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And it was at that age… Poetry arrived in search of me.  I don’t know, I don’t know where it came from, from winter or a river   ~ Pablo Neruda

I had never cared much for poetry until three books fell on my lap around the same time, in my mid-30s: The Gift, by Daniel Ladinsky, Love Letter to the Milky Way, by Drew Dellinger, and the Radiance Sutras, by Lorin Roche.   They spoke straight to my soul and dissolved my perception of poetry as obscure and filled with complicated words that made my head spin.  They found me at a time in my life when I felt overwhelmed with a sense of longing and possibility for which I did not have words.  Their arrival liberated me from the frustration of confined expression.

They are still amongst my favorite poetry books, along with others by Rilke, Rumi, and Mary Oliver.  Learning their poems by heart deeply reshaped the way I experience and express life, and my own poetry eventually sprung from what they awakened, inspired, and freed up in me.