The Poet With His Face in His Hands

Here’s the poem I use when I’m feeling sorry for myself, which, in spite of being a coach, I still do now and again. Being a victim has its rewards, after all. You don’t have to take responsibility for changing your life as long as you can blame your whole mess on somebody else. I totally get that. However, I’ve also found that unless I’m willing to see where I’m being a victim, nothing changes. I still need to cry aloud for my mistakes sometimes, though. And when I do that, afterwards I need to be reminded that there’s beauty everywhere if I can just get out of my own head long enough to see it. I like this poem because it does that for me. And it also reminds me of taking hikes in Colorado, near Glenwood Springs, up to one of my favorite places on earth called Hanging Lake, where there is a waterfall just like the one described in this poem. And I’d like to stand behind that waterfall again and shout my sadness on some days, because there, my sadness couldn’t last long. There, just being in that spot, would remind me that the world is much bigger and more profound than my world and its complications. I hope this poem inspires you, too.

“The Poet With His Face in His Hands”
—by Mary Oliver

You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need any more of that sound.

So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across

the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets

like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you

want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 6th, 2012 at 8:14 pm and is filed under Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


One Response to “The Poet With His Face in His Hands”

  1. Fifty Shades of Grey Says:

    Yes! Finally someone writes about Fifty Shades of Grey.

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