Lapoesia, Neruda

I spent a couple hours this week thinking with a friend about how kids (and adults) decide what to do–where to go to college?  What to do for a living?  I reminded me of David Whyte’s work.
Lapoesia (Poem), as David Whyte points out in a Heart Aroused, goes to the heart of calling.  It begins in the unknown and honors the reflective and intuitive.  The willingness to choose, even to appear foolish, opens to community and joy (and melodrama…sorry I’m a sucker for  like big gushing endings).


And it was at the age…Poetry arrived

in search of me.  I don’t know, I don’t know where

it came from, from winter or a river.

I don’t know how or when,

no, they were not voice, they were not

words, nor silence,

but from a street I was summoned,

from the branches of night,

abruptly from the others,

among violent fires

or returning alone,

there I was without a face

and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth

had no way

with names,

my eyes were blind,

and something started in my soul,

fever or forgotten wings,

and I made my own way,


that fire,

and I wrote the first faint line,

faint, without substance, pure


pure wisdom

of someone who knows nothing,

and suddenly I saw

the heavens


and open,


palpitating plantations,

shadow perforated,


with arrows, fire and flowers,

the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,

drunk with the great starry


likeness, image of


felt myself a pure part

of the abyss,

I wheeled with the stars,

my heart broke loose on the wind.

–Pablo Neruda

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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1 Comment


now i know what you meant about his poetry - outstanding

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