This poem articulates the profound truths of our heart and soul, that often, sadly, bear so little relation to the superficial happenings and conversations of our days. It invites us to be true to who we really are, to share our genuine self with those we love, even though it can be scary, thereby creating a bridge to the depth, soul, and beauty of our life.

Let's look at some lines in depth:

"Fate, which foresaw How frivolous a baby man would be/By what distractions he would be possess'd, /How he would pour himself in every strife, /And well-nigh change his own identity/ That it might keep from his capricious play /His genuine self".

These lines convey the self-destructive tendency to distract ourselves with trivia that fundamentally alienate us from our authenticity, showing "capricious play," vs "genuine self." What do our choices say about our intention and desires? Thinking back over the last twenty-four hours, how often have you expressed your real self in your conversations, actions, and thoughts? And yet this kind of distracting, "capricious" play ultimately can't satisfy us. No matter how busy or noisy our environment, whether we're "in the world's most crowded streets" or surrounded by "din of strife" or ipods, tv, casual conversations, we have a desire that goes deeper and transcends: "there arises an unspeakable desire/After the knowledge of our buried life /A longing to inquire/Into the mystery."

At these moments we crave depth and soul, and long to understand who we are in our essence and what our life purpose is, what our true vocation might be. And it is unbelievably hard to get real contact and relationship with our real self, our "buried life," to make our thoughts and words and actions align with each other so we can have true authenticity and power.

Love, Arnold writes, can help take us to this place of transcendence. When we can touch, see, and hear someone we love (notice how Arnold mentions all our senses in the poem), we can reconnect with ourselves, and our mind, body, heart, and soul can connect to help us see who we truly are and who we can be.
©Dr. Nicola Bunting, 2009

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Author's Bio: 

Dr. Nicola Bunting is a top international personal and professional coach, with the Master Certified Coach credential from the International Coach Federation (ICF), one of only 1% of coaches in the world to reach this level of certification. Working with successful professionals in Europe and the USA, either as a personal or executive coach, Dr. Bunting specialises in helping ambitious individuals dramatically accelerate their success and fulfillment. With individual, group, and corporate coaching programmes on offer, Dr. Bunting's coaching company, La Vita Nuova (the New Life!), can design a coaching plan to help you achieve beyond your expectations.