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RHYTHM AND RHYME
FOR A LIFE SUBLIME

 

HEDWIG LEWIS SJ

 

Life has its own RHYTHM :
Dancing to it 
brings harmony and joy.

For information regarding this book CLICK HERE

 

Foreword

"Isn’t poetry difficult? Doesn’t poetry call for special interpretation?" These are the questions generally raised by those who had to struggle with their poetry texts in school or college.

If you happen to be a diffident reader of poetry, be at ease! The poems in this book can be understood at first reading. They have been specifically selected, not for purposes of textual ‘study’, nor to provide aesthetic pleasure for the literary-minded, but for their straightforward and impressive ideas. The ‘poets’ in this selection make it obvious that they are conscious of the power and effectiveness of words. Their compositions make an instant impact on the mind and heart of the reader. Each poem bears an inspirational message and supplies abundant ‘food for thought’.

The poems were found not in anthologies or textbooks, but in a variety of sources: magazines, newspapers, parish bulletins, greeting cards.... Most of them are by "anonymous" writers.

Rhythm and Rhyme For A Life Sublime has two sections. The first contains poems related to various aspects of life, with the themes arranged alphabetically. The second contains poems with a religious dimension.

The reader may want to read through the entire book at her or his own pace, reflectively, and mark those poems that have special appeal and which can be referred to again on specific occasions, in particular circumstances, to satisfy certain moods, or for general refreshment.

The poems can also be displayed on the bulletin boards of schools, colleges, institutions, parishes, Religious communities.... They can be used as discussion resources at ‘camps’, growth-labs, classrooms.... They can be used as fillers for magazines....

Thomas Carlyle noted that "A vein of poetry exists in the hearts of all men (and women)." May the poems in this book, like an intravenous blood-transfusion, swell that vein, and may their ‘dose’ of inspiration transform your whole being, so that you find ‘rhythm and rhyme’ in all that you say and do, and make your life truly sublime.

RANDOM SAMPLES

AFFIRMATION

I've dreamed many dreams that never came true.
I've seen them vanish at dawn.
But I've realized enough of my dreams, Thank God,
To make me want to dream on.

I've prayed many prayers, when no answers came,
Though I waited patient and long.
But answers came to enough of my prayers
To make me keeping praying on.

I've trusted many a friend that failed
And left me to weep alone,
But I've found enough of my friends true blue
To make me keep trusting on.

I've sown many seeds that fell by the way
For the birds to feed upon,
But I have held enough golden sheaves in my hands
To make me keeping sowing on.

I've drained the cup of disappointment and pain
And gone many days without song,
But I've sipped enough nectar from the roses of life
To make me want to live on.

                                -
Anonymous

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
And think you’re a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end.
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

***

If I knew you and you knew me –
If both of us could clearly see,
And with an inner sight divine
The meaning of your heart and mind –
I’m sure that we would differ less
And clasp our hands in friendliness;
Our thoughts would pleasantly agree
If I knew you and you knew me.

                  - Nixon Waterman

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.

I would be a friend of all – the poor, the friendless;
I would be giving and forget the gifts;
I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
I would look up – and laugh – and love – and lift.

                - Howard Arnold Walter

I am always here to understand you
I am always here to laugh with you
I am always here to cry with you
I am always here to talk to you
I am always here to think with you
I am always here to plan with you
Even though we might not always be together
please know that I am always here to love you

                  -  Susan Polis Schutz

ATTITUDES

Outside my window, a new day I see,
And only I can determine what kind of day it will be.
It can be busy and sunny, laughing and gay,
Or boring and cold, unhappy and grey.

My own state of mind is the determining key,
For I am only the person I let myself be.
I can be thoughtful and do all I can to help,
Or be selfish and think just of myself.

I can enjoy what I do and make it seem fun,
Or gripe and complain and make it hard on someone.
I can be patient with those who may not understand
Or belittle and hurt them as much as I can.

But I have faith in myself, and believe what I say
And I personally intend to make the most of each day.

