9780880014755

The Soul Is Here for Its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780880014755

  • ISBN10:

    088001475X

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 5/3/2010
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications

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Summary

Robert Bly's ground-breaking anthology of spiritual poems, the result of over a decade of personal research, celebrates the ongoing role of the divine in literature. For as long as people have lived together in communities and built enduring cultures, they have sung and written about their relationship with the God or gods they believed in. In the words of the Irish writer Sean O'Faolain, "all good writing in the end is the writer's argument with God." The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy gathers poems from a wide range of cultures and traditions and divides them into ten parts, each forming a resonant exploration of a specific and timeless spiritual question. Selections include the work of Dante, Dogen, Goethe, Hafez, Juan Ramon Jimenez, Kabir, Lalla, Li Po, Mirabai, Mary Oliver, Owl Woman, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Rumi, in addition to Blake, Dickinson, Donne, Hopkins, Stevens, Yeats, and other important English and American poets. Together these poems form both a celebration and a quest--a kind of pilgrim's progress that embraces all the rich wisdom of East and West, ancient and modern, male and female, spirit and flesh.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION xvii
PART I: STARTING ON THE PATH 5(22)
The Footprint
5(1)
GHALIB
Sunset
5(1)
RAINER MARIA RILKE
The Name
6(1)
TOMAS TRANSTROMER
We thirst at first
7(1)
EMILY DICKINSON
from Like to the Arctic Needle
8(1)
FRANCIS QUARLES
This Cloud
9(1)
DOGEN
Lord, you called
9(1)
ANONYMOUS
In this town
10(1)
RAINER MARIA RILKE
A remembrance is moving
11(1)
JUAN RAMON JIMENEZ
The Scattered Congregation
12(1)
TOMAS TRANSTROMER
Friend, it's time
13(1)
ANSARI
A Voice
14(1)
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
Maybe
15(1)
MARY OLIVER
As kingfishers catch fire
16(1)
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
Written on a Monastery Wall
17(1)
LI SHANG-YIN
Our journey had advanced
18(1)
EMILY DICKINSON
The Starlight Night
19(1)
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
Sometimes a man
20(1)
RAINER MARIA RILKE
Rainbow at Night
21(6)
ANTONIO MACHADO
PART II: LONGING FOR THE GARDEN 27(28)
Heaven-Haven: A nun takes the veil
27(1)
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
from The Garden
28(1)
ANDREW MARVELL
Is my soul asleep?
29(1)
ANTONIO MACHADO
The Dweller
30(1)
ROBERT BLY
If you could turn your heart
31(1)
ANGELIUS SILESIUS
O God Our Help in Ages Past
32(2)
ISAAC WATTS
Remorse
34(1)
JUAN RAMON JIMENEZ
Dawn Outside the City Walls
35(1)
JUAN RAMON JIMENEZ
Whoever grasps
36(1)
RAINER MARIA RILKE
I have many brothers in the South
36(1)
RAINER MARIA RILKE
It is an honorable thought
37(1)
EMILY DICKINSON
Introduction
38(1)
WILLIAM BLAKE
Jerusalem
39(1)
WILLIAM BLAKE
The Habit of Perfection
40(2)
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
The wind, one brilliant day
42(1)
ANTONIO MACHADO
Sorrow, it is not true that I know you
43(1)
ANTONIO MACHADO
The Pulley
44(1)
GEORGE HERBERT
from The Hymn of Jesus
45(1)
FROM THE ACTS OF JOHN
Loss of Memory
46(1)
KATHLEEN RAINE
God's Grandeur
47(1)
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
Pied Beauty
48(1)
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
I'm ceded--I've stopped being Their's--
49(1)
EMILY DICKINSON
Come to the orchard in Spring
50(5)
RUMI
PART III: THE QUESTION OF GREED AND CONSTANT HUNGER 55(24)
Breaking the Dragon
55(1)
