Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a
minute and look at the house, the tragic house, the house with
nobody in it.

I have never seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things.
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and
tied; but what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid I'd put a gang of
men to work with brush and saw and spade. I'd buy that place and fix
it up the way it used to be and I'd find some people who wanted a
home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door, looks
idle perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and long for
the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do, a house that has
sheltered life, that has put its loving wooden arms around a man
and his wife, a house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up
his stumbling feet, is the saddest sight when it's left alone,
that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back.
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters
fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house
with a broken heart.
.....Joyce Kilmer

Note: The house pictured is where I grew up and as a child it felt and looked so large and grand but when I again found it in 2003, it was as lonely as lonely can be.


  1. I know growing up I thought my Grandparents house was so big, we drove by it after I was an adult, it was tiny! So much love there it just seemed like a mansion!

  2. Hey're playing Adam Lambert on your playlist...I'M GOING TO HIS CONCERT THIS FRIDAY NITE...WILKES BARRE, PA...THE 1ST LEG OF THE GLAM TOUR...WOOHOO :D

  3. Okay I love you, but not Adam My grandma's house seemed so big too - now it is so tiny!


  4. I love that poem!!
    We visit The Joyce Kilmer forest every year. It contains some of the largest trees around.

    I remember seeing my old childhood house, and thinking how small it was too.

    Abandoned houses make me sad!

  5. When I was a child, I thought my bedroom was large, especially when it was time to clean it. Today I realize it's not much larger than my craft room. I so love this post, and I see you've changed your blog banner again.

  6. A house is a home only with someone living in & loving it!!
    Great Post!!

  7. Whenever I see an old rundown house... I think there are ghosts in it too. Yikes! Sorry I haven't been here in a while, Just enjoying the great outdoors and you know here in Mi., summer goes too quickly. I am planning on putting the book you sent me this winter again, when I am spending more time inside and doing the musicals again. I hope you are having a great summer!
    Blessings and hugs!

  8. I'm so glad to read this poem and see your old home picture. It brings back lots of memories for me as well. Altho, we lived in lots old houses, there's one I will always remember. I go by there occasionally and have to visualize what it looked like back's gone now. I hope I have a picture somewhere.

    So ya think you want to be my agent! We'd sure make a fun team if you're ready for a 'DirtyJob'! LOL! You know, I've loved everyone of your BlogLooks! I really love your new header and three column format. You got alot in it, but the plain background keeps it easy to read and simple. Lookin Good Gal!

  9. I love the poem and the house....Isnt it funny how houses seem so large when you are a child.....

  10. wonderful post. A reminder that it really is all about perspective


Thanks for taking your valuable time to tell me what you are thinking about!