May 7, 2016

Poems of This Day for Mothers


There is a wide range of ways poets have written about mothers. Poets.org collected a few examples as we approach Mother's Day.

I have posted several times poems concerning mothers.

Burt Kimmelman's poem "Taking Dinner to My Mother" served as a model for one of our writing prompts. Looking at it again now and thinking about another post I made the year my mother would be 92 feels strange to reread because my mother didn't make it to her December birthday that year.

I wrote about a Mary Oliver poem and how my mother might react to it. Burt's poem is knowingly about his mother just before she died.

But Mother's Day shouldn't be a sad day, even if your mother is gone, it is a time to think of the happier moments. Maybe read some funny poems by Hal Sirowitz from his collection Mother Said.
Or recall something as in Li-Young Lee's "I Ask My Mother to Sing" or this old poem for children by Robert Louis Stevenson.

To Any Reader

As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.

But my favorite poem for my mom might be one by Billy Collins about a small gift we might give on this day as a child before we knew "that you can never repay your mother," I made at least one of the lanyards that Billy wrote about giving to his mom and I found it after she died in a wooden box that I had made in Cub Scouts along with some other small gifts I had given her.  I was just as sure of their value as Billy. And we were right.



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