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The Entangled Bank              David LaMotte

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Poetry & Grief

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And part of the indirectness is the recognition that loss often comes to us on little feet. We never know what ordinary thing might open us unexpectedly to the mystery of our place in time, to our onceness, to a sense of the immeasurable journey that brings us here and now.  A truly consoling poem leads to grace the way a scent leads to memory. Consequently, some of the poems here may not seem at first glance to be about grief at all.  But stay for a while, and let the world grow quiet around the poem and you.

And that notion of a poem as an invitation to stay for a while brings me to the last thing I want to say about a truly consoling poem: It loves to be said out loud; it invites me to inhabit a voice. The voice–the feel of the poem on the breath and in the body– carries me to the edge of what I feel but cannot say, know but cannot name.


Poems

“The Peace of Wild Things”

          by Wendell Berry

     “Work Song” by Wendell Berry

     “Of Earth” by John Daniel

     “Roses, Late Summer” by Mary Oliver

     “Acceptance” by Robert Frost

     “Deepening the Wonder” by Hafiz

     “Let Evening Come” by Jane Kenyon

•       “Next, Please” by Philip Larkin

     “The Waking” by Theodore Roethke

     “On the Day I Die” by Rumi

     “One Song” by Rumi

     “Roses Underfoot” by Rumi

     “Abide” by Jake Adam York

Prose

     “A Good Day’s Work” by DL

     “The Meeting Place, a gift from my first hospice patient” by DL

     “The Work of Healing” by DL