Sangharakshita: A Life in Verse

The Family Reunion

Full twenty years I stayed away.
My father grew thin; my mother grey;
And my young sister went astray.

Now, I see them in my dreams;
A mystic light about them gleams.
They have become my Muse’s themes.

My mother and I in an orchard strolled.
Her looks were neither young nor old,
And she was wearing a gown of gold.

Apple blossom was overhead;
Sunlight on the green grass was shed.
At peace we walked, and no word was said.

In front of his cottage my father stood;
Before him a stream, behind him a wood.
He has lived his life as a true man should.

Black his hair as the fur of mole;
He beckoned me in to share a bowl,
And I saw that his withered arm was whole.

My sister had lived with a gypsy man
In a gaily painted caravan
Drawn by a horse. So the story ran.

Now she was dancing the ‘Dying Swan’.
Snow white the plumage that she had on,
And joy from her every movement shone.

Sangharakshita on “The Family Reunion”

Listen to the whole interview. Or to individual tracks below.

The third in a series of ten intimate interviews between Sangharakshita and Saddhanandi, reflecting on Sangharakshita’s own selections from his extensive body of poetry. In this segment they discuss the poem “The Family Reunion”.

Track 1: Reading of the full poem “The Family Reunion”

Track 2: Sangharakshita’s inspiration in writing “The Family Reunion”

Track 3: The first verse: Being parted from family for twenty years

Track 4: Thoughts on family and spiritual life

Track 5: Sangharakshita’s dreams of loved ones

Track 6: Family as creative muses and what it means to have a muse

Track 7: Reflections on the verses about Mother

Track 8: Reflecting on the verses about Father

Track 9: Reflections on the verses about Sister

Track 10: Final thoughts on “The Family Reunion”