liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
[personal profile] liv
The poetry meme has come round again. I missed it last time, but anyway.

This week I've been calling to mind a difficult time I went through, and how my friends looked after me at that time. PM sent me the poem I'm about to quote (and was otherwise comforting). And then NZ quoted it in a .sig when I was just thinking of it, so it obviously wants my attention.

It's not my favourite poem, and it's not an exceptionally good poem. But there's a reasonable chance people won't already know it, and it's a poem that is important to me:
A song of living

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheek like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have kissed young Love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end.
I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.
I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well.
I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I give a share of my soul to the world where my course is run.
I know that another shall finish the task I must leave undone.
I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain on the path I trod.
As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

Amelia Josephine Burr, c 1919

I can't find Burr's dates anywhere; she was born in 1878 and didn't publish anything after the 30s. So I'm not actually sure whether or not this poem is still in copyright.

It's only recently I've been able to read that without risking unreasonable grief, and I'm finding it hard to say whether that's an improvement. But anyway. I love I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend, never mind the associations it has for me, and never mind that it's in the context of rather sentimental Victorian Christianity.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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