Sunday, March 15, 2009

Real Beauty

Mary Jane in New Jersey sent this poem to me...and I was so moved by it...shaken by it really, that I had to print it here. Each time I read it, the words resonate with me and take me to a higher place.
A perfect example of a woman who cliches could never do justice is President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf pictured here. She is the president of Liberia and Africa’s first elected female head of state. President Sirleaf is recognized for her distinguished career over four decades of fighting for freedom, justice and equality both in the private and public domain of Liberia and internationally.
I had the privilege of meeting her a couple of years ago and she epitomizes MY definition of beauty. Strong, empowered, gracious, tender, directive and present. I felt my own strength, power and potential simply being in her presence.

Now...onto that poem.

No More Clichés

Beautiful face
That like a daisy opens its petals to the sun
So do you
Open your face to me as I turn the page.
Enchanting smile
Any man would be under your spell,
Oh, beauty of a magazine.
How many poems have been written to you?
How many Dantes have written to you, Beatrice?
To your obsessive illusion
To you manufacture fantasy.
But today I won't make one more Cliché
And write this poem to you.
No, no more clichés.
This poem is dedicated to those women
Whose beauty is in their charm,
In their intelligence,
In their character,
Not on their fabricated looks.
This poem is to you women,
That like a Shahrazade wake up
Everyday with a new story to tell,
A story that sings for change
That hopes for battles:
Battles for the love of the united flesh
Battles for passions aroused by a new day
Battle for the neglected rights
Or just battles to survive one more night.
Yes, to you women in a world of pain
To you, bright star in this ever-spending universe
To you, fighter of a thousand-and-one fights
To you, friend of my heart.
From now on, my head won't look down to a magazine
Rather, it will contemplate the night
And its bright stars,
And so, no more clichés.

Octavio Paz

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