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"Why do we have to read poetry? ... Read it and you'll know why. And if you still don't know, read it again. And again. Some of them took the things she said to heart, as she had done once when they were said to her. She was helping them assume their humanity. People have always made poetry, she told them. Trust that it will matter to you."Glory is not the only Boughton child to return home, however; her estranged brother, Jack, has sent a letter to her father that he will soon be coming home as well. Like Glory, Jack has nowhere left to go; unlike Gloria, Jack is the cast-off of the family, the perennial trouble-maker, the only Boughton child not to make an appearance at his mother's funeral, the only Boughton child over which their father prays on a daily basis, the lost son that has broken his father's dying heart on too many occasions to count.
"There is a saying that to understand is to forgive, but that is an error, [he] used to say. You must forgive in order to understand. Until you forgive, you defend yourself against the possibility of understanding."But at heart, he has not truly forgiven Jack for the hundreds of small heartbreaks over the years, the dozens of large ones, and so he is incapable of understanding his son, now a grown man with whom he wishes so dearly to make amends.
"In destitution, even of feeling or purpose, a human being is more hauntingly human and vulnerable to kindnesses because there is the sense that things should be otherwise, and then the thought of what is wanting and what alleviation would be, and how the soul could be put at ease, restored. At home. But the soul finds its own home if it ever has a home at all."---
"Imagine if each day a man must try to kill the moon, he thought. The moon runs away. But imagine if a man each day should have to try to kill the sun? We were born lucky, he thought."
It is silly note to hope, he thought. Besides I believe it is a sin.
"'I should have brought a stone.' You should have brought many things, he thought. But you did not bring them, old man. Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is."
"Why do we have to read poetry? ... Read it and you'll know why. And if you still don't know, read it again. And again. Some of them took the things she said to heart, as she had done once when they were said to her. She was helping them assume their humanity. People have always made poetry, she told them. Trust that it will matter to you." (from Marilynne Robinson's Home)I started out my year with an intention to read a poem a day. I haven't succeeded in reading quite that many, but I have read more poetry this year than any other, and I'm rather enjoying it. Any recommendations for poems/poetry collections I should be sure not to miss?
|Image from Williams-Sonoma|