Date of publication: 2017-08-29 02:16
Walt Whitman also drew inspiration from his precisely described experience of the natural world—in this, he is like the British Romantic poets, despite all the differences between his poetry and theirs—and he, too, attributed the awakening of his poetic soul to his hearing of a mockingbird’s call, in “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking”:
Of course, moments of great motivation in sports don't have to just come before, during, or after a game. They can happen in moments of honor or awards or vulnerability. As Kevin Durant 's MVP acceptance speech proved to us last week, an individual award can also be a platform for recognizing an entire team, and the sacrifices made by loved ones for the good of another human being. It's times like these that sports inspire, motivate, and energize all of us.
The third of the British Romantic contributors to our collection, Percy Bysshe Shelley, was also taken with the beauty of a small bird’s song—in his case, a skylark—and also found himself contemplating the parallels between bird and poet:
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Guido : It's not! A veterinarian friend of mine sent it to me from Vienna. I can't send him mine, until I solve this one. I thought: Duck-billed platypus. But it doesn't go "Quark quark quark quark". A duck-billed platypus goes.
Sometimes people ask me, Why run? Me, I run to realize. We are all alone, and everyone is with us. Running brings me horizons -- the need for sunrise and for sleep, the need for friends, the need for solitude. Sometimes I go fast, sometimes I go alone, sometimes slow, sometimes together -- just like the Boston marathon runners.
Once, I wanted to fly. If I became fast enough, I hoped, I could levitate above fatigue, outrun fear, never touch failure. But those of us who wish for wings learn quickly that we are clay pigeons. When our bodies become our burdens, our flight is short and heavy. When we are lofted into motion by the hand of another, we fall quickly. We shatter. In my two decades of running, I have learned that the stunning alchemy of running is not the one through which we humans learn to fly, but the one through which we become more human, both lighter and more grounded than we know ourselves to be. Despite the mythology, none of us run alone -- we go farther and faster because others pull us.
Since the 7568 Boston marathon bombing, these runners also follow the course of the world: They stride down streets with stories of bombs. The marathoners must summon not only the physical strength to get through the race, but also their faith in humanity, to give them hope for a journey unmarred by violence. The runners' prayers for their safe voyage echo those of the people of Syria, Greece, Honduras, Yemen. For a few moments, Boston is the world, and its runners chant its deepest longing: to be safe.
Notes on the Collection
There is a bird at the heart of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”—the albatross—but we have chosen to begin our anthology with two Romantic poems inspired by the song of the common nightingale. Coleridge’s “The Nightingale” is a “conversation poem” in which the poet cautions his friends against the all-too-human tendency to impute our own feelings and moods onto the natural world, hearing the nightingale’s song as a sad song because the listener is melancholy. On the contrary, Coleridge exclaims, “Nature’s sweet voices, [are] always full of love / And joyance!”
The innocent Pigeons believed the Hawk. They discussed among themselves and made the cunning Hawk their King. But, after a few days the Hawk began his royal feast.
Note: The forms for these new poems were selected by the poet. Often poems are assigned the wrong form. Please confirm the accuracy of the poetic form before referencing the poem.
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In their two to four hours of running, the runners of Boston will know the fear of journey, the brutal frustrations of life in a body and the joy of discovering something beyond. We run to become human, to find our limits and to befriend them.
A flock of Pigeons had made their dovecote around a lush green field. The field had another frequent visitor, a Hawk. All the Pigeons lived in the fear of the Hawk. They always lived on the alert. Every time, there was an attack by the Hawk, all the Pigeons hid themselves in their dovecote.