There is no deeper grief than loneliness.
Our sharpest anguish at the death of friends
Is loneliness. Our agony of heart
When love has gone from us is loneliness.
The crying of a little child at night
In the big dark is crowding loneliness.
Slow death of woman on a Kansas farm;
The ache of those who think beyond their time;
Pain unassuaged of isolated lives,—
All this is loneliness.
Oh, we who are one body of one soul!
Great soul of man born into social form!
Should we not suffer at dismemberment?
A finger torn from brotherhood; an eye
Having no cause to see when set alone.
Our separation is the agony
Of uses unfulfilled—of thwarted law;
The forces of all nature throb and push,
Crying for their accustomed avenues;
And we, alone, have no excuse to be,—
No reason for our being. We are dead
Before we die, and know it in our hearts.
Even the narrowest union has some joy,
Transient and shallow, limited and weak;
And joy of union strengthens with its strength,
Deepens and widens as the union grows.
Hence the pure light of long-enduring love,
Lives blended slowly, softly, into one.
Hence civic pride, and glory in our states,
And the fierce thrill of patriotic fire
When millions feel as one!
When we shall learn
To live together fully; when each man
And woman works in conscious interchange
With all the world,—union as wide as man,—
No human soul can ever suffer more
The devastating grief of loneliness.
“Sara’s stunning, heartbreaking, and relevant illustrations help to tell a difficult, haunting story. I will return to the story, as I do with all those stories I love, again and again.”
—Callie Feyen, teacher