Saturday, December 9, 2017

‘The Word’

The Word
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Oh, a word is a gem, or a stone, or a song,
Or a flame, or a two-edged sword;
Or a rose in bloom, or a sweet perfume,
Or a drop of gall is a word.

You may choose your word like a connoisseur,
And polish it up with art,
But the word that sways, and stirs, and stays,
Is the word that comes from the heart.

You may work on your word a thousand weeks,
But it will not glow like one
That all unsought, leaps forth white hot,
When the fountains of feeling run.

“The Word” originally appeared in New Thought Pastels (Elizabeth Towne, 1906).

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox was born on November 5, 1850 in Johnstown Center, Wisconsin. Her poetry collections include Poems of Passion (W.B. Conkey Company, 1883) and Poems of Peace (Gay & Bird, 1906). She died on October 30, 1919.

Courtesy Academy of American Poets. Visit

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