Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all;
There are none to decline your nectar’d wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
by ELLA WHEELER WILCOX (1855-1919)
Public Domain Poetry
Hat tip to Tati & Tony over at Unbolt.me.
Mr. Jones launched into my view via Debbie Millman’s Design Matters podcast. His charm and ebullient manner shined brightly.
I find Saeed Jones’ work evocative and insightful. His meter and flow challenge me and my own work. I hope you find his work delightful too.
Read his bio on PoetryFoundation.org
As it’s Black History Month, I felt it appropriate to remind people of the brilliant legacy of Black Poets. Today I start with the legendary Maya Angelou. Facing down the brutality of her childhood, I see her as one of the great souls of human history. This particular quote speaks loudly to me, laden with wisdom.
I adore Rumi. The wisdom within his poetry has long guided me.
Within this small line: the importance of faith. Not necessarily directed toward any particular diety. Simply regarding our community.
Our futures are unknowable until they become our past. Even then meaning slowly gets gleaned.
I live with a dangerous mindset: desiring to understand all the ramifications of a choice before I act. This impossibility risks paralyzing me. Often, it has. Losing opportunity out of fear? That’s sad.
I need to embrace that the way will appear when it needs to, and not a moment before. And that this way is good, it is for the best.
Believe the unknown and uncontrollable are not reasons to hide, to wait, relegating opportunity to vapor.
As a long time fan of Snyder’s work, this delights me.
Make my heart sing
His words echo
Through my soul
Reading Langston Hughes
And about his vocational drifting
I have a thing for the wanderer
My own career meanders
Weaving back and forth
Across green fertile fields
Vibrancy within each step
I’m spending Black History Month exploring black ports and their great works. Langston Hughes came to mind first. I’m also thinking of Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. Do you have ideas? I’d love to hear about up-and-coming poets.