Wondering Aloud: Philosophy With Young People

April

A Blessing Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.And the eyes of those two Indian poniesDarken with kindness.They have come gladly out of the willowsTo welcome my friend and me.We step over the barbed wire into the pastureWhere they have been grazing all day, alone.They ripple tensely, they can […]

August

I dwell in Possibility – A fairer House than Prose – More numerous of Windows –Superior – for Doors – Of Chambers as the Cedars – Impregnable of Eye – And for an Everlasting RoofThe Gambrels of the Sky – Of Visitors – the fairest – For Occupation – This – The spreading wide my […]

December

Just Delicate NeedlesIt’s so delicate, the light.And there’s so little of it. The darkis huge.Just delicate needles, the light,in an endless night.And it has such a long way to gothrough such desolate space.So let’s be gentle with it.Cherish it.So it will come again in the morning.We hope. — Rolf JacobsenTranslated from the Norwegian by Robert […]

February

The House in WinterHere,in the year’s late tidewash,a corner cupboard suddenly waversin low-flung sunlight,cupboard never quite visible before. Its jarsof last summer’s peacheshave come into their native gold—not the sweetness of last summer,but today’s,fresh from the tree of winter.The mouth swallows peach, and says gold. Though they dazzle and are gone,the halves of fruit, the […]

January

Just Now In the morning as the storm begins to blow awaythe clear sky appears for a moment and it seems to methat there has been something simpler than I could ever believesimpler than I could have begun to find words fornot patient not even waiting no more hiddenthan the air itself that became part […]

January

The Snow Man One must have a mind of winterTo regard the frost and the boughsOf the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long timeTo behold the junipers shagged with ice,The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and not to thinkOf any misery in the sound of the […]

July

Let Evening Come Let the light of late afternoonshine through chinks in the barn, movingup the bales as the sun moves down. Let the cricket take up chafingas a woman takes up her needlesand her yarn. Let evening come. Let dew collect on the hoe abandonedin long grass. Let the stars appearand the moon disclose […]

June

ochikochi ni taki no otokiku wakaba kana fresh young leaves –the sound of a waterfallboth far and near Yosa Buson June Birthdays June 5 Charles Hartshorne (American, born 1897) and Adam Smith (Scottish, born 1723) June 6 Isaiah Berlin (British, born 1909) June 9 Nikolai Fedorovich Fedorov (Russian, born 1829) June 14 Bernard Bosanquet (British, […]

March

Between What I See and What I Say. . .for Roman Jakobson 1Between what I see and what I say,between what I say and what I keep silent,between what I keep silent and what I dream,between what I dream and what I forget:poetry.It slipsbetween yes and no,sayswhat I keep silent,keeps silentwhat I say,dreamswhat I forget.It […]

May

From BlossomsFrom blossoms comesthis brown paper bag of peacheswe bought from the boyat the bend in the road where we turned towardsigns painted Peaches. From laden boughs, from hands,from sweet fellowship in the bins,comes nectar at the roadside, succulentpeaches we devour, dusty skin and all,comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat. O, to […]

November

During Wind and Rain They sing their dearest songs–He, she, all of them–yea,Treble and tenor and bass.And one to play;With the candles mooning each face….Ah, no; the years O!How the sick leaves reel down in throngs! They clear the creeping moss–Elders and juniors–aye,Making the pathways neatAnd the garden gay;And they build a shady seat….Ah, no; […]

November

My November Guest My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,Thinks these dark days of autumn rainAre beautiful as days can be;She loves the bare, the withered tree;She walks the sodden pasture lane. Her pleasure will not let me stay.She talks and I am fain to list:She’s glad the birds are gone away,She’s glad her simple […]

October

To Autumn Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel […]

Poem

The World But Seems To BeThe world but seems to beyet is nothing morethan a line drawnbetween light and shadow.Decipher the messageof this dream-scriptand learn to distinguish timefrom Eternity. — Fakhruddin ‘Iraqi (Fakhr al-din Ibrahim) English translation by William Chittick and Peter Lamborn Wilson

September

The Railway Children When we climbed the slopes of the cuttingWe were eye-level with the white cupsOf the telegraph poles and the sizzling wires. Like lovely freehand they curved for milesEast and miles west beyond us, saggingUnder their burden of swallows. We were small and thought we knew nothingWorth knowing. We thought words travelled the […]