The Bridge Builder

The Bridge Builder :

Will Allen Dromgoole (1860-1934) was an author and poet born in Murfreesboro - Tennessee. She wrote over 7,500 poems, 5000 essays and published thirteen books. Her first published story appeared in YOUTH'S COMPANION in 1887. She had a best selling novel in 1911 - THE ISLAND OF THE BEAUTIFUL. Her poem THE BRIDGE BUILDER is often reprinted and remains quite popular. It continues to be quoted frequently usually in a religious or in moral contexts. The Bridge Builder is a beautiful short poem about an old man who is unselfish. He comes across a chasm while going alone on highway. Being experienced he can easily pass the chasm unharmed but he is concerned about the safety of a young and inexperienced youth who is following. He suspects that the chasm can prove a pitfall for the young traveller so he labours hard and builds a bridge for him. The world of today is replete with selfish people who have no concern for others. We need more people like this old man.

A n old man, going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fears for him
But he turned, when safe on the other side.
And built a bridge to span the tide.
"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim, near,
"You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way;
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"
The builder lifted his old gray head:
"Good friend, the path 1 have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, loo, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."

Will Allen Dromgoole

The word POETRY originates from a Greek word meaning TO MAKE. A poet is thus a maker and the poem something that is made or created. No single definition of poetry is possible but some characteristic features of poetry may be mentioned. Poetry has a musical quality with rhythm, pitch, metre and it may use figures of speech such as simile and metaphor. While quite a few poems in this selection are in traditional forms, the unit also includes modern poems that are free from formal restrictions.

Here is a list of English Poems written by various authors. Whatever the question is, poetry may be the answer. Writers say poetry provides them with comfort, a way to express themselves and the discipline of finding the essence with few words. Writing the poem (and finding just the right word) is the measure of success that the authors use. Really good poetry is instinctive. It’s who you are. It’s from the heart. You need to expose yourself to all kinds of poets and you may find your motivation and muse that way. Poetry gets to the core meaning. Poetry expands ideas.

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