RUMI
A Small Green Island
56(1)
RUMI
The Snake-Catcher and the Frozen Snake
57(2)
RUMI
Bread
59(1)
RUMI
The Animal Soul
60(2)
RUMI
Four Questions
62(1)
LALLA
Men and women now
63(1)
LALLA
Sometimes I forget completely
64(1)
RUMI
from Divine Meditations: Sonnet I
65(1)
JOHN DONNE
Raise me up, Lord
66(1)
MIGUEL DE GUEVARA
I was a stricken deer
67(2)
WILLIAM COWPER
Jesus on the lean donkey
69(2)
RUMI
Who makes these changes?
71(1)
RUMI
Difficulties
72(1)
KABIR
What I said to the wanting-creature
73(1)
KABIR
And where is he?
74(5)
RAINER MARIA RILKE
PART IV: TWENTY POEMS OF KABIR 79(24)
The Flute
79(1)
KABIR
The Spinning Wheel
80(1)
KABIR
The Time before Death
81(1)
KABIR
The Hearse
82(1)
KABIR
The Caller
83(1)
KABIR
The Pitcher
84(1)
KABIR
The Failure
85(1)
KABIR
The Swan
86(1)
KABIR
The Cloth
87(1)
KABIR
Breath
88(1)
KABIR
Music
89(1)
KABIR
The Clay Jug
90(1)
KABIR
The Swing
91(1)
KABIR
The Unknown Flute
92(1)
KABIR
The Sound
92(1)
KABIR
Why Should We Part?
93(1)
KABIR
A Place To Sit
93(1)
KABIR
Rice
94(1)
KABIR
Sound of Seashells
95(1)
KABIR
The Boat
96(7)
KABIR
PART V: GOD IN THE FEMININE 103(34)
To Nature
103(2)
ORPHIC HYMN
You are the future
105(1)
RAINER MARIA RILKE
Prayer to the Mother
106(1)
APULEIUS
White Buffalo Woman
107(2)
JOHN G. NEIHARDT
I sing of a maiden
109(1)
ANONYMOUS
For the flowers are great blessings
110(1)
CHRISTOPHER SMART
To Aphrodite of the Flowers, at Knossos
111(1)
SAPPHO
Lord, help me
112(1)
FRENCH MEDIEVAL PRAYER
from Random Thoughts on the Love of God
112(1)
SIMONE WEIL
The Red Goddess (Laksmi) FROM HYMN TO TIRUMAL
113(1)
There is a lake
114(1)
LALLA
Your way of knowing
114(1)
LALLA
You were once a swan
115(1)
LALLA
The Goddess
116(1)
THEODORE DE BANVILLE
To Juan at the Winter Solstice
117(2)
ROBERT GRAVES
Love's Maturity
119(1)
HADEWIJCH OF ANTWERP
Knowing Love in Herself
119(1)
HADEWIJCH OF ANTWERP
Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks
120(1)
JANE KENYON
Sonnet XII
121(1)
EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY
The Mysteries Remain
122(1)
H. D.
A Flower No More than Itself
123(1)
LINDA GREGG
There is no one
124(1)
EDITH SODERGRAN
Lay your head
125(2)
LAKSHMINKARA
How shall I begin my song?
127(1)
OWL WOMAN
In Praise of Sophia FROM PROVERBS 3:11 -- 20
128(1)
A Herd of Does
129(8)
HUGH MACDIARMID
PART VI: LOVING GOD THROUGH LOVING A WOMAN OR A MAN 137(18)
The Visit of the Beloved
137(1)
IBN HAZM
Separation by Death
137(1)
IBN HAZM
Chastity
138(1)
IBN FARAJ
Two Poems by Rumi
139(1)
RUMI
In the great sweetness of the spring
140(2)
GUILLAUME IX OF POITIERS
A Certain Knight THE COUNTESS OF DIE
142(1)
When the Days Grow Long in May
143(2)
JAUFRE RUDEL
The woman I adore
145(1)
DANTE ALIGHIERI
Amor and the courteous heart
146(1)
DANTE ALIGHIERI
The Meeting Missed
147(1)
RABINDRANATH TAGORE
For the Goddess of Love
148(1)
RABINDRANATH TAGORE
Dusk
149(1)
RABINDRANATH TAGORE
The Message
150(5)
RABINDRANATH TAGORE
PART VII: TWENTY POEMS OF RUMI 155(30)
Love Dogs
155(2)
RUMI
Say Yes Quickly
157(1)
RUMI
The Instruments
158(1)
RUMI
On Resurrection Day
159(1)
RUMI
I Have Such a Teacher
160(1)
RUMI
These spiritual windowshoppers
161(1)
RUMI
Who Says Words with My Mouth?
162(1)
RUMI
A chickpea leaps
163(1)
RUMI
The Force of Friendship
164(2)
RUMI
Someone Digging in the Ground
166(1)
RUMI
Names
167(1)
RUMI
The Edge of the Roof
168(1)
RUMI
Praising Manners
169(1)
RUMI
Eating Poetry
170(1)
RUMI
Idle Questions
171(1)
RUMI
The Mill, the Stone, and the Water
172(1)
RUMI
The Drunkards
173(1)
RUMI
That Journeys Are Good
174(2)
RUMI
Longing for the Birds of Solomon
176(1)
RUMI
The Hawk
177(8)
RUMI
PART VIII: LEAVING THE BODY OR ENTERING IT? 185(24)
His Hair
185(1)
MIRABAI
Don't go, don't go
185(1)
MIRABAI
Where did you go?
