by Walt Whitman
American visionary Whitman’s reflections on life and on himself are both bodily and revelatory. Excerpt from the collection:
“…Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes…”
Hafiz is known as an ecstatic Sufi master. Whether or not the concept of God resonates with you, I think this excerpt from “This Place Where You Are Right Now” has a certain power:
“This place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.
Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move
Against the earth and the sky,
The Beloved has bowed there –
Our Beloved has bowed there knowing
You were coming…”
11. And Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou
Angelou’s poem below is an anthem for personal self-validation and also narrates the triumph of African Americans over adversity; it is an inspiration. Excerpt from “Still I Rise”:
“…Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise…”
I hope these books are as beneficial to others as they have been to me.