Echoes Poetic Essay

Echoes Poetic Essay-79
[…] There is a lovely balance at the heart of our nature: each of us is utterly unique and yet we live in the most intimate kinship with everyone and everything else…Our hunger to belong is the desire to awaken this hidden affinity.There is a constant and vital tension between longing and belonging.

[…] There is a lovely balance at the heart of our nature: each of us is utterly unique and yet we live in the most intimate kinship with everyone and everything else…

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[…] Our hunger to belong is the longing to find a bridge across the distance from isolation to intimacy.

Much like our neediness maps out our incompleteness and, in doing so, provides the essential emotional intelligence necessary for true human connection, our longing to belong brings us closer both to ourselves and to one another.

[…] The ancient and eternal values of human life — truth, unity, goodness, justice, beauty, and love — are all statements of true belonging; they are the also the secret intention and dream of human longing. Everything that is alive holds distance within itself. It is the deepest intimacy which is nevertheless infused with infinite distance.

There is some strange sense in which distance and closeness are sisters, the two sides of the one experience. Yet they are always in a dynamic interflow with each other.

“I was amazed at the wealth of Ezra Pound material we had access to,” Rufo confessed.

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“As undergraduate students, you typically don't get a chance to look at this sort of material.” Although he was “blown away” during a reading by W. Merwin while he was in high school, Rufo “didn't get heavily involved in reading and writing poetry until coming to Hamilton.” Previously, he “was still mostly interested in writing dense, experimental fiction.” Associate Professor of English Jane Springer, “especially helped spark [his] interest [in poetry];” while former Visiting Professor of English Jules Gibbs, “always mentioned that poetry demands at least a five to 10 year ‘apprenticeship’ phase before you really get crankin,’” something Rufo has remembered throughout the course of his project.

As Shakespeare said, we have “immortal longings.” All human creativity issues from the urgency of longing.

[…] The restlessness in the human heart will never be finally stilled by any person, project, or place. This is what constantly qualifies and enlarges our circles of belonging.

The alchemy of that transfiguration is what the great Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue (January 1, 1956–January 4, 2008) explores in We live in a world that responds to our longing; it is a place where the echoes always return, even if sometimes slowly…

The hunger to belong is at the heart of our nature.

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