I love to watch football, not for the touchdowns. Certainly not for the messiness of play itself.  After complex maneuvers and length of the pass, I can almost believe “Exhilaration is the Breeze” that delivers the ball tight within the arms that seek it when Matt Cassel completes a pass.

Opera is best for its arias. I can feel the length of eternity in a high note sung by Renee Fleming or the late Luciano Pavarotti.

Exhilaration is the Breeze

That lifts us from the Ground

And leaves us in another place

Whose statement is not found —


Returns us not, but after time

We soberly descend

a little newer for the term

Opon Enchanted Ground

It’s like a tiny flutter of death itself when my spirit follows a Puccini aria, or, one of Sunday afternoon’s fall NFL best.  

The intensity is almost unbearable in many Emily Dickinson poems, moving, in that way “That lifts us from the Ground/And leaves us in another place”.  Sometimes you experience a searing, elemental feeling for unidentifiable reasons, “Whose statement is not found —”.

The first time I read my favorite novel, Housekeeping by Marilyn Robinson, I felt old barriers to feeling torn down by the bear hands of the author. Every so often I take it off the shelf and read portions of it for the umpteenth time. Many years ago Eudora Welty‘s guileless puzzles in fiction opened up a fragile bravery in my mind to look beyond obvious behaviors. Dickinson and Welty dare me to see what’s real and then to accept my own bafflement. I am convinced I am never quite the same after encountering the tenderness beneath their outrageous linguistic powers that leave me “a little newer for the term/Opon Enchanted Ground”.


Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way