Day 12 of Blog Every Day in May is ‘Poetry’. Coincidentally, I wrote a (short) poem for a nurse friend for International Nurses Day, which is also today, to say thank you for helping me understand the minefield that is Adrenal Insufficiency:
My feeble rhymes aside, poetry is an art-form, and so should carry a different interpretation or meaning depending on the audience or person who reads it. Good poetry should have some kind of resonance and should linger in your mind. I’m not a big fan of poetry, I prefer music and theatre. But I saw this poem a few years ago and it’s stuck with me:
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will;
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low and the debts are high;
And you want to smile but you have to sigh.
When all is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit
Success is failure turned inside out;
The Silver tint on the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-
It’s when things go wrong that you must not quit.
John Greenleaf Whittier
I don’t know where it came from. It’s saved as a photo in my phone, so it probably came off social media. At the time, it struck a cord (or chord, for a musical reference!) and I sometimes look at it when everything feels a bit ‘uphill’ and I’m taking a ‘rest’. Because, the poem’s right, you can’t ever tell how close you are, so it’s better to sit down and have a rest than to give up completely.