A Reaction to the Election: Dazed

I would like to be able to celebrate the news that From Ashes Into Light has won two more awards. How can this be done when the world is reeling and in shock?

I realize, after the presidential election, that my book reads like advance warning. There are things to ask ourselves, and From Ashes Into Light brings up some of these issues in stark ways. I am reminded of the Dylan line: “The times they are a changing.” And the change can be frightening.

I am reading Ge’rard De Nerval from 1854. The poem called Golden Lines begins with a quote from Pythagoras, “Astonishing! Everything is Intelligent!” Yes, I agree, we are swimming in consciousness. Still, what we do with that consciousness/intelligence makes all the difference.

The Romantic Poets responded to difficult times by turning to nature. This was an “Attack on the Old System,” according to Robert Bly in his News of the Universe poems of twofold consciousness.

How will poets respond to our current era? In many different ways, surely, unless an overwhelming movement develops in the genre.

               Morning Cold

Instead of pushing against cold,

muscles contract until

they become aware of themselves

after shock.

Many months of drought, at last, rain;

rain turned to tears.

I wear yellow to remember the sun,

to ward off complacency.

(C) Gudrun Mouw

November, 2016


  1. Cathy said:

    It seems so momentous and so destructive that I feel nostalgia for the days before this campaign and election. International events show a distressing shift and now our own nation has swung towards nationalism and disdain for human rights. I’ve struggled to balance my desire to simply turn away with my need to limit my gaping exposure. I have come to sense an invitation. To share what so many of my fellow humans have felt. I feel uncertain, alienated, vulnerable. I have certainly been complacent about my privileges. What is the path forward? How to move beyond my daily efforts at kindness without becoming a shouting adversary? What am I called to do? First and always, to breathe and become still.

    December 11, 2016
    • Gudrun Mouw said:

      Yes, “First and always to breathe (consciously) and be still.”

      January 1, 2017

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