“Moderation Is Not a Negation of Intensity, But Helps Avoid Monotony” by John Taglibue

Will you stop for a while, stop trying to pull yourself
for some clear “meaning”–some momentary summary?
no one
can have poetry or dances, prayers or climaxes all day;
the ordinary
blankness of little dramatic consciousness is good for the
health sometimes,
only Dostoevsky can be Dostoevskian at such long
long tumultuous stretches;
look what that intensity did to poor great Van Gogh!;
linger, lunge,
scrounge and be stupid, that doesn’t take much centering
of one’s forces;
as wise Whitman said “lounge and invite the soul.”  Get
enough sleep;
and not only because (as Cocteau said) “poetry is the
literature of sleep”;
be a dumb bell for a few minutes at least; we don’t want
Sunday church bells
ringing constantly.

I just love this poem because I feel it supports my theory on the pursuit of unadulterated leisure and the peace it can bring your life.  Also, as one who is perennially mellow, I’ve always been wary of super-intense people.  When they’re my friends, I can only say “chill out.”  Maybe I should give them this poem instead.


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