Did you read the recent Nobel Prize winner’s poems in the newspaper? I read them once, scratched my head, and didn’t expend the energy to puzzle them out.  I guess Shel Silverstein is the poet for me. Anyway. . . I went to a lecture recently and discovered a new-to-me poet, William Ernest Henley (British, died 1903), who is, as they say, accessible.

Before I give you the verse that reverberated with me, I’ll remind you of the first stanza from Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.

Do not go gentle into that good night, 
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Well, that’s one way to face death, fiercely resistant and defiant. It makes me tired, though. I mean, you’re going to die, definitely, and wouldn’t it be nice to be at peace when it’s time?  So here’s the stanza I liked from Henley’s “A Late Lark Twitters from the Quiet Skies.”

So be my passing!

My task accomplished and the long day done,

My wages taken and in my heart

Some late lark singing,

Let me be gathered to the quiet west,

The sundown splendid and serene,


That I like. Comforting, wise, appealing.

Now, for something completely different, though it too is about death. “I hope I go like my grandfather, quietly and peacefully. Not like all those screaming, panicked people in the car with him.”

About glcraig

Gretchen Craig’s lush, sweeping tales deliver edgy, compelling characters who test the boundaries of integrity, strength, and love. Told with sensitivity, the novels realistically portray the raw suffering of people in times of great upheaval. Gretchen was born and raised in Florida. She’s lived in climates and terrain as diverse as the white beaches of the Gulf Coast, the rocky shores of Maine, and the dusty plains of Texas. Her awareness of place imbues every page with the smell of the bayous of Louisiana, the taste of gumbo in New Orleans, or the grit of a desert storm. Rich in compelling characters and historical detail, Always and Forever is a sweeping saga of Josie and Cleo, mistress and slave. Amid Cajuns and Creoles, the bonds between these two remarkable women are tested by prejudice, tragedy, and passion for one extraordinary man. Gretchen’s first novel won the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence for Mainstream with Romantic Elements and was chosen as an Editor’s Pick in the Historical Novel Society reviews. Ever My Love, winner of the Booksellers Best Award from the Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America, continues the story of Cleo and Josie’s families, of their struggle for principle, justice, and love in a world where the underpinnings of the plantation culture are crumbling. Crimson Sky, inspired by the pueblos, mountains, and deserts of New Mexico, evokes the lives of people facing neighboring marauders and drought. Now the march of Spanish Conquistadors up the Rio Grande threatens their homeland, their culture, and their entire belief system.
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