I’ve had a somewhat challenging day emotionally. The challenge for me is to try to keep life and it’s lessons in perspective. It’s so easy to complain when things go wrong. I really would love to have the kind of attitude that tries to see the best in every situation.
I love poetry and this is one of my favourites. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
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!
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barret Browning
This is such a beautiful piece of poetry. Now I’ve had this habit for as long as I can remember where I just randomly ask my husband to tell me not why but how much he loves me. The results are always amusing and I think it’s mainly because I don’t give him time to make up ideal answers. His latest response was more than apples! Apples? Really? He doesn’t even like apples.
My plan is to print a copy of this poem and hopefully he’ll recite it to me and I’ll pretend I’ve never heard it before! Sounds like a winning formula to me.
Now anybody who knows me really well will know that I love poetry! As long as I can remember it has been the case. I am particularly fond of Shakespeare’s work. So when I had the opportunity to join a poetry session with a city arts project based on our trip to the market recently I was really excited. In my mind I had visions of brainstorming and ground breaking ideas. Sadly it all started and stayed in my mind.
The poets arrived with most of the work complete and our little group made up of four moms basically had to record the humongous poem to be transcribed at a later date. It started off quite shaky but at some point I realised that being serious and fed up was hardly the way forward. So after two hours of chanting rhyming lines the less than challenging session came to an end.
At this point I feel like I should say what the experience meant to me in a deep and meaningful way…that’s not going to happen!