S2 E14 Go Give the World

Welcome to my reading room!

My sister, Sarah, joined me for poetry recitation in the afternoon in a summer garden. She chose a poem by Otto Leland Bohanan “Go Give the World”.

According to LibriVox, “Otto Leland Bohanan was an African-American poet, composer, and singer. Born in Washington, DC, he graduated from Howard University and taught English at the Catholic University. At the time of his death he was a music teacher for DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City and was on the brink of achieving his life’s ambition of entering the concert field.”

Go Give the World

by Otto Leland Bohanan (1895 – 1932)

I do not crave to have thee mine alone, dear
Keeping thy charms within my jealous sight;
Go, give the world the blessing of thy beauty,
That other hearts may share of my delight!b

I do not ask, thy love should be mine only
While others falter through the dreary night;
Go, kiss the tears from some wayfarer’s vision,
That other eyes may know the joy of light!

Where days are sad and skies are hung with darkness,
Go, send a smile that sunshine may be rife;
Go, give a song, a word of kindly greeting,
To ease the sorrow of some lonely life!

Recitation by Sarah Ahmadi

Go Give the World by Otto Leland Bohanan Rebecca's Reading Room

S2 E:13 Seeking For Happiness By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Humanity has long searched for the secret of happiness.

We want to feel the warmth of happiness surround us and have sought after this desired state of being. In her poem, “Seeking for Happiness”, Ella Wheeler Wilcox gives her thoughts on how we can seek happiness.

Please join me virtually on Burnaby Mountain, Simon Fraser University campus to recite, “Seeking for Happiness” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Seeking For Happiness

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Seeking for happiness we must go slowly;
The road leads not down avenues of haste;
But often gently winds through by ways lowly,
Whose hidden pleasures are serene and chaste
Seeking for happiness we must take heed
Of simple joys that are not found in speed.

Eager for noon-time's large effulgent splendour,
Too oft we miss the beauty of the dawn,
Which tiptoes by us, evanescent, tender,
Its pure delights unrecognised till gone.
Seeking for happiness we needs must care
For all the little things that make life fair.

Dreaming of future pleasures and achievements
We must not let to-day starve at our door;
Nor wait till after losses and bereavements
Before we count the riches in our store.
Seeking for happiness we must prize this -
Not what will be, or was, but that which IS.

In simple pathways hand in hand with duty
(With faith and love, too, ever at her side),
May happiness be met in all her beauty
The while we search for her both far and wide.
Seeking for happiness we find the way
Doing the things we ought to do each day.

Seeking For Happiness By Ella Wheeler Wilcox Rebecca's Reading Room

For more poems and a short biography on Ella Wheeler Wilcox, I invite you to visit The Poetry Foundation.

S2 E12: The Spring Has Many Silences by Laura Riding Jackson

I am on location on Burnaby Mountain, Simon Fraser University Campus. Spring will soon turn into summer. The Spring Has Many Silences by Laura Riding Jackson is a wonderful way to say thank you to a season that awakens the earth.

Please join me in reciting “The Spring has Many Silences”

The Spring Has Many Silences

by Laura Riding Jackson

The spring has many sounds:
Roller skates grind the pavement to noisy dust.
Birds chop the still air into small melodies.
The wind forgets to be the weather for a time
And whispers old advice for summer.
The sea stretches itself
And gently creaks and cracks its bones….

The spring has many silences:
Buds are mysteriously unbound
With a discreet significance,
And buds say nothing.

There are things that even the wind will not betray.
Earth puts her finger to her lips
And muffles there her quiet, quick activity….

Do not wonder at me
That I am hushed
This April night beside you.

The spring has many silences.

Born in 1901, the poet Laura Riding Jackson authored many books of poetry and prose. For more information on Laura Riding Jackson, please visit Poets.org, the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in public domain. “The Spring Has Many Silences” first appeared in the Lyric V, no. 4 (April, 1925).

Photography and recitation by Rebecca Budd

Music by Johannes Bornlöf “Ethos” #EpidemicSound

Location: Burnaby Mountain Simon Fraser University Campus

Annunciation by Helen Hoyt Rebecca's Reading Room