Friday, December 26, 2014

Poetry Friday -- To Stand and Stare

by William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

If measured in "time to stand and stare," then William C. Morris has a very rich life. One night earlier this week, Mr. Mary Lee noticed him staring out the bedroom window into the dark. Following the cat's gaze, the man focused on...a barred owl sitting on the wires that run through the easement behind the house!

Just imagine all we would see if we took time to really look.

It's a little early to declare my One Little Word for 2015, and I haven't spent hours or made lists deliberating on the pros and cons of this word vs. that word. I just decided. Just now. BREATHE has been a great word for 2014, and I'm sure I'll go back to it over and over again, but in 2015, I'd like to 


I want to slow down. I want to notice. I want to savor small moments.

Be sure to wish Holly a Happy Birthday today -- she's spending her special day with us rounding up the Poetry Friday links at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

I have the new list of roundup hosts in the sidebar here at A Year of Reading. The file with the code has been uploaded on the Kidlitosphere Yahoo group, and you can always find the current (and past) roundups on the Kidlitosphere Central website. If you want me to send you the code for your very own sidebar, just send an email (new address: marylee dot hahn at gmail dot com).


  1. Love your new OLW so many possibilities.

  2. I have always loved that poem, Mary Lee, and I love your new word for 2015.

  3. I need more stopping and staring, too. Thank you for sharing this poem today, when I'm spending a bit of time thinking about my own word and priorities for 2015.

  4. I love the poem, which is new to me. I've never chosen a word of the year, but this might be a good time to start. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. "And stare as long as sheep or cows." I love the idea of cows, although maybe not the care involved with them. Still their eyes are so benign.

    I think my word for every year is Create! If I don't take some time to create, then my happiness is diminished considerably. Take time to breathe and notice AND create!

  6. Notice is a great word. I love the poem and how it instructs us to stand and stare. I'm afraid if I do so at my grown children, I may just lose it all together. I can't believe another year has past.

  7. Mary Lee, stopping to notice is wrapped up in the notion of standing and staring. We do not engage in these actions long enough and so Morris' poem and your OLW are right on target for this time of year. In 2014 you breathed life into your poetry and gave us some wonderful thoughts. Thank you.

  8. Slow down...savor...notice--what a wonderful goal for the new year. Love it, and this poem.

  9. My cat and dog are experts at staring out windows. I know they're watching wonderful things. I LOVE your new OLW!!!!!!

  10. P.S. My 2015 word is very similar - I'm not quite ready to reveal it since I have another one that's running with it neck and neck, but if it's the one I think it's going to be, we're going to be in sync. ;-)

  11. I love this poem! An excellent word for your year. May the things you notice reach deeply into your heart, bringing peace and joy and delight.

  12. Love the poem and pic of your cat. Notice - similar to my OLW from last year, savor - it's been a great journey.

  13. Anonymous6:48 AM

    Mary Lee, I missed this wise and lovely poem amidst all our Christmasing last week, but am so glad I came across it today. I think Notice is a fine choice, and can't wait to read about all that you see!


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