From the recordings American Lyrics and Rowan Pierce, Soprano
Myra Viola Wilds was born in Kentucky. She authored the poetry collection Thoughts of Idle Hours in her own hand after losing her eyesight due to overwork as a dressmaker. In the preface to the book, she writes:
'I send out my first litle book, "Thoughts of Idle Hours," trusting it may find kind, considerate friends. Should I live to finish the second edition, I hope it will be a great improvement over this my first, I was born at Mount Ollie, Ky., a little country place. I lost my eye- sight from overwork and eye strain at my occupation, dressmaking, in the year 1911. For three years afterwards, I went through a very severe illness. On March 10th, 1914, at 3 a. m. I awoke out of a sound sleep and wrote my first poem, "Sunshine." In eleven months and seven- teen days afterwards, I had written the contents of this book. The question has often been asked, who writes your thoughts for you, since you are blind? I will an- swer here. Every line and verse in this little volume has been composed and written with my own hand notwith- standing the loss of my eyesight.
A copy of each verse I retain in my own handwriting, after this, they are copied in a book by my husband. I beg your kind consideration of the plain, simple verses herein:
I do not seek Wealth, Fame or Place, Among the great ones of my race, But, I would pen in letters bold! Some thoughts! perhaps to cheer the soul
What kind of thoughts now, do you carry
In your travels day by day
Are they bright and lofty visions,
Or neglected, gone astray?
Matters not how great in fancy,
Or what deeds of skill you’ve wrought;
Man, though high may be his station,
Is no better than his thoughts.
Catch your thoughts and hold them tightly,
Let each one an honor be;
Purge them, scourge them, burnish brightly,
Then in love set each one free.