Poems that pursue the horizon from past to present and poems created for NaPoWriMo 2017
|Like a blind spinner in the sun,
I tread my days;
I know that all the threads will run
I know each day will bring its task,
And being blind, no more I ask.
I do not know the use or name
Of that I spin:
I only know that some one came,
And laid within
My hand the thread and said "Since you
Are blind, but one thing you can do."
Sometimes the threads so rough and fast
And tangled fly,
I know wild storms are sweeping past,
And fear that I
Shall fail; but dare not try to find
A safer place, since I am blind.
I know not why, but I am sure
That tint and place,
In some great fabric to endure
Past time and race,
My threads will have; so from the first,
Through blind, I never felt accurst.
I think, perhaps, this trust has sprung
From one short word
Said over me when I was young, ---
So young , I heard
It, knowing not that God's name signed
My brow, and sealed me His, though blind.
But whether this be seal or sign
It matters not. The bind divine
I never doubt.
I know He set me here, and still,
And glad, and blind, I wait His will;
But listen, listen, day by day,
To hear their tread
Who bear the finished web away,
And cut the thread,
And bring God's message in the sun,
"Thou poor blind spinner, work is done."
Helen Hunt Jackson [1831-1885]
From: The Home Book of Verse by Burton Egbert Stevenson, 1917, pg. 3467
Day 17 -
This author had a very tragic life, losing both her husband and two children early in her young adult life. She took up the cause of Native Americans and wrote a novel "Ramona" that brought her fame. She was a classmate of Emily Dickinson at Amherst and they remained lifelong friends. This poem caught my attention because she wrote so openly about a disability that she portrays as an ability. It's not often that a poem tackles a subject like this and also because of my work in fiber arts. Here is a poem I wrote a few years ago about spinning:
You can find more about her here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/helen-hunt-jackson...
I was also fascinated by another poem with a similar theme - threads - that I found in her collection. I like this one best.
The silken threads by viewless spinners spun,
Which float so idly on the summer air,
And help to make each summer morning fair,
Shining like silver in the summer sun,
Are caught by wayward breezes, one by one,
Are blown to east and west and fastened there,
Weaving on all the roads their sudden snare.
No sign which road doth safest, freest run,
The wingèd insects know, that soar so gay
To meet their death upon each summer day.
How dare we any human deed arraign;
Attempt to recon any moment's cost;
Or any pathway trust as safe and plain
Because we see not where the threads have crossed?
Helen Hunt Jackson
Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.~~Robert Frost