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Dancing with Joy
Cover of Dancing with Joy
Dancing with Joy
99 Poems
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In his collection Risking Everything, Housden addressed love's many aspects. Now, in Dancing with Joy, he assembles 99 poems from 69 poets that celebrate the many colors of joy. Anything can be a catalyst for joy, these poems reveal.

For Wislawa Szymborska, the catalyst is a dream; for Robert Bly, being in the company of his ten-year-old son; for Gerald Stern, it is a grapefruit at breakfast; for Billy Collins, a cigarette. Dancing with Joy includes English and Italian classical and romantic works; early Chinese and Persian verse; and poets from Chile, France, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and India, plus a range of contemporary American and English poets.

Whether inspiration is what you need, or an affirmation of what is already joyful in life, Dancing with Joy is a welcome treat for Housden's numerous fans, as well as anyone looking for sheer happiness, marvelously expressed.

From the Hardcover edition.

In his collection Risking Everything, Housden addressed love's many aspects. Now, in Dancing with Joy, he assembles 99 poems from 69 poets that celebrate the many colors of joy. Anything can be a catalyst for joy, these poems reveal.

For Wislawa Szymborska, the catalyst is a dream; for Robert Bly, being in the company of his ten-year-old son; for Gerald Stern, it is a grapefruit at breakfast; for Billy Collins, a cigarette. Dancing with Joy includes English and Italian classical and romantic works; early Chinese and Persian verse; and poets from Chile, France, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and India, plus a range of contemporary American and English poets.

Whether inspiration is what you need, or an affirmation of what is already joyful in life, Dancing with Joy is a welcome treat for Housden's numerous fans, as well as anyone looking for sheer happiness, marvelously expressed.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Excerpts-
  • From the book A BRIEF FOR THE DEFENSE

    Jack Gilbert

    Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies

    are not starving someplace, they are starving

    somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.

    But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.

    Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not

    be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not

    be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women

    at the fountain are laughing together between

    the suffering they have known and the awfulness

    in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody

    in the village is very sick. There is laughter

    every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,

    and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.

    If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,

    we lessen the importance of their deprivation.

    We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,

    but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have

    the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless

    furnace of this world. To make injustice the only

    measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.

    If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,

    we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.

    We must admit there will be music despite everything.

    We stand at the prow again of a small ship

    anchored late at night in the tiny port

    looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront

    is three shuttered cafes and one naked light burning.

    To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat

    comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth

    all the years of sorrow that are to come.



    MINDFUL

    Mary Oliver

    Every day

    I see or I hear

    something

    that more or less

    kills me

    with delight,

    that leaves me

    like a needle

    in a haystack

    of light.

    It is what I was born for—

    to look, to listen,

    to lose myself

    inside this soft world—

    to instruct myself

    over and over

    in joy,

    and acclamation.

    Nor am I talking

    about the exceptional,

    the fearful, the dreadful,

    the very extravagant—

    but of the ordinary,

    the common, the very drab,

    the daily presentations.

    Oh, good scholar,

    I say to myself,

    how can you help

    but grow wise

    with such teachings

    as these—

    the untrimmable light

    of the world,

    the ocean's shine,

    the prayers that are made

    out of grass?



    HAPPINESS

    Stephen Dunn

    A state you dare not enter

    with hopes of staying,

    quicksand in the marshes, and all

    the roads leading to a castle

    that doesn't exist.

    But there it is, as promised,

    with its perfect bridge above

    the crocodiles,

    and its doors forever open.



    GRAMMAR

    Tony Hoagland

    Maxine, back from a weekend with her boyfriend,

    smiles like a big cat and says

    that she's a conjugated verb.

    She's been doing the direct object

    with a second person pronoun named Phil,

    and when she walks into the room,

    everybody turns:

    some kind of light is coming from her head.

    Even the geraniums look curious,

    and the bees, if they were here, would buzz

    suspiciously around her hair, looking

    for the door in her corona.

    We're all attracted to the perfume

    of fermenting joy,

    we've all tried to start a fire,

    and one day maybe it will blaze up on its own.

    In the...
About the Author-
  • ROGER HOUSDEN is the author of 17 books on cultural and creative themes, including Seven Sins for a Life Worth Living and the bestselling Ten Poems series. You can reach him at tenpoems@gmail.com.

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    Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Dancing with Joy
99 Poems
Roger Housden
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