Two Very Different Poems

32. Rewrite: Take any poem or short story you enjoy. Rewrite it in your own words.

I’ve cycled nearly 24km today hauling 13.5kg of kid in a trailer. Then we came home to make the boys pizzas. I’m bushed.

So instead of rewriting, I will simply reproduce here (probably illegally) two of my favorite poems, and just say a couple of words about why I love them.

Oh the thumb-sucker’s thumb
May be wrinkled and wet,
And withered and white as the snow.
But the taste of a thumb
Is the sweetest taste yet
(As only we thumb-suckers know).

~Shel Silverstein

This poem is absolute perfection. The meter, the length, the rhyme, and the punchline. I like to imagine my nearly three-year-old thumb-sucker would agree that Silverstein has hit the nail right on the head.

The following poem is about faith. Emily Brontë was arguably the weirdest of the three Brontë sisters, and the most reclusive.

I have read that she was deeply shy, and was mortified when her (rather overbearing) older sister Charlotte discovered this poem among her papers and published it without her prior knowledge or consent.

I’m glad Charlotte overstepped, though. Here’s why.

After my mother’s death in 2017, my father sat down at the family computer to start pulling himself and some administrative things together. My mother was the main user of the desktop computer. When he opened the web browser, he found this poem open in it.

Read it, and you’ll understand why it gave us such comfort. We knew then that she had not been afraid.

No coward soul is mine
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere
I see Heaven’s glories shine
And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear

O God within my breast
Almighty ever-present Deity
Life, that in me hast rest,
As I Undying Life, have power in Thee

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men’s hearts, unutterably vain,
Worthless as withered weeds
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by thy infinity,
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of Immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy spirit animates eternal years
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears

Though earth and moon were gone
And suns and universes ceased to be
And Thou wert left alone
Every Existence would exist in thee

There is not room for Death
Nor atom that his might could render void
Since thou art Being and Breath
And what thou art may never be destroyed.

~Emily Brontë


The Brain In Jane works mainly in the rain. It's always raining somewhere. Find me on Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

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