Poet’s Nook: “All You Have” by Ursula Le Guin

Image result for human suffering solidarity


(Taken from The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia )


It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love.

Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced.

The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers.

We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone,

in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood.

We know it, because we have had to learn it.

We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand

will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach

out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing.

You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.


If you evade suffering you also evade the chance of joy.

Pleasure you may get, or pleasures, but you will not be fulfilled.

You will not know what it is to come home… Fulfillment… is a function of time.

The search for pleasure is circular, repetitive, atemporal… It has an end.

It comes to the end and has to start over. It is not a journey and return,

but a closed cycle, a locked room, a cell… The thing about working with time,

instead of against it, …is that it is not wasted. Even pain counts.


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