Video and Audio

From Unkindness to Appreciation ~ Have You Seen Sorrento, Ep. 15

Keshava Betts
October 6, 2021


(by Swami Kriyananda)

I’ve roamed the far hills
And learned many skills;
I’ve wandered on many a shore.
Though often I’ve thought
I’d gained what I sought,
A voice always said, “There’s more.”

Go sing with the Sun
And dance with the Moon!
Go ride on the highest star!
The reaches of space
Lack one special place:
It’s there that my heart did soar.

Have you seen Sorrento?
Roamed her em’rald hills?
Breathed her morning magic;
Flowers and bounding rills?
Beauty’s spring is gladness,
Shaming mortal skills.

Have you seen Sorrento?
Gazed on Naples’ bay?
Sailed upon the blue sea,
Heard the wavelets play?
Tell her, if you go there:
I’ll return someday!

Introduction (Written by the composer for use in performances, unless otherwise noted.)

Seen Sorrento? (From the book “I’ve Passed My Life as a Stranger, Lord” by Swami Kriyananda)

I first visited Sorrento, Italy, in 1981. It is a charming Italian town on the Bay of Naples. I did not mean when I wrote this song, however, to single out that one town specifically from any other place on earth where one has felt inspiration. Though the introduction seems to say otherwise, I was describing the heart’s feelings about any place or places that one holds particularly dear.

There is a beautiful Italian song about Sorrento. The melody’s vibrations are emotional, however. I wanted to show, through the inspiration I myself felt there, that feeling, when it is uplifted, doesn’t pull the heart down, but raises it in inspiration.

The effect of this song is much stronger in the melody than in the words—as is the case also with the Italian song.

It is my belief that much deeper feeling can be evoked when the feelings are internalized and lifted toward high ideals, and not stirred to excitement by emotional attachment.

All places—it must be said, finally—are holy when we associate them with inspiration.