Today is National Poetry Day. Hurray! It’s the sort of thing that gives me hope for humanity.
Only problem is, I don’t have a favorite poem. I have something like forty. All I can say is go read Shakespeare, Kipling, Wordsworth, and Longfellow. Or the multitude of fine poems being published daily on blogs.
But I wanted a poem that writers could relate to, and I wanted one by a woman. And I don’t really like Emily Dickinson or Elizabeth Browning that much. I hope this one suits.
Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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 of 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 nectared 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 long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
I wanted to post this one since writers are prone to depression. What we do is extremely difficult at times, and it’s easy to despair. But even if you feel utterly alone, please know that I and many others are with you in spirit, as feeble a comfort as that may be.