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Instructions for learning to ride a bicycle, by Miss Frances Willard, 1895

Strange as this paradox may seem

You will do this best by not trying to do it at all


You must quickly make up your mind

Or as quickly, be cast in yonder mud puddle


Two things must occupy your thinking powers

To the exclusion of every other thing:

First the goal

Second, the momentum required to reach it!


Do not look down!

Do not look down!

Do not look down, like an imbecile

upon the steering wheel in front of you:

that would be as wise as for a nauseated voyager

to fix his instruments upon the rolling waves!


It is the curse of life that nearly every one looks down.


But the microscope will never set you free:

you must glue your eye to the telescope

glue your eye to the telescope:


look up,  look up!

look off,  look off !

look on,  look on!

look out,  look out!

look out, look out!

Look out!



c  evalyn parry, SOCAN 2011 / music by evalyn parry, lyrics by Frances E Willard, from “A Wheel Within A Wheel”, 1895, adapted by evalyn parry