Friday, May 15, 2009

POETRY FRIDAY: Three Poems for My Daughter

Sara and Me

In February, I wrote about my daughter’s engagement in this post: Will You Marry Me? A couple of Saturdays ago my daughter called and asked if I’d come with her to The French Bridal Shop to look at wedding gowns. She wasn’t planning to buy a gown that day—she just wanted to browse and maybe try a few gowns on. But once we got to the shop and she found several gowns she liked things got more serious. Well, we bought (ordered) her wedding dress that day! It’s absolutely gorgeous—just liked my only child.

I’ve been thinking about my daughter Sara a lot lately—about how much fun my husband and I had watching her grow up, about how proud we are of the woman she has become, about how much we enjoy being in her company, about how happy we are that she has found a wonderful man to share her life with.

I thought I’d post three poems for her today. Naomi Shihab Nye’s What Is Supposed to Happen has been one of my favorite poems for many years. I included it in a memory book for Sara when she graduated from high school.

by James Lenfestey

A daughter is not a passing cloud, but permanent,
holding earth and sky together with her shadow.
She sleeps upstairs like mystery in a story,
blowing leaves down the stairs, then cold air, then warm.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

What Is Supposed To Happen
by Naomi Shihab Nye

When you were small,
we watched you sleeping,
waves of breath
filling your chest.
Sometimes we hid behind
the wall of baby, soft cradle
of baby needs.
I loved carrying you between
my own body and the world.

You can read the rest of the poem here

I just found this poem by Margaret Atwood yesterday--and fell in love with it.

You Begin
by Margaret Atwood

You begin this way:
this is your hand,
this is your eye,
that is a fish, blue and flat
on the paper, almost
the shape of an eye.
This is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever
you like. This is yellow.

Outside the window
is the rain, green
because it is summer, and beyond that
the trees and then the world,
which is round and has only
the colors of these nine crayons.

Click here to read the rest of You Begin and to listen to a podcast of Atwood reading her poem.


At Wild Rose Reader, I have an original acrostic called DAYBREAK.

Kelly Polark has the Poetry Friday Roundup today.


Irene Latham said...

Love these.. .I am a big fan of Naomi Shihab Nye... less so of Atwood, but this is one of my faves of hers. Thanks for sharing!

Kelly Polark said...

Lovely mother/daughter picture!
I enjoyed these poems immensely. I have a daughter who is six and enjoy every year with her.

Libby Koponen said...

I had never read either of these before and love them both. Thanks for showing them to us and describing your feelings about your beautiful talented daughter.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Oh these are beautiful! They make me sad and grateful all at once. Especially when Atwood says, "This is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to learn than I have said." Oy

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Christine Tripp said...

Elaine, I hear you.
My third daugther is getting married this fall. The last of 4 to start her life with a person, who for me, is like a stranger, not myself.
It is so odd to realize that someone else, who did not bring into the world, nurture and love this wonderful woman, will know her far more intimately than I ever will, will be the keeper of her secrets and dreams for the rest of her life.
I am jealous, in fact, of each of my children's life partner.
But.... I know from experience, that I will always be her mother, and that she will always come back to me for guidence, with questions about life and, I guess, that is good enough.
Enjoy the moments!

Annie Patterson said...

Beautiful poems, thanks for finding them. :)