The riveting performance of Amanda Gorman at the Presidential Inauguration somehow breathed new life into a literary form that is oftentimes overshadowed by fiction, history, mysteries, and memoirs.
I love words that move me, I love words that paint a picture in my mind, simply, I love poetry.
Last fall, I shared a Robert Frost poem, Gathering Leaves on my Front Porch Forum. In all the time I’ve been on FPF, no one has responded with appreciation like they did when I posted that poem. I heard from three people! Three people decided to take a moment of their day to read the beloved poet and then took time to email me to thank me for posting it!
Sometimes, a little poetry is all we need to refresh our spirits and recharge our battery.
In the spring, I substituted for a school librarian. Her lesson plan involved teaching poetry to elementary students. When I asked them about spring – what new things the students would see, hear, feel, and touch in spring, I was blown away by the beauty and the seriousness of their responses. Poetry to me is a bit of an ethereal art form that is difficult to explain, but these kids got it!
We learned that poetry describes something, it paints a picture in one’s mind and it evokes feelings as you read the words that sometimes rhyme and sometimes do not.
Poetry tells a story, it evokes emotion, and sometimes, if the poem greets you at the right moment, poetry can transport you away and forget about the stresses and worries that have been compounded over the last fifteen months. According to Edgar Allan Poe,
Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
I write about mother loss and I look for poems about mothers to capture the feelings and emotions that I try to convey in my writing. There are some great poetry sites out there that promote contemporary, budding poets, including Rattle, Vermont’s very own Mud Season Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, 3Elements Literary Review, and lots, lots more.
So, let’s take a moment, breathe, and read a poem or two. I dedicate these to the mothers who have sustained the last 17 months of COVID and who are now managing a summer with kids! Let’s all BREATHE and READ… maybe, just maybe, reading these poems will inspire you to write a poem of your own.
I ONLY DANCE FOR MY MOTHER
She gives me the wine
and I take the wine.
I mop her floors
and she walks on them… (*to read more, please continue at Rattle.com.)
TO THE FRUSTRATED MOTHER IN STARBUCKS WITH HER THREE-YEAR-OLD SON
Don’t worry, this will end.
One day, he will stop hitting you
when he’s mad, his hands swatting
at your face like a short-circuited robot… (*to read more, please continue at Rattle.com.)
You were always the loud, strong-willed one
ruling us like a high-strung captain
our ship flung
headlong through a tempest… (*to read more, please continue at Rattle.com.)
Mother’s Day at Doña Rodríguez
Sandra Maria Esteves for Aya
We never met, but I knew her.
By that ray of life that passed into her son,
brilliant as sky through cane fields,
casting pastel shadows on a jíbaro’s balcón… (* To read more, please continue at the Poetry Foundation.)
LETTER TO MY MOTHER, ONE YEAR AFTER HER DEATH
You should know that the circus is holographic now—
whips are muted beams of light, the elephants,
like holy ghosts, no longer leave giant shits or hoofprints… (*To read more, please continue at Rattle.com.)
A mother wearing glass beads looking for
another handkerchief, the melted candy
in the one she is carrying as sticky as
the nose being wiped on her arm… (*To read more, please continue at Rattle.com.)
MY MOTHER WAS A DANCER AND SHE NEVER LOOKED BACK
and why would you when up ahead is vermilion,
gold, when the dress you wear is billowed
by poise, hemmed with every minute… (To read more, please continue at Rattle.com.)
MY MOTHER MAKES A RELIGION
to replace the old gods. Scripture
gleaned from the backs
of magazines, stars—she follows
horoscopes like commandments… (To read more, please continue at Rattle.com.)
UNSIGNED MOTHER’S DAY CARD
My mother broke the silence first
as my son slid into a pair of tense gloves,
bright beneath the cold light
of the delivery room… (To read more, please continue at Rattle.com.)
SHE WAS BEAUTY
She was beauty with a lively, vibrant smile that welcomed a “how do you do?” and a good chat.
She was farmer with hands that milked and cooked and sowed and loved, all in a days work
She was mother, who loved deeply and commanded respect that never faltered
She was mother
She was beauty
She was love.
I hope these poems have inspired you to write one of your own. If not, I hope that reading some poetry has refreshed your soul and allowed you, for a moment, to pat yourself on the back and appreciate all you do as a mother.