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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

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

poem
Now, dear, it isn’t the bold things,
Great deeds of valour and might,
That count the most in the summing up of life at the end of the day.
But it is the doing of old things,
Small acts that are just and right;
And doing them over and over again, no matter what others say;
poem

Through all the weary, hot midsummer time,
My heart has struggled with its awful grief.
And I have waited for these autumn days,
Thinking the cooling winds would bring relief.
For I remembered how I loved them once,
When all my life was full of melody.
And I have looked and longed for