I have wanted to share this piece from Gregory Orr and NPR’s program This I Believe for a long while. A friend of mine brought it to me because she had found it in the published book of the essays, and she knows how much poetry means to me. And I have read it and loved these words often since she brought it. And then poetry month came along and I had taken the challenge of writing a poem every day, instead of writing about poetry. So the piece waited.
Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits. ~Carl Sandburg
Now that it’s glorious spring, and we might all take a deep breath to smell the flowers better, we may also take the time for other things, like enjoying what others say about poetry. You may have seen or heard this before, but if so enjoy it again. And if it is new, take it in for the first time. It is titled The Making of Poems, and begins with this sentence: I believe in poetry as a way of surviving the emotional chaos, spiritual confusions and traumatic events that come with being alive.
Mother’s Day is coming next week, and I like Mother’s Day. My son is flying in with his family and it will be a good weekend. But some of us also think of our own mothers. When I buy cards for my daughter and daughter-in-law, I feel a tinge of sadness because I miss my mother and no longer choose a card just for her. We were close, talked on the phone often. I often have called this our very good long-distance relationship because she lived a few states away, and long phone calls kept our relationship strong. I lately read a poem by Ted Kooser that I love, about a mother gone. It touched me.
A poem, Mother, by Ted Kooser begins:
Mid April already, and the wild plums
bloom at the roadside, a lacy white
against the exuberant, jubilant green
of new grass and the dusty, fading black
of burned-out ditches.
You may read or listen to the remainder of the poem here.