Poems That Speak Volumes

Last night, before I went to bed, I was reading some poems from a book my husband has had for years entitled The Best Loved Poems of the American People.  My daughter came in the room and asked, "Why are you reading poetry?"  I briefly answered her and explained that a lot of these poems have really great messages to them.  Here are a couple that I read to her.

Drop A Pebble In The Water

Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there's little waves a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You've disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you've started them to flow.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget;
But there's little waves a-flowing, and there's ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you've stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn't believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there's gladness still a-swelling, and there's joy acirding yet,
And you've rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.

James W. Foley

 

Be the Best of Whatever You Are

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley-but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.

If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass-
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us here,
There's big work to do, and there's lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.

If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or you fail-
Be the best of whatever you are!

-Douglas Malloch

I love poetry that makes me want to strive to do better, and these two poems certainly do just that.

 
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One thought on “Poems That Speak Volumes

  1. Hi Sissy:

    I too have that book and enjoy reading poetry that inspires me to be better. One of the poems I like in that book is “The Town of Don’t You Worry”. Ever read that one. I like to read that one when I’m feeling anxious about something. It helps put things in perspective.

    Love,
    Kiki sitting by the banks of River Smile

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