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”
With thanks to Urgyen Sangharakshita, Saddhanandi, Rijupatha, and Candradasa
This space created by the team at Dharmachakra
Recorded in 2016