Free Buddhist Audio

Dharmabyte: A Measuring Worm

On Thu, 30 January, 2020 - 14:00
Sadayasihi's picture
Sadayasihi

Maitreyabandhu draws out the deeper meaning and finer detail of the poem entitled A Measuring Worm, by Richard Wilbur. In the full talk entitled A New Knowledge of Reality-Buddhism and Poetry, Maitreyabandhu discusses five different poems, each around the theme of death, with the final poem focusing on spiritual rebirth.

By discussing the background of the poems and poets, the intricacies of their structure, and bringing in a Buddhist interpretation of the themes raised in the poems, Maitreyabandhu shows us the importance and profundity of poetry and how it can help us to explore Dharmic themes more deeply.

Talk given on a special evening at Padmaloka Retreat Centre during the System of Dharma Training retreat in December 2018.

a measuring worm :: richard wilbur

This yellow striped green
Caterpillar, climbing up
The steep window screen,

Constantly (for lack
Of a full set of legs) keeps
Humping up his back.

It’s as if he sent
By a sort of semaphore
Dark omegas meant

To warn of Last Things.
Although he doesn’t know it,
He will soon have wings,

And I, too, don’t know
Toward what undreamt condition
Inch by inch I go.

***
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