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ridiculous rhymes
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Let’s build bridges
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Letter from
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Halloween, by Virna Sheard

My audiobook recording for LibriVox.

by Virna Shear (Canadian poet)

There is an old Italian legend which says that on the eve of the beloved festival of All Saints (Hallowe’en) the souls of the dead return to earth for a little while and go by on the wind. The feast of All Saints is followed by the feast of the dead, when for a day only the sound of the Miserere is heard throughout the cities of Italy.

Hark! Hark to the wind! ‘Tis the night, they say,
When all souls come back from the far away—
The dead, forgotten this many a day!

And the dead remembered—ay! long and well—
And the little children whose spirits dwell
In God’s green garden of asphodel.

Have you reached the country of all content, O souls we know, since the day you went From this time-worn world, where your years were spent?

Would you come back to the sun and the rain,
The sweetness, the strife, the thing we call pain,
And then unravel life’s tangle again?

I lean to the dark—Hush!—was it a sigh?
Or the painted vine-leaves that rustled by?
Or only a night-bird’s echoing cry?

Listen to 19 people read this poem at Internet Archive. I’m #8.

This poem was included in the poet’s book The Miracle and Other Poems at Project Gutenberg.

This poem and its cover image are in the Public Domain.

2 responses to “Halloween, by Virna Sheard”

  1. Judith Ann Henry Avatar
    Judith Ann Henry

    Thank you for this weaving of poem and sense and legends….here in the Corners this is our New Year in the Circle of Life…..the Dances bring us to Winter and the Stories of the Worlds from which we emerged…Sending you ever Blessings in this special Season of renewal and remembrance ~~~~~


    1. Thank you for enjoying this, Judith. Hooray for this time of remembrance! Hooray for the increasing darkness, which can help us feel closer to those who have passed on.

      How marvelous for you to celebrate the beginning of the new year now! So many good reasons for such celebrations to mark each season, thus the Circle of Life, as you wrote.


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