Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”


The world is not all sweetness and light.  It can be dark and cold, and the cold can be harsh and cruel, especially in the long winters of the upper Midwest.  But the brightest light can cut right through that darkness and be all the sweeter for doing so.  The poet’s job is not to deny the darkness and the harshness, still less to curse them, but to display in concrete images the truth that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.




The concrete walks were softer than the ground.

The pond was smooth and hard, though scarred by skates.

A few lone futile flakes of snow whirled ‘round

In the iron grip of a wind that howled with hate.

The skaters that had scarred the pond were gone

And rested now, no doubt, by warm hearth fires.

They’d left the wind to prowl the waste alone

And wail of its own alien desires.

At times, through scudding clouds, a star would flame,

Hinting from a height remote and pure

Of longings of its own it could not mane,

Though still the message came, and that was sure.

But once, they say, three Wise Men from afar

Bowed to the Name beneath just such a star.


Remember: for more poetry like this, go to and order Stars Through the Clouds!  Also look for Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest book from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD