Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Memorial Poem


Maria Shriver read this poem today at the memorial service for Tim Russert. She said someone sent it to her when her cousin, John F. Kennedy, Jr., died.

The Little Ship

I stood watching as the little ship sailed out to sea. The setting sun tinted his white sails with a golden light, and as he disappeared from sight a voice at my side whispered, "He is gone".

But the sea was a narrow one. On the farther shore a little band of friends had gathered to watch and wait in happy expectation. Suddenly they caught sight of the tiny sail and, at the very moment when my companion had whispered, "He is gone" a glad shout went up in joyous welcome, "Here he comes!"

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most touching poems I've ever heard, and Maria Shriver read it with such poignancy and tenderness. Thank you, Ms. Shriver and Ms Holstine, for sharing it with us here on this website.

Lesa said...

You're right. Maria Shriver read it beautifully. It moved me to tears, and my husband's eyes teared up when he read it.

I'm glad someone printed it, so I could share it.

I'm going to share this with others in the future. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It is a beautiful poem. Do you know who wrote it?

Lesa said...

I'm sorry. I don't know who wrote it. When Maria Shriver read it today at the memorial service, she just said someone sent it to her when John Kennedy, Jr. died.

I don't know.

Anonymous said...

I searched for this poem yesterday after hearing Maria Shriver read it at Tim Russert's Memorial Service. I had almot given up when I found it here. THANK YOU!!! I wish I could find the name of the author and the name of the poem to give personal honor and thanks.
This profound poem is rich with meaning about death and its glorious beginning.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this poem. I was hoping I could find it on line as I told my Mom about it as she missed that section of the Memorial Service yesterday. It is a touching poem and Maria Shriver read it beautifully.
Thanks for sharing.
Michele

Lesa said...

You're welcome. As far as I know, the name of the poem is The Little Ship. Maria Shriver did read it beautifully.

Sooner or later, the name of the poet will come out, unless it is Anonymous.

My mother received a beautiful poem when my father died, one very appropriate to his life. However, so many of those memorial poems seem to be written by "Anonymous."

Perhaps Maria Shriver will tell the author, if she knows it. I'm sure people will ask her who wrote it.

CAROL said...

Thank you for posting this poem.
I told my Son about it and have been searching for it since the service ended.
The memorial tribute was wonderful and we should all thank the family for sharing it with us, and this poem made us think of Meet The Press on the other side.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Carol.

Yes, it was so generous of the family to share the memorial tribute with those of us who "loved" Tim Russert, although we actually never met him.

His joy in life, his celebrations of his father and son, his love of sports were all subjects he shared although the topic was politics on Meet the Press. He made us see him as one of us, with a normal life, instead of a wealthy TV newsman who didn't care about us.

And, the poem showed that we may have lost him, but there were people just as eager to welcome him home. It was beautiful.

Buffalo Bob said...

This was the most memorable and poem from the memorial. Thank you for posting and RIP, Tim!

Lesa said...

I agree, Buffalo Bob. I to say, RIP, Tim.

writingmom said...

I posted this on the June 19th blog, and am reposting here for those who might look back at this date. As Auntie Knickers revealed in her blog entry, the poem is a paraphrase of Henry Van Dyke's "A Parable of Immortality". Here is the full context of his writing:

A Parable of Immortality

"I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says, 'There she goes!'

Gone where?

Gone from my sight ... that is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says, 'There she goes!' there are other eyes watching her coming and their voices ready to take up the glad shouts 'Here she comes!’

Lesa said...

Thank you, WritingMom!