Monday, May 30, 2016

Morning Prayer 1902

   I discovered the edge worn old poetry tome "Poems of Love" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox(1850-1919) at a  community book sale last year. A First Edition printed in 1905. Wow. And double wow.  One of my favourite things: ancient, maybe even forgotten, books of poems.  Pages stained, it has seen better years. But I love it. It is completely intact.On the inside page someone has penned: "All my love, Donna".....
The author: Ella Wheeler Wilox,  started writing as a child and continued till the day she died. She believed in the good in our world, and on every poem she wrote , she  spoke of hope for all and how we can rise above any challenge.......

Let me today do something that shall take a little sadness from the world's vast store,

 And may I be so favoured as to make of joy's too scanty sum a little more.
 Let me not hurt, by any selfish deed or thoughtless word, the heart of foe or friend;
Nor would I pass, unseeing, worthy need,
 Or sin by silence when I should defend.
 However meagre by my worldy wealth,
 Let me give something...........
 That shall aid my kind...............

 A word of courage...........
 Or a thought of health,
 Dropped as I pass
 For troubled hearts to find.

Let me tonight look back across the span

 Between dawn and dark.....
 And to my conscience say...........
 Because of ........

Some good act....................... 

 To beast or man,

 The world is better that I lived today.

Photographs by Michelle McConachie Woods 2016
"Morning Prayer" 1902 by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
   From "Poems of Love" printed by Billings and Sons, Guildford (first edition 1905)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Excerpts for Walt Whitman

Found  some dusty books of classic poems. You know the type of ancient tomes  that get dropped off at church book sales.  No one wants to read them any more. I have tons of them. A bit musty, a bit old ( the books, that is) . Full of  ancient words. One writer  I found, by surprise,  is King Henry the VII. He writes about partying all day and night at court with great enthusiasam and lots of wine.
I also found one of my favourites:  Walt Whitman (1819-1892) 
"Excerpts From Song of Myself" (1856) Absolutely fabulous imagery.....

 A child said, What is the grass? Fetching it to me with full hands;
 How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.
 I guess that is the hankerchief of the Lord.

 I exist as I am, that is enough, If no other in the world be aware I sit content, and if each and all be aware I sit content.
 I believe a leaf of grass is  no less than the journey work of the stars, and the pismire ( an ant) is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren.
 Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems, you shall possess the good of the earth and sun.

 The running blackberry would adorn the parlours of heaven.

 I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self contained. I stand and look at them long enough.

 Earth! You seem to look for something at my hands, say, Old Top Knot, what do you want?
 I see something of God each hour of the twenty four, and each moment then.

 Stop this day and stand with me.
 You shall possess the good of the earth and the sun.
 I am the poet of the woman the same as man.

 And I say it as great to be a woman as to be a man.
 And I say there is nothing greater than the mother of men.

 I am he that walks with the tender and growing night.

 O call to the earth and sea half-held by the night.
 I loafe and invite my soul.......
Photography: Michelle McConachie Woods, 2016