Favourite Poems

I Meant To Do My Work Today

I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.
And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand,
So what could I do but laugh and go?

~ Richard LeGallienne


“If it would last”
I asked the East,
When that Bent Stripe
Struck up my childish
Firmament —
And I, for glee,
Took Rainbows, as the common way,
And empty Skies
The Eccentricity –

~ Emily Dickinson, from Delight is as the flight—



 Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up,
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like the curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

~ Sara Teasdale


    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

~ Gerard Manley Hopkins, from the poem God’s Grandeur


Sunday School, Circa 1950

“Who made you?” was always

The question

The answer was always


Well, there we stood

Three feet high

Heads bowed

Leaning into



I no longer recall

The catechism

Or brood on the Genesis

of life


I ponder the exchange


And salvage mostly

The leaning.

~ Alice Walker


    The Best Thing in the World

    WHAT’S the best thing in the world ?
    June-rose, by May-dew impearled;
    Sweet south-wind, that means no rain;
    Truth, not cruel to a friend;
    Pleasure, not in haste to end;
    Beauty, not self-decked and curled
    Till its pride is over-plain;
    Light, that never makes you wink;
    Memory, that gives no pain;
    Love, when, so, you’re loved again.
    What’s the best thing in the world ?
    — Something out of it, I think.

    ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning


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