Inspiring Poem: The Land of Beginning Again by Louisa Fletcher Tarkington

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

Not one of us is exempt from difficulties. Instead of huge knotty problems to be grappled with, sometimes they are small things, especially those things left undone, that create a day that we label as a bad one.

This poem points out the little things that we occasionally don’t do, even though we know we should.   It gives voice to the regret we feel when we realize what we’ve done–or more precisely, what we haven’t done.

One thing the poet left out is that we can begin again. Each day is a clean slate and we can resolve to do those things we’ve regretted not doing in the past. As a matter of fact, each moment is fresh and new and we can choose to make a different decision.

I like the line “…And all our poor selfish griefs could be dropped, like a shabby old coat, at the door, and never be put on again.” It’s a great image that’s visceral–we’ve all worn a shabby coat, perhaps while doing yard work in chilly weather–and is a wonderful example of how to handle our regrets: just let them go because nothing we do in the present moment or in the future will change what happened. By treating each moment as an opportunity to be our better self, we can change our present moment, which will have a positive effect on our future.

Enjoy the poem!

 

The Land of Beginning Again

I wish there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches,
And all our poor, selfish griefs
Could be dropped, like a shabby old coat, at the door,
And never put on again.
 
I wish we could come on it all unaware,
Like the hunter who finds a lost trail;
And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done
The greatest injustice of all
Could be at the gate like the old friend that waits
For the comrade he’s gladdest to hail.
 
We would find the things we intended to do,
But forgot and remembered too late—
Little praises unspoken, little promises broken,
And all of the thousand and one
Little duties neglected that might have perfected
The days of one less fortunate.
 
It wouldn’t be possible not to be kind.
In the Land of Beginning Again;
And the ones we misjudged and the ones whom we grudged
Their moments of victory here,
Would find the grasp of our loving handclasp
More than penitent lips could explain.
 
For what had been hardest we’d know had been best,
And what had seemed loss would be gain,
For there isn’t a sting that will not take wing
When we’ve faced it and laughed it away;
And I think that the laughter is most what we’re after,
In the Land of Beginning Again.
 
So I wish that there were some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches,
And all our poor, selfish griefs
Could be dropped, like a ragged old coat, at the door,
And never put on again.

 

 
~Louisa Fletcher Tarkington.

 

 

What did you think of this poem? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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