Never has the nation needed the solace of a quietening, uplifting poem as we do today therefore it is very appropriate today that we take time to uplift the art of poetry.
I am reminded of great poems of encouragement and dear friends, today, most especially, we need a good dose of just that.
I have two of those quoted below:
If by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Do It Anyway by Mother Teresa
People are often unreasonable,illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and true enemies;
If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest anyway.
What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
My space is limited but I must add a few additional poems which will make your heart race and spirit billow. Just google them and enjoy:
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas
Hope Is The Thing With Feathers by Emily Dickinson
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson
Caged Bird by Maya Angelou
Yes, the encouragement poetry will bring to your life is irreplaceable.
Anne McKee is a proud, native Meridianite and Mississippi historian. She is the author of “Remembering Mississippi” and “Historic Photos of Mississippi.” Anne is primarily known as a Mississippi Storyteller and as well the Director of Rose Hill Cemetery Costumed Tour. See her website: www.annemckeestoryteller.com