Pump am y Penwythnos / Friday Five 19/03/2021 5️⃣

This morning whilst browsing the internet for something quite unrelated, I was reminded of one of my favourite ever poems, Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. So I sat quietly and read and absorbed once more, I then instantly regretted that it’s been so long since I’ve read it through.

So today, instead of five questions, we have just one…

1) Share with us a favourite poem, in any language, and please tell us why you like it. :slight_smile:

Here’s Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.


Mine is too long to post. But the implicit folly of it has always instructed, amused and annoyed me in equal measure.



Ivan Minatti

Nekoga moraš imeti rad

Nekoga moraš imeti rad,
pa čeprav trave, reko, drevo ali kamen,
nekomu moraš nasloniti roko na ramo,
da se, lačna, nasiti bližine,
nekomu moraš, moraš,
to je kot kruh, kot požirek vode,
moraš dati svoje bele oblake,
svoje drzne ptice sanj,
svoje plašne ptice nemoči
- nekje vendar mora biti zanje
gnezdo miru in nežnosti -,
nekoga moraš imeti rad,
pa čeprav trave, reko, drevo ali kamen
ker drevesa in trave vedo za samoto
- kajti koraki vselej odidejo dalje,
pa čeprav se za hip ustavijo -,
ker reka ve za žalost
- če se le nagne nad svojo globino -,
ker kamen pozna bolečino
- koliko težkih nog
je že šlo čez njegovo nemo srce -,
nekoga moraš imeti rad,
nekoga moraš imeti rad,
z nekom moraš v korak,
v isto sled -
o trave, reka, kamen, drevo,
molčeči spremljevalci samotnežev in čudakov,
dobra, velika bitja,
ki spregovore samo,
kadar umolknejo ljudje. 

English translation

by Slovene poet Ivan Minatti (1924-2012)

You must love someone,
even if only grass, a river, a tree or a stone,
on someone’s shoulder you must lay your hand,
so that it gluts its hunger with nearness,
there must, must be someone,
-it is like bread, like a drink of water-
to whom you must give your white clouds,
your brave birds of dreams,
your timid birds of despair
- somewhere for them there must be
a nest of peace and tenderness -
you must love someone,
even if only grass, a river, a tree or a stone,
for trees and grass know of loneliness
- for footsteps always pass by,
even if for a moment they linger -
for the river knows of sorrow
- it need only brood over its depths -,
for the stone knows of pain
- how many heavy feet
have already stumped over its mute heart -,
you must love someone,
you must love someone,
walk side by side with someone
on the same path -
oh grass, river, stone, tree,
silent companions of the strange and lonely,
good, great beings,
who begin to speak
only when men have fallen silent.

Translation taken from this FB page

And why I love it. I believe it’s one of the most beautiful poems ever written and it speaks for itself. No additional words needed.

Here you can listen to the Slovene poem if you’re interested. And, NO, I didn’t do the recitation myself yet. I tried but I always cry toward the end…

All the best and stay safe …


I don’t know if I have a favourite, but I’ve recently come across this children’s poem by Julia Donaldson which I really love.

I opened a book

I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.
I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion,
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.
I opened a book and made some friends,
I shared their tears and laughter.
And followed their road with it’s bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.
I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.


I love this poem too, but really hope that when in need, friends don’t really abandon us😊

In response to Solitude


This is by U A Fanthorpe. A love poem without being at all soppy.

There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it

Which checks the insurance, and doesnt forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.


I love this😊

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