Poetry Tuesday – Sojourns in the Parallel World

M2403624milan c/o chuen seng teoh

When we are swept away by narcissism and blinded by pursuit of gratification from vanity, always remember of nature’s indifference to it all. Our existence are but a blip. Whenever I get ahead of myself, I know nature has her way to remind me and put me in my place. And that is heartening.

The following poem is an expression of our relationship with nature, written by Denise Levertov and read by actor American Ferrera. Please enjoy!

Sojourns in the Parallel World
by Denise Levertov

We live our lives of human passions,
cruelties, dreams, concepts,
crimes and the exercise of virtue
in and beside a world devoid
of our preoccupations, free
from apprehension—though affected,
certainly, by our actions. A world
parallel to our own though overlapping.
We call it “Nature”; only reluctantly
admitting ourselves to be “Nature” too.
Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions,
our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute,
an hour even, of pure (almost pure)
response to that insouciant life:
cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing
pilgrimage of water, vast stillness
of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane,
animal voices, mineral hum, wind
conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering
of fire to coal—then something tethered
in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch
of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.
No one discovers
just where we’ve been, when we’re caught up again
into our own sphere (where we must
return, indeed, to evolve our destinies)
—but we have changed, a little.

#the100dayproject 039/100

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