I recently organized all my digital folders and finally gathered the poems that were scattered all over the computer into one place. When I did, it was fun to see how many poems of certain poets I had saved in my favorites file. There were a lot of them by David Whyte. This is one of my favorites because it reminds me that to be a poet, to be a writer or an artist of any kind, you must first learn to be an observer of things that other people take for granted. For many years I bemoaned my lack of productivity and pushed myself to race back and forth doing things that I thought, for sure, would open the floodgates of my writing. How silly of me. The secret was to start where I was in that moment. I have this poem pinned up on my bulletin board near where I write.
START CLOSE IN
Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
you don’t want to take.
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
way of starting
Read the rest of the poem here, on David’s website (left column of page)
The oh-so-talented Robyn Hood Black has the Poetry Friday roundup today–enjoy!
Isn’t it a wonderful feeling, getting organized? I am surprised, too, when I see how many poems by the same person I have collected. I tried to see the rest of David’s poem, but the link went astray.
Thank you, Tabatha, for stopping by. Sorry I messed up the link by leaving off the important L.
This is a lesson in life, isn’t it – a timely reminder of the importance of that first step and the internal concerns that need to be overcome in order to take it…And congratulations on getting all your papers organised. I sometimes feel I might drown in paper!
Yes, a life lesson for sure! I love the paper but it does tend to overwhelm me at times.
In case the link to the rest of the poem failed for you, here it is:
PS I’ve just taken a look at your Etsy shop as recommended by Robyn – absolutuely beautiful photographs. I shall be back!
Thank you, Marjorie!
I love that you collected the poems. I have a folder full that I’ve used with students, & there are a couple that repeated throughout all my keeping! I love this, Susan, shall refer to it often, too. FYI-I couldn’t make the Whyte link work; he seems to have changed his webpage. But I did find the poem here: http://www.panhala.net/archive/start_close_in.html Thanks for this.
Linda, I left the L off of htmL Sigh. Glad you went looking for it because I think it is worth the read. I have so many still to sort through. I want to have a better system of the poems I use with students.
I’m glad Linda found another link to the poem. I haven’t seen this one before and I like it very much.
Ruth, thank you for stopping by. We had a sick doggy for a while so I wasn’t able to get back to respond to the comments.
First, Susan, kudos for getting organized! I bought a new box of file folders at Office Max this afternoon – does that count? ;0)
Love, love, love this poem. Sounds like one you would share! And I look forward to sharing it as well; would be great for students to hear. And for me to remember. (I finally got a link to work – enjoyed discovering David Whyte’s site.) Thank you!
I’m so sorry I was ever so late in responding. As you know, we had a lot going on with Cassie. And hey, buying the folders to get organized is a great start! Glad you liked the poem too.
What brilliant advice. I see myself in the description of how you were. This poem may soon be on my bulletin board too. It reminds me of what I tell myself when I get to my desk some days and feel overwhelmed: “Just do the next thing.”
I’m so sorry for being late with replies. I’m glad the poem spoke to you too.
Thank you for this
of all days.
Thanks, MaryLee. I’m so behind on reading from two weeks ago. Sigh.
Hello Susan. Such an inspiring poem! The word that sticks with me is “start.” So often, momentum can carry me through a big or dreaded project, if I simply get started!
Ellie, you and me both. I just need to get going. Once I do, the finishing often takes care of itself.
Thank you as always for sharing the best! 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Thank you, Susan! It’s Monday, and I’m finally getting around to reading some Poetry Friday posts. I needed this one today!
You’re welcome, JoAnn. I’m sorry I’m so late with a reply. Dealing with Cassie got me all out of synch.