Anthroposophy NYC Blog



Vincent Roppolo Speaks a Poem by Naomi Shihab Nye 

“I heard about the poet from a friend of mine,” says Vincent.
He offers his reading of the poem and an image he took of his own hand offering.

Naomi Shihab Nye lives in San Antonio, Texas, born to a Palestinian refugee father and American mother.
Naomi is a poet, songwriter and novelist.

Vincent Roppolo reads wise words about KINDNESS by Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

Vincent Philip Roppolo came to anthroposophy through the Michael Chekhov acting work, three decades ago. For many years, he has worked in theater, and also as a human development facilitator in the corporate world. He recently received his certification in Anthroposophic Psychology. He is participating in the Associates Program with AAP (Association for Anthroposophic Psychology), and serves on the AAP’s Board.


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