Monday, June 14, 2010

Delicate the Toad

The poet Robert Francis was born on August 12, 1901 and graduated from Harvard University in 1923. He lived in a small house he built himself in 1940, which he called Fort Juniper.

Mentored by Robert Frost, Mr. Francis wrote superbly crafted, deeply personal poems, often about nature. He died on July 13, 1987.

While most everyone knows of Emily Dickinson, Robert Francis was the "other" hermit-poet from Amherst, Massachusetts.

In 1965 Francis published a collection titled Come Out Into the Sun. The following is a poem from this volume.

And, if I may suggest, read it aloud. Although this poem is not specifically about advaita vedAnta, you might be pleasantly surprised at the sound of your own flute.

Delicate the toad
Sits and sips
The evening air.

He is satisfied
With dust, with
Color of dust.

A hopping shadow
Now, and now
A shadow still.

Laugh, you birds
At one so
Far from flying

But have you
Caught, among small
Stars, his flute?

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