by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let me go where'er I will,
I hear a sky-born music still:
It sounds from all things old,
It sounds from all things young,
From all that's fair, from all that's foul,
Peals out a cheerful song.
It is not only in the rose,
It is not only in the bird,
Not only where the rainbow glows,
Nor in the song of woman heard,
But in the darkest, meanest things
There alway, alway something sings.
'T is not in the high stars alone,
Nor in the cup of budding flowers,
Nor in the redbreast's mellow tone,
Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,
But in the mud and scum of things
There alway, alway something sings.
I also adore Robert Burns, Walt Whitman, John Keats, Browning, Blake, Thoreau, and Emily Dickinson. I can still also remember the first stanzas of Keats' "Ode to a Grecian Urn" (amongst many others):
THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair! "
There are so many poets I adore, and I feel an innate connection with their words and thoughts. Perhaps I am attracted and drawn to the lilt and cadence that the musical conjoining of words offers; perhaps I am lured by the somehow mystical and mysterious way that a poem can capture the essence of a feeling or idea in many ways with more power and passion than the mere words can in an unstructured format. In any case, I have always loved, and been fascinated by, words and especially poetry. These masters at word-craft are amongst my heroes, and I often turn and return to the poems I know and cherish, and last night was spent opening many books I have collected of such treasures, and contemplating life and all its glories in my sanctuary- my bedroom with a "reading room", furnished with my dear Mother's antiques which I inherited last year. I feel safe here, protected, nourished by richness of literature and experience, and very very close to my parents here as I ponder and let stillness envelop me.
A beautiful evening, quiet and cherished. I will leave you now with a couple more of my favorite Emerson quotes. I may continue this theme over the next few days with my particular favorites from different poets, as last night was such a balm to the soul.
Thanks for reading if you bothered to get this far- I am very "wordy" at times, but I love to read, write, and share. Typical "artist" I guess, but...well, yes, that IS me, and I am the happier for it.
“Wherever snow falls, or water flows, or birds fly, wherever day and night meet in twilight, wherever the blue heaven is hung by clouds, or sown with stars, wherever are forms with transparent boundaries, wherever are outlets into celestial space, wherever is danger, and awe, and love, there is Beauty, plenteous as rain, shed for thee, and though thou shouldest walk the world over, thou shalt not be able to find a condition inopportune or ignoble.”
“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson