"To My Friends"
"Dear friends, and here I say friends
the broad sense of the word:
Wife, sister, associates, relatives,
Schoolmates of both sexes,
People seen only once
Or frequented all my life;
Provided that between us, for at least a moment,
A line has been stretched,
A well-defined bond.
I speak for you, companions of a crowded
Road, not without its difficulties,
And for you too, who have lost
Soul, courage, the desire to live;
Or no one, or someone, or perhaps only one person, or you
Who are reading me: remember the time
Before the wax hardened,
When everyone was like a seal.
Each of us bears the imprint
Of a friend met along the way;
In each the trace of each.
For good or evil
In wisdom or in folly
Everyone stamped by everyone.
Now that the time crowds in
And the undertakings are finished,
To all of you the humble wish
That autumn will be long and mild."
A celebration of friendship in all its aspects--from the delight of making a new friend to the serene joys of longtime devotion. Poems about best friends, false friends, dear friends, lost friends, even animal friends. These poems have been selected from the work of great poets in all times and places, including Emily Dickinson, W.H. Auden, Henry Thoreau, Shakespeare, Sappho, Robert Frost, Rudyard Kipling, Walt Whitman, and many others.