Thursday, April 02, 2020

The Coronavirus Diaries: Shelter in Poems

Poets.org is hosting the "Shelter in Poems" project:
This National Poetry Month, we ask our readers to share a poem that helps to find courage, solace, and actionable energy, and a few words about how or why it does so. As responses continue to arrive from across the globe, we invite you to continue sharing poems from our Poets.org collection on social media with the hashtag #ShelterInPoems or by writing to us at shelter@poets.org. Whether you’re writing in or tagging to us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, we will select some of your responses to feature on this special Shelter in Poems page. 

I've always taken shelter in the poetry of Richard Wilbur, so today I'm sharing "The Beautiful Changes",  especially for these lines:

... the beautiful changes   
In such kind ways,   
Wishing ever to sunder
Things and things’ selves for a second finding, to lose   
For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.


The beautiful changes.

What's beautiful to me in these strange days are the moments that show me the best of humanity. I would not have predicted, only a month ago, that I'd cry over the beauty of a man giving away toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and over the beauty of a young man who, despite the sign, still knocked and made sure it was okay to take some. I love both of these men.





These are days "for a second finding" of what is beautiful, days that can take us back to wonder with the realization that we can be good to one another, take care of one another, and live our lives for one another.

~~~~~


27 comments:

Linda B said...

I feel like the kindnesses we are seeing have always been there, but people are now noticing how important it is to help and acknowledge how hard people work, how much they give to others, mostly without thanks. "Changes" are something to cling to. Thanks, Karen, wishing you & your family goodness in your world.

Karen Edmisten said...

I agree with you, Linda! Wishing goodness to you and yours, too!

Bridget Magee said...

I like Wilbur's reminder "for a second finding" and your call to action, Karen. I am looking toward the goodness of humanity, and am happy to report am finding it. Be well. :)

Karen Edmisten said...

I'm happy to hear what you're happy to report, Bridget! :) You be well, too!

Janice Scully said...

Thank you for such a lovely verse. I am seeing the kindness in people not often seen so openly but coming forward now, like the two men in the video. It is a call to action.

penelope said...

Karen, thank you my dear for kindly changing the comments' format back to their own page. Now I can leave comments once more .l.

I am finding much quiet beauty, and strength!, during these strange days by creating,expanding, and leading our family's at-home daily worship services. I am busy crafting our Holy Week observances and this gives joy ...

Karen Edmisten said...

Janice, yes, it's so heartening to see so many who want to find and share goodness!

Penelope, I was going to message you and see if you could comment again. Hurray! :) What beauty you are creating at home!

Kay said...

I, too, have been simply overwhelmed by the kindnesses large and small being shown every day. I hope that one of the changes that comes from this crisis s a new appreciation of kindness and community. Stay safe and well.

jama said...

Thank you for this important and inspiring reminder that there is indeed goodness and kindness out there. It makes this terrible time that much more bearable. Stay safe and Be Well!

Cheriee Weichel said...

We are such a complicated species! I agree with others that the many reminders of goodness are amazing. Here in British Columbia Canada I watch our government's daily updates and marvel at how mostly good we all are. It's profound what truth and transparency can accomplish in uncertain times.

Leigh Anne Eck said...

I do believe that these worst of times are bringing out the best of humanity. I hope we continue to see that "second finding."

laurasalas said...

Karen, I love your entire post, Karen. Hooray for second findings--the silver lining of these hard times.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

And I would not have predicted that your post about crying over small kindnesses would in turn make me cry. Thanks for a second finding of #ShelterInPoems and for those lovely subtle lines.

Be well!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

I agree, Karen. It's these little moments that make my heart happy and my eyes tear up.

Mary Lee said...

There are so many unexpected positives, blooming like daffodils in These Unprecedented Times.

Ruth said...

Thank you! It is heartening to hear things like this. And thanks for the sheltering poem.

Sally Murphy said...

A good choice. Those kind ways are really making a difference.

Karen Edmisten said...

Kay, I'm hoping with you! Stay safe!

Karen Edmisten said...

We all need whatever will make this terrible time more bearable. You stay safe and well, too, Jama! xo

Karen Edmisten said...

"...and marvel at how mostly good we all are." :) Yes!

Karen Edmisten said...

Me, too, Leigh Anne! Stay safe!

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks, Laura. Stay safe and be well, friend!

Karen Edmisten said...

Some contagious things are good, like our tears. :) Stay safe, Heidi!

Karen Edmisten said...

Yes, we all need these little moments to keep going, one day at a time. Stay safe and well, Michelle!

Karen Edmisten said...

"...blooming like daffodils...." Yes, Mary Lee. That's lovely. Stay well and be safe!

Karen Edmisten said...

Thank you, Ruth! I know that you know what it's like to live with the challenges and hardships of staying home in order to stay safe. You've been an inspiration to me for a long time! xo

Karen Edmisten said...

Yes, Sally, I agree -- kindness always makes a difference. Stay safe and well!