Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s “The Year.” This short and rhythmical poem sums up everything we experience with the passing of each year.
What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.
If you get the opportunity, read Wilcox’s “New Year: A Dialogue.” Written in 1909, it is a fantastic dialogue between ‘Mortal’ and ‘The New Year’ in which the latter knocks on the door with offers of good cheer, hope, success, health, and love.
The reluctant and downcast mortal is finally lured in. It is a brilliant commentary on how the new year often revives us even though it is just another day on the calendar.