Monday, March 16, 2009

Book Review: If I Only Could Write A Line

By: Min. Angela Lee Price

Louisville attorney Charles C. Hagan, Jr. handed me a copy of this newly released book from Millennium Vision Press just yesterday, and it has truly blessed my soul. If I Could Only Write A Line - The Religious and Inspirational Poetry of Mary Southers is a book of 197 original and authentic poems, all written in the 1930's and 1940's by his great-grandmother, Mary Southers, a former resident of Louisville, and a past member of Lampton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

"These poems and another 55 were hidden away in an old trunk belonging to Mary Southers's oldest son, Christopher M. Parker. They were not discovered until after his death in 1984. These poems have never been published or seen the light of day, except some were often read at church, and many were sent to friends, neighbors, and relatives as Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, and on other special days and occasions," says editor Charles C. Hagan, Jr., Mary's great-grandson.

Ms. Souther's love for the Lord is apparent on every page of poetry in poems like, Just Took A Little Walk With the Lord, I Know Jesus And He Knows Me, He Has Risen, O, We Of Little Faith, The Power of God, and her first poem, Happy At Last. Especially beautiful to me, being that today, March 16th is my birthday, is the poem on page 97 written June 13, 1948 entitled, Happy Birthday:


On this another birthday my dear
I've just a few words to you to say
May all the peace and happiness be yours
On this your birthday.

The Lord has been with you all the way
And has led you another mile
May he in his mercy forever keep you
As a good father does his child.

May the Lord lead and guide you
As you travel through this unfriendly world
And may you give Him the glory and thanks
And let his banner be unfurled.

and this one on page 96 entitled, On Your Birthday:

Beloved of my heart
Until death I shall pray
That you walk down the years
In God's gracious way.

That the lily which now
In your young heart enshrined
With the rays of his love
May forever be enshrined.

To Jesus whose beauty
Through the ages has shown
And which gleams in its whiteness
Before God's bright throne.

I give you in trust
You are young and sweet
May he keep you my darling
And guide your dear feet.

Selected and edited by Charles C. Hagan, Jr., If I Could Only Write A Line will bless and encourage you in your walk with Jesus Christ. This book certainly demonstrates that this unknown poet, and housekeeper by trade, Mary Southers had an extraordinary gift for writing a line.

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