Photo of Ella Wheeler Wilcox from Poems of Reflection, 1905.
This year can't be finished fast enough for me. I pray that 2018 will be better than 2017 has been, but I have my doubts.
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.
The above poem matches my mood. I used to say I was an eternal optimist, but much of that has been beaten out of me by the events of the past year. Ella Wheeler Wilcox, too, seems to have been of two minds. She also wrote a poem titled, "Optimism."
I'm no reformer; for I see more light
Than darkness in the world; mine eyes are quick
To catch the first dim radiance of the dawn,
And slow to note the cloud that threatens storm.
The fragrance and the beauty of the rose
Delight me so, slight thought I give its thorn;
And the sweet music of the lark's clear song
Stays longer with me than the night hawk's cry.
And e'en in this great throe of pain called Life,
I find a rapture linked with each despair,
Well worth the price of Anguish. I detect
More good than evil in humanity.
Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes,
And men grow better as the world grows old.
Both poems are from Poetical Works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1917.
Which poem reflected the "real" Ella? (I may have to read The Story of a Literary Career by the poet to look for clues.)
Please stop by My Juicy Little Universe where Heidi is rounding up today's poetic offerings. Here's to a 2018 where we will see "More good than evil in humanity."