Thursday, August 4, 2016

Poetry Friday - Celebrating Gifts

            I'm off with my daughter and the grand-girls next week to visit family, and wanted to be sure to share my latest special poem swap gift before I go! Thanks to Tabatha Yeatts who created the swap several years ago, those of us who participate have double pleasures each time: we get to create and send a special poem to someone else, and we receive awesome poem/packages in the mail. Considering much of my mail is opened as I stand by the re-cycle bin, this is a thrill.  

           Visit Tara Smith at Teaching Life for all the Poetry