Today’s poem makes the familiar point that our happiness is greatest when we’re least attentive to it. Recounting an ordinary domestic scene on the porch in Spring, surrounded by family, sipping coffee, sniffing lilacs, lightly regarding the news, Linda Pastan “didn’t even guess that I was happy.”
If someone could stop the camera then…
if someone could only stop the camera
and ask me: are you happy?
Perhaps I would have noticed
how the morning shone in the reflected
color of lilac. Yes, I might have said
and offered a steaming cup of coffee.
In Happiness class people often wonder if noticing happiness won’t somehow jinx or ruin it. To the contrary, I agree with the poet. If someone could only stop the camera and just ask, noticing might actually amplify that fleeting feeling of well-being.
So, I’m going to start collecting happiness poems. Here’s what I’ve got so far.
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