On the Mystery of Meeting
A “Farewell Lecture” given for the Humanities Research Institute, Sogang University, on March 22, 2007
The questions are always there, day after day, for
all of us, questions acute or veiled, bothersome or amusing: “What
brought me here? How did I come to this particular place and to this
particular moment? What pattern can possibly underlie the series of
events out of which this moment has emerged?” Whatever account we might
want to give of the course of a lifetime, our own or someone else’s,
there can be no denying that most of the main turning points, for
better or for worse, happen because we met someone, because someone
brought new possibilities or limitations or directions into our
existence. Of course, most of the people we encounter day by day seem
not to have much effect on our lives, although it only takes a moment
to realize that even the slightest second’s delay in buying a subway
ticket one day might have made all the difference to a whole series of
situations; “If I had not looked in a particular direction at one
precise moment, you and I would never have met.” Still, there are
certain meetings that have an enormous impact on our lives, while most
are fleeting exchanges.
No meeting, I believe, is fortuitous; the contrast that Boethius’s Lady
Philosophy in the Consolation of Philosophy encourages us to make
between Fortune (the illusion that all happens by pure, meaningless,
blind chance), and Providence (the faith that there exist meaningful,
though hidden, justifications for all that happens to us) justifies a
providential reading of existence that contradicts the postmodern
rejection of all meaning or of any kind of providential dispensation.
However, discerning clearly the Hand of God in one’s own existence is
not usually given to us, and the line dividing coincidence from destiny
cannot be drawn with certainty. So as we look back along the series of
meetings that seem to have been responsible for our current situation,
we find ourselves bemused observers and puzzled tellers of our life’s
There was surely a concatenation of meetings that
brought me into the Community of Taizé in 1969, but here I want
to start by stressing how utterly my life was changed by that day in
1972 or 1973 when some unknown person drove Cardinal Kim Sou-Hwan up
from Lyon to attend evening prayer in the Church of Reconciliation at
Taizé. No one knew he was there but, as it happened, during the
prayer one of the brothers prayed aloud for the Church and people of
Korea. Since the arrests of Koreans, including Christians, engaged in
resistance to the Park Chung-Hee regime and the Yushin reforms were
often in the press at that time, it was natural for us to offer such a
prayer; later the names of Bishop Daniel Chi and of Kim Chiha were
often mentioned. That unexpected mention in prayer of his suffering
country impressed the Cardinal deeply. Praying for Korea! People in
this out-of-the-way French village were praying for his country in its
time of need!
Almost certainly that alone explains why he came
back the next day and asked to meet our Prior, Brother Roger.
Otherwise, I suppose he would have returned to Korea and soon have
forgotten the evening prayer in a dark church in a tiny village he had
never heard of before. But he returned, and was invited to celebrate a
Mass in Taizé’s village Church. Brother Roger was there, with
one or two Catholic brothers, but he did not receive communion. The
Cardinal asked why, and he said: “We must suffer in order to achieve
unity.” Perhaps that phrase evoked for the Cardinal a parallel with the
Korean experience of division; in any case it impressed him by its
depth of spiritual insight and he recalled it years later. That
encounter became a decisive meeting for me, although I was not present
My own sense of a guiding hand begins in 1974, when
Taizé summoned a “Council of Youth” and some 40,000 people
arrived there for a few days of meetings, young people from many
different countries. I cannot explain why it is that, among all the
hundreds of people I had to help welcome during that week, I only
recall one. He was a priest from Korea, he said, he was a Jesuit
studying in Rome; his name was Park Hong. Little did we know that our
paths would cross again in Sogang . . .
Early in 1977, I left France, with other brothers,
for Davao City in the southern Philippines. There we began to live a
very simple life in the middle of a huge, poor neighborhood, in Agdao.
In November, Brother Roger and other brothers came to live in Hong Kong
for a month and we went to join him there. Each year he used to make a
similar visit to some place in a continent far from Europe, some place
of suffering where hope was sorely needed. Hong Kong was, at that time,
the closest he could hope to get to China, whose borders were still
tightly closed. We lived, about 15 of us, in a wooden shack perched
above the water in the harbor of the township known as Aberdeen. In
front of us were dozens of little wooden ships moored, on which poor
families lived, most of them refugees who had fled from China. On one
of the ships lived a group of Little Sisters of Jesus, whose
spirituality is very dear to us.
