who did i marry?

ok, so we are eating dinner the other night, adam, rosie, and me and rosie is talking about sailing at camp rez (yes, they learn how to sail there, how cool is that?) and adam busts out with these lines...

“One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.”

this is the ONLY TIME in 24 years of knowing him that he has quoted POETRY. WHO IS HE????????

when i asked him about it, he said it was by john donne. which OF COURSE i knew was wrong. because I KNOW POETRY and i even have a john donne poem memorized (death, be not proud and i had just finished memorizing it when my mother had her stroke. every time i came home from the hospice house and took a shower, the laminated copy of “death, be not proud” was hanging in the shower and i would recite it loud and proud as i washed off the hospital smell. it was so cathartic). 

anyway, i KNOW JOHN DONNE and adam’s poetry recitation was NOT john donne...

i googled it and found it was by ella wheeler wilcox, who of course as we ALL know wrote the famous lines “smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone”. come on, i knew that, didn’t you?

so... back to the fact that I DO NOT KNOW MY HUSBAND AT ALL and the issue that he has been hiding his ONE memorized poem from me even though the kids and i memorize poetry ALL of the time. he has never commented on his ONE memorized poem through all of our dinner time poetry recitations when the kids and i would practice our poem “de jour”. 

why would he be hiding this from us? i really don’t think i know who he is anymore now that he has a MEMORIZED POEM in his repertoire.... but i do kind of like that he had a secret memorized poem. what else is he keeping from me? he is kind of like james bond... a poetic james bond... a secret rhyming spy... really it is kind of sexy...

here is the whole poem and yes, i will be choosing it as our next poem to memorize AS A FAMILY THIS TIME (and adam can’t complain because he has a head start)...

'Tis the Set of the Sail -- or  -- One Ship Sails East
Ella Wheeler Wilcox 
But to every mind there openeth,
A way, and way, and away,
A high soul climbs the highway,
And the low soul gropes the low,
And in between on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth, 
A high way and a low,
And every mind decideth,
The way his soul shall go.
One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
'Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

here are the other poems that we have memorized through the years (we like to have laminated copy of the poem we are working on hanging in the shower. the shower is a GREAT place to practice reciting poetry, no one can really hear you over the sound of the water)...

The Vulture
~Hilaire Belloc
The Vulture eats between his meals
And that's the reason why
He very, very rarely feels
As well as you and I.
His eye is dull, his head is bald,
His neck is growing thinner.
Oh! what a lesson for us all
To only eat at dinner!

Almost Perfect by Shel Silverstein
"Almost perfect... but not quite." 
Those were the words of Mary Hume 
At her seventh birthday party, 
Looking 'round the ribboned room. 
"This tablecloth is pink not white-- 
Almost perfect... but not quite."
"Almost perfect... but not quite." 
Those were the words of grown-up Mary 
Talking about her handsome beau, 
The one she wasn't gonna marry. 
"Squeezes me a bit too tight-- 
Almost perfect... but not quite."
"Almost perfect... but not quite." 
Those were the words of ol' Miss Hume 
Teaching in the seventh grade, 
Grading papers in the gloom 
Late at night up in her room. 
"They never cross their t's just right-- 
Almost perfect... but not quite."
Ninety-eight the day she died 
Complainin' 'bout the spotless floor. 
People shook their heads and sighed, 
"Guess that she'll like heaven more." 
Up went her soul on feathered wings, 
Out the door, up out of sight. 
Another voice from heaven came-- 
"Almost perfect... but not quite."

I Never Saw A Moor by Emily Dickinson
I never saw a moor, 
I never saw the sea; 
Yet know I how the heather looks, 
And what a wave must be.
I never spoke with God, 
Nor visited in heaven; 
Yet certain am I of the spot 
As if the chart were given.

Perseverance  by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We must not hope to be mowers,
And to gather the ripe gold ears,
Unless we have first been sowers
And watered the furrows with tears.

It is not just as we take it,
This mystical world of ours,
Life's field will yield as we make it
A harvest of thorns or of flowers.

Up-Hill by Christina Rossetti (my favorite poet)
Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
  Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
  From morn to night, my friend.
But is there for the night a resting-place?
  A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
  You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
  Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
  They will not keep you standing at that door.
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
  Of labor you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
  Yea, beds for all who come.

Success by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The mighty pyramids of stone
That wedge-like cleave the desert airs,
When nearer seen, and better known,
Are but gigantic flights of stairs.
The distant mountains, that uprear
Their solid bastions to the skies,
Are crossed by pathways, that appear
As we to higher levels rise.
The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.

The Weaver

(i found a copy of this poem on a well handled little piece of paper when i was cleaning out a box of items from my grandmother’s house and i love thinking about her reading these lines over and over as she faced several tragedies in her lifetime)

My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.
Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.