Thursday, May 14, 2020

Poetry Friday: Store My Soul with Beauty

This poem was in the Academy of American Poets poem-a-day email back in March. I love the idea in it of storing up beauty so that you can experience it later when beauty is scarce.

I wouldn't exactly say beauty is scarce right now - there's still plenty to be found at home if I look closely - but I do miss the variety of beauty I generally get to experience, beauty of plants and people and moments.

The Days to Come
by Medora C. Addison

Now shall I store my soul with silent beauty,
Beauty of drifting clouds and mountain heights,
Beauty of sun-splashed hills and shadowed forests,
Beauty of dawn and dusk and star-swept nights.

Now shall I fill my heart with quiet music,
Song of the wind across the pine-clad hill,
Song of the rain and, fairer than all music,
Call of the thrush when twilight woods are still.

So shall the days to come be filled with beauty,
Bright with the promise caught from eastern skies;
So shall I see the stars when night is darkest,
Still hear the thrush's song when music dies.

I've been thinking a lot about a trip we took in December when my daughter was visiting. We wanted to drive to Jacmel, in the south, because we usually do that for a few days after Christmas, and we missed in 2018 because of political troubles. We didn't want to miss again, even though in 2019 there were still political troubles. We decided to go. And I'm so glad we did! I have been feasting on those beautiful scenes, in memory and photography, during these days of being locked inside my gates.

I'm blessed to have so many trips, conversations, experiences, all in my memory, ready to revisit when I need to.

In 2012 I wrote a post with a similar idea, about Wordsworth and Tintern Abbey and the Kentucky woods. And, in a somewhat related idea, last week I wrote about how good stories help to protect us from times like these.

Jama has this week's roundup.


Linda B said...

Yes, storing up so we can feast on them when needed is our medicine right now, Ruth. I'm happy to hear about your trip, remember you posting about it! "So shall I see the stars when night is darkest," Thanks for this lovely poem.

Janice Scully said...

Everyday we have to notice the beautiful things because we will need them later. Thanks for sharing this lovely poem.

jama said...

What a beautiful poem! I do love its premise. With memory and imagination, we have the power to summon good in times of bad.

Linda Mitchell said...

What a beautiful photo. I can see why you would be feasting on those stored up memories. I miss traveling! But, I have my health so it's ok.

Jone said...

We need beauty during this surreal time. Thank you for sharing.

Mary Lee said...

Storing up and SHORING up. That's what poems and memories can do for us...

laurasalas said...

I so rarely regret a trip taken, and this is exactly why. Those stored memories are just like fruit preserve you put up for winter. Love that analogy. Linda Mitchell (I think it was her) has a post today with a poem called Blue Preserve or something like that on exactly this topic!

Karen Eastlund said...

Beautiful poem and photo. Reminds me of the picture book by Leo Lionni: Frederick.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

A few years ago, a theatre group from Jacmel came to my daughter's school and we did a group project with them, incorporating art and poetry. It was such a wonderful, unifying experience. Thanks for bringing back that beautiful memory for me.

Sally Murphy said...

This a perfect poem for the times Ruth. Like you I am still finding plenty of beauty but that image of storing it up is so apt.

Carol Varsalona said...

Ruth, thank you for the poem: Song of the rain and, fairer than all music,
Call of the thrush when twilight woods are still.
Nature is healer is what I wrote about this week. The poem you shared supplies that feeling of calm that soothes souls. I am glad that you have your memories stored up.