The poem I have placed on the bulletin board outside my church office this week is by the Polish poet, Anna Kamieńska, and is from her book of poetry, Astonishments : Selected Poems of Anna Kamieńska, edited and translated by Grażyna Drabik and David Curzon, and published by Paraclete Press. Here it is:

Gratitude | Anna Kamieńska

A tempest threw a rainbow in my face
so that I wanted to fall under the rain
to kiss the hands of an old woman to whom I gave my seat
to thank everyone for the fact that they exist
and at times even feel like smiling
I was grateful to young leaves that they were willing
to open up to the sun
to babies that they still
felt like coming into this world
to the old that they heroically
endure until the end
I was full of thanks
like a Sunday alms-box
I would have embraced death
if she’d stopped nearby

Gratitude is a scattered
homeless love

I love the last line of this poem. It describes so wonderfully the difference between being thankful and being filled with gratitude. I am thankful for many things, my faith, my family, the beautiful weather we have been enjoying these last several days. But gratitude is more – it is this “scattered homeless love” that lies under the surface of my thankfulness. It is the root which nourishes my thankfulness in every season. Even when life is not going well, gratitude digs in and refuses to wither. Gratitude is the root that embraces all of life as a gift and helps me to be thankful, come what may. Gratitude looks at life as this simple, miraculous gift: we exist, “and at times even feel like smiling.” Yes. Amen.

5 thoughts on “Gratitude | Anna Kamieńska

  1. Absolutely wonderful! I will have to share this with my students, especially as we move into our discussion of how true gratitude can fuel a deeper contentment than mere happiness. My AP students will appreciate this the most as so much of what contemporary literature offers lacks hope. This is brimming with it and inspires me to live full of gratitude. Thanks for sharing these weekly posts.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s