Children being our living poems – by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (May 2015)

Susan’s Thursday morning note May 28, 2015
Poem on children being our living poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Good morning!  Strong coffee needed this morning.  Little fly joining me pacing up and down the windowpane trying to see what I’m writing.  Fat cat with memories of the night I can only imagine he experienced tormenting his moles.  Hodgepodge bouquet cut with fat little toddler fingers wilting next to me as I hold onto a beautiful moment…always hard to let go of and throw away.  Feeling that I’m throwing away something magical.  My angel of dawn has arrived outside my window looking in this morning.  Beckoning me to enter this day.  Reminding me with her gentle eyes to look up to the heavens and down to the details of the blooms to continually find beauty in life.  Beauty as little children see immediately.  This week I read a poem by Henry Longfellow on children.  Children being our living poems.  My new favorite poem (grin)…to be placed on my refrigerator to remind me to find the eyes of a child to bring my mind back to what is beautiful..

Children by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Come to me, O ye children!
  For I hear you at your play,
And the questions that perplexed me
  Have vanished quite away. 

Ye open the eastern windows,
  That look towards the sun,
Where thoughts are singing swallows
  And the brooks of morning run. 

In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,
  In your thoughts the brooklet's flow,
But in mine is the wind of Autumn
  And the first fall of the snow. 

Ah! what would the world be to us
  If the children were no more?
We should dread the desert behind us
  Worse than the dark before. 

What the leaves are to the forest,
  With light and air for food,
Ere their sweet and tender juices
  Have been hardened into wood,-- 

That to the world are children;
  Through them it feels the glow
Of a brighter and sunnier climate
  Than reaches the trunks below. 

Come to me, O ye children!
  And whisper in my ear
What the birds and the winds are singing
  In your sunny atmosphere. 

For what are all our contrivings,
  And the wisdom of our books,
When compared with your caresses,
  And the gladness of your looks? 

Ye are better than all the ballads
  That ever were sung or said;
For ye are living poems,
  And all the rest are dead.

What would the world be to us if the children were no more…what are all our contrivings…ye are the living poems…how beautiful.  Thank you for letting me enter your world again this Thursday morning.  Our sand is passing today through our sand-timers.  Constantly moving.  We can’t stop any sand, but we can remember that only one grain can pass at a time.  Can we mentally stop to see the little grains as they pass?  To hold a moment in our minds?  Can we see the children?  If no children, can we picture scenes of children looking into our eyes.  Children becoming our poetry.  Our live poetry.  Tonight we will have the chance to write the moments we will be handed today.  Will we have moments worthy of inscription in stone?  Will we notice the heavens?  Notice the blossoms.  Notice the leaf quivering.  Notice eyes.  Notice birds and winds singing in our children’s worlds. 

Have a beautiful end of the week.   Let those birds and winds sing for us.  Children immediately look to the heavens.  One glance and the peace that passes the understanding of anyone observing will be given to us.  A promise.  Thank you for letting me have this store for all of us.  I hope you can enter our world soon.  A few moments of reprieve from your own life as we hand you coffee, smiles, and give you the chance to surround yourself with authors who have written for you.  Possibly centuries ago.  Possibly last year.  Written to possibly change your life when you walk out of our door.  Susan  Come to me, O ye children!  For I hear you at your play,  And the questions that perplexed me,  Have vanished quite away…

Latin for this week:
respice adimendum orbem terrarum cum pueri oculus – look at the world with a child’s eye
pueri visum – child’s view
vive ut vivas – live soo that you may live
alis grave nil – nothing is heavy to those who have wings
pulchrum est paucorum hominum – beauty is for the few
pueri prospectu – child’s perspective