Sunday, July 10, 2005
THE SUNDAY OPTIMIST'S REPORT
Last week, as you may or may not recall, I went searching for good news in 10 prominent newspapers. It turned out to be a pretty dispiriting exercise. Either there's not a hell of a lot of good things going on in this world (which I absolutely refuse to believe) or the newspaper-reading public isn't all that interested in it. What that says about human nature--well, we won't go into that, this being the optimist's report and all.
While I'm hoping that last week was just a bum week for news and the news isn't always that grim, this Sunday I decided to turn to a more reliable source of good news: poetry.
This, from Mary Oliver's Rules for the Dance is enough to make anyone searching for hope on a Sunday morning smile:
"No poet ever wrote a poem to dishonor life, to compromise high ideals, to scorn religious views, to demean hope or gratitude, to argue against tenderness, to place rancor before love. Not one. Not ever.
On the contrary, poets have, in freedom and in prison, in health and in misery, with listeners and without listeners, spent their lives examining and glorifying life, meditation, thoughtfulness, devoutness, and human love. They have done this wildly, serenely, rhetorically, lyrically, without hope of answer or reward. They done this grudgingly, willingly, patiently, and in the steams of impatience.
They have done it for all and any of the gods of life, and the record of their so doing belongs to each one of us.