Friday, March 25, 2011

Poetry Friday: Sutra

I got this poem in my Poem-A-Day email from Poets.org last Friday. (You can sign up to receive that here.) I had to look up the word sutra: a sutra is a "a distinct type of literary composition, based on short aphoristic statements, generally using various technical terms". Sutras are associated with Hinduism but this one seems to me perfectly compatible with my own faith, Christianity. Marilyn Krysl's words speak to me of a life lived too cautiously, out of fear instead of faith. I don't want to "hoard my days;" I want to live each one abundantly, as Jesus taught. In fact, this poem reminded me of a quote from Brennan Manning: "But Jesus says: if you will let the real God come into your life, then you will experience a huge freedom from the anxiety over survival; none of the usual concerns over livelihood will furrow your brow or weigh you down....Open yourself to my God whose passionate love is unreasonable and trust Him wholeheartedly."

Sutra
by Marilyn Krysl

Looking back now, I see
I was dispassionate too often,
dismissing the robin as common,
and now can't remember what
robin song sounds like. I hoarded
my days, as though to keep them
safe from depletion, and meantime
I kept busy being lonely. This
took up the bulk of my time,
and I did not speak to strangers
because they might be boring,
and there were those I feared

would ask me for money. I was
clumsy around the confident,
and the well bred, standing on
their parapets, enthralled me,
but when one approached, I
fled. I also feared the street's
down and outs, anxious lest
they look at me closely, and
afraid I would see their misery.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

And here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.

5 comments:

Mary Lee said...

Great advice in this poem! Reminds me a bit of "Loveliest of trees the cherry now" by AE Houseman.

Author Amok said...

I love the section about the robin. I once heard them called "trash birds" by a birder, as if bountiful = useless.

Janet said...

This poem "fits" me embarrassingly well...

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Thank you Ruth, you have given me my prayer for the day. For every day. Let me be that silver of light overflowing with the unreasonable passionate love of God. YAY!!

Jessica said...

This is a beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing, I am printing this and hanging it up!