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Tag Archives: Mark Van Doren

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.

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