my birthday present

my birthday present
My awesome birthday present 1/26/11 (see story under my first post)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Defeating Loneliness

The Rider
Naomi Shihab Nye
A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,
the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.
What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.
 A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.
Prayer upon Waking
By Vassar Miller
Give me, my God, this day
the simple human grace
and fortitude to face
my loneliness, small stray,
no wolf, no tiger,
no lion of ferocious roar,
no demon eager
for souls this at my door.
Only a little child
crying and lost, half wild
to be let in and listened to,
closer than my own kin,
she is my own,
and the sole creature who
tells me the truth so rendering You
what children by their nature do,
what long ago that stone,
my heart, was duty-bound to raise—
Your perfect praise.


Jayne said...

In the first poem, the narrator is trying to outrun loneliness in order to be victorious. In the second poem, the narrator turns to confront loneliness. I'm wondering now which is the better way of coping with overwhelming feelings? Anybody have any thoughts?

pkcyphert said...

I think, as with any problem, that to outrun loneliness only grants temporary reprieve. It will be there waiting for you the instant you slow down. It may be of interest to know that Vassar Miller was born in 1924 with cerebral palsy. She wrote 10 books of poetry despite major physical disability. Knowing that puts this poem in perspective. She has no doubt dealt with a level of loneliness that most of cannot imagine, yet she writes this poem.