Do you ever find that a poem, piece of writing, a song lyric will resonate with you one day and on another day will have no impact? A word, a phrase, a memory will trigger a need to read the entire poem, read the entire passage or listen to that song.
“Sing and the hills will answer:
Sigh it is lost on the air;”
These lines have been reverberating in my mind for the last few days until last night when I decided to start a search to find the poem from which they come. This time I didn’t want to use a google search. I don’t know why but it seemed important to browse through poetry books and books of “sayings and quotes” to find the source.
It was an inexplicably comforting thing to do. It didn’t feel as if I was the only one wide awake and on a search at 2.43am when I began my search. It felt just right. There were many stops along this search when I was reacquainted with long forgotten poems.
I found “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann again. This was a popular prose poem when I was in secondary school in the 1970’s do you remember the opening lines? “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”
The sun had risen and with a mug of coffee sitting on the back-door step I started browsing another book of poetry. This book was given to me to celebrate my recent 60th birthday by a friend who knows how I love to hop in and out of poetry books. She gave me two books. “A Poem for Every Day of the Year” edited by Allie Esiri and its sister book “A Poem for Every night of the Year”. Anne chose well and through her I have become reacquainted with some old forgotten poetry but also, I have been introduced to new poems and poets.
It was in one of these books that I found it. I found from where those few lines came from. I had found“Solitude” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Laugh and the world laughs with you:
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.