Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Starting Point

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Starting Point

Article excerpt

I once heard a man speak of a solitary flower. He said no one has ever seen it. But it is there, far away on a mountain. It is beautiful, he said. It came into being and will live for a while and then perish--never to have been seen or known. But he knew it was there. The man was Wendell Berry, and he was reading one of his poems.

At the conference where he read the poem, I thanked him for his words. He was a pleasant man. I remember the way his poem made me feel. It moved me to wonder about all the beauty that exists that no one ever beholds.

So much beauty exists that will never be seen. Yet, it is there. It may seem useless. Why have beauty that cannot be seen? Why is there beauty that exists and then perishes? Even in the smallest things, like a flower, there may lie a great lesson.

So it is that a poet takes a small and fleeting piece of beauty and clothes it with words. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.