Poems provide a particular joy

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 17, 2016

For a man who was told he’d never be successful, my friend William Sherrill has done well.

He’s not rich or famous. He doesn’t head an important company or have a mansion on a hill.

He is an Air Force veteran whose life went downhill with a diagnosis of mental illness.

But he worked hard, suffered through many setbacks and made a life for himself, first getting a degree from Salisbury Business College, then, years later, graduating from Shaw University with a sociology degree.

He has since studied theology and preaches at his church.

He reads newspapers and magazines voraciously and knows current events as well as a lot of history.

What makes him happy is writing poetry, which he has been doing for years, often having his poems published. His latest, “The Mystery of Abstract Victory in Humility,” is in ‘Great Poems of the Western World,” Here’s a line from the poem, “In humility and grace, you can experience a supernatural miracle.”

One of his poems has also been set to music, “The Perpetual Success of the Man in the Boat.” The poem is an inspirational one, advising people not to give up.

Sherrill has not given up, despite a life of hard knocks. He celebrates his successes and works for a better world. He has been a good friend for almost 20 years now. His visits bring joy not just to me, but to all those he comes in contact with.

A thoughtful and respectful person, he always brings a positive attitude and a big smile. The recent spate of bad news upsets him and makes him pray all the harder for peace.

His poems celebrate his faith and experiences, and while he may not be recognized for his writing, his contributions are heartfelt.

As poet Dannye Romine Powell said in a recent interview, writing poetry just because it makes you happy is fine.