Category Archives: The Next Chapter

“Remnant” by Jean L. Kreiling

Allowing the storm to transform understandings of self and world

“Remnant” by Jean L. Kreiling challenges our desire to go back to the way things were. We all wish for that at some point or another, being tugged out of our comfort zone by life’s insistent and dynamic flux. And … Continue reading

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“To An Athlete Dying Young” by A.E. Housman

The benefits of living a short life

Alfred Edward Housman’s poem “To an Athlete Dying Young” was published in 1896. Housman was a professor of Latin at the University of London and, finally, at Cambridge. His sad, pessimistic poems spoke to a generation on the brink of … Continue reading

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“On Pain” by Kahlil Gibran

Timeless funeral poem coaches us to meet the lessons of pain with openness

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. So begins Kahlil Gibran’s poem, “On … Continue reading

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“Death Sets a Thing Significant” by Emily Dickinson

A poem about cherishing what our loved ones leave behind

Even if you’re not a huge fan of poetry, you’ve most likely heard of mid-19th century poet Emily Dickinson. Born in 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts, Dickinson spent most of her life completely isolated from the outside world. Her work was … Continue reading

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“Try to Praise the Mutilated World” by Adam Zagajewski

Funeral poem finds something to celebrate in the hardest of times

“Try to Praise the Mutilated World” (2002) by Polish poet Adam Zagajewski resonates with his characteristic themes of night; dreams; history and time; infinity and eternity; silence and death. By facing the world’s sorrow with clear eyes, yet turning again … Continue reading

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“The Laughing Heart” by Charles Bukowski

Simple acknowledgment of mortality inspires deep clear living

American poet Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) is well-known in the literary world as an irreverent, tell-it-like-it-is kind of writer who spoke his truth — his whole truth — even when it was overtly opinionated, and especially when it would offend the … Continue reading

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