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A Mary T. Hoffman Commentary from


"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.


Edwin Markham – 26 December 2008
By Mary T. Hoffman

Edwin Markham, born 23 April 1852, was an American poet and lecturer. As a young man he attended school in California and wrote verse for California papers. Later, he became a school superintendent. After 1899 he lived on Staten Island, New York. Edwin Markham died 7 March 1940.

For today I’ve chosen this poem by Edwin Markham:

Edwin Markham (1852–1940)

Teach me, Father, how to go
Softly as the grasses grow;
Hush my soul to meet the shock
Of the wild world as a rock;
But my spirit, propped with power,
Make as simple as a flower.
Let the dry heart fill its cup,
Like a poppy looking up;
Let life lightly wear her crown
Like a poppy looking down,
When its heart is filled with dew,
And its life begins anew.

Teach me, Father, how to be
Kind and patient as a tree.
Joyfully the crickets croon
Under the shady oak at noon;
Beetle, on his mission bent,
Tarries in that cooling tent.
Let me, also, cheer a spot,
Hidden field or garden grot—
Place where passing souls can rest
On the way and be their best.

For a large collection of poems and stories, visit:

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