POEMS: “I Am Standing Upon The Seashore” (loss of a loved one)

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“I Am Standing Upon The Seashore”

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”

And that is dying…

Death comes in its own time, in its own way.
Death is as unique as the individual experiencing it.

 

by Luther F. Beecher

Regarding the author of this poem, thank you Trina for bringing it to my attention: I had the authorship as Henry Van Dyke, however, following your recent findings, this is what I found in Wikipedia:

“Gone From My Sight,” also known as the “Parable of Immortality” and “What Is Dying” is a poem (or prose poem) presumably written by the Rev. Luther F. Beecher (1813-1903). At least three publications credit the poem to Luther Beecher in printings shortly after his death in 1904.

However, it is often attributed to Henry Van Dyke, probably due to his name appearing as the author in a widely distributed booklet by Barbara Karnes entitled “Gone from My Sight.” This “little blue book” has been in print continuously since 1985 and has sold over twelve million copies. Hospice agencies often distribute it to families of patients nearing the end of life. It is also often read at funerals and memorial services.Transylvanian Dutch: Genealogy and Family History, “Poetry Friday: What is Dying – Luther F Beecher.”

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_from_my_sight

 

 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. LindaP says:

    What a beautiful poem!

    Like

  2. I also found this poem so meaningful and inspirational…

    Like

  3. Trina Graves says:

    This is one of my favourite poems as it was one of the two poems that started my passion for collecting poems and quotes back in the early 90’s. I have always found uplifting poems about dying to be inspirational.

    Not sure why I selected this one to read as I have read it so many times, but interestingly, I noticed that you have it credited to a different author than the one I have on my site (Bishop Brent) so I’ve been searching Google and have discovered that it has now been credited to Luther F. Beecher (I can email you the link if you would like to read it). I shall now have to go and change my entry!
    Love, Light & Blessings
    Trina

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    1. Hi Trina! I find this poem so comforting and uplifting!!! Thank you so much for letting me know about the author. I did a search and Wikipedia confirms your information and also states that many times the authorship was also given to Henry Van Dyke “due to his name appearing as the author in a widely distributed booklet by Barbara Karnes entitled “Gone from My Sight.” This “little blue book” has been in print continuously since 1985 and has sold over twelve million copies” I am making the changes accordingly with the reference from Wikipedia. When we find things in the internet, the authorship is not correct all the time. I’m always grateful when it is brought to my attention so I can make corrections. Love and Blessings back to you!!! Amira

      Like

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