A Refreshing Voice

I ran across the following poem, “Chop”, in a blog post by Julia Moulden Better Business: Can a 500 year vision help save the world?. The poet, Kay Ryan, has a trenchant way of dealing with meaning. The poem is delightful.

Julia Moulden’s blog post takes the form of an interview with Joel Solomon who through his work has tackled a couple of “big” questions relating to the future of humanity and how we can be better stewards of planet earth. (These words are my own and draw on my own Presbyterian cultural heritage, I believe they address the same values expressed in Joel’s thinking.)

In the interview, Joel refers to the work of two non-profit organizations with whom he has been involved, the Threshold Foundation and the Social Venture Network. These foundations, in working to articulate a five-hundred year vision (the idea crystallized in 1992 with the five=hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America) by fifty-year strategic increments, akin to the average person’s adult life, challenge the reader to consider a lifetime in perspective.

The poem is a perfect complement:

CHOP
The bird
walks down
the beach along
the glazed edge
the last wave
reached. His
each step makes
a perfect stamp –
smallish, but as
sharp as an
emperor’s chop.
Stride, stride,
goes the emperor
down his wide
mirrored promenade
the sea bows
to repolish.
– Kay Ryan, (Grove Press)

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