“We seek outside the wonders we carry inside us.”
This week we gathered for poems and conversation about all the wonders inside and outside us! It was also International Women’s day! We explored awe in landscapes and nature. In human bodies and in trees. We saw that wonder crosses linguistic boundaries – and were treated to special reading of a poem translated into German. The wonder of women raising each other up in all kinds of challenging circumstances. Rather than pursuing beauty and awe through rigorous inquire and investigation, some poems advised us to simply let the world wash over us with all it has to offer. Faith is often associated with wonder – though it can be a complex relationship of scepticism, gratitude, betrayal and praise. Awe does not always come from the grand – sometimes it can be as unassuming as witnessing a kiss – and sometimes it is feeling the invisible tug between us and everything. Wonder can also be found in the unutterable “this-ness” of everyday objects, and creatures that pulse with life. Is there equal wonder in shadow and light?
Next time’s theme is “Work & Labour” and will take place via Zoom March 15.
A list of the poems we read
I’ve added some links where I could to the poems, poets or books if you would like to explore.
Late Nights with Wild Cowboys by Johanna Skibsrud
(German translation by Leonhard Unglaub and Logan Kennedy)
Everything that Was Broken and Except for the Body by Mary Oliver
Raising the Heart of Women by Maxine Tynes
Oh Sweet Spontaneous by E. E. Cummings
Eleven Addresses to the Lord (part I) by John Berryman
Gate C22 and The World Has Need of You by Ellen Bass
A Hardware Store as Proof of the Existence of God by Nancy Willard
I Find Your Lord in All Things and in All by Rainer Maria Rilke
The Tree of Awe by Rumi
Watch a conversation with Coleman Barks (Rumi Scholar)
Bonus: (Things we didn’t read, but deserve an honorary mention!)
Messenger by Mary Karr
Watch her read it in conversation with Padraig O Tuama during Poetry Unbound +
Interesting article: Can you Quantify Awe?
Poetry reading & writing prompt for next week
Prompt/Theme: “Work & Labour”
When we meet again, bring along poems inspired by the theme. There is no obligation to write, but if you feel inspired, you are welcome to bring your poem to share at the next gathering.