A Poem Called Love

This poem was written by Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz. I found it in an old issue of Shambhala Sun.

Bird Watching In The Amazon

Bird Watching In The Amazon ~ Photo Jessica Freedman

I have never been good at reading or understanding poetry, but this one registered deep in my heart.


Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills —
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.

The picture in the magazine showed birds resting on branches of a tree, not unlike the one on this page.

I’m not exactly sure what touched me about this poem so much. Perhaps it was befriending the birds as in Jessica’s picture. My love for her and the rest of my family is glowing and ripe and I serve them with all my heart and mind.

More likely, it was the healing of my heart when I was able to momentarily see myself “distant things.”

I offer this poem today in honor of my wife’s birthday. We’ll probably spend the day somewhere on Mount Tamalpais watching the trees and the birds.

Have a nice day! And, by the way, please share your feelings and thought about this poem.

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