When I was a child, I loved to read. From the time I was ten to the age of fifteen, I had gone through two entire libraries reading all the books of poetry I could find. I wrote a lot of them down, the paper so old now it is starting to crumble as I read them. I liked poems because they sang, and they spoke to a soul that had been closed off to the light for a long period of time. They spoke of emotions locked up inside me that had never seen the light of day. They transported me to wonderful magical places, far away from my drab existence. Most of all, they opened my eyes to beauty, truth, love, joy, sorrow, goodness, faith and hope. Famous poets shaped my value system, my perception of the world. I lived and I breathed poetry, often seeing the words dance across the windows of my mind before I fell asleep. I wrote poetry at the age of ten and have written it for most of my life.
When my son was born, I read to him from the great masters, and he loved poetry as well. He became a poet for a time. The following poem is one of my most favorite. I read it to my son a thousand times at least. It still thrills me to read it and gives me a feeling of tranquility. ( I dedicate this post to one of the kindest souls I know.) Yu/stan/kema
THE DAY IS DONE
The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist:
And a feeling of sadness comes over me,
That my soul cannot resist.
A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.
Come read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the barbs sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.
For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life’s endless toil and endeavor;
And tonight I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;
Who through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have the power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice;
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW