A Poem Called “I Wish You”

We can learn a lot from the courageous words of those who came before us. “I Wish You” is a poem with such great meaning and self-reflection. Especially during these uncertain times, while we pray for those directly impacted by COVID-19 (France, Italy, Spain, and right here in North America), it makes perfect sense to reflect on historical works that encourage compassion and hope in the face of adversity. This is when we all need to come together. 

*Editor’s note: Victor Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement. He is considered to be one of the greatest and best-known French writers (he wrote Les Misérables twenty years before its eventual publication in 1862). We felt his poem “I Wish You” was very appropriate as we all fight this global pandemic together. “I Wish You” was written during a difficult time that we can now look back on and learn from.

Love and prayers to you all,

The RedLily® team. 



I wish you first to love,
and that loving, also be loved.
And, if not, be brief in forgetting
and that after forgetting, don't hold grudges.
I wish, therefore, that it is not so, but that if it is,
You know how to be without despair.

I wish you also have friends,
and that, even bad and inconsequential
Be brave and faithful, and at least
there is one to trust without hesitation.

And because life is like that,
I wish you also to have enemies.
Neither many nor few, to the exact extent,
so that sometimes you wonder
Your own certainties. And that among them,
there is at least one that is fair,
So you don't feel too safe.

I wish you also to be useful,
More not irreplaceable.
And that in bad times,
when there is nothing left,
that utility is enough
To keep you up

Likewise, I wish you to be tolerant,
not with those who make little mistakes,
because that's easy, but with those who
they are very wrong and hopelessly
and that making good use of that tolerance,
serve as an example to others.

I wish you, being young, not mature too quickly,
and that already mature, do not insist on rejuvenating,
and that being old do not dedicate yourself to despair.
Because every age has its pleasure
and your pain and you need to leave
Let them flow between us.

I wish you by the way that you are sad.
Not every year, but just one day.
But on that day you discover
That daily laughter is good, that laughter
usual is bland and constant laughter is unhealthy.

I wish you to discover,
with maximum urgency, above
and despite everything, they exist,
and that surround you, oppressed beings,
treated with injustice and unhappy people.

I wish you to pet a dog,
feed a bird and hear a goldfinch
to win his morning song triumphant,
why in this way,
You will feel good for nothing.

I also want you to plant a seed,
however tiny, and the
accompany your growth,
for you to discover how many lives
A tree is made.

I wish you also have money,
because it is necessary to be practical,
And that at least once
per year put some of that money
in front of you and say: "This is mine."
just to make it clear
Who owns who.

I wish you also that none
of your affections die, but what if
die some, you can cry
Without regretting and suffering without feeling guilty.

I wish you finally that, being a man,
have a good woman, and that being
Woman, have a good man,
tomorrow and the next day, and when
are exhausted and smiling,
Talk about love to restart.

If all these things happen,
I have nothing more to wish you.

~ This poem was written by French poet Victor Hugo.


Editor’s note: Do you like to write poems but don’t know where to share them? We are accepting poetry, photo essays, and creative artwork for upcoming issues. Email [email protected] for more info. Check out some more motivation submissions.