Poetic Life Lessons

In preparation for pre-NaNoWriMo-blogging-month aka October, I’ve decided tonight I want to share a few of my favorite poems. The first comes from Langston Hughes, whose entire poetic works I own (and have not yet read, shamefully) in a book I bought off Amazon a few years ago. I “accidentally” flipped to this poem the night that I was backing out of my driveway and hit my passenger side mirror against the side of our house, knocking it clean off my car, after which ensued my dad’s fiery wrath of anger and Romanian profanities. And when I say “accidentally” I mean I really don’t believe it was an accident that of all poems, this was the one that I opened the book up to.

Acceptance
Langston Hughes
God in his infinite wisdom
Did not make me very wise –
So when my actions are stupid
They hardly take God by surprise.

The second poem, I’m not sure how I ran across, but it’s among my favorites because it’s touching and I find that it rings true with my spiritual beliefs and how I envision “life after death.” Rather unfortunately, I was able to use this poem in remembrance of a friend of mine who I wrote about last year, named Missy. She tragically died of a heart condition soon after New Years 2012. I was her Secret Santa just a month earlier. And so, in memoriam once again, here is Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Lastly, I’d like to share a poem I discovered in 10th grade English class while reading a short story in our English books. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the poem was included in Ray Bradbury’s short story by the same name, but the poem, There Will Come Soft Rains, is by Sara Teasdale. I really enjoy this one because like the last, it touches on my spiritual beliefs, especially about life and nature and importance, or lack-there-of of the human existence in the grand scheme of things.

There Will Come Soft Rains
Sara Teasdale
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools, singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

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