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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


(Beehive, English woodcut, 1658)

The poet shows a keen appreciation of the need to keep things in perspective.


I kept my answers small and kept them near;
Big questions bruised my mind but still I let
Small answers be a bulwark to my fear.

The huge abstractions I kept from the light;
Small things I handled and caressed and loved.
I let the stars assume the whole of night.

But the big answers clamored to be moved
Into my life. Their great audacity
Shouted to be acknowledged and believed.

Even when all small answers build up to
Protection of my spirit, still I hear
Big answers striving for their overthrow

And all the great conclusions coming near.

~ Elizabeth Jennings (1926-2001), English poet and librarian

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