The Sunday Reading Challenge: New Every Morning by Susan Coolidge
Written by Rachael Norris, 19th April 2020
We are introducing this new post with the hope of injecting a bit of fun into our Sunday readings. We will be putting our readers to the test by asking them to memorise poems to recite aloud. If you already have some favourite lines of verse committed to memory, please do let us know. Or if you would like to set our readers a particularly tricky challenge, please feel free to make a suggestion. Today we have Natalie Kaas-Pontoppidan remembering New Every Morning by Susan Coolidge. Try it for yourself!
I like this as a sort of 'settling into the day' kind of poem, and by reciting it it feels like I'm actively choosing to store it in my inner anthology. It feels comforting to know that every day can be a fresh beginning and that there, somewhere, is a 'glad refrain' to be found. I wonder what that actually means to us? How do we tap into it? For me, Sunday mornings are ideal for 'listening' a bit more than I'd normally do. The pace of my day is slower and I try to fill it with things I enjoy such as strong coffee, books, sunshine and just general thinking time.
I like that the poem seems to suggest that a fresh beginning, in fact, happens every day - even despite the 'bad stuff'. It feels like we sometimes spend a lot of time thinking that if this or that hadn't gone wrong we would be in a better place. And while that might be true, we still have to live on with 'old sorrows' and 'sinning' as well as the possibility of things going wrong again. We can't get completely rid of it.
So 'take heart with the day and begin again'. Beginning again and finding the energy to do so can be hard - especially if we're in a place of uncertainty. The current COVIC-19 crisis is a good example that. However, 'one day at a time' is helpful to me at the moment, and I think this short poem advises us to do the same? I wonder how you'll be spending your day today? Perhaps by reciting along with me? Don't worry, if you don't get it straight away - it took me at least 5 tries before I could remember!
Happy Sunday and stay safe
New Every Morning
Every morn is the world made new.
You who are weary of sorrow and sinning,
Here is a beautiful hope for you,—
A hope for me and a hope for you.
All the past things are past and over;
The tasks are done and the tears are shed.
Yesterday’s errors let yesterday cover;
Yesterday’s wounds, which smarted and bled,
Are healed with the healing which night has shed.
Yesterday now is a part of forever,
Bound up in a sheaf, which God holds tight,
With glad days, and sad days, and bad days, which never
Shall visit us more with their bloom and their blight,
Their fulness of sunshine or sorrowful night.
Let them go, since we cannot re-live them,
Cannot undo and cannot atone;
God in his mercy receive, forgive them!
Only the new days are our own;
To-day is ours, and to-day alone.
Here are the skies all burnished brightly,
Here is the spent earth all re-born,
Here are the tired limbs springing lightly
To face the sun and to share with the morn
In the chrism of dew and the cool of dawn.
Every day is a fresh beginning;
Listen, my soul, to the glad refrain,
And, spite of old sorrow and older sinning,
And puzzles forecasted and possible pain,
Take heart with the day, and begin again.