Treasure Island

Adeline Foster

(Instructor of poetry, Hagerstown, MD)

Reciprocality *

Pleasure is learned from adversity
And joy from the knowledge of pain.
‘Tis troubles we have that help us to see
The value we have in a friend.
Life is so full of uncertainty
With disloyal friends and machines,
But a true friend is there when we need him to be,
When life comes apart at the seams.

I stood on the brink of a world in distress
And looked o’er the selfish abyss,
And knew there were many men willing to take
And few there were willing to give.
I determined to shape a world of my own
And ask not a quarter of them;
I’d give to the world from all that I’d sown
No matter how meager the stem.

I purchased my bliss with gifts of my hand.
I loaned with no interest required.
I covered my gifts as if buried in sand
And told not when I became tired.
I gave and, in giving, a pleasure derived,
Nor did I permit a return.
I blamed them for what I had others denied,
And indulged them no pleasure to earn.

The pleasures I’d learned from adversity
I protected from those that I loved.
The troubles I’ve seen I allowed none to see,
Thus allowing no friendship be proved.
Like others, I’ve endured calamity,
Yet I must continue to give.
Belated, I’ve learned that humility
Must also know how to receive.

Submitted: Friday, July 12, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, December 11, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

*Reciprocality: the act of mutual giving and receiving

Comments about this poem (Reciprocality * by Adeline Foster )

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  • Ramesh Rai (7/24/2013 4:06:00 AM)

    I purchased my bliss with gifts of my hand.
    I loaned with no interest required.
    loved your write. (Report) Reply

  • Dawn Ferrett (7/15/2013 6:39:00 PM)

    Amazing poem! Very emotive. I wish I was half as talented! Thank you for your kind words about my child-like verses. Dawn xx (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Grantham (7/13/2013 8:19:00 AM)

    This is a real good poem. It is more blessed to give than to receive.
    Your poem states a true fact that there should always be a great
    pleasure in receiving also. Joy comes from both giving and receiving.
    Enjoyed this. Please read my poem Sharing is Caring and an Angel
    just for Me. (Report) Reply

  • Oyekake Satty (o. S.) Joshua (7/12/2013 9:19:00 PM)

    Again Adeline, I simply love the way you write. I read them loud to myself and it flows smoothly.. I know that giving brings some joy and satisfaction. Being in a position to give, no matter how little, is a joyous thing. And, I have found these lines especially to be true:
    .... I’ve learned that humility
    Must also know how to receive.

    Thank you as always! (Report) Reply

  • Dave Walker (7/12/2013 3:13:00 PM)

    Real friends are few and far between. Sometimes we can old them
    at arms length. A fantastic poem. (Report) Reply

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