Their inspiration was the vision expressed by Charles de Foucauld, who
had lived as a hermit in North Africa and had been killed by bandits on
December 1, 1916; every year, December 1 is a special day for them and
they were going to come to our shack on December 1 for a Mass. Just
before lunch that day, we saw a small boat being rowed toward our
house, with a rather tall man in black standing in it. Someone suddenly
said, “It’s Cardinal Kim from Korea!” That was my first sight of him.
He was in Hong Kong for a meeting, and had heard that Brother Roger was
there, so had come in search of him. He joined us for midday prayers
and for lunch. During lunch, I was close to him. He asked Brother Roger
if he could not send some brothers to live in Korea, to help the young
people reflect and pray more deeply. Brother Roger simply said that at
present there were no brothers available, but perhaps later . . . and I
remember thinking that I would surely find myself in Korea, sooner or
So, after 2 more years spent in Davao, I came to
Korea, arriving on May 7, 1980, just in time for another grave crisis,
the tragedy of Kwangju and the coup d’état. The main question
facing us, however, was more mundane; although the Cardinal had
arranged for us to have a house in which to live, we still had to find
ways of earning a living, in order to pay not only for food but for the
Korean language classes we urgently needed. That summer, with the
universities still closed, I happened to visit Sogang University to
meet a Jesuit who had studied in Paris, Fr. Sŏ In-sŏk. Quite
unexpectedly, he suggested that I might care to teach some simple
French when the university reopened, since the person who had been
doing that was unwell. He arranged for me to meet Fr. Tracy and so I
first came to Sogang in September 1980, humbly teaching “French Lab” in
C Building with no teaching materials, and no Korean ability. I taught
basic French in simple English.
Since my theme is the mystery of meeting, I cannot
avoid mentioning a particularly mysterious and meaningful meeting that
happened at that time. One day in 1981, as I was struggling to teach
French to a handful of students cowering behind the partitions in the
language lab, a student slipped in, in the middle of the class, and
took a seat at the end of the front row, near the door, virtually out
of sight like the others. When the class ended, instead of rushing out
with the rest he came toward me, apologized for having come in like
that, and explained he had thought it was an English class, but had not
wanted to disturb me by leaving again. I found that very admirable.
That might easily have been all, but he asked me who I was and, quite
by chance, I mentioned that I was a brother, not a Jesuit but from
Taizé. I rarely mentioned Taizé because in those days
virtually no one in Korea had heard of our community. I was therefore
quite unprepared for his enthusiastic response: “Oh, Taizé!” He
explained that he had seen a slide presentation about Taizé in
his home parish in Daegu while he was still in high school, a year or
so before. The Benedictines in Waegwan had made them. He was very aware
of what Taizé was and so a relationship began. No other meeting
I have made in Korea can be as precious to me, since that student is
now a brother in our Community; his parents became like my own,
welcoming me warmly whenever I visited them, to the very end of their
lives, and I attended the funerals of both of them.
Years passed and one day in the late 1980s, I
mentioned to Professor Kim Tae-ok of our Department my interest in
trying to translate some Korean poetry. Through her I met Ku Sang, both
through his poetry and as a person. One of his poems is the immediate
source of my topic here:
A Pebble by Ku Sang
On the path before my house
every day I meet a pebble
that once was kicked by my passing toe.
At first we just casually
brushed past each other, morning and night,
but gradually the stone began to address me
and furtively reach out a hand,
so that we grew close, like friends.
And now each morning the stone,
blooming inwardly with flowers of Grace,
gives me its blessing,
and even late at night
it waits watchfully to greet me.
Sometimes, flying as on angels’ wings
it visits me in my room
and explains to me the Mystery of Meeting,
reveals the immortal nature of Relationship.
So now, whenever I meet the stone,
I am so uncivilized and insecure
that I can only feel ashamed.
