susan b. james (elfmama) wrote in abandonedplaces,
susan b. james


What a wonderful site! Such beautiful photos. I've always loved old things and lonely places. I was wondering if you guys were familiar with the poem, The House With Nobody In It , by Joyce Kilmer. I can't say that I feel as if all abandoned places fit this poem but its been one of my favorites since I was about 8. 

                              The House With Nobody In It

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
and look at the house, the house with nobody in it.

I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things:
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do:
for it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

The house on the road to Suffern needs a dozens panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied.
But what it needs the most ofa all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid,
i put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and I'd give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
looks idle perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
for the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house  that has done what a house should do, a house that has sheltered life
that has put its loving wooden arms about a man and his wife
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh, and held up its stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight whent its left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track,
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart
for I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.
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