One Thousand Beautiful Things

Over the summer, Pete bought me a book from a used book sale intriguingly titled One Thousand Beautiful Things. Shame on me for not really looking at it until two days ago, for it is a wonderful book! The best way for me to describe the book’s contents and purpose is for me to include an excerpt from the intro:

“The great German poet, Goethe, was once asked by a friend what he would suggest as a daily exercise for spiritual betterment. He said:

‘I would like to read a noble poem. I would like to see a beautiful picture. I would like to hear a bit of inspiring music. I would like to meet a great soul. And for my fellow men I would like to sy a few sensible words.’

Because we recommend this wish of the great poet to you, we offer an anthology resplendent with beautiful things to enrich your daily life.”

The book includes poems, short stories, and quotes, some by very famous authors and some by lesser-known ones. I have already stumbled upon many that I love. Here is one of my favorites so far.

Inventory at Dawn                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Eleanor Saltzman

I have gathered violets in April
And watched the silent falling of a star.
The wind has touched my hair, and I have laid
My ear against the earth to hear the grasses
Whisper. I have shocked the new-bound oats
In summer and walked bareheaded in the rain,
Thrilling with the thunder. I have baked
A ham and sat with friends at supper. We talked
Of ghosts and Bach and vegetables, and filled
Our coffee cups again. I have kissed
My heart goodby at nightfall, and I have loved,
But deeply.
   And still to sit in the sun, to know
The breadth of tenderness deep as the earth.
And bread. And sleep. And waking after pain,
To eat my breakfast at Walden. To feel the hush
Of snow against my lips. And still to love,
But deeply.


1 Comment

  1. Karen and Sarah Woldum said,

    October 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    What an interesting idea for a book! The thought behind it makes me think of a homily that Fr. Joe preached a few weeks ago. It is a theme that he often preaches on – being grateful for all that we have. He told us especially to watch the tree by the St. Scholastica building as it changes in the fall. It reminds me to notice and be grateful for the many small things of beauty that we encounter every day. Right now I am thinking of our mums in the back garden, just starting to blossom for the Fall. Thanks for the post Rach!
    Love, Mom

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