Sunday, February 10, 2013

FAMOUS & FAMILIAR VERSES (#1): 'A Prayer of Faith' Poem by Margaret E. Sangster

This meme is to celebrate poetry, famous and familiar verses.  If you'd like to join us, get the logo, post your own discussion of your famous and familiar verse and link back so that we may all see the kinds of poetry you love and celebrate.

My first poem is inspired by a friend's tragedy, sadly.  He has lost his mother, and I have been trying to figure out how I can help him gain some peace and faith.  In the process, I stumbled on Margaret Sangster's Poem A Prayer of Faith.

I have started my Famous and Familiar Verses series with poems from a book I have had on my shelf a long time and also a book which has actually inspired this series, A Treasury of Poems: A Collection of the World's Most Famous and Familiar Verses. (Tell us what source you're getting your poem from).

Just as I will be doing when I discuss my famous and familiar verses, tell us the following:  The Title of the Poem (perhaps with a possible link available online so that we can also read the poem); What the Poem is about; Why You Love the Poem, and Tell us a Little bit about the Poet.

A Prayer of Faith by Margaret E. Sangster is about the 'simple faith in peace and hope, in loveliness and light,' we're searching for in hard times: when are hearts get broken, when our spirit gets tested, when our lives turn upside down.  Our whole existence depends on it.  Without these things, Margaret E. Sangster says in her poem, we can 'become as empty as the sky upon a starless night.'

 We all search for our lives to make sense, to have purpose.  When our worlds explode and everything becomes a variable, when nothing can be sure anymore, all we search for is the 'splendid truth,' of life.  And we hope that there is some kind of 'tenderness in pain.' 

The most beautiful lines of her poem are in the ending. 

"God, give me back my simple faith
because my soul is straying
Away from all the little creeds
that I so long have known;
Oh, answer me while still I have
at least the strength for praying,
For if the prayer dies from my heart
I will be quite alone."

Margaret E. Sangster
-from "A Treasury of Poems" by Sarah Anne Stuart

Margaret E. Sangster is an American Poet who was mostly popular during the 19th/20th century.  She was also an editor for Harper's Bazaar.  She grew up in New York and spend a lot of her lifetime with a religious and spiritual mindset.  I certainly think she did this poem justice.  I love her words, and I felt them the first time I read them, the second time I read them, and I think they'll echo within me every time I read it. It's a very powerful poem. 

Tell us what your Famous & Familiar Verse is and why you love it...
Link your own poem, or share a poem you'd like us to read...

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