Monday, April 13, 2015

No Crystal Stair

 Yes, yes. I know it's been awhile. My only excuse, er . . . explanation is: Life.

So I'm here because it's been too long. I'm here because I've missed the sounds and exhalations of the isle. And I'm here because it's April: Poetry Month.

In the vein of my excuse, er . . . explanation, I thought I'd share a poem by Langston Hughes that acknowledges that Life, in all its demands and detours and detritus, is worth pursuing and pounding onward. And his comparison of life to a stairway is, I believe, perfectly precise. Or precisely perfect. (Ah, it's good to be home on the isle.) I hope you enjoy:

Mother to Son
By: Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

Or if you prefer to listen to the poem, here ya go:


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Phil. I am always so delighted to see you too!

  2. Ahhh, thank you for this jolt of eloquent perspective, Anna! It's exactly what I need right now.

    1. Oh, I'm so glad, Liza. I too needed these words today. (Now get back to that 1st draft!)

  3. So glad you're back at the Isle during poetry month, Anna! Love your Langston Hughes choice. I used to tell my boys: Life is hard and then you die, so quit whinin' about it and get busy. Not quite as lyrical or full of imagery, I fear. :)

    1. Haha! I always love your candor, Danni - and while it may not be lyrical, it's probably much more effective and not so easily misunderstood. I'm always happy for your visit on the Isle; hope you're doing well and steering clear of twisters (I know it's that time of year. Yikes!) Thanks, Danni!


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