Residencies at Denali National Park in Alaska
September 5, 2011
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Let the Light Enter

I commend those who commemorated this day with services and events that look forward and come from a place of wanting to create positive change, those who search for the light, even when discouragement, death and suffering seem to multiply daily.

I share this poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. I discovered it thanks to a fun iPhone app from The Poetry Foundation. Harper was a 19th century African American poet and civil rights activist. Her bio is an inspiration for those determined to change the world whether it is through small steps, big steps, within systems or against systems. Her accomplishments were great; she published collections of poetry, supported her family through public speaking events, and participated in many civil rights organizations. Read more about her here.

 

Let the Light Enter

    The Dying Words of Goethe

“Light! more light! the shadows deepen,
        And my life is ebbing low,
Throw the windows widely open:
        Light! more light! before I go.
 
“Softly let the balmy sunshine
        Play around my dying bed,
E’er the dimly lighted valley
        I with lonely feet must tread.
 
“Light! more light! for Death is weaving
        Shadows ‘round my waning sight,
And I fain would gaze upon him
        Through a stream of earthly light.”
 
Not for greater gifts of genius;
        Not for thoughts more grandly bright,
All the dying poet whispers
        Is a prayer for light, more light.
 
Heeds he not the gathered laurels,
        Fading slowly from his sight;
All the poet’s aspirations
        Centre in that prayer for light.
 
Gracious Saviour, when life’s day-dreams
        Melt and vanish from the sight,
May our dim and longing vision
        Then be blessed with light, more light.

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