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Happiness -- Raymond Carver

Guest poem sent in by Hemant R. Mohapatra ...

Many Many thanks to a close friend Salima Virani for introducing
me to this truly enlightening piece.
(Poem #1099) Happiness
 So early it's still almost dark out.
 I'm near the window with coffee,
 and the usual early morning stuff
 that passes for thought.

 When I see the boy and his friend
 walking up the road
 to deliver the newspaper.

 They wear caps and sweaters,
 and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
 They are so happy
 they aren't saying anything, these boys.

 I think if they could, they would take
 each other's arm.
 It's early in the morning,
 and they are doing this thing together.

 They come on, slowly.
 The sky is taking on light,
 though the moon still hangs pale over the water.

 Such beauty that for a minute
 death and ambition, even love,
 doesn't enter into this.

 Happiness. It comes on
 unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
 any early morning talk about it.
-- Raymond Carver
I've always believed in the philosophy that happiness is not something you
can bump into walking back from work one fine evening. No! I believe you
have to search for it. It is necessary to look for it in every nook and
cranny of your daily life to finally get (to) it. Happiness is ephemeral
and needs to be savoured till as long as it lasts. What might seem to be
just a chore to someone could be the source of a world of joy to someone
else. I, personally, find myself capable of absorbing a lot of happiness
and joy by watching glowworms silently emitting a glum light on a dark
night. The way everything seems to look eerie and unfamiliar on a
moonlight trek is another example. In fact, I think it's hard to imagine
life without having the ability to feel one with the world watching a
clear star spangled nightsky.

The poem I've chosen for submission looks at happiness in a similar light.
Those who are familiar with `Peanuts' would instantly recognize the
resemblances with the 'Happiness is a warm Puppy' series. Nowhere does the
poem talk about meeting old friends, or earning a lot of money or
loving/`being loved by' someone. This happiness has transcended those
borders and gone way beyond the limited vocabulary of a human (Still, the
poet has done a great job going about it). All it talks about is a cold
wintery morning with two kids struggling to deliver earlymorning
newspapers.  Happiness, it seems, does come on unexpectedly and goes way
beyond any mode of expression.

This is one search we all owe to ourselves.


  Carver biography and poems: [broken link]

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