The House with Nobody in It

I’m joining Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday …


When I was 10 years old, my Grandma gave me a book of poetry entitled All the Silver Pennies.  I remembered it recently when my husband and I visited Half Moon Bay, CA. I looked out the window of our B&B and saw this …


The House with Nobody in It

by Joyce Kilmer


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 tragic 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.


This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen 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 of all is some people living inside.


If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I’d 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 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 around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby’s laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it’s 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.


Thepink vine was beautiful, but I still wondered what memories had been made in the old house …  I hope they were good ones.

Have a wonderful weekend — and make some good memories in your house — whether it’s new or old! 



  1. Love it, love it, love it! Great post! Sandi

  2. You just have no idea…
    I’m crying right as I type this. I have this *thing* about abandoned houses just exactly like Joyce Kilmer states so beautifully in the poem. I’ve just never, ever, been able to put it into words.

    I just can’t bear to watch them fade away as if they were never a home at all.

    LOVE this. Thanks. Maybe if I let my family read it, they will understand my heart just a little better on this subject.

  3. Awwwwwwwwwww! What a lovely story/poem. It goes straight to my heart. What sweet pictures, too!

    Love, Katy Noelle

  4. Such a sweet and wonderful post. I love it. I have always looked at old houses and wondered who lived there, how wonderful it would be to restore and on and on. Hope you have a great weekend. Hugs, Marty

  5. Thanks so much for visitng and your comments..seems we share a lot in common. I am so glad you stopped by so I got to find you and enjoy this beautiful poem. Your grandmother must have been awesome! That is a lonely looking house but I am also awed by that odd looking plant in the front of the picture. Very neat!

  6. What a lovely poem and example of pink with the small flowers on the empty house. Happy Pink Saturday.

  7. Love the poem. My dad instilled a love of poetry into my life as a child and now I can’t imagine my life without it…

    Thanks for sharing. Happy Pink Saturday~


  8. I am delighted you came by my blog because it meant I found yours.
    What an amazing post.
    I am a follower and I will be back to read more!

    White Spray Paint

  9. what a beautiful old house. it’s always sad to see old buildings alone and uncared for. loved your post and thanks for visiting me.sorry you couldn’t open the book!

  10. Beautiful photo and lovely quote. Take care and have a great weekend.

  11. What a lovely post. I am such a fan of Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees.” So nice to discover another one of his poems.

    I love the old falling apart houses. Always want to buy them and save them! At least this one has been saved in photographic form!

  12. love that old house
    Happy Pink Saturday from Pink Sugar Castle…
    God Bless You

  13. When I was a kid I lived in a farm for a couple years and we had to drive by a little house like this everyday. We kids thought it was a witch’s house!
    The plants are very pretty here.