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Old 09.01.2011, 16:14
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Two Last Poems

These are two poems written by a Japanese woman to her four young children a few months before she died. She was Director of a preschool and a Buddhist. She knew she had cancer and was dying.
Now
Now
I,
My husband,
My children,
In this living room
Are talking and
Laughing.
It is a scene we have repeated here thousands of times but
Now it is very strange
By tomorrow
It may be destroyed
So I want to hold onto it and never let go.
Satisfaction
Do not try to be a step ahead of anyone
In this vain and impermanent world
My children
Please do not spend your lives
No matter how far you go
There will be no satisfaction
Do not compete
Do not compare
Do not be envious
Do not lament
Do not belittle yourself
Please let your own flowers bloom
You are yourself and that is enough
Just like the rose in the garden
Just like the pine tree in the garden
Please let the flowers of your human accomplishment bloom
True satisfaction arises there
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Old 09.01.2011, 16:31
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Re: Two Last Poems

Ah, that has a lot of message. Hope her family are well. I don't believe people just disappear, the message that stay after them speak to us, all the time, don't they...

It's a dreary day, let's perk it up a bit. Poetry is lovely food for thought.

Here is my dear friend and poet, Bernadette Mayer.

[Sonnet] name address date

name address date
I cannot remember
an eye for an eye
then and there my


this is
your se
cond ch
ance to

h i s t o r y
r e p e a t s
i t s s e l f

and a tooth
for a tooth
is a tooth:



"[Sonnet] name address date" by Bernadette Mayer, from A Bernadette Mayer Reader, copyright © 1968 by Bernadette Mayer.
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Old 09.01.2011, 16:39
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Re: Two Last Poems

What is interesting BT, is why did you pick this particular poem ?
I do prefer poems about the living to be had, the loving to be enjoyed, the joyful hope and the answers that heal to questions that confuse.
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Old 09.01.2011, 16:52
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Re: Two Last Poems

Quote:
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What is interesting BT, is why did you pick this particular poem ?
I do prefer poems about the living to be had, the loving to be enjoyed, the joyful hope and the answers that heal to questions that confuse.
I have some friends coming round whose daughter has just been seriously ill and that made me consider my daughter, mine and my families mortality. I am also reading a paper about Buddhist perpectives on life and death. These poems were in there and moved me.

I have no interest in a discussion about therapy or indeed myself. I would really like to see a lot of meaningful poetry about life (and/or death - its what gives it meaning). Has anyone got any?
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Old 09.01.2011, 17:41
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Re: Two Last Poems

How about this:

XLIII. "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..."
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
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