The Valley Of Pain

We were exiled from the Garden of Eden.
Its sinless wonders nevermore to regain.
So every man on life's toilsome journey,
Must enter the valley of pain.

We don't enter because of desire
And it's certainly not a voluntary fare.
But, rather, it's a matter of destiny
Compelling and forcing us there.

Eden's garden; its beauty so magnificent,
Can't be reclaimed; it is a lost paradise.
Trees of knowledge and life gone forever,
We are now paying consequences price.

The valley of pain is bleak and lonely,
And all heartache must be suffered alone.
The petty and trite ceases to matter.
When facing hurt as never before known.

In pain's valley, no restaurants exist.
Shopping malls can't be found anywhere.
There's no joy to be had from entertainment.
There are no parks, for it is no picnic there.

There are no banks in the valley of pain,
No theaters, no lounges, no beach.
In this valley, we have no lofty aspirations,
Surviving the only goal we hope to reach.

Pain's valley in not a poor man's haven;
We'll find no comfort, or ease or rest.
Nor will we encounter family or friends
For this valley is one's own personal test.

Bitter anguish is experienced in this valley,
A site of conflict on a titanic scale.
A place of failing and spiritual torture,
Of deficiency and interminable travail.

When we enter the valley of pain,
We no longer worry about unpaid bills.
We don't fret about outstanding car notes,
We don't care about acquiring new skills.

When we enter the valley of pain,
We don't dabble in vain vanity.
For this valley inevitably drives us,
To the very brink of human sanity.

When we enter the valley of pain
Family prayer just will not do.
Praying in the church is insufficient,
And social prayer is inadequate too.

We must find our own secret hideaway
Close the door to the world and all its strife.
We must surrender ourselves to our God
And let Him work a miracle in our life.

Saundra L. Washington is the author of two coffee table books: "Negative Disturbances, Homilies that Teach," and the book from which this poem is taken, "Room Beneath the Snow, Poems that Preach." She can be contacted at: http://www.clergyservices4u.org

In The News:


New York Times

Fallen Journalist Finds Solace and Success in Poetry
New York Times
She is Patricia Smith, Staten Island's literary sensation, a poet, an English professor and a star on the national stage. Last month, she won the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, awarded by the Library of Congress to luminaries such ...


The Guardian

The Costa book of the year contender bringing poetry to class
The Guardian
So he trained as a secondary English teacher and, rejected by one school on grounds that poetry could distract him from the day job, applied to Haberdashers' Monmouth school for girls, in the Wye Valley, where he has been for 10 years, the only man in ...


Paste Magazine

Poetweet: A website that turns your tweets into poetry
Los Angeles Times
Chances are, you're a more gracefully poetic tweeter. Give it a try, although the tool may take some time to work, and occasionally gets stuck. Maybe it's waiting for the muse to strike -- or, more likely, its system has gotten overloaded -- but it ...
Poetweet Turns Tweets into PoetryPaste Magazine
Let this website turn your tweets into poetryThe Week Magazine
Poetweet Turns Your Tweets Into Beautiful Surrealist PoetryHuffington Post UK
TIME -Huffington Post -malaysiandigest.com
all 12 news articles »

WUNC

A New Stanza For NC Poetry
WUNC
His appointment comes nearly six months after the previous poet laureate, Valerie Macon, resigned amid controversy over her unconventional selection. Stephenson is a retired English professor, magazine editor and current member of the North Carolina ...

and more »

Daily Herald

Salem students interpret poetry into art for exhibit
Daily Herald
Samantha Rupp, a sophomore at Salem Hills High School, paints in Sarah Shuler's art class on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Rupp's artwork from an assignment where students translated poetry into art was recently featured in an art exhibit at the Salem Public ...


Princeton's Lewis Center for the Arts announces lineup for 2015 Princeton ...
NJ.com
PRINCETON — Princeton University's Lewis Center for the Arts announces the poets who will be featured in the 2015 Princeton Poetry Festival, a two-day biennial event presented through the Center's Performance Central Series. Poets from around the ...

and more »

UD Daily

'Helping the Morning'
UD Daily
8:56 a.m., Jan. 27, 2015--Jeanne Murray Walker's eighth book of poetry, Helping the Morning, is more than a collection of new work by a poet whose writing has been described as providing readers with a “down-to-earth vision of the transcendent.” The ...


Northwest Georgia News

Poetry book by Shorter University English professor is finalist for Julie Suk ...
Northwest Georgia News
“Keeping Me Still,” a collection of Southern free-verse poems written by Shorter University Assistant Professor of English Renee Emerson, has been selected as a finalist for the 2014 Julie Suk Prize for best poetry book published by an independent press.


Bustle

10 Tom Hiddleston Poetry Readings That You Need To Hear Right This Second ...
Bustle
It's been awhile since Hiddleston has performed poetry for his fans, so they're really excited about this news. It's well-known that Hiddleston loves the written word (especially Shakespeare): In 2013 he even participated in The Love Book, an app with ...


Finding the poetry in your tweets
Washington Post
Those are the opening lines of a four-stanza poem titled “Of Comments,” written by one of the world's emerging great poets: Twitter dot com, with an assist by yours truly. Twitter, of course, didn't actually write that poem, but a new tool called ...

Google News

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Poetry and Popular Culture

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RISK

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