집 앞 행길에서
그 어느 날 발부리에 채운
조약돌 하나와 나날이 만난다
처음에 우리는 그저 심드렁하게
아침 저녁 서로 스쳐 지냈지만
돌은 차츰 나에게 말도 걸어오고
슬그머니 손도 내밀어 친구처럼 익숙해갔다
그리고 아침이면 돌은
안으로부터 은총의 꽃을 피워
나를 축복해 주고
늦은 밤에도 졸지 않고 나의 안녕을 기다려 준다
때로는 천사처럼 훌훌 날아서
내 방엘 찾아 들어와
만남의 신비를 타이르기도 하고
사귐의 불멸을 일깨워도 준다
나는 이제 그 돌을 만날 때마다
That poem, in which a Christian awareness of Eternal Love seems to
combine with the Buddhist stress on the impermanent, illusory nature of
all our contingent realities and relations (인연), was also in Kim
Young-Moo’s mind when he wrote a poem on the same topic using the same
expression in the title:
—Mystery of meeting
Meeting lotus leaves,
wandering raindrops have turned into pearls.
Where can I find my own lotus leaf?
Whose lotus leaf can I be?
떠돌이 빗방울들 연잎을 만나
나의 연잎은 어디 계신가
나는 누구의 연잎일 수 있을까
The meeting with Kim Young-Moo, was especially providential. He had
often met brothers from Taizé living near New York while he was
doing his doctorate at Stony Brook in the US. Before he returned to
Korea, they gave him our telephone number. He called, I answered the
phone, and that was the beginning of a deep, wonderful relationship,
until death took him in 2001. Meeting, then, at its best, is the event
that saves us from the abyss of solitude and meaninglessness we are
ever confronted with. In every person lurks the muttering dread of a
double darkness: “I have no one to share with, my life is without
meaning or value.” Through meeting, we sense we might pass from despair
to hope, from solitude to communion, and so to the essential meaning of
human existence. We need others more than we can ever realize.
In both those poems, meeting leads to sharing, and what is shared is
blessing, love shared in relationship. Ku Sang used to stress that he
wanted his poem to evoke the similarities between Christian 진교
(communion, koinonia) and Buddhist 인연 (nidana). Buddhism often stresses
the slightness of the initial encounter; Koreans speak of the way in
which a momentary contact of sleeves as two people pass can serve as
the starting point for a whole chain of cause and effect, gradually
drawing their lives together over the course of multiple incarnations.
For Buddhist thought, it seems, any drawing together is the result of
desire, and therefore constitutes a continuation of karma, the wheel of
continuing birth and causality that involves the suffering to which
only radical detachment and enlightenment offer an end. Meeting and
relationship are nonetheless as vital for them as for anyone else;
there is no other way to live as human beings.
In a not very popular Christian view, detachment in relationship is
also seen as a good when it serves to prevent mutual exploitation or
excessive earthly attachment. Human meetings and relationships are
recognized as highly ambiguous things in both dispensations, as they
are already in Plato, who warns of the temptation to remain on the
level of carnal, physical attraction, instead of rising to the
immaterial, spiritual level. But the Christian emphasis on agape / love
sometimes tends to obscure this hesitation, especially today when the
world of affective responses is almost the only one recognized as
suitable for love. Perhaps we need the Buddhist corrective by which we
learn not to try to distinguish good and not-good by applying the
distinctions of unhelpful moralizing criteria, and certainly we should
not automatically welcome every warm feeling of attraction as a
positive value and a blessing.
In my Korean experience, the meeting with Ko Un as
person and as originator of texts has been formative of an
understanding of Buddhist ways of seeing and saying. In one poem, he
indicates the Buddhist radicalism regarding the bonds formed by even
the most sacred relationships:
Destruction of Life
Cut off parents! Cut off children!
This and that, and this not that,
and anything else as well –
cut off and dispatch by the sharp blade of night.
Every morning, heaven and earth
are heaped with all that’s dead.
Our job is to bury that all day long
and establish a new world there.
어버이도 자식도 베허라
이것도 저것도 저것 아난 것도
또 어떤 것도
어둠 속의 칼날로 베허 버려라
천지는 죽은 것으로 쌓여서
우리 할 일은 그것들을 하루 내내 묻는 일
거기에 새 세상 세우는 일
But in another poem he mitigates this familiar Buddhist rejection of all relatedness:
Let be. Please, let be.
if you meet him?
