Wings and Sky (review) by Martha Snell Nicholson

The book Wings and Sky by Martha Snell Nicholson (1888-1957) is 107 pages long. Originally published in 1938, the copy I read had three editions. My edition was printed in 1946. This book of poetry has a preface by Martha's husband Howard and a foreword by Louis S. Bauman (1875-1950) a Brethren minister and author. Page 80 begins a section called Songs of Home. These poems tend to deal with home life. The book concludes with an index. 

Howard Wren writes, 

This little volume of verse was lived before it was written. Each peom is the product of years of suffering, of searhcing for the meaning and purpose of life, of paiteint waiting for the fulfilment of dreams, of seeking-andfidning, God! 
Never strong as a child, in early young womanhood, the author suffered a complete breakdown. I may not speak as I would like of the conflicts of those days, though no one knows them so well as I, her husband. She was in bed most of the time for seven years, years of endless waiting, of cruel disappointment, of pain and weakness of body that all but crushed the brave spirit within.  
After partial recovery came one operation after another, and ailment after ailment which came and never departed. Especially the past few years she has known constant pain and increasing weakness and helplessness. The fight is still hers to keepher soul triumphant over the ills of the flesh. Still she is translating Christian faith and hope into gallan Christian living, still "his compassions fail not, for they are new every morning," still is His strength made perfect in her weakness. 

Her deep love for humanity has given her a great longing to make her life and experience bear fruit in helpfulness to others. Especially is it her desire to show forth her Lord as she has been priveleged to see HIm in a sick room, and in so doing to make fruitful the years which at the time seemed so buarrren. So she sends forth this little book to all those who suffer and are heavy laden, wit the hope that it may point the way to the ONe Who is the great Burden Bearer.

This book was very moving. You meet Martha in her hopeful and suffering words. This is part of her poem Shadows of the Past. I love the phrase "Kaleidoscopic symbols of the past".

"Ah, dear kaleidoscopic symobols of a past
Long gone! Now my caressing fingers linger last
On this small fragment of my mother's wedding dress,
And pausing so, I pray her spirit will possess
My own! I send my own soul searchingdow the years,
Back to her wedding day. I feel her hopes and fears,
Her purity, her girlishness-I even see
That sacred small first house where he and she
Together lived and loved, and waited until we,
Their dear and cherished children, came, their daughters
three."


The book is out of print. In 2019 you can pick it up for about $20.



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