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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Good advice ... and a poem

“The mature man lives quietly, does good privately, takes responsibility for his actions, treats others with friendliness and courtesy, finds mischief boring and avoids it. Without the hidden conspiracy of goodwill, society would not endure an hour.” – Kenneth Rexroth 

Good advice for both we in the "mature" life range and for us all.

Born in 1905, American poet, translator and critical essayist Rexroth laid the groundwork for what would become the 1950s beat movement.  Dubbed the "Father of the Beats" by Time Magazine, he also was among the first U.S. poets to explore styles like haiku. 
His poetry is marked by a sensitivity to Asian writings from throughout history, an appreciation of Ancient Greek lyric poetry, and of the work of women poets.  He co-created a wonderful anthology of Chinese women poets, titled The Orchid Boat, and he worked tirelessly in his last decade (he died in 1982) to promote the work of female poets in America.

With Spring nigh upon us, here for Saturday’s Poem is Rexroth’s,

Yin and Yang
It is Spring once more in the Coast Range
Warm, perfumed, under the Easter moon.
The flowers are back in their places.
The birds are back in their usual trees.

The winter stars set in the ocean.
The summer stars rise from the mountains.
The air is filled with atoms of quicksilver.
Resurrection envelops the earth.

Goemetrical, blazing, deathless,
Animals and men march through heaven,
Pacing their secret ceremony.

The Lion gives the moon to the Virgin.
She stands at the crossroads of heaven,
Holding the full moon in her right hand,
A glittering wheat ear in her left.

The climax of the rite of rebirth
Has ascended from the underworld
Is proclaimed in light from the zenith.
In the underworld the sun swims
Between the fish called Yes and No.

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