Saturday, October 10, 2015

"Importance"

I can't find it on line. Search engines keep diverting me elsewhere, sure I mean a different spelling or combination of words. It's the first poem I ever memorized in school. And no, poems that are song lyrics do not count. I must have run into it as an early teenager, maybe even a "tween". If I had a philosophy for how to live my life, this was it.

I still dredge it up out of memory at odd times, usually when I'm doing what the poem is talking about. We all know about the imperfections of memory. There is a strong possibility there is a word or two wrong, a line missing, the line breaks misplaced, all of which are why I tried to look it up. I wanted to get it right. But here it is as I recall it, with any apologies needed for my imperfections. If anybody can point me to the original, I'd be grateful.

Importance
by Carol Coombs

I've mending I must do, and beds to make.
I should not sit and watch the red sun set
Behind the hills of afternoon, nor take
This time to dream when I have work. And yet

Supposing that I go at duty's call
To make the beds and sweep the floors? What then?
These have no great importance after all.
Tomorrow they must all be done again.

No, I shall sit and feel the rising dew
And watch the haze around the setting sun.
And I'll find time for the other, too,
When this, the more important thing, is done.

2 comments:

Aleta said...

I found this written in my grandmother's handwriting, on a piece of paper stuck in my mother's dresser. I'm going to read it at my mother's funeral because it was always how my mom and grandma lived. I agree... I've been searching for almost an hour and this is the first post I've found it on. I was having difficulty reading the faded handwriting. Thanks for sharing!

Aleta said...

Actually, mine IS different! My grandmother seems to have 2 extra lines...

Importance
by Carol Coombs

I've mending I must do, and beds to make.
I should not sit and watch the red sun set
Behind the hills of afternoon, nor take
This time to dream when I have work. And yet

Supposing that I go at duty's call
To make the beds and sweep the floors? What then?

These have no great value after all.
Tomorrow they must all be done again.

I have too many of such tasks to do
Therefor I shall forget them every one.

I shall sit and feel the rising dew
And watch the haze around the setting sun.

I may find time for the other, too,
When this, the more important thing, is done.