Jonathan Livingston Seagull

“They are saying in the Flock that if you are not the Son of the Great Gull Himself”, Fletcher told Jonathan one morning after Advanced Speed Practice, “then you are a thousand years ahead of your time.”
Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood he thought. They call you devil or they call you god. “What do you think, Fletch? Are we ahead of our time?”
A long silence, “Well, this kind of flying has always been here to be learned by anyone who wanted to discover it; that’s got nothing to do with time. We’re ahead of the fashion, maybe. Ahead of the way that most gulls fly.”“That’s something,” Jonathan said, rolling to glide inverted for a while. “That’s not half as bad as being ahead of our time”.
Richard Bach
Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The Seagull Speaks Creative Commons Copyright

Creative Commons License
Original work on The Seagull Speaks by Michael A Wride is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

To Embody a Poem

Take some time and space to be with a poem. To bring it to life inside you. The voice of the poet then becomes clear, develops and evolves, and indeed becomes alive within the reader. The reader is the epitome of the active listener - of active receptivity and open hearted-ness. 

The meaning imbued by the poet in the words, and in the words not used, is transformed within the reader into new meaning - emobodied beautifully. The active presences and the active absences combine in new ways. 

The tensions are created between the words and the context within the reader/recipient, which is the unique personal history of the reader. A resonance develops, new meanings arise. And the poet and the reader spiral up to new heights of understanding together entwined in body, mind and spirit, which has nothing to do with time and space.


  1. One aspect of exploring a poem which has been originally brought into being by someone else is to learn the poem by heart and to experiment through speaking the poem. Just like a singer bringing their own authenticity to a song that has been performed many times by other singers, the interplay between words and voice allows the poem to become embodied in the new speaker, helping them to deepen their experience with the new resonances and meanings you describe.

  2. Great point Stuart.. Definitely something that we don't do enough and encourage these days in education. It used to be a mainstay of education - lerarning poems by heart, but not just recitation as you say, feeling and truly embodying the poem. Many thanks! m

  3. A nice link here

  4. and here: