[PW] Trying to find poem for library patron

d-lien University of Minnesota d-lien at umn.edu
Sat Sep 18 11:48:22 PDT 2021

I did some fulltext searching on Hathi Trust


for the remembered phrases (or portions of them) and found the poem.
Here's a direct link:


It's "The Backwater (to E.L.D.)" by Frank Kendon, in his 1924
collection POEMS AND SONNETS.  The entire book is free online at


and the poem in question is on pp. 30-32.  Enjoy!

Dennis Lien // (retired from) U of Minnesota Libraries // d-lien at umn.edu

On Sat, Sep 18, 2021 at 1:35 PM Joyce Deming
<Joyce.Deming at jeffcolibrary.org> wrote:
> Hello!
> I have an elderly library patron who is trying to recreate a collection of poems that were destroyed in a fire.  This is what she gave me to work with:
> The poem maybe part of a larger work dealing with the Ozarks.   She thinks the title of the poem she is looking for is "Backwater."
> Its about two friends sailing on a river or pond & fishing; one of the friends start musing about nature, the nature of man, knowing the soul/heart of another.
> Some lines she remembers:
> "and the impossible the soul longs after; is to build bridges there where none may build"
> "which of us has looked into the heart of his brother"
> "nature is more fair"
> "the unwielding hour unwilling to teach us"
> I am working remotely so don't have access to any print poetry anthologies right now.  I'm also in a public library so don't have access to any university online poetry databases.  Google is just not coming up with anything.  Thanks so much for your help!!!
> Adult Outreach Librarian | Adult Services,Standley Lake Library
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