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The surprise of phrases – Alexandria Occasions

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By Zeina Azzam

Each time we usher in one other 12 months, there’s pleasure about what lies forward. We provide one another blessings and needs of happiness. The Germans say to “have a great slide” into the brand new 12 months, implying an ease of a transition from the outdated to the brand new. Many cultures want for happiness and prosperity. In my tradition, and in Arab tradition basically, we want one another good well being – “Might annually discover you properly.” On New 12 months’s Eve, many individuals sing “Auld Lang Syne,” whose phrases evoke outdated friendships and bid goodbye to the outdated 12 months. The lyrics, primarily based on an outdated Scottish people music, have been written by 18th-century poet Robert Burns.

Certainly, poets by the ages have offered us with an abundance of verse to mark endings and rejoice new beginnings. They provide us inspiration to maintain going and face what’s forward with equanimity and hope. In “blessing the boats,” poet Lucille Clifton writes: “might the tide… / carry you out/ past the face of concern/ might you kiss/ the wind then flip from it/ sure that it’s going to/ love you again…” Clifton’s phrases supply a comforting and loving blessing to the reader.

Poet Pleasure Harjo uplifts human historical past as a profound supply of our identification and our connectedness to nature and the world round us. She admonishes us to “Keep in mind” – he title of her poem by her – repeating the phrase many occasions nearly like a mantra, a touchstone. “Keep in mind the sky that you simply have been born beneath, / know every of the star’s tales … / Keep in mind your start … / Keep in mind the earth whose pores and skin you might be: / pink earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth / brown earth, we’re earth…/ Keep in mind you might be this universe and this/ universe is you.”

In an analogous vein, the verses from Alberto Ríos’s poem, “A Home Known as Tomorrow.” affirm our inherent humanity and deep hyperlinks to one another. “You’re made, essentially, from the great./ With this information, you by no means march alone.” Actually, Ríos writes that every one in all us embodies the historical past of everybody in our household tree who got here earlier than us; it’s reassuring to strengthen this lineage and draw energy from it. “From these centuries we human beings carry with us/ The easy options and songs,/ The river bridges and star charts and music harmonies/ All in service to a easy thought:/ That we will make a home known as tomorrow.”

Considered one of my favourite poems by Naomi Shihab Nye is “Kindness.” In it she, too, expounds on the thought of ​​a shared sensibility, one which we should really feel earlier than we will perceive what kindness is. Her poem of hers begins with “Earlier than what kindness actually is / it’s essential to lose issues;” and later she writes the highly effective phrases, “Earlier than kindness because the deepest factor inside,/ it’s essential to know sorrow as the opposite deepest factor./ You could get up with sorrow./ You could communicate to it until your voice/ catches the thread of all sorrows/ and also you see the scale of the material.” Nye enjoins us to have empathy for and really feel a collective accountability in direction of our neighborhood as step one in direction of being a really variety particular person.

In his poem “God Particles,” James Crews feels a deep connection to the universe. Though these particles appear ephemeral, like stardust and issues we are going to by no means see, there’s a permanent side to them, particularly as he invokes Einstein within the latter a part of the poem. Though it is science that explains how such indiscernible particles are there “simply to maintain my physique mounted to its place/ on the earth. Name them God if you happen to should, / these messengers that carry exhausting proof / of what I as soon as was and the place I’ve been… ”— science appears to not absolutely clarify the heady consciousness the poet experiences in considering his place within the universe.

These poems are presents that recommend find out how to perceive ourselves on the earth. They floor us within the data that we’re all linked throughout time and house. Such connections name out to us to create hope and kindness in our lives, now and within the new 12 months.

Poetry immediate:

Write a poem personifying and addressing the outdated and new years, with two stanzas: the primary bidding farewell to the outdated 12 months, with no matter optimistic or destructive occasions it introduced; and the second welcoming the brand new 12 months and asking it for sure kindnesses. If you want to share your poem, ship it to [email protected]

Poem hyperlinks:

• www.poets.org/poem/ auld-lang-syne

• https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/58816/blessing-the-boats

• www. poets.org/poem/remember-0

• www. poets.org/poem/ house-called-tomorrow

• www.poets.org/poem/kindness

• www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56621/god-particles

The author is the Metropolis of Alexandria’s poet laureate.

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