The thing about great poetry is we have no defenses against it.
When I’m working with German audiences, I will call on my Rilke and Goethe in the original.
The great poems are not about experience, but are the experience itself, felt in the body.
To regret fully is to appreciate how high the stakes are in even the average human life; fully experienced, it turns our eyes, attentive and alert, to a future possibly lived better than our past.
One of the great difficulties as you rise up through an organisation is that your prior competencies are exploded and broken apart by the territory you’ve been promoted into: the field of human identity.
Lion sounds that have not grown from the mouse may exude naked power… but cannot convey any wisdom or understanding… The initial steps on the path to courageous speech then are the first tentative steps into the parts of us that cannot speak.
Being a good parent will necessarily break our hearts as we watch a child grow and eventually choose their own way, even through many of the same heartbreaks we have traversed.
Regret is a short, evocative and achingly beautiful word: an elegy to lost possibilities even in its brief annunciation.
Poetry is often the art of overhearing yourself say things you didn’t know you knew. It is a learned skill to force yourself to articulate your life, your present world or your possibilities for the future.
I have hundreds of poems memorized. Mostly by others, but also my own. I use the poems when I lead retreats for management groups on topics like creating teams, or coming up with a more entrepreneurial system, or creating more excitement.