Great poetry, like all great art, convey a sense of something very human that is nearly impossible to put into words. If were easy to put human experiences and motivations into words, we wouldn’t need the poets, artists, composers, and choreographers.
As explained in my upcoming book, all of us begin our lives needing our basic physiological needs (food, clothing, warmth) and safety needs (freedom from crime, disease, education/training) satisfied by a loving family and a caring community or society. The psychologists and even the philosophers are very clear about this.
But what is being experienced inside themselves or what are the feelings of those who have had these two basic needs satisfied, and are ready to move forward in life?
The following two poems, and a brief explanation in italics, are from my book. I hope that you experience the feeling of contentment, comfort, and safety that these two short poems are meant to represent.
Pippa’s Song, Pippa’s Passes (R. Browning, 1841)
The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn:
God’s in His Heaven –
All’s right with the world!
This poem provides a clear representation of tranquility and safety at one’s home. The sense of order and predictability in the world helps to gratify the safety need. With “God’s in his Heaven” it would appear to most that “All’s right with the world.” A sense of innocence and order is perceived for those whose first two needs are being satisfied.
Time to Rise, Child’s Garden of Verses (Stevenson, 1913)
A birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped upon my window sill,
Cocked his shining eye and said:
“Ain’t you ‘shamed, you sleepy-head!”
This poem is included not just to be playful but also to illustrate how four lines of verse can so clearly convey an image of innocence and safety brought about by the implied love of the child’s family and the safety afforded by society.