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!
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.
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