Sunday, October 20, 2013

Poetry Sunday: Twelfth Song of Thunder (Navajo Tradition)


The Navajo culture has long interested me. Their spiritual view of Earth and of all the universe and the relationship of all things is an idea which I find particularly resonant. 

The center of their belief system - at least in my understanding - is their concept of beauty. By beauty, they simply mean being in balance and harmony. They strive toward the "Beauty Way," a life based on balance and harmony.

When I came across the following poem while searching the Poetry Foundation website this week, it evoked images of Nature which I find particularly satisfying and so I decided to make it my poem of the week.

Twelfth Song of Thunder [Navajo Tradition]

BY ANONYMOUS
The voice that beautifies the land!
The voice above,
The voice of thunder
Within the dark cloud
Again and again it sounds,
The voice that beautifies the land.
 
The voice that beautifies the land!
The voice below,
The voice of the grasshopper
Among the plants
Again and again it sounds,
The voice that beautifies the land. 

(From The Mountain Chant: A Navajo Ceremony.)

For people who live with the constant threat of drought, the "voice of thunder within the dark cloud" certainly would be a welcome voice, a voice that would beautify the land, with its promise of rain. And the "voice of the grasshopper among the plants" is a signal of the harmony that exists in Nature, all things in their place and serving their purpose. Balance and harmony - things worth striving for in all of our lives.

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