Memorial Day (traditional)

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Memorial Day (traditional) – 30 May 2006

I have mixed emotions about the change (in 1971) of Memorial Day from a solemn day of remembrance to a long weekend celebration of self-indulgence expressed by shopping and carnivorous barbeques that stink up the neighborhoods. And before “Memorial Day,” it was known as “Decoration Day.”

Here are two poems I chose for this day; one by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the other by Emily Dickinson:

Crossing The Bar
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Sunset and evening star,
    And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
    When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
    Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
    Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
    When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
    The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
    When I have crossed the bar.

Because I Could Not Stop for Death
By Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played
At wrestling in a ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

For more poetry and also stories, see:
http://all-creatures.org/poetrydir.html 
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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