Friends from Santa Monica Friends Meeting have curated this reading list.
Materials and Setup
Materials & Setup:
Choose one or more selections from the reading list below. Purchase, borrow from the library, or download from the internet.
CHALLENGES AND REWARDS OF THE LATER YEARS
Presented by the Adult Education Committee, Santa Monica Friends Meeting
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: “Sonnet 73”
LUCILLE CLIFTON: “There Is a Girl Inside”
STAN SEARL: “Hospitality at 100 Main Street”
JUDITH SEARLE: “In the Light”
EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON: “Eros Turannos”
JANE KENYON: “Otherwise”
CZESLAW MILOSZ: “Late Ripeness”
DOROTHY PARKER: “Ninon De L’Enclos on Her Last Birthday”
BILLY COLLINS: “Forgetfulness”
ELIZABETH BISHOP: “One Art”
ROBERT FROST: “Provide, Provide”
PHYLLIS MCGINLEY: “Honest Confession”
STEVE KOWIT: “Notice”
MAXINE KUMIN: “Personals”
E.E. CUMMINGS: “if there are any heavens”
LOUISE BOGAN: “Song for the Last Act”
STANLEY KUNITZ: “Touch Me”
JUDITH VIORST: “Late Love”
EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY: “Gazing upon Him Now, Severe and Dead”
W.H. AUDEN: “Funeral Blues”
MARY AUSTEN: “Song of a Woman Abandoned by the Tribe”
ROBINSON JEFFERS: “Cremation”
GALWAY KINNELL: “Wait”
MARY OLIVER: “When Death Comes”
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS: “Sailing to Byzantium”
EMILY DICKINSON: “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”
IN THE LIGHT
W.S. MERWIN: “Thanks”
GWENDOLYN BROOKS: “Infirm”
DEREK WALCOTT: “Love After Love”
MARIANNE MOORE: “What Are Years?”
Read one or more selections from the Reading List. Choose one of these follow-up exercises:
Settle into worship and invite participants to speak into the silence and share their thoughts about a query. Craft a query directly related to the text or choose one of the General Questions for Reflection. A more detailed description of worship sharing can be found on our Worship Sharing Guidelines page.
Invite participants to briefly contemplate the quotation and then respond to a writing prompt. Create a prompt specifically related to the text or choose one of the General Questions for Reflection.
Pair-Share or Triads
Divide the group into pairs or sets of three to discuss the quotation. Return to a large group and share any themes that arose.
Questions for Reflection on the Text:
- How is the Divine/Truth/Love speaking to me through this text?
- What experience in my life reflects the message of this text?
- What do I have to learn from this message?
- What resonates with me in this quotation?
- What stands out to me in this text?
- What surprised me about this message?
- What questions arise about my life as I contemplate this message?
- What canst thou say? (What do I have to say in response to this message?)
- What feelings arise in my body as I consider this message?
- An image that comes to mind as I listen to this quotation is…
- Where is the growing edge for me around this issue?
- If I could rephrase this message in my own words, I would say…
- This Truth tastes like… (smells like… sounds like… feels like… looks like….)
- In relation to this topic, I used to be.…., but now I’m ……
- I’d like to ask Spirit / the Universe / God / the Inward Teacher ……. about this message.
- The point on my spiritual journey when this idea has been most alive in me was…