shows the primal hunger of the poem whose meaning goes far beyond the receiving of a meal in this world.

Nancy Miller Gomez's "Baby Facing the Wrong Way at the County Jail" has fitting lines about the subject as well as comments by the poet: the lines "Beyond his pacifier, the edges of his/ mouth/ flicker. I know he's smiling because of/ the pleats/ around his eyes" describe so clearly what we see in the face of a baby. The poet's explanation of the walls in the jail being an ugly green like a "tumor" and how the baby in its seat is "plopped down like a suitcase" describe so well the setting and action of the poem.

Padraig, your "Jacob and Esau" poem seems to study the refection of changes within the self and others and how these are seen and observed in both cases over time. What an interesting and deep poem to consider. In the biblical story of these two characters, Esau forgave Jacob; in the poem I see the speaker forgiving the self and the other. I see the other's potential forgiveness of the speaker. It is a poem in the round, a sort of mirroring going on within the changing of a specific relationship. Your comments on grief are amazing.

Matthew Olzman's "The Earthlings" last stanza is haunting, with its line "always on the verge of heartbreak" leading to the "defamiliarization" of the poem.

In Betsy Scholl's "Alms," her poignant "lost chance" from the poem could have given her the "emptiness that is also a kind of freedom and joy," of which she speaks in the comments.

Thank you, Padriag, for leading us to these poems today. And congratulations on Sally Bliumis-Dunn's inclusion of your crystal of a poem in her collection for Plume!

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Enjoy your few days off!

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