186(1)
MIRABAI
O my friends
186(1)
MIRABAI
I was going to the river for water
187(1)
MIRABAI
Faithfulness
187(1)
MIRABAI
All I Was Doing Was Breathing
188(1)
MIRABAI
Ankle Bells
189(1)
MIRABAI
Why Mira Can't Go Back to Her Old House
190(1)
MIRABAI
The Clouds
191(1)
MIRABAI
It's True I Went to the Market
191(1)
MIRABAI
The Music
192(1)
MIRABAI
The Coffer with the Poisonous Snake
193(1)
MIRABAI
The Heat of Midnight Tears
193(1)
MIRABAI
When Do I Join You?
194(2)
MAHADEVIYAKKA
The sea moves around sea-creatures
196(1)
VIDYAPATI
The girl and the woman
197(1)
VIDYAPATI
The soul, like the moon
198(1)
LALLA
Ghazal 96
199(2)
BIBI HAYATI KERMANI
The Shulamite
201(1)
ELSE LASKER-SCHULER
Wild Nights--Wild Nights!
202(1)
EMILY DICKINSON
The Dark Night
203(6)
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
PART IX: DYING TO THIS WORLD 209(26)
The Holy Longing
209(1)
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
The Second Poem the Night-Walker Wrote
210(1)
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
Coming or Going
210(1)
DOGEN
To the Tree-Brother with a Few Days Left
210(1)
RENE CHAR
The Windhover
211(1)
GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
Bread and Wine, Part 7
212(1)
FRIEDRICH HOLDERLIN
A Dialogue between God and the Soul
213(1)
GEORGE HERBERT
I came to love you too late
214(1)
ST. AUGUSTINE
The Hole in the Basket
215(1)
BHARTRIHARI
Leave me, O Love
216(1)
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY
A Dialogue between the Soul and Body
217(2)
ANDREW MARVELL
Daybreak
219(1)
GALWAY KINNELL
from Praise for Death
220(3)
DONALD HALL
Glory to thee, my God, this night
223(1)
THOMAS KEN
The Old Lutheran Bells at Home
224(1)
WALLACE STEVENS
Roll Call
225(1)
WILLIAM STAFFORD
Merlin's Riddling
226(1)
ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
I think the Hemlock
227(1)
EMILY DICKINSON
Wind Will Blow It All Away
228(7)
MARGARET OF NAVARRE
PART X: THE SPIRIT--WHO IS A GUEST OF THE SOUL--WILL NEVER BE AT HOME ON THIS EARTH 235(20)
Night and Sleep
235(1)
RUMI
The Jar with the Dry Rim
236(1)
RUMI
The Newborn
237(1)
ATTAR
When the one I Love
238(1)
HAFEZ
The Lost Daughter
239(1)
HAFEZ
The Garden
240(1)
HAFEZ
The Grace of the Teacher
241(1)
HAFEZ
The Pearl on the Ocean Floor
242(2)
HAFEZ
Joseph the lost will return
244(2)
HAFEZ
I am not I
246(1)
JUAN RAMON JIMENEZ
Oceans
246(1)
JUAN RAMON JIMENEZ
Conversation in the Mountains
247(1)
LI PO
All the fruit
247(1)
FRIEDRICH HOLDERLIN
from Proverbs and Tiny Songs
248(2)
ANTONIO MACHADO
Sssh
250(1)
ROLF JACOBSEN
I find you in all these things of the world
251(1)
RAINER MARIA RILKE
Last Night, As I Was Sleeping
252(2)
ANTONIO MACHADO
Voyages II
254(1)
HART CRANE
COPYRIGHT ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 255(8)
INDEX 263(6)
ABOUT THE EDITOR 269
Unless otherwise noted
Robert Bly

Excerpts


Chapter One

Sunset

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors
which it passes to a row of ancient trees.
You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you,
one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth,

leaving you, not really belonging to either,
not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,
not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing
that turns to a star each night and climbs

leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)
your own life, timid and standing high and growing,
so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,
one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.

(Continues...)


Excerpted from Soul Is Here For It's Own Joy by Robert Bly Copyright 2003 by Robert Bly
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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