Found Poetry

“Found poetry” are poems which are “extracted” from or found in prose or utterances, not written by the author as poetry, which can nevertheless be read as poetry.
My selections here, of course, are purely subjective and perhaps a little presumptuous. Yet Vivekananda spoke frequently in a style that could be described as poetry.
My intent is merely to attempt to show some of the poetical beauty in much of Vivekananda’s utterances — by writing them as poems, rather than prose.
The titles are my own, (but generally are Vivekananda’s words in a preceeding sentence or paragraph) – as well as the punctuation, stanzas etc.
However, the words are entirely Vivekananda’s –in the exact order he said them, without any editorial changes in his words whatsoever.
They are included in the editor’s notes, so that the reader may clearly understand that this form is not how Swami Vivekananda presented these particular words (which are all to be found elsewhere in their original form on this web site) and that the reader who feels that this is an unwarranted liberty with Vivekananda’s work, will at least know who to blame…



by Swami Vivekananda

The dawn,
the evening,
the hurricane,
the stupendous and gigantic
forces of nature,
its beauties,
have exercised
the human mind,

and it aspires to go beyond,
to understand
something about them.

In the struggle
they endow
these phenomena with
personal attributes,
giving them souls
and bodies,
sometimes beautiful,
sometimes transcendent.

(From The lecture “The Necessity of Religion” delivered June 1896)




by Swami Vivekananda

Ordinary mankind cannot understand
that is subtle.
Well has it been said
that mobs would run after a lion
that could kill a thousand
and never for a moment
that it is death unto the lambs,

although it may be
a momentary triumph
for the lion;
because in that the mob
the greatest manifestation
of physical strength.

with the ordinary
of mankind,
they understand and find pleasure
in everything
that is external.

(From The lecture “The Necessity of Religion” delivered June 1896)



by Swami Vivekananda

So long as religion
was in the hands of a chosen few
or of a body of priests,
it was in
the temples,
it was in
the churches,
it was in
the books,
in dogmas,
in ceremonials,
forms, and rituals.

When men have come to
the real,
spiritual concept,
then, and then alone,
will become real
and living;

it will come into our very nature,
in every movement
of the human being,
it will penetrate
every pore
of society,
and be infinitely more a power for good
than it has ever been before.

(From The lecture “The Necessity of Religion” delivered June 1896)