Sunday, May 6, 2007

Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting by William Wordsworth

Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's Priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
--William Wordsworth

Some of you already know why I'm posting this poem today. Others can look around at some new changes on the blog page and see if you can take a guess! I'm really excited, and hope that everything goes well this time. By the way, if you're wondering, we did decide to buy the mobile home! What an exciting week!!!!!

As for the poem itself, I think it is a beautiful expression of the truths that the spirit naturally knows -- even when they're not being taught as doctrine


  1. Congratulations!


  2. Happy day, Karen and Peter! I thought the embryo count-up on your blog was a little weird, but very cool nonetheless. Sam suggested that they should develop a program that would put a little face on the baby derived from pictures of the parents. That was even more disturbing-sounding to me, but I'll bet it would sell.
    Congratulations anyway!

  3. Where did you get that baby picture? I'd love to have the others in the series as well.

  4. I did an image search for "heaven baby" on google, and it popped up on If you google "Frances Hook" you'll get a lot of images of kids on plates--which may be what you're looking for.


  5. Congratulations Karen. Best of luck. When is the baby due? Is it due in January?

    I love that poem by Wordsworth too. He is one of my favorite poets.


    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

    And danced the skies on laughter silvered wings;

    Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

    Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

    You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung

    High in the silence, hov'ring there.

    I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

    My eager craft through footless halls of air.

    Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

    I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

    Where never lark, or even eagle flew -

    And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod

    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

    Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

    By John Gillespie Magee

    From Randy

  7. Daddy,

    I had no idea you have such a poetic soul. I really enjoy your replies!


  8. A friend (origamidave Groesbeck) and I were talking about paper airplanes and Wright Patterson AF Museum today at stake conf. He forwarded me this poem, which has long been a favorite of mine. Our TV stations used it to sign off the air at midnight when I was a kid. Randy forwarded earlier, but I felt you should have an explanation.

    Here are David's comments sent with the poem: I enjoyed chatting with your about your recent visit to the Wright
    Paterson AFB museum. I've seen it twice. Once as a young man in the late
    1960's, and again about 8 years ago when we went down to meet our son's
    fiance's parents. While the women planned the reception, all the boys went
    to the museum. I probably inherited my love of airplanes from my father. He
    loved airplanes as a boy, building many large rubber powered
    balsa-and-tissue planes. After high school he joined the Navy to become a
    pilot. He trained in Stearman biplanes (of which there is one at WPAFB,
    though it's painted in the Army colors). After the war he studied
    Aeronautical engineering, and eventually ended up here in Cleveland working
    at NASA. I was always especially found of the WWI planes, and built enough
    models to equip squadrons of both allied and German pilots. We used to joke
    that I should have had a "Warning: low flying aircraft" sign in my bedroom.
    A few years before my Father died I found and framed a large print of a Navy
    Stearman and the poem "High Flight", and gave them to him for Christmas. I
    think that was one of his favorite poems. Later, on my second visit to
    WPAFB, in the WWII section, saw this poem on the wall, with some
    biographical info about the author, and the letter he had sent with the poem
    to his parents. The author, John Gillespie Magee Jr. was born in Shanghai,
    China in 1922. This poem was written in August or September of 1941 and
    sent to his parents. John was 19 years old, and an officer and pilot with
    the RCAF. A few months later, on Dec. 11, 1941, he died while flying his
    Spitfire over England. Knowing those few details makes the poem even better.

    From Mom

  9. This baby picture is one of the five I had on my bedroom wall that I refered to when I wrote in about Winken, Blinken and Nod. So comforting. Thanks! Mom