Great As You Are

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By Susan Griffin 

Recorded by Karina Lutz


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Be like a bear in the forest of yourself.
Even sleeping you are powerful in your breath.
Every hair has life
and standing, as you do, swaying
from one foot to the other
all the forest stands with you.
Each minute sound, one after another,
is distinct in your ear. Here
in the blur of mixed sensations, you can
feel the crisp outline of being, particulate.
Great as you are, huge as you are and
growling like the deepest drum,
the continual vibration that makes music
what it is,
not some light stone skipped on the surface of things,
you travel below
sounding the depths where only the dauntless go.
Be like the bear and
do not forget
how you rounded your
massive shape over the just ripened
berry which burst
in your mouth that moment
how you rolled in
the wet grass, cool and silvery, mingling
with your sensate skin,
how you shut
your eyes and swam far and farther
still, starlight
shaping itself to your body,
starship rocking the grand, slow waves
under the white trees, in the
snowy night.

© 1998 by Susan Griffin. Reprinted with permission of the author from Bending Home: Selected Poems 1967-1998.  Port Townsend, WA, Copper Canyon Press. www.coppercanyonpress.org


 

Susan Griffin has written over twenty books, including non-fiction, poetry and plays. Her book, A Chorus of Stones: The Private Life of War, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a New York Times Notable book. Woman and Nature, considered a classic of environmental writing, is credited for inspiring the eco-feminist movement. She and her work have been given many awards, among them a Guggenheim Foundation Award, an Emmy, and the Fred Cody Award for Life Time Achievement by Northern California Book Awards. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Susan’s new book will be published in January 2023.

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