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Poem for the day

adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
edited March 14 in Arts & Writings

Labour is blossoming or dancing where
The body is not bruised to pleasure soul,
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

— ‘Among School Children’, W. B. Yeats (1933)

Aristotle said the purpose of a pen is to write, the purpose of a human is “eudaimonia”. Translation: “blossoming”.

Line by line, I take the sentiment of this stanza, which is the last in the poem, to be:

1) and 2) Perform your work in this world with body and soul as one. (“Mind” does just as well as “soul” for those who prefer.)

3) Beauty is your nature, it doesn’t require any alteration.

4) Rest in your inherent wisdom, no need to stay up all night studying.

5) and 6) Just as no single part of the tree is the tree, so the self cannot be found in any single part of our experience, nor indeed in any convenient package of those parts. Thich Nhat Hanh has also used trees to teach this truth.

7) and 8) Yeats uses the perfect image to show just how inseperable person and action really are. When you do your work, be your work. This is mindfulness to me.



  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    The Small Boy and the Mouse by D H Maitreyabandhu

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    “I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I fall in.
    I am lost... I am helpless.
    It isn't my fault.
    It takes forever to find a way out.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don't see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can't believe I am in the same place.
    But, it isn't my fault.
    It still takes me a long time to get out.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in. It's a habit.
    My eyes are open.
    I know where I am.
    It is my fault. I get out immediately.

    walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.

    I walk down another street.”

    Portia Nelson. Quoted in, among other places, TTBOLAD.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I am the slave of passion and the slave of the Beloved.
    The fire of passion burns my heart
    And the One I love is in my mind.
    Passion has seized hold of the reins of my heart
    So wherever I turn my gaze
    Passion is facing me.


  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Melt yourself down in this search:
    venture your life and your soul
    in the path of sincerity;
    strive to pass from nothingness to being,
    and make yourself drunk with the wine of God.

    — Hakim Sanai, the Hadiqa: The Walled Garden of Truth

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Cheers @Kerome

    My legacy -
    What will it be?
    Flowers in spring,
    The cuckoo in summer,
    And the crimson maples
    Of autumn ...

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I love the Persian Sufi poets, especially Rumi, Attar and Hakim Sanai. They just have a particular flavour which calls to me.

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