This is a little book I made for myself called ‘poems for the journey’. It occurred to me that others might find nourishment and comfort here too. My favourite poets are represented: Mary Oliver, Jane Hirshfield, Annie Lighthart, John O’Donohue, Robert McDowell, and emerging poet Robert Cairns. Here are a few of my favourites:
For Those Who Have Died
” ……To love to hope to dream, and oh, to lose.
…For your life has lived in me; Your laugh once lifted me; Your word was a gift to me.
‘Tis a human thing, love, A holy thing, To love what death can touch.”
extract from Judah Halevi ‘ For Those Who Have Died’
Judah Halevi was a 10th century Spanish Jewish physician, philosopher and poet.
“……The work of keeping you alive. Just as you
Constantly renewed yourself (and have again,
for all we know), I keep your lesson close:
Be open, honest, true; be rigorous and loyal,
But most of all be joyful in everything I say and do.
The world is shining even as we lose
The people, things, and scenes we cherish most.
Walking on the beach, my son whose middle name
Is yours collects stones and makes up stories for each one.
A life can be a model. I learned that much from you.”
extract from Robert McDowell. “Talking With the Dead.” Sewanee Review 117.1 (2009): 62-63.
Jane Hirshfield, “For What Binds Us” Of Gravity & Angels (Wesleyan University Press, 1988)