Sunday, January 9, 2011

Poetry Train Monday - 180 - Excerpt from New Year's Morning

This year, after four solid years of Poetry Train Monday here at A Piece of My Mind, I've decided to stagger my poetry posts to alternate with my arts feature, Through the Opera Glasses. My fiction writing schedule amped up this fall, and my arts feature got shelved week after week due to time crunch issues. So sharing Mondays with poetry will help alleviate the disappearing act for Through the Opera Glasses.

To help welcome in 2011, here is an excerpt from ruminations on the passing of one year to welcome in the new by Helen Hunt Jackson, a woman who lived through her share of sorrows. She lost two brothers in infancy, had lost both parents by age seventeen, lost both sons to illness and her first husband to an accident.

Yet she attended college in the mid-1800's with Emily Dickinson, who became a life-long friend. She published poetry and novels. She became an activist on behalf of Native Americans. She remarried in her mid-forties.

To me, her poem speaks of an unshakeable optimism even in the face of personal catastrophe. Her poem speaks to me because I feel the same as she did.

Excerpt from New Year's Morning

Only a night from old to new!
Only a night, and so much wrought!
Only a night from old to new!
Never a night such changes brought.

Each morn is New Year’s morn come true,
Morn of a festival to keep.
All nights are sacred nights to make
Confession and resolve and prayer;
All days are sacred days to wake
New gladness in the sunny air.
Only a night from old to new;
Only a sleep from night to morn.
The new is but the old come true;
Each sunrise sees a new year born.

- Helen Hunt Jackson, 1892

Photo by Azareal

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!


Akelamalu said...

I like the poem very much, thanks for sharing it Julia.

Jennie Marsland said...

Love the poem, Julia. So inspiring. What an incredibly courageous woman. And the pic is great too.

jennifer said...

Gosh that's lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

The sign cracked me up.

Anonymous said...

Great poem by Helen Hunt Jackson! I know her story well--my mom did living history performances of her for years, often coming to my classes and doing performances and talking about her research. HHJ used a local rancho as the setting for her novel Ramona. Thanks for sharing!