Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Sorrow, Meister Eckhart Said

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Sorrow, Meister Eckhart Said

Article excerpt

Sorrow, Meister Eckhart said,

comes of wanting what you cannot have,

and of wanting there is no end.

But what then does it mean

to say I want the world for you?

Not everything's available,

and of what is, there's much

you really would not want.

The burning jet fuel coming down

like rain does no one any good,

and the clear linear beauty

of rocket fire pouring down

upon some godforsaken hill

is death to some. And the grief

of loving what you cannot have,

a girl maybe, a way of life,

takes its sorry place in line

behind the horrors that arrive

inevitably like older boys

who've spent time in prison.

What I want doesn't seem

ever to have had a lot

to do with anything, but here

is what I want for you:

an educated, peaceful life

among the modest and the sane

but close enough to true toil

to know what it takes and takes away. …

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