Ella Wheeler Wilcox
I know not whence I came,
I know not whither I go;
But the fact stands clear that I am here
In this world of pleasure and woe.
And out of the mist and the murk
Another truth shines plain –
It is my power each day and hour
To add to its joy or its pain.
I know that the earth exists,
It is none of my business why;
I cannot find out what it’s all about,
I would but waste time to try.
My life is a brief, brief thing,
I am here for a little space,
And while I stay I would like, if I may,
To brighten and better the place.
The trouble, I think, with us all
Is the lack of a high conceit.
If each man thought he was sent to this spot
To make it a bit more sweet,
How soon we could gladden the world,
How easily right all wrong,
If nobody shirked, and each one worked
To help his fellows along!
Cease wondering why you came –
Stop looking for faults and flaws;
Rise up to-day in your pride and say,
‘I am part of the First Great Cause!
However full the world,
There is room for an earnest man.
It had need of me, or I would not be –
I am here to strengthen the plan.’
Ella Wheeler Wilcox's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (I Am by Ella Wheeler Wilcox )
Did you read them?
- Couture, Mark Doty
- Muse & Drudge [just as I am I come], Harryette Mullen
- When Clouds Thunder, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
- Beauty Supply, Lee Ann Brown
- Suffering the Unattainable, David Dodd Lee
- Nature and Its Simple ways, Rohit Sapra
- Snowy Owl Goddess, Diane Wakoski
- Much Tattooed Sailor Aboard USS New Jersey, Jehanne Dubrow
- The Ruined Church, David Lewis Paget
- Farewell, Damir Lemaic
Poem of the Day
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- No Man Is An Island, John Donne
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(1886 - 1967)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)