As the year comes to a close, we are encouraged to come up with resolutions that will help us to straighten up and fly right in the new year. I'm afraid that my resolutions are the usual prosaic suspects: fewer words are better (i.e., don't add to the cacophony); simpler is better; kindness is better. All of which will be broken within the next 15 minutes or so.
But here is one that I hope might have a longer duration: pay closer attention. The following poem by Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006) provides a good start.
Ian Hamilton Finlay, in The Bloodaxe Book of 20th Century Poetry (Edna Longley, editor) (2000).
Some Preliminary Definitions
A collection of facts;
A succession of desires;
A whirl of thoughts.
The world around you:
An intractable paradise.