This poem is, I think, all about perseverance. What is perseverance ? Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance. Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint. Perseverance is trying again and again.
Each day I go into the fields
to see what is growing,
find what remains to be done.
It is always the same: nothing
is growing, everything needs to be done.
Plough, harrow, disc, water, pray
till the bones ache and my hands rub
blood-raw with honest labour -
all that grows is the slow
intransigent intensity of need.
I have sown my seed on soil
guaranteed by poverty to fail.
But I don't complain - except
to passers-by who ask me why
I work such barren earth.
They would not understand me
if I stooped to lift a rock
and hold it like a child, or laughed,
and told them it is their poverty
I labour to relieve. For them
I complain. A farmer of dreams
knows how to pretend. A farmer of dreams
knows what it means to be patient.
Each day I go into the fields.
American poet, William Daniel Ehrhart, served in Vietnam
and has become known as one of the Vietnam War Poets.