Thursday, August 21, 2014

Poetry Friday: So. Much. Joy.

by Hugh MacLeod at

’T IS so much joy! ’T is so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw;
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so
This side the victory!

Life is but life, and death but death!
Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath!
And if, indeed, I fail,
At least to know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,
No drearier can prevail!

And if I gain,—oh, gun at sea,
Oh, bells that in the steeples be,
At first repeat it slow!
For heaven is a different thing
Conjectured, and waked sudden in,
And might o’erwhelm me so!

by Emily Dickinson

From (bibliographic record for the poem here)
You can see the poem in Emily's own handwriting here.

Lots of great conversations these first couple of days of school about the importance of struggle, of perseverance, patience, and practice. Growth mindset. We watched Kid President talk about inventing, and we read The Most Magnificent Thing. I think we're ready to dive into the hard work of fifth grade.

I splurged yesterday and bought a little purple Moleskine journal to keep track of my "trout of the day." We're two days in and I'm having a hard time picking one "trout." I'm thinking that bodes well for the year.

We've had a change in the Poetry Friday roundup this week. Irene is taking over for Robyn. Head over to Live Your Poem to leave your link.


  1. Dickinson's poem perfectly captures the joy we feel when we venture and gain. Here's to a year full of adventures!

  2. Three cheers for joy! Have you heard David Poe's song Joy? It's great.

  3. Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath!
    I love this line!

  4. Here's to a great school year!

  5. "Defeat means nothing but defeat,
    No drearier can prevail!"
    Thanks for this, Mary Lee. Have you seen Jama's Emily Dickinson post?

  6. It's a beautiful thought. I guess I need to obtain the "complete" Emily. There are so many I don't know. Glad you had a few 'troutless' days, Mary Lee. We ended the year last year talking of "grit", & will continue.

  7. Love the line: "Defeat means nothing but defeat" A good way to look at the world. Thanks for sharing Emily's poem and have a great school year - may you catch many "trout"! = )

  8. It's Emily! Another poem I hadn't seen before. Like Linda, I see that I need to get a complete collection of her work.

    Have a great school year!

  9. Love this "Defeat means nothing but defeat." I want to know more about your "trout" catching. Aren't Moleskin journals the best?


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