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All The Young Hymns

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Published: 28th April 2021

Image by Gustavo Rezende from Pixabay

This poem was placed 1st = in Brian Strand's "ALL YOURS" (Apr 28) Poetry Contest.


Why do all the hills rejoice With rivers in the north? Why bother to go racing In a race to then 'come forth'? Where on earth's the green hill Far away that needs a wall? And how can all God's creatures Be as great as they are small? Which dancer got up early When the world had just begun? And why do I feel frightened By the words "thy will be done"? How can any fight we fight Be seen as being good? - The young me sung about a world I never understood.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021




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Date: 8/5/2021 10:47:00 AM
Gary, I enjoyed your reminiscences of singing hymns as a child, and the pictures formed in the mind as we memorized words we didn't understand. I remember one about a cross-eyed bear named "Glad Lee". Later I discovered we were singing "Gladly the Cross I'd Bear", lol! Also, in elementary school we were taught the US national anthem, "O say, can you see by the dawn's early light". I thought it was, "Jose, can you see by the Donzer Lee light?" Thanks for the smiles, please keep writing ~ John
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Gary Radice
Date: 8/5/2021 12:24:00 PM
LOL! Thank you John. Your comments about mishearing and misunderstanding had me laughing :) I appreciate your visit. Cheers - Gary
Date: 5/26/2021 6:17:00 AM
Wonderful verse and insight... so thoughtful and filled with profound wisdoms. Love it. God bless you friend, Love, Gina
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/26/2021 6:22:00 AM
Thank you Gina. It's one of those poems that I wrote straight from my heart. Cheers - Gary
Date: 5/17/2021 6:54:00 AM
Sincere Congratulations Gary on a well thought brilliant poem.
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/17/2021 7:50:00 AM
Thank you Frances. I really appreciate your lovely comments. Cheers - Gary
Date: 5/8/2021 11:27:00 AM
When young it was hard to understand the words when hymns were sung, yet I still love to sing the hymns as if they were newly sprung. Thanks for the memory… Belle
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/8/2021 11:36:00 AM
I look upon hymns as a form of poetry with some having more memorable tunes than others. Thank you Belle for your visit and comments. They are very much appreciated. Cheers - Gary
Date: 5/5/2021 2:16:00 PM
Gary - this is amazing, Congratulations on your win, well deserved - I agree with Peter below - the thought you put into this is a brilliant piece of work. Well done David
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/5/2021 2:22:00 PM
Thank you David. Your comments mean a lot to me. This is one of those poems whereby once I'd decided on a theme the words just flowed. Cheers - Gary
Date: 5/3/2021 8:30:00 AM
As a Son of the Manse, this wonderful and witty take on hymns immediately had my attention. I think it’s brilliant . The words of so many hymns I knew by heart from so many hours spent in church services and Sunday School, and although the words were inspirational did I really understand them? Many hymns are pure poetry of course. I suspect you may have had a similar childhood /background to myself. Thank you for sharing such charming and witty thoughts and for bringing back so many memories.
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/3/2021 10:00:00 AM
Thank you Peter for your lovely comments. Yes, I too liked the words and found them poetic but just never really understood what I was singing about. :) I do remember Cat Stevens getting into the UK singles' chart with "Morning Has Broken" and thinking he made a hymn very cool. Cheers - Gary
Date: 5/3/2021 7:20:00 AM
Oh! How true, Gary. So many words and phrases that we read spoke and sang with either no idea, or the wrong one of what they meant. Did it not occur to our teachers that we might not know the simple basic meanings; or did they treasure a certain glee in this realization!
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/3/2021 9:50:00 AM
An excellent question Geoffrey and one which I have absolutely no answer to :) Strange when you think back isn't it, considering the amount of hymns we sang and school assemblies we had. Thanks for your comments. Cheers - Gary
Date: 5/2/2021 7:18:00 AM
Unique and creative lines that has a place on the winners' list. Way to go. Congrats. Sara
