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
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (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.
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (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.
    Danny
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 3 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 29, 2007

Poem Edited: Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]