Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! Beauty Of The Shining Self - Poem by Michael Shepherd

The life of a ‘minor poet’, an amateur,
of, say, fifty, a hundred years, ago,
and long before that:

a lifetime’s love of poetry;
and one’s personal contribution,
after 25 years, let’s say, might be
a ‘slim volume’ of verse,
distillation of that lifetime,
printed elegantly at one’ s own expense
in 200 copies, maybe,
a few sent to literary journals
for, perhaps, a few lines of review; and
some letters of appreciative response
from friends to whom one sent the poems;
‘the quintessence of a beautiful soul’, wrote one.

today – when ‘beauty’ is no longer thought a virtue
in many areas of art – there’s something
more important, so some think –
a poem on the internet as here
can produce a written response
so unexpected, so beautifully expressed,
that it leaves no doubt of what the sages say:

that there are two aspects of that which we call ‘beauty’:
the fine, yet temporary, one which may be studied, learnt –
a lifetime, say, curating or collecting Chinese ceramics
of the finest period, when making or owning such a pot
was like a spiritual act of devotion –

and that beauty which is eternal – that of the human self,
shining in all its glory from a human being so roused,
beauty that melts one’s heart and brings one to one’s knees
all inwardly; known, reflected; entirely of itself;

and which can be found from time to time
blazing from the screen here, from persons known or unknown,
within a ‘Comments’ box…
a beauty, surely, greater by far than any poem,
revealing all the riches of the human heart
without any inhibition;
and yet, given cause to blaze out thus
by this form of words called poetry.

Comments about ! Beauty Of The Shining Self by Michael Shepherd

  • (2/10/2007 6:03:00 AM)

    Michael, Eternity is a long time but, here and now, the beauty and skill of your poetry is uplifting
    Best wishes, Martin

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  • (1/31/2007 7:29:00 AM)

    Ohh YES, and even in just describing, those words can melt the hearts, of even those that jest; and Danny is THE best.
    With Melted Heart, Love David.

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  • (1/29/2007 10:13:00 AM)

    As bitter, twisted and cynical
    As I often may appear
    I can’t find it in me to argue against
    The sentiment you advocate here.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 29, 2007

Poem Edited: Wednesday, January 5, 2011

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