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Gary Radice
Date: 5/2/2021 9:42:00 AM
Thank you Sara for your kind comments. I'm really pleased with the place on the winners' list. Cheers - Gary
Date: 4/29/2021 9:56:00 PM
Thank you, Gary. At this time, I drew comfort from this poem. Makes me think of younger days when going to church was about the wonder of it and not who's right or wrong. Thank you for making me "wonder" again. God bless.
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Gary Radice
Date: 4/29/2021 11:55:00 PM
No, thank YOU Bryan :) It's lovely to hear how a poem (any poem) can evoke different thoughts and feelings with different people. I often return to the theme of 'the naivety of childhood' in my poetry and ponder whether I was taught at school what to think rather than how to think. Cheers - Gary
Date: 4/29/2021 10:01:00 AM
Life's most complicated questions so eloquently stated in simplicity and the simplicity of children, Gary. The use of music as a metaphor is awesome! I like this coming of age poem that illustrates the difference between the experiences of children and the lessons of adulthood! Congratulations on your win! All the best!
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Gary Radice
Date: 4/29/2021 11:54:00 AM
Sam, I always appreciate your insight and lovely comments. Thank you! Looking back 50 years I don't honestly remember any teacher ever sitting down and explaining any of the words to any of the hymns we all learnt by heart. Yes to the child / adult experiences..The "Thy will be done" line is basically me getting confused as a child with the word "will"..As a child I viewed the word as expressing the future tense - thinking I would 'get done' (ie harmed in some way) when of course "will" is a noun (desire or intention) Thanks again - Gary
Date: 4/28/2021 12:23:00 PM
I love your rhyming, and I feel the same as your poem expresses so well.
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Gary Radice
Date: 4/28/2021 12:38:00 PM
Thank you Ann. 50 years on I still remember all the words to the hymns we were taught at school and of course now I understand their meanings. I appreciate your lovely comments. Cheers - Gary
Date: 4/28/2021 8:08:00 AM
Gary, this is a splendid poem. It raises some awesome concerns. So much of our childhood was shaped by these nebulous influences. Have you ever taken a close look at the nursery rhymes we recited? Many of them were as gruesome as the stories we were told...like Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. Good writing, period. I've marked this one as a FAV!
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Gary Radice
Date: 4/28/2021 8:49:00 AM
Milton, thanks so much for the Fave. I remember ring A Ring A roses was about The Plague and the kids falling down after sneezing (a symptom) signified them dying. I don't know if you are familiar with "Oranges and Lemons"? It refers in its last lines to the transportation of people from one prison to another before their execution...There are some great poem ideas here Milton.. :)
Date: 4/28/2021 6:18:00 AM
Great stuff Gary, I remember singing hymns like this in school, and hadn’t got a clue as to there relevance or significance, I knew they where religious that’s about it, In them days the whole ethos of my school was based around religion, and enforced by the cane, I enjoyed the way you approached this one, cheers David
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Gary Radice
Date: 4/28/2021 6:52:00 AM
Hi David. Your words articulate exactly the approach I attempted to take / took with this poem. I found myself tripping over past and present tenses but hopefully got there in the end. Of course with time comes experience, knowledge and big doses of reality. I have to say that in my opinion many hymns are 'poetic' in their form and very descriptive in their writing. Thanks again - Gary
Date: 4/28/2021 5:54:00 AM
Very meaningful write, Gary. Much to gleam and ponder, but especially the last couplet!
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Gary Radice
Date: 4/28/2021 6:33:00 AM
Thank you so much Vijay! Looking back, I sang the words to hymns as a 7 year old school child without putting much meaning as to what I was singing at the time. This poem is my attempt at asking those questions now as that naive 7 year old and from that naive 7 year old's perspective - hence much is written in the present tense up until the last couplet. Thank you again Vijay for your valued comments. Cheers - Gary