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"Where the most beautiful wild flowers grow, there man's spirit is fed, and poets grow."
- Henry David Thoreau
For as long as humankind has woven words into the creations of beauty that we call poetry, spiritual themes have beckoned to poets. This is quite natural. As people embark upon the exploration of both their inner and outer worlds, Spirit awaits, just as a shore surely awaits all ships that hold to a well-oriented bearing. Poet-seekers find Spirit in the natural world that surrounds them as well as in the deep reaches of the human heart, and the best help others to share the experience with them through the poem.
This slide show offers a sampling of spiritual poetry from a number of different poetic traditions and civilizations. These selections are taken from the World Wisdom book Seeing God Everywhere: Essays on Nature and the Sacred (2003), and so they are generally oriented to the perception of God’s Presence in the world of Nature. The images are simply beautiful scenes of nature that, hopefully, will complement the themes of the poems.
We are lucky indeed if we can join in the experience of the great mystic-poets who are inspired to see God everywhere. One scripture has put the Reality of God's Presence and our capacity to perceive it thus: “Unto God belong the East and the West, and whithersoever ye turn, there is God's Countenance.”
Please go to the next slide to find something of God's Countenance in the first poem…