As a child I was --well, a bit different from my gum-chewing, dodgeball -playing companions in grade school. I loved poetry and books and libraries (and considering they all fit one inside another, it made for a good one-stop-shop). I volunteered in my grade school library back at Fairmount Elementary School in the ummm..well, I guess it would have been the late 60's...And the librarian became a wonderful friend and a life-long mentor until she died not too long after my marriage. Her name--just to honor her here, --was Eleanor Light. And Mrs. Light would often send me home with some of the books that were too worn out or outdated to be kept in the library any longer.
There was a book, that just happened to hold the poem I've held closet to my heart ...and that book, back then, one day appeared in the discard pile that Mrs. Light handed me. Not only that, but I STILL have it.. It's called "A Magic World---an Anthology of Poetry" and was published in 1930.
So why all this ancient history? Because I thought of the poem this morning, and found that, I, who cannot remember the previously spoken sentence, can recall every word of this poem...And I thought to myself, as I sat in my dark kitchen watching a spectacular sunrise through the glass front of our home, and found myself quoting the lines of Emily Dickinson's poem, "I'll Tell you how the Sun Rose"--'How very very sad that children no longer grow up with poetry in their hearts and minds...but quote instead, entire episodes of "The Simpsons" or worse, "Family Guy."
And in honor of the soul and fading craft of poetry, and of a man who used words to paint the pictures of the world around him.: Lew Sarett.
Wind in the Pine
by Lew Sarett
Oh I can hear you, God, above the cry
Of the tossing trees--
Rolling your windy tides across the sky,
And splashing your silver seas
Over the pine,
To the water line
Of the moon.
Oh, I can hear you God,
Above the wail of the lonely loon--
When the pine-tops pitch and nod--
Chanting your melodies
Of ghostly waterfalls and avalanches,
Swashing your wind among the branches
To make them pure and white.
Wash over me God, with your piney breeze,
And your moon's wet, silver pool;
Wash over me God, with your wind and night...
And leave me clean and cool.
And just a hint: read it aloud. Feel the words in your mouth as they roll off your tongue: That's "assonance" --and no, it's not a word describing Bart Simpson. :) but it does sound as if it might, doesn't it?