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Saturday, January 29, 2022

'It's That Grain of Sand in Your Shoe'


Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out - it's the grain of sand in your shoe.Robert W. Service

Born in England in January 1874, Service was a prolific writer and poet, writing his first poem on his 6th birthday.  Ultimately, he published numerous collections of poetry, including the mega-bestseller Songs of a Sourdough or Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses (which went into 10 printings in its first year alone).  He also wrote 2 autobiographies and 6 novels, several made into films. And he appeared as an actor in The Spoilers, a 1942 film with Marlene Dietrich.

Service’s writings, books, poems, novels, thoughts and work still have a large readership and are studied in colleges & universities worldwide.  For Saturday’s Poem, here is Service’s,

                                      My Masterpiece

                               It’s slim and trim and bound in blue; 
                               Its leaves are crisp and edged with gold; 
                               Its words are simple, stalwart too; 
                               Its thoughts are tender, wise and bold. 
                               Its pages scintillate with wit; 
                               Its pathos clutches at my throat: 
                               Oh how I love each line of it! 
                               That Little Book I Never Wrote.  
                               In dreams I see it praised and prized By all, 
                               from plowman unto peer; 
                               It’s pencil-marked and memorized 
                               It’s loaned (and not returned, I fear); 
                               It’s worn and torn and travel-tossed, 
                               And even dusky natives quote 
                               That classic that the world has lost, 
                               The Little Book I Never Wrote.  
                               Poor ghost! For homes you’ve failed to cheer, 
                               For grieving hearts uncomforted, 
                               Don’t haunt me now…. Alas! I fear 
                               The fire of Inspiration’s dead. 
                               A humdrum way I go tonight, 
                               From all I hoped and dreamed remote: 
                               Too late… a better man must write 
                               The Little Book I Never Wrote.   


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