Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Lesson

    Sorry, folks...only the "Random" today...not so much the "Shallow". The PBA are reading Dunbar's works for their poetry this trimester. I was recently struck by this poem in particular. So applicable all the time, but especially during this time of year and I felt compelled to share it with you, my expansive readership (see, that's funny because there are only a handful of you...but I appreciate you all more than you know!)

    May God bless you by this poet's words.

    MY cot was down by a cypress grove,
    And I sat by my window the whole night long,
    And heard well up from the deep dark wood
    A mocking-bird's passionate song.

    And I thought of myself so sad and lone,
    And my life's cold winter that knew no spring;
    Of my mind so weary and sick and wild,
    Of my heart too sad to sing.

    But e'en as I listened the mock-bird's song,
    A thought stole into my saddened heart,
    And I said, "I can cheer some other soul
    By a carol's simple art."

    For oft from the darkness of hearts and lives
    Come songs that brim with joy and light,
    As out of the gloom of the cypress grove
    The mocking-bird sings at night.

    So I sang a lay for a brother's ear
    In a strain to soothe his bleeding heart,
    And he smiled at the sound of my voice and lyre,
    Though mine was a feeble art.

    But at his smile I smiled in turn,
    And into my soul there came a ray:
    In trying to soothe another's woes
    Mine own had passed away.
     - Paul Laurence Dunbar


  1. I am normally not sophisticated enough to understand poetry, but this I get. It is amazing how thinking and doing for others pulls us out of our own funks of sadness. (That is what it's talking about, right?)

    1. Yes that's how I interpret it! And no, I am not usually a big poetry fan myself, but this I like. :) I think he is exactly right...wish I could be mindful of this more often than I am!