Inspiring Poems & Quotes for Mom

Silent friend of many distances, feel
how your breath enlarges all of space.
Let your presence ring out like a bell
into the night. What feeds upon your face

grows mighty from the nourishment thus offered.
Move through transformation, out and in.
What is the deepest loss that you have suffered?
If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine.

In this immeasurable darkness, be the power
that rounds your sense in their magic ring,
the sense of their mysterious encounter.

And if the earthly no longer knows your name,
whisper to the silent earth: I'm flowing.
To the flashing water say: I am.

— Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)
     The Sonnets to Orpheus, II.29
     (Translated by Stephen Mitchell)


life is not holy
because it is
it is beautiful
because it is

— Robert Lax (1915-2000)
     A Thing That Is
     Poem 27 (1997)


The rainbow never tells me
That gust and storm are by,
Yet is she more convincing
Than Philosophy.

My flowers turn from Forums—
Yet eloquent declare
What Cato couldn't prove me
Except the birds were here!

— Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
     Poem 97 (circa 1859)


Goodness is something
    so simple:
always to live for others,
never to seek one's own advantage.

— Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961)
     Markings (1953)


To express hope by some star,
the eagerness of a soul by a
sunset radiance. Certainly there
is no delusive realism in that,
but isn't it something that
actually exists?

— Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
     Letter to Theo van Gogh
     Arles, France, Sept. 3, 1888


Never did eye see the sun unless
it had first become sunlike,
and never can the soul have
vision of the First Beauty
unless itself be beautiful.

— Plotinus (204-270 A.D.)
     The Enneads, I.6.9


Heaven is the Way.
The mind is the Way,
and the Way is Heaven.
If one knows the mind,
one knows both the Way & Heaven.

— Wang Yang Ming (1472-1529)
     Ch'uan-hsi lu, I.66


Man flows at once to God when
the channel of purity is open.

— Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
     Walden, Chapter 11


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