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Slowly, Slowly Wisdom Gathers

I would like to lay outside and just let the wisdom of the world and universe gather around me, soak in leisurely. Wisdom takes time to gather and it sometimes seems so fleeting. It is in the slowness that the reward is most valued. It ripens more fully and reaches into all my nooks and crannies.

Mark Van Doren wrote this wonderful poem about the way wisdom seeks us out slowly and it unfolds as part of life’s experience.

Slowly, slowly wisdom gathers:

Golden dust in the afternoon,

Sometimes between the sun and me,

Sometimes so near I can see,

Yet never settling, late or soon.

Would that it did, and a rug of gold

Spread west of me a mile or more;

Not large, but so that I might lie

Face up, between the earth and sky,

And know what none has known before.

Then I would tell as best I could

The secrets of that shining place:

The web of the world, how thick, how thin,

How firm, with all things folded in;

How ancient, and how full of grace.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

30 responses »

  1. This is a lovely post. I had always hoped (thought) I would grow old gracefully. I’m not sure it is happening, although sometimes I’m more graceful than others. When I think of graceful, older women I think that I would have to give up a little more than I want to give up. My husband often tells me I’m crusty with a great deal of love and admiration in his voice. I have good intellect and critical thinking but I’m not sure how much wisdom I’ve attained. Can we see and experience our own wisdom?

  2. Please accept the the Three Award Nomination information at with love willowdot21.

  3. What a beautiful poem.

  4. Love to feel this again.

  5. Love your intro into the poem, as well as the poem itself! These are flat backed, tree gazing days!

  6. Wisdom and creativity like flowers need to be nurtured. Wisdom can only be obtained through the living and doing of life.

  7. Beautiful. It’s something that I would collect and read it for years to come. Thank you for sharing this Ivan. Wishes for a lovely day. Sharon

  8. I am ever so grateful to you for enriching our thoughts every so often and make us gain wisdom through your writings/poems.This was a perfect read for a lazy Sunday Spring afternoon !

  9. It is not often that worda can become visual, but both your introduction and the poem took me to an open field where one could lie and simply watch the world move slowly by, its secrets unfolding before my eyes. Thanks so much for sharing.

  10. JK Bevill - Lost Creek Publishing

    Reblogged this on lost creek publishing.

  11. Pingback: Cloud Painter | Teacher as Transformer

  12. What a wonderful notion – soak in wisdom like we soak in sunshine.. Love it!

  13. Pingback: Wisdom | Rosalie Squires

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