I have been asked to read the poem of Henry Van Dyke, Gone From My Sight, at a memorial service,6/12/10 and give an introduction. If you have a an insight or comments into this poem, and when and why it was written, I'd appreciate hearing whatever it is that you wish to share.
I am glad to see Henry Van Dyke's poems so accessible but when they are published without the date of the original publication, it becomes virtually impossible to make a correct citation of the poem America for Me. Does anyone know when he first published it other than appearing in an anthology of poems in 1958 and begin critiqued by Jack London?
To Tess A: We are reading this same poem at my father-in-law's memorial service. I was searching for info on Henry van Dyke and whether he actually wrote this poem. Here it is:
I am standing upon the sea shore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the
morning 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 and 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 that moment when someone at my side says, “There, she is gone! ”
There are other eyes watching her and other voices ready to take up the glad shout,
“Here she comes! ”
And that is dying.