A Poem for World Listening Day

“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” 
— Turkish Proverb

“To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the ‘music,’ but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning.” 

— Peter Senge, American systems scientist, and founder of  the Society for Organizational Learning

Amy Lowell (1874-1925) American poet born in Brookline Massachusetts: considered part of the imagist school of poetry; The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell was first published in 1925, the year of her death, and then re-issued in 1955. Lowell was awarded the 1926 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry posthumously.


To read Amy Lowell’s poem “Listening” click



by Amy Lowell 

 ’T is you that are the music, not your song.
  The song is but a door which, opening wide,
  Lets forth the pent-up melody inside,
Your spirit’s harmony, which clear and strong
Sing but of you. Throughout your whole life long
  Your songs, your thoughts, your doings, each divide
  This perfect beauty; waves within a tide,
Or single notes amid a glorious throng.
  The song of earth has many different chords;
Ocean has many moods and many tones
  Yet always ocean. In the damp Spring woods
The painted trillium smiles, while crisp pine cones
  Autumn alone can ripen. So is this
  One music with a thousand cadences. 

“Listening” from The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell, © 1955, renewed 1983 by Houghton Mifflin Company


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Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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