July 18, 2011

Summer Poetry Challenge: Week 8

The lullaby was a good choice for last week. Light, soft, and rhythmic, easy to get down over vacation. This week's poem:

Hold Fast Your Dreams by Louise Driscoll

Hold fast your dreams!
Within your heart
Keep one still, secret spot
Where dreams may go,
And, sheltered so,
May thrive and grow
Where doubt and fear are not.
O keep a place apart,
Within your heart,
For little dreams to go!

Think still of lovely things that are not true.
Let wish and magic work at will in you.
Be sometimes blind to sorrow. Make believe!
Forget the calm that lies
In disillusioned eyes.
Though we all know that we must die,
Yes you and I
May walk like gods and be
Even now at home in immortality.

We see so many ugly things—
Deceits and wrongs and quarrelings;
We know, alas! we know
How quickly fade
The color in the west,
The bloom upon the flower,
The bloom upon the breast
And youth's blind hour.
Yet keep within your heart
A place apart
Where little dreams may go,
May thrive and grow.
Hold fast—hold fast your dreams!

Waiting this long for publication (close to 3 years since my first book was accepted) brings with it a lot of different emotions. Impatience, anticipation, self-doubt, confidence, excitement, questioning reality, hope, facing looks of doubt in the eyes of others as time goes on, clinging to words of encouragement. I'm still holding fast--with both hands.

July 10, 2011

Summer Poetry Challenge: What Week Is this?

I've been on blog hiatus, and will be this coming week as well. But I wanted to check in to share some news and present this week's Summer Poetry Challenge poem. Yes, I skipped a week. I am not ashamed. We were having fun with family. BUT this week, I am going to memorize something that takes me back a few years. My oldest kids are well into their teens, but when they were tiny I read them lots of books. One of these was an illustrated version of the poem, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, by Eugene Field. They loved the sing-song rhythm of it and the dreamy, fantastical imagery and I often wondered if I could memorize it. But I never tried. Until now.

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Dutch Lullaby)
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
   Sailed off in a wooden shoe---
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
   Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
   The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
   That live in this beautiful sea;
   Nets of silver and gold have we!"
                     Said Wynken,
                     And Nod.
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
   As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
   Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
   That lived in that beautiful sea---
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish---
   Never afeard are we";
   So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
                     And Nod.
All night long their nets they threw
   To the stars in the twinkling foam---
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
   Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
   As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
   Of sailing that beautiful sea---
   But I shall name you the fishermen three:
                     And Nod.
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
   And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
   Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
   Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
   As you rock in the misty sea,
   Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
                     And Nod.

I received some happy news from my editor at Covenant. I was invited to submit an entry for their annual True Christmas Stories novella, and my submission was accepted! It's a little scary, putting out a true story about such an emotional time of year, with so many meanings for so many people. But the story I submitted is a small piece of one I hoped to share with my readers anyway, somehow, so this is my chance. I am so excited! I'll share more information about it when I know more. It will be out this Christmas!

Have a beautiful week. I'll be playing in the water, enjoying my family, reading, and editing. Perfect.
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