Friday, April 20, 2012

Lovely Things.

Over spring break I read poetry. I pulled my mom's anthologies off the shelf and sprawled on my bed in the afternoon sun and read. I read Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, a little Poe, some Wordsworth, and Carl Sanburg. As I was flipping through the pages a little blue paper fell out with Sara Teasdale's "Barter" written in swirling cursive. My high school English teacher my senior year had written out this poem, made copies and given it to us near the end of school one spring day. I remember she talked a bit about it, reminding us to hold onto beauty, to hold onto beauty even when life grows difficult and taints or perspective of beauty and truth. Lying on my bed in the sunshine, safe at home, away from work, it was easy to see the lovely things in life -- sleeping late and drinking coffee, afternoon trail runs, evenings with friends, mom's homemade meals. But coming back to school and student teaching days, working most evenings, has made it difficult to remember Sara Teasdale's words that "life has lovliness to sell." This week as the days grow longer and people spend more time outdoors, I've tried to remember to look for and appreciate the lovliness. Lovliness like driving down winding highway 60 to have pizza with a friend, running through town as the sun begins to set, seeing the trees grow a deeper and deeper green, and watching the fog burn away as  I drive to school each morning. These small moments remind me to give all I am "for one white singing hour of peace."


Life has loveliness to sell,

All beautiful and splendid things,

Blue waves whitened on a cliff,

Soaring fire that sways and sings,

And children's faces looking up,

Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,

Music like the curve of gold,

Scent of pine trees in the rain,

Eyes that love you, arms that hold,

And for your spirit's still delight,

Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,

Buy it and never count the cost;

For one white singing hour of peace

Count many a year of strife well lost,

And for a breath of ecstasy

Give all you have been, or could be.

-Sara Teasdale

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