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About this Poem 

“The Word” originally appeared in New Thought Pastels (Elizabeth Towne, 1906).

 

The Word

Oh, a word is a gem, or a stone, or a song,
   Or a flame, or a two-edged sword;
Or a rose in bloom, or a sweet perfume,
   Or a drop of gall is a word.
 
You may choose your word like a connoisseur,
   And polish it up with art,
But the word that sways, and stirs, and stays,
   Is the word that comes from the heart.
 
You may work on your word a thousand weeks,
   But it will not glow like one
That all unsought, leaps forth white hot,
   When the fountains of feeling run.
 

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was born on November 5, 1850, in Johnstown Center, Wisconsin. She was a popular writer characterized mainly by her upbeat and optimistic poetry, though she was also an activist. Her poetry collections include Poems of Passion (W. B. Conkey Company, 1883) and Poems of Peace (Gay & Bird, 1906). She died in Connecticut on October 30, 1919.

by this poet

poem
After the fierce midsummer all ablaze
    Has burned itself to ashes, and expires
    In the intensity of its own fires,
There come the mellow, mild, St. Martin days
Crowned with the calm of peace, but sad with haze.
    So after Love has led us, till he tires
    Of his own throes, and torments, and desires,
poem

In that great journey of the stars through space
     About the mighty, all-directing Sun,
     The pallid, faithful Moon, has been the one
Companion of the Earth. Her tender face,
Pale with the swift, keen purpose of that race,
     Which at Time’s natal hour was first begun,
    

poem

We walk on starry fields of white
   And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
   We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
   To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
   Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares