I've got two rather contrasting poems to share with you this week. The first is Laurence Binyon's "For the Fallen", a WW1 poem that is often read at memorial services. A snippet was used in last Saturday's Doctor Who episode, the moving and wonderful "The Family of Blood", by the fab writer Paul Cornell (who also wrote one of my favourite episodes of Doctor Who's Season 1, "Father's Day"). (The photo above comes from the end of "The Family of Blood".)
For the Fallen
WITH proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
The second poem is by Marianne Williamson and someone posted it on a forum to which I belong. Since this week has been a tough one, what with having my job "outsourced" and certain users of that forum spending the best part of the last week giving me a lot of grief, I found this poem particularly moving:
Our Greatest Fear
it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of the Universe.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of the Universe that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
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This week's Poetry Friday round-up is hosted at HipWriterMama's Blog.