Kill mother and father
if you meet them? Why kill?
Things made of clay all fall to bits
once soaked by monsoon rains.
가만 둬 가만 두라구
아비 어미 만나면
아비 어미 죽여 왜 죽여?
그저 장마철 비 맞으면
흙으로 만든 것들 다 허물어지지
Buddhists are on the whole far more familiar with this kind of
paradoxical notion than Christians, who prefer to gloss over certain
saying of Jesus, such as: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father
and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life
itself, cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26). “누구든지 나에게 오면서 자기 아버지와 어머니,
아내와 자녀, 형제와 자매, 심지어 자기 목숨까지 미워하지 않으면, 내 제자가 될 수 없다. The fundamental
Buddhist discipline is usually described as a cutting of all links,
ultimately even those with the Buddha, since each life has to find its
own way alone: thus the provocative formulation, “Kill Buddha if you
The Christian paradox of meeting is best expressed in the similar but
far less familiar Christian confession: “This is Thou, but this is not
yet Thou.” The balance between the immanence and the transcendence of
God is very often neglected in favor of an all-embracing affirmation of
God’s presence. But we need sometimes to recall that Christians, like
Buddhists, recognize that the attractions of the immediate, temporal
order to things can only too easily blind us to the nature of the
realities that are “above,” beyond all thought, and invisible, very
unlike this present order of human meetings and partings. The absolute
being of the One (who is Lord) is so utterly other that its presence is
necessarily a kind of absence, its voice like a deafening silence, and
its love so unthinkable that we mostly prefer to quail back into sense.
In our Christian living, we have to preserve a double image of God, of
Christ: he is both present in manifold form to and in every human
person, and present as himself alone, unique and single.
From very early times, meetings have figured in
literature as special moments of emotional intensity, of drama and
blessing. The Iliad reaches its emotional climax in an extraordinary
meeting, when aged Priam, king of Troy, makes his way into the tent of
the terrifying Greek hero Achilles, protected by gods, and falls at the
feet of the enemy who has recently killed his son, Hector, and defiled
his body, begging to be allowed to take his remains back for burial.
Achilles can only gaze in wonder at such a venerable figure kneeling at
his feet. At the end of the Odyssey, the encounter after so many years
of Odysseus and Penelope, fraught with uncertainties and unspoken
doubts, forms a corresponding climax.
More recently, Dante’s Commedia is composed of a constant chain of
meetings, each of them placed in unspoken comparison with the defining
meeting with the living Beatrice related previously in the Vita Nuova,
by which he says he came to know God. For him, there had been one
defining meeting with a human person, and when he first met her, he
said, “The spirit of life trembled and said, 'Behold a god stronger
than I who is come to rule over me'. The animal spirit of the brain was
amazed and said, 'Now your Beatitude has appeared'. The natural spirit
in the guts said, 'O miserable wretch! How often now I shall be
disturbed.' Once dead, Beatrice became even more his human guide to the
Mystery of God.
Bliss, Beatitude, or as Ku Sang said, Blessing . . .
복, 행복, 축복, and let us never forget that the Greek word for that,
makarios, means “happy.” Dante is the great example of how the Blessing
of Meeting gives rise to memory, by which it is made present over and
over again, even though that moment is long past and the person no
longer in this world. That act of memory, re-membering, recalling the
past into present, the dead into presence, is known in Greek as
Anamnesis, the word designating the act by which Plato said we
recognize the true nature of everything through a recalling of their
eternal Forms glimpsed in eternity before our birth. Anamnesis gives
rise, not only to knowledge but to Eucharistia, thanksgiving; the
central form of Christian worship, as also of the Jewish Passover,
involves Anamnesis, recalling the saving acts in which the Lord
encountered his people and saved them into life. To recapitulate, then,
our topic has expanded into a linked process: meeting, sharing,
blessing, communion, anamnesis, eucharist.
Memorializing, as an expression of Anamnesis, is one
of the most significant acts of the writer, especially the poet,
according to certain recent notions. In modern times, among British
poets, Geoffrey Hill has particularly stressed the poet’s prophetic
responsibility to memorialize the often forgotten but unforgettable
dead, in particular those who have died cruelly, at the hands of the
unjust, the Shoah being the prime example and his particular duty. The
memorializing poem challenges the threat of oblivion into which the
unjust would like their victims to vanish as if they had never existed.
It cannot, of course, restore the dead to any kind of life, but it is a
humane duty in the process of history:
Those varied dead. The undiscerning sea
Shelves and dissolves their flesh as it burns spray
Who do not shriek like gulls nor dolphins ride
Crouched under spume to England's erect side
Though there a soaked sleeve lolls or shoe patrols
Tide-padded thick shallows, squats in choked pools
Neither our designed wreaths nor used words
Sink to their melted ears and melted hearts.
Or from the poem “Funeral Music”:
.. If it is without
Consequence when we vaunt and suffer, or
If it is not, all echoes are the same
In such eternity. Then tell me, love,
How that should comfort us -- or anyone
Dragged half-unnerved out of this worldly place,
Crying to the end 'I have not finished'.
The pity the reader is invited to feel for so much wasted life, and so
many unwilling deaths, is not dwelt on, but it lingers as an angry
question in the silences that surround any such modern Anamnesis. I
have several times related Hill’s concerns to the work undertaken by Ko
Un in writing Maninbo and the itinerary I have followed here lends
strength to the importance of reading those poems in the right way. It
is perhaps too easy to lament the impossibility of reading and
responding adequately to the thousands of poems comprising Maninbo,
already 23 volumes with more to come soon. But such a vast compilation
might be the only adequate response to a history such as Korea’s,
marked by so very many wasted lives, destinies cut short, unfulfilled
meetings and broken relationships. The Mystery of Meeting should not be
celebrated at a lesser rate; Hamlet’s father’s is far from being the
only ghost that cries out in the night “Remember me!” to those with
ears attuned to the immortal nature of relationship.
Ko Un has written in Maninbo Vol. 7 of the meeting that revealed to him the call to be a poet:
When the 1940s were nearly done and
I was in second year of middle school,
I was making the two-mile journey home
along a dusky path at twilight
getting near the Mijei crossroads
when suddenly I noticed something lying
in the middle of the dark path.
My heart skipped a beat
then fluttered wildly as I picked it up.
It was a book.
A poetry book.
The poems of Han Ha-un, Korea’s leper-poet.
‘On and on along the earthen path....’
Once back home,
I read and reread it all night long.
I read the commentary too, written by a certain Cho Yŏng-am,
three or four times,
and the commentary by someone called Ch’oi Yŏng-hae, too.
From that day on, I was Han Ha-un.
From that day on, I was a wandering leper.
From that day on, all the world was an earthen path.
From that day on, I was a poet – a sorrowful poet.
Returning to the simpler realities of Taizé
for a moment, it is worth recalling that in English (and in most
European languages) the events that are held there week after week are
optimistically called “meetings” where Korean prefers the lower-level
“모임” and leaves the possibility of real meeting open once people are
together. We offer young adults, especially, but others too, from all
over the world, the possibility of coming together, spending a week in
close proximity, praying together and spending time reflecting and
talking in a village where there are very few distractions. Language
barriers may prevent complicated discussions of abstract theories, but
it is usually possible to exchange echoes of simple events in daily
existence. Thus meeting gives rise to exchanges about each one’s
life-quest, this sharing of life experience engenders hope and new
courage. The result is community and communion, with the slow
realization that there is indeed only one human family, a family that
can be seen as one despite its immense diversity. True universality has
nothing to do with any kind of uniformity, and difference is the raw
material of exchange in sharing.
Week after week, young people tell our brothers how
important the experience of meeting and sharing has been, sustained as
it has been by the three times each day when the talking stops and
everyone turns together toward God in praise, listening, and silence at
the common prayer. And time after time, they tell us how the deepest
moments of sharing were those during each prayer when there is deep,
complete silence. Differences of language and culture, of personality
and experience do not matter there; just being turned toward God side
by side is already communion, filled with anamnesis and eucharist.
That, we realize, is what it means to be the Church, ekklesia / kyrios,
Gathered People / One with Christ, as the 2 etymologies for most
western words meaning ‘church’ put it: Church as a community of meeting
and sharing, communion and hope, memory and thanksgiving, unity and
It is no coincidence that one of the best-known song from Taizé
declares: Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Every instance of human
fellowship, of loving communion, every good meeting, is already a
manifestation of God’s eternity; the “Church” is essentially this
communion. Charles Williams termed it the “Co-inherence” since we dare
in this way to affirm the impossible identity of temporal human loving
and eternal divine Love; In the Huayen school of Buddhism, especially,
there is something similar in the image of Indra’s Net, where the
pearls at the knots of the mesh reflect one another perfectly, all
beings are then contained in each other, separate identity being
preserved and dissolved simultaneously.
In the great Credo of Nicea we confess a kingdom
that “shall have no end” and that challenges the realities of loss and
separation, mortality and transience that are the stuff of most
literature, not only of elegy. Every merely human meeting is shadowed
from the start by an awareness of those limitations, our essential
fragility, and people who enjoy the deepest loving union usually cannot
easily contemplate the prospect that one day there will be separation,
as one dies before the other. Then I, being a translator, like to
recall something written by John Donne, who was both a poet of
vigorously human love and a preacher of the love of God. In the 17th of
his Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, famous for the phrase telling us
not to send “to know for whom the bell tolls” because we all undergo
death when anyone dies, there is a very special passage:
The church is catholic, universal, so
are all her actions; all that she does belongs to all. When she
baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby
connected to that head which is my head too, and ingrafted into the
body whereof I am a member. And when she buries a man, that action
concerns me: all mankind is of one author and is one volume; when one
man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into
a better language; and every chapter must be so translated. God employs
several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by
sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every
translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again
for that library where every book shall lie open to one another.
We are all, he says, engaged in writing by our daily lives our own
particular chapter of a single book, the Book of Humanity. But there is
no way anyone can read that book now, and when a person dies it seems
to us that their chapter is torn out and lost, vanishing unread. Only
death, Donne says with the Church as a whole, is not what it seems. It
is not an end but a transformation, a transfiguration, a translation
“into a better language” – that of God, with whom human life is not
destined for death but for eternity. “Journey’s end in lovers’ meeting”
Shakespeare made Feste the Clown sing optimistically in Twelfth Night,
and everyone knows it’s not really true. “Journey’s end in lover’s
parting” is more accurate but in God’s dispensation, all the separate
chapters, once translated, are brought together eternally, meeting in a
Heaven imagined as the ultimate library. Here on earth, nothing is more
depressing than a library, even a small one, because we know we shall
probably never find the book we really ought to read, never have time
to read all that we would wish to, and will not so much as open the
covers of the great majority of books over which the authors have
labored so long for our edification.
In Eternity, Donne says, we shall all be at one and
the same time book and reader. Instead of being a closed book, even to
ourselves, every chapter, no matter how short and humble, will lie open
and transparent, perfectly legible, able to be read in a flash,
totally, by God and by every other denizen of that eternal communion.
Today we might want to express this in terms of database and search
engine, but the important thing I want to stress is that our every
meeting here and now, in a subway, on the streets, even the lightest
brush of a sleeve, contains a foreshadowing of that ultimate meeting in
Eternity: “Take, read, this is our story.” And in that ultimate
reading, nothing is lost, no one is forgotten. We only find the true
meaning of our lives all together.
Already in this life, no meeting is completely without meaning because,
as Donne says, “no man is an island, entire in himself” and our
fragmentary encounters here and now contain the promise of an eternal
fulfillment, a meeting and sharing, a loving and communicating without
limit or end. That was what Ku Sang meant by “사귐의 불멸, the immortal
nature of relationship”. Christian tradition sometimes calls it the
“communion of saints” but that might be misunderstood to indicate an
exclusive selection. For our unresting Translator will not be content
until the eternal library offers an eternal meeting with, an eternal
reading of, and an eternal communion with and between every human life
that every was, without exception. And there have always been those in
the Church who insist rightly that we should at least sometimes pray
for the redemption of the fallen angels, of Satan and his crew, since
they too are part of the Book. Only so will the Mystery of Meeting be
Another way of putting this fulfillment is that by
which T. S. Eliot ends Four Quartets, with echoes of passages by Julian
of Norwich as well as Dante:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.