Glows Favorite Words

My mother loved poetry and she instilled the love of poetry in me.  She quoted many poems over the years, but her absolute favorite was the following poem (click on the tree to see it full size):


Wisconsin Red Maple

I think I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Joyce Kilmer

One of the first library research questions my mother ever had me accomplish was to go into the library in New Lisbon, Wisconsin with her and ask the librarian, Miss Ethel Dowdin to help us locate a poem with the words "It couldn't be done, but I did it" in it by Edgar Guest. I was so impressed by the fact the librarian could find that poem for us immediately and not only that, but could make a copy for us. I had been playing librarian and checking out my comic books and other books to neighborhood kids, but I think that's when I started thinking about becoming a librarian some day and not just a librarian, but a "Reference Librarian”.

It Couldn't Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
With a life of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.
Edgar A. Guest