Mother’s Day?

 

With world Poetry Day in mind I thought I would share some poems which I have recently come across.  World Poetry Day is 20 years old.  One its aims is to celebrate linguistic diversity.

A tongue can accuse and carry bad news
The seeds of distrust and hate, it can sow,
So unless you know that it is the truth,
Be careful of stones that you throw.
( Larry ”Dutch” Woller )

During my school days we had to learn poetry by rote.  It was something I could never do.  Each and everytime although having spent at least an hour memorising the various poems by the next day I had totally forgotten every word.  I dreaded being asked to recite the homework.

Choosing Shoes

by Frida Wolfe

New shoes, new shoes,
Red and pink and blue shoes.
Tell me, what would you choose,
If they’d let us buy?

Buckle shoes, bow shoes,
Pretty pointy-toe shoes,
Strappy, cappy low shoes;
Let’s have some to try.

Bright shoes, white shoes,
Dandy-dance-by-night shoes,
Perhaps-a-little-tight shoes,
Like some? So would I.

BUT
Flat shoes, fat shoes,
Stump-along-like-that shoes,
Wipe-them-on-the-mat shoes,
That’s the sort they’ll buy.

This poem on shoes I came across on https://suth2.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/new-shoes-new-shoes-red-and-pink-and-blue-shoes/

 

However, not being able to remember poems has not hindered my love of poetry.  I really enjoy finding a new poem.  Reading it a few times to listen to the rhythm of the poem.  For me it does not matter that I might not know what the poet intended by the poem.  I do not need to delve into every line and stanza to enjoy a poem.

 

the sun
and her flowers

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

Rupi Kaur

I have enjoyed the poetry of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill for years. This is one of my favourite of her poetry.

An Crann

le Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

 

Do tháinig bean an leasa
le Black & Decker
do ghearr sí anuas mo chrann.
D’fhanas im óinseach ag féachaint uirthi
faid a bhearraigh sí na brainsí
ceann ar cheann.

 

The following is a poem which I came across in an anthology of poems. I often wonder how it would sound in it’s own language. Is there a difference between today’s language and when it was written in 619?

 

Flowers and Moonlight on the Spring River

Yang-Ti, Emperor of Sui Dynasty

Translated by Arthur Waley

 

The evening river is level and motionless —

The spring colours just open to their full.

Suddenly a wave carries the moon away

And the tidal water comes with its freight of stars.

 

Have you come across a poem which has stirred something in you. Perhaps you might like to share?

 

 

Where Have I heard that Line?

Do you ever find that a poem, piece of writing, a song lyric will resonate with you one day and on another day will have no impact?  A word, a phrase, a memory will trigger a need to read the entire poem, read the entire passage or listen to that song.

 

“Sing and the hills will answer:

Sigh it is lost on the air;”

 

These lines have been reverberating in my mind for the last few days until last night when I decided to start a search to find the poem from which they come.  This time I didn’t want to use a google search.  I don’t know why but it seemed important to browse through poetry books and books of “sayings and quotes” to find the source.

It was an inexplicably comforting thing to do.  It didn’t feel as if I was the only one wide awake and on a search at 2.43am when I began my search.  It felt just right.  There were many stops along this search when I was reacquainted with long forgotten poems.

I found “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann again.  This was a popular prose poem when I was in secondary school in the 1970’s do you remember the opening lines? “Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”

The sun had risen and with a mug of coffee sitting on the back-door step I started browsing another book of poetry.  This book was given to me to celebrate my recent 60th birthday by a friend who knows how I love to hop in and out of poetry books.  She gave me two books.  “A Poem for Every Day of the Year” edited by Allie Esiri and its sister book “A Poem for Every night of the Year”.  Anne chose well and through her I have become reacquainted with some old forgotten poetry but also, I have been introduced to new poems and poets.

It was in one of these books that I found it.  I found from where those few lines came from.  I had found“Solitude” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

Solitude

Laugh and the world laughs with you:

Weep, and you weep alone;

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,

But has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer;

Sigh, it is lost on the air;

The echoes bound to a joyful sound,

But shrink from voicing care.

In Anticipation of Spring

For those looking forward to the days lengthening and the coming of spring. This poem was written by Paula Meehan.

SEED

The first warm day of spring
and I step out into the garden from the gloom
of a house where hope had died
to tally the storm damage, to seek what may
have survived. And finding some forgotten
lupins I’d sown from seed last autumn
holding in their fingers a raindrop each
like a peace offering, or a promise,
I am suddenly grateful and would
offer a prayer if I believed in God.
But not believing, I bless the power of seed,
its casual, useful persistence,
and bless the power of sun,
its conspiracy with the underground,
and thank my stars the winter’s ended.

 

Gladden the Heart

 

I remember when I was quite young I heard the expression “to gladden the heart”.  It was years before I actually understood what it meant.  The first time I read this poem I was reminded of that expression.  When I came across the poem again this morng  it lightened my spirit once more.

 

 

Smiling is infectious

You catch it like the flu

When someone smiled at me today

I started smiling too

 

I walked around a corner

And someone saw me grin

When he smiled I realised

I had passed it onto him

 

I thought about a smile

And realised its worth

A single smile like mine

Could travel round the earth

 

So if you feel a smile begin

Don’t leave it undetected

Start an epidemic and get the world infected.

Spike Milligan

Reconnecting

Let me

Love you

Always.

Please do.

 

By Susan McMillan

 

 

I came across this poem this morning on  www.rhythminlife.net

Perhaps this resonated with me after attending a family wedding last Saturday. It was a privilege to witness such a special ceremony.

It was lovely to see people reconnecting.

Young cousins now adults catching up.

Aunts and uncles meeting nieces and nephews as adults and engaging with them as adults.

Having the pure joy of hearing grandnieces and a grandnephew laugh.

The reassurance of a loved one as we looked on.

These special moments are priceless.

Thank you Andrea and Paul.

A Child’s Poem? Or Maybe Not

Surprise

 

The biggest

Surprise

On the library shelf

Is when you

Suddenly

Find yourself

Inside a book

(the hidden you)

You wonder how

The author knew.

 

by Beverley McLoughland

 

 

Beverley McLoughland is a children’s poet.  She doesn’t have a blog, website or Wikipedia entry.  Her poems have been published in literary magazines.  This poem can be found in a book called “Good Books, Good times” by Lee Bennet Hopkins published by Harper Collins.   It is a collection of funny poems celebrating the joy of words.  Although published for children it is a great read for any age.  The illustrations by Harvey Stenson just add to the fun of the book.