We have a very good reason to publish a poem written by the American poet Edwin Markham. He was born on April 23, 1852. The poem An old road that was first published in the poetry collection The Man with the Hoe and Other Poems.
You might visit a place like this, once in your life. An old road that was used more in a previous time. It seems as if time stood still, while you visit this road. This road once was important, now it’s mostly abandoned. Probably because another road would take people to their destination more quickly.
Once the road becomes less travelled, the process of decay sets in. It also ensures that in some way nature can take over. In this poem, this road is left to nature. Poppies grow and birds have all the space they need.
In this detailed poem, it seems that the poet travels this road. Why would he? This road is the domain of Mother Nature and those who only know about this road from a distant past.
An old road
A host of poppies, a flight of swallows;
A flurry of rain, and a wind that follows
Shepherds the leaves in the sheltered hollows
For the forest is shaken and thinned.
Over my head are the firs for rafter;
The crows blow south, and my heart goes after;
I kiss my hands to the world with laughter—
Is it Aidenn or mystical Ind?
Oh, the whirl of the fields in the windy weather!
How the barley breaks and blows together!
Oh, glad is the free bird afloat on the heather—
Oh, the whole world is glad of the wind!
— Edwin Markham
About Edwin Markham
When he was born (23-04-1852, Oregon City, Oregon (US)), his parents gave him the names Charles Edward Anson Markham. He was the youngest of ten children. The marriage between his mother and father wasn’t a happy one since they separated when he was just a little child. He moved from Oregon City to San Francisco. At the age of only twelve, he took up a job. His dream was to be educated, but his mother didn’t approve. He neglected her wish and studied Literature at the California College and graduated in 1870. After this, he graduated from San Jose Normal School and Christian College in Santa Rosa.
It wasn’t until he was 43 years-old, that he decided he no longer wanted to be called Charles. He began to use his other name, Edwin.
Amongst the legacy he left us are poems such as The man with the hoe, Lincoln, man of the people and Anchored to the infinite. He was appointed as the first Poet Laureate of Oregon.