To Be the Poet: Maxine Hong Kingston

I have never heard of Maxine Hong Kingston before, but a friend shared a video of her at UC Berkley’s Lunch Poems programs back in 2004. But I am totally smitten with her now that I’ve heard her speak. I am passing her along to others who, like me, may be unfamiliar with her and her work. She is an absolute delight and I hope you enjoy listening to her as much as I do. Makes me wish I lived in San Francisco again so I could attend these lunch programs.

A poem for the day

My friend Kay posted this to our CJ group today and it really moved me. I’ve spared most of my blog readers from my love of poetry, considering it a private indulgence. But I am going to change that for today.

Praise What Comes

surprising as unplanned kisses, all you haven’t deserved
of days and solitude, your body’s immoderate good health
that lets you work in many kinds of weather. Praise

talk with just about anyone. And quiet intervals, books
that are your food and your hunger; nightfall and walks
before sleep. Praising these for practice, perhaps

you will come at last to praise grief and the wrongs
you never intended. At the end there may be no answers
and only a few very simple questions: did I love,

finish my task in the world? Learn at least one
of the many names of God? At the intersections,
the boundaries where one life began and another

ended, the jumping-off places between fear and
possibility, at the ragged edges of pain,
did I catch the smallest glimpse of the holy?

~ Jeanne Lohmann ~