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Saturday, March 19, 2022

'Without goodwill, society would not endure'


“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 

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.  He co-created a wonderful anthology of Chinese women poets, titled The Orchid Boat, and he worked tirelessly (until his death in 1982) to promote the work of America's female poets.   For Saturday’s Poem here 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 envelopes 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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