Friday, September 1, 2017

Poetry Friday: Wishes Cannot be Broken

Can it be September? It can.

Thank goodness there's poetry to mark the occasion.

This month, the Poetry Sisters wrote to this photo, which I took while working at the Highlights Retreat Center in Honesdale, PA:

The first thing that came to mind was:

Promises can be broken, but wishes cannot.

And then, the second thought followed:

What if I repeated the visual breaking of the word WISH in my poem?  Just to see if my first thought was true.  (It was.)

When nothing will groW, I SHall lay a foundation
When all is askeW, I SHall straighten the way
When promises are laid loW, I SHall hold fast
When hopes are feW, I SHall break chains.

For this is no flaW: I SHall be
 thought mistboW; I SHall be, yet— rock.

----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

**If you're curious, a mistbow is a white arch that appears in mist, rather like a ghost rainbow.

How are wishes like rock to you?  Tell me in the comments.

And...more importantly...please visit my Poetry Sisters to see what intricate and beautiful poems they created from this image:


Poetry Friday is hosted today by Kathyrn Apel.


  1. Sara, I love this poem so much! I am holding on to the hope you've held out. Thanks! (and I adore your introducing us to the word "Mistbow") :)

  2. Oh my gosh--I love the whole concept of this form you used. Brilliant! And the poem itself--like a hymn, in the very best sense of the word. So rhythmic and beautiful and compelling. I want to sing it!

  3. I cannot get OVER how clever and well done this is. And the perfection of that second line. I bow down to you!

  4. This remains just BRILLIANT. So, so good!
    This, I could see in a greeting card...

  5. A cleverly (com)posed premise and poem. I agree with Laura - it is like a hymn. And I love how you have played opposites in 'writing' wrongs.

  6. Sara, this is my FAVORITE kind of poem, where the words are there not just to carry meaning but to BE the meaning. Appreciating your craft....

  7. Thank you for "mistbow." I was just about to click over to the dictionary. Now I have a picture of it in my mind!

    Wishes a like rock in the way they skip lightly across the surface of life, even though they are meant to heal the deepest of all that's on our hearts.

    Your poem is all kinds of fabulous. The word play, the deep meaning you teased out, line after line, the musicality (as others have noted), the strength of the ending. Ditto Heidi's appreciation for your craft!

  8. I agree with Tanita. The first word that comes to mind is brilliant. I love the word and letter play in this.And, your first and last line are very good doors for this poem, I think. I enter into the door, nothing will grow and leave another with yet rock....having had the experience of the poem in the middle.

  9. I love all the play with wishes. It shows the strength found in something too many people disregard as ephemeral.

  10. I love the repetition and and the rhythm. It feels almost like a defiant challenge to anything standing in your way. And thank you for a new word in "mistbow". I bet they are pretty.

  11. Thank you, all! Poetry helps me explore what I think and feel-- and more than that, hearing all your responses makes my heart glad. xo

  12. A very creative play with words, and I like the tunneling in shape your poem has taken also, thanks!


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