Friday, August 1, 2008

No Children!

I've just started to pick up poetry and read it to the kids. Sometimes its as simple as Mother Goose rhymes and Shel Silverstein poetry, but recently much richer, deeper poetry has come to my attention. I've never been good at expressing myself with words so maybe that's something about poetry that I find fascinating. How beautiful and powerful language can be.

I think I'm going to have a Friday Poetry Pick from now on.

Today's is American poet Edgar Guest. I think he's the first and only poet I've memorized from. For my sixth grade graduation we had to recite one of his poems and I've just stumbled upon him again. He's not the deepest in thought, but definitely an optimist that I enjoy refreshment from.

No Children!
Edgar Guest

No children in the house to play--
It must be hard to live that way!
I wonder what the people do
When night comes on and the work is through,
With no glad little folks to shout,
No eager feet to race about,
No youthful tongues to chatter on
About the joy that's been and gone?
The house might be a castle fine,
But what a lonely place to dine!

No children in the house at all,
No fingermarks upon the wall,
No corner where the toys are piled--Sure indication of a child.
No little lips to breathe the prayer
That God shall keep you in His care,
No glad caress and welcome sweet
When night returns you to your street;
No little lips a kiss to give--
Oh, what a lonely way to live!

No children in the house! I fear
We could not stand it half a year.
What would we talk about at night,
Plan for and work with all our might,
Hold common dreams about and find
True union of heart and mind,
If we two had no greater care
Than what we both should eat and wear?
We never knew love's brightest flame
Until the day the baby came.

And now we could not get along
Without their laughter and their song.
Joy is not bottled on a shelf,
It cannot feed upon itself,
And even love, if it shall wear,
Must find its happiness in care;
Dull we'd become of mind and speech
Had we no little ones to teach.
No children in the house to play!
Oh, we could never live that way!

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