“Our deepest fears are like dragons, guarding our deepest treasures.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
I love Rumi, Emily Dickinson and Longfellow. Who can turn away from anything written by Kipling or Dickens? Who hasn’t read Poe, Shakespeare or Whitman? We had to in school and I wasn’t a fan. I never understood it.
Whereas, now, I am profoundly moved by poetry. In my very recent youth, I found it too esoteric. However, I have found there is a beauty to the cadence, symbolism and energy of scant words used in abstract and metaphorical ways that intrigues me these days. I believe this has to do with the freedom plus the wisdom having lived this long bestows me. Moreover, I find poetry attracts and calls to me even more than story occasionally when melancholy or frustration hits.
Perhaps it’s the depth and the power of poetry. Or the rhythm and sound of it. Maybe it’s the way words are used so differently and put together in seemingly haphazard ways that all of a sudden make sense to me.
Who can dispute Rumi’s love of love and life? Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you or when describing his being smitten with, no one knew who was the lover and who the beloved.
Alone in her room, failing time and again to publish her poems Emily Dickinson writes, I dwell in possibility and to live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.
If you haven’t read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, you are missing out. He wrote outstanding epic tales in lyrical form like The Song of Hiawatha and Evangeline.
I would recommend re-visiting these poets and more if you have never enjoyed them before. I believe there was and is a certain maturity and level of introspection that all this chaos of the last few years (not to mention the verbal and physical violence and brutality that is all around us as if it was normal) have helped us seek if even a little, self-reflection and awareness. Poetry will make sense of it all for the exact reason that innocence denies the dark and poetry transforms it for us.