Friday, September 21, 2012

Poetry Friday--Between Two Souls

I can't remember who recommended the book Between Two Souls: Conversations with Ryōkan by Mary Lou Kownacki, but, I in turn, am going to recommend it to you. This is from the introduction by Joan D. Chittister:
But when time and space come together--when what is learned here and now becomes an echo of the there and then--we call it wisdom. It becomes a measure of eternal truth. It transcends history and eclipses what is different in behalf of what is the same.

That's what happens in this book. Here two monastics, one a nineteenth-century Buddhist, the other a twenty-first century Roman Catholic Benedictine, become a sounding board for one another. The become the voice of eternity over time. They become a common call to us across the divide of time that warns us not to miss the moment, not to squander our souls.
And so we are introduced to the conversation that takes place in poems. Here's an example:
I walk about with my staff.
Old farmers spot me
And call me over for a drink.
We sit in the field
Using leaves for plates.
Pleasanty drunk and so happy
I drift off peacefully
Sprawled out on a paddy bank.


Mid autumn --
I rake leaves
In the front yard.
Neighborhood children call to me.
Soon we are jumping from
      Leaf pile to leaf pile.
I haven't felt this young
Since last year
Writing a good poem.
Exhausted, we lie in the leaves
And watch winter clouds take shape.

Moments in time captured. Moments that we, too, can have, if only we make a point of going outside, being among people, and letting go!

I hope you will look for a copy of Between Two Souls--and then, recommend it to a friend.

From here you should head over to No Water River where Renee is hosting the Round-Up.


Joyce Ray said...

Thank you, Diane! I do want to look for this book. I love Kownacki's words,

"I haven't felt this young
Since last year
Writing a good poem."


Yes, Joyce, there's a childlike joy and satisfaction in the act of creating!

Marjorie said...

Thank you for posting about this book - it definitely sounds special.

laurasalas said...

What an interesting concept! Love this idea...