***

Build for yourself a strongbox,
Fashion each part with care;
When it’s strong as your hand can make it,
Put all your troubles there;
Hide there all thought of your failures,
And each bitter cup that you quaff;
Lock all your heartaches within it,
Then sit on the lid and laugh.

                 Butha Adams Backus

So brief a time we have to stay
Along this dear, familiar way;
Should we not kind and tender be
To those who walk with you and me?

The hands that serve us everyday,
Should we not help them while we may?
They are so frail that none can know
How soon those hands from us must go.
The heart that loves us, at the best
Must soon be laid away to rest;
Then might we not their faults forgive?
And make them happy while they live?

The feet that walk beside us here,
So soon must find the crossing near;
Why should we pause to blame the pace
At which our brother runs the race?

So man, faults in life there are,
We need not go to seek them far;
But time is short, and you and I
Might let the little faults go by...

And spend the hours of life’s brief day
In helping all that come our way,
And just be tender, true and kind
With all the little faults we find.

To live as gently as I can;
To be, no matter where, a man;
To take what comes of good or ill
And cling to faith and honour still;
To do my best, and let that stand
The record of my brain and hand;
And then, should failure come to me,
Still work and hope for victory.

To have no secret place wherein
I stop unseen to shame or sin;
To be the same when I'm alone
As when my every deed is known;
To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretence or sham
Exactly what men think I am.

To leave some simple mark behind
To keep my having lived in mind;
If enmity to aught I show,
To be an honest, generous foe,
To play my little part, nor whine
That greater honours are not mine.
This, I believe, is all I need
For my philosophy and creed.
                - Edgar Guest

It’s silence when your words would hurt;
It's patience when your neighbour’s curt;
It’s deafness when a scandal flows;
It's thoughtfulness for other’s woes;
It’s promptness when stern duty calls;
It’s courage when misfortune falls.

BLESSINGS

Today upon a bus, I saw 
a lovely maid with golden hair;
I envied her – she seemed so gay –
and wished I were as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle;
She had one foot and wore a crutch,
but as she passed, a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two feet – the world is mine!

And then I stopped to buy some sweets.
The lad who sold them had such charm,
I talked with him – he said to me:
"It’s nice to talk with folks like you.
You see," he said, " I'm blind."
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two eyes – the world is mine!

Then, walking down the street, 
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play;
It seemed he knew not what to do.
I stopped for a moment, then I said:
"Why don’t you join the others, dear?" 
He looked ahead without a word,
and then I knew he could not hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two ears – the world is mine!

With feet to take me where I’d go,
With eyes to see the sunset’s glow,
With ears to hear what I would know,
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I’m blessed, indeed! The world is mine.

Perspectives

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This is a collection of poems, the type of poems that you can grasp on a first or second reading. These are poems about life with messages which enable the reader to gain an insight which otherwise he/she may miss.... The poems are collected into two sections. The first contains poems which respond to many common situations in ordinary daily life and are full of human wisdom. The other group has more religious poems which are gathered under the heading Transcending Life. Most of these are not specifically Christian. How would a person use this book? I would suggest going through it over some days and just marking the poems which appeal and go back to them at other times. This book can be used in schools at assemblies or for bulleting boards or at times in classroom situations. ... A very helpful collection for many people. The poems may stir you, open up a new way of looking at a situation, challenge and console.   Vidyajoyti, March 2001

This book is a collection of inspirational poems that can be understood at first reading. They have been carefully selected. Each poem possesses a power that impacts the mind and heart and an in-depth message that provided  ample ‘food for thought.’

The poems are not meant for  textual ‘study’ but for reflective reading. There are poems on various themes of life and religion.

The reader may go through the entire book at his or her own pace, reflectively, and select those poems that have special appeal. These can be referred to again on specific occasions, in particular circumstances, to satisfy certain moods, or for general refreshment.

The book contains a rich source of material for display on bulletin boards in schools, colleges, religious institutions and communities, or for discussion purposes in classrooms and growth-labs. (From the Back Cover)

 

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