Sunday, October 20, 2019

Poetry Sunday: Citizen of Dark Times by Kim Stafford

This poem is from a collection of poetry written by Oregon poet Kim Stafford after the presidential election of 2016. It was his effort, he said in an interview, to find the "flavor of unity" in divisive times. It seems particularly appropriate at the moment.

Citizen of Dark Times
by Kim Stafford
Agenda in a time of fear: Be not afraid.
When things go wrong, do right.
Set out by the half-light of the seeker.
For the well-lit problem begins to heal.
Learn tropism toward the difficult.
We have not arrived to explain, but to sing.
Young idealism ripens into an ethical life.
Prune back regret to let faith grow.
When you hit rock bottom, dig farther down.
Grief is the seed of singing, shame the seed of song.
Keep seeing what you are not saying.
Plunder your reticence.
Songbird guards a twig, its only weapon a song.

8 comments:

  1. Words to live by. Young Greta Thunberg should take heart from this.

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  2. I like it.
    "When you hit rock bottom, dig farther down.
    Grief is the seed of singing, shame the seed of song..."

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    Replies
    1. Yes, those line struck me as well. Also the last line: "Songbird guards a twig, its only weapon a song." If our only "weapon" is our voice, then we must use it.

      Welcome back, Carmen! It's great to see your comments again. I've missed you.

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  3. Oh wow, I needed to read this today!

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