[MR] Poetry Meetup Reminder

Cindy Watkins cindylou0527 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 29 10:43:48 PDT 2020

Hello friends and future friends! Join me to read/recite/talk about poems
in praise of place this evening from 6-7pm during the Atlantian Poetry
Google Meeting ID: meet.google.com/chu-kmca-ycc
Prompt of the Week: Write a poem that features friends or considers
Did you know that the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is a rousing ancient (2100
BC) Sumerian famous for being the first surviving hero epic, is also a
moving testament to friendship? My favorite excerpt is a speech given to
Gilgamesh by a sage who he has sought out in a quest for immortality
brought on by the loss of his friend:
“Utnapishtim raised his hand and touched the shoulder Of the younger man to
put him at his ease. Two things encourage me to hope, he said; That one can
come this far to bring life to a friend, And that you understand how we
must borrow light From the blind. (My own right eye was damaged long ago
And my left is slowly decaying.)
Friendship is vowing toward immortality And does not know the passing away
of beauty (Though take care!) Because it aims for the spirit. Many years
ago through loss I learned That love is wrung from our inmost heart Until
only the loved one is and we are not.
You have known, O Gilgamesh, What interests me, To drink from the Well of
Immortality. Which means to make the dead Rise from their graves And the
prisoners from their cells, The sinners from their sins.
I think love's kiss kills our heart of flesh. It is the only way to eternal
life, Which should be unbearable if lived Among the dying flowers And the
shrieking farewells Of the overstretched arms of our spoiled hopes.
I think compassion is our God's pure act Which burns forever, And be it in
Heaven or in Hell Doesn't matter for me; because Hell is the everlasting
gift Of His presence To the lonely heart who is longing Amid perishing
phantoms and doesn’t care To find any immortality If not in the pure
loneliness of the Holy One, This loneliness which He enjoys forever Inside
and outside of His creation.
It is enough for one who loves To find his Only One singled in Himself. And
that is the cup of immortality!”
-transl. A Merman

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