Monday, July 21, 2008

An Old House

Whenever I see an old house like this that is falling apart, I only see its beauty. Hopefully inside its walls it was a house filled with laughter and joy. We found it back in January of 2007 along a country road in Virginia.




The House with Nobody in It

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.
I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.
This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.
If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.
Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.
But a house that has done what a house should do, a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.
So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

~Joyce Kilmer~
(1886-1918)

12 comments:

  1. Nice posts Denise

    I love the look of that old house - you wonder where they went. The family that lived in it I mean

    Love the look of those horses as well. The light and shade - the expressions on their faces,
    Take care
    Cathy

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  2. Thank you Cathy. I have had those thoughts too. Have a great day.

    Denise

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  3. Me too, you can just imagine how it must have looked in its hay-day.

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  4. I feel the same way about old houses.

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  5. I am beginning to realize that many of us do Linda. Thanks for dropping by.

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  6. Beautiful. It's simply beautiful. So evocative. I'd want to sit and examine it and think and think.

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  7. Hi Cannedam, I feel very fortunate that we came across it as we did. I forgot to say that there were new tennants here, two turkey vultures on top of its chimney but they flew away soon afer we stopped.

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  8. these are lovely phtographs that go so well with the poem you selected. i recently had taken photos in a graveyard and that was completely neglected and this poem reflects much of my own feelings.
    robin

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  9. these are lovely photographs that go so well with the poem you selected. i recently had taken photos in a graveyard and that was completely neglected and this poem reflects much of my own feelings.
    robin

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  10. whoops! a double click sent this thing right over the edge i guess!

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  11. Hi Birdtweets, I have double-clicked a few times myself - lol. I saw your graveyard photos and thought they were incredibly beautiful. Thanks for stopping by.

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