like an apple

Crackers, rice, lentils, meat, but I would rather eat, a poem, like an apple.

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Wednesday Poem Club: Take from my palms by Osip Mandelstam

Take, from my palms, for joy, for ease, A little honey, a little sun, That we may obey Persephone’s bees.

You can’t untie a boat unmoored. Fur-shod shadows can’t be heard, Nor terror, in this life, mastered.

Love, what’s left for us, and of us, is this Living remnant, loving revenant, brief kiss Like a bee flying completed dying hiveless

To find in the forest’s heart a home, Night’s never-ending hum, Thriving on meadowsweet, mint, and time.

Take, for all that is good, for all that is gone, That it may lie rough and real against your collarbone, This string of bees, that once turned honey into sun.

Guest Post: Greatness and Humility

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

A few days ago, I wrote an open letter to a good friend of mine - "I Think Greatness is Something You Are, Not Something You Do" - I said to him, I'm not a great man, just a normal man working on great things. Greatness is something you do, not something you are.

To give you some background, my friend Brendon is just one of the most amazingly good people in the world. He takes care of everyone around him, his mind, body, and spirit are sharp. He's a black belt, an excellent programmer, a philosopher, a Shodan in Go (actually, even stronger than that - he's a Shodan under the Asian rankings, so probably even higher in America), a hard worker, extremely loyal, a clear and free thinker, widely read and knowledgeable, and again - an amazingly good guy. I've learned a lot from him (notably, he taught me how to play Go, sysadmin Linux, understand basketball at a very high level, improve at martial arts, improve my fitness, and other good stuff - we'd usually go drink green tea and play Go at Samurai Restaurant in Boston, go fight in the park, talk philosophy out at nightclubs, do stuff like that).

He wrote back to me about greatness and humility. I think this is a really beautiful piece, so I asked him if I could gently edit it and put it up. He graciously agreed. It's long, but go ahead and just start it and give it whatever time you have - there's a lot of amazing insight in here.

A Quick Favor Request - if you learn from this or it helps you, please send Brendon a quick email to mail@bobz.in - he was actually a little gun-shy about having such a personal piece put up with such raw power in it. He only agreed when I told him how many people it could help - so please, drop him a short line to say thanks if this teaches you as much as it did me.

Without further ado...

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