St. Mary's College of Maryland
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Department of English

Michael S. Glaser


Poetry offers ways to both explore and celebrate the human spirit. Among the many gifts that poetry offers are its invitations toward more mindful living.   Poetry can serve  as a tool for helping us stay awake to the creative and healing voices within. It can serve as a valued companion to the complex experiences of being human in this increasingly complex and interdependent world.  It provides, as Lucille Clifton liked to remind us, windows to help broaden our perspectives and mirrors to help us reflect on our experiences.  Poetry addresses our shared desire for what is meaningful and beautiful while also serving to help bring increased thoughtfulness and grace into both our lives and into the public discourse.

As Benjamin Demott has written, poetry can “help us explore our human connections as well as our distinct human otherness.”  Both reading and writing poetry encourages us in our efforts to create a kinder and more just world by living significant and compassionate lives.  




                                         Wanting more than hope
                                         I turn to poetry for revelation,
                                         instruction for my spirit,
                                         courage for my re‑awakening soul,

                                          call it what you will‑‑
                                          truth or rapture
                                          or love's embrace,

                                          call it what it is‑‑
                                           the consistently
                                          unexpected surprise
                                          of Beauty's human face.


                                                             . . . . .Michael S. Glaser



                                      first published as Cover of Friends Journal, August, 1996

                                               Copyrighted:  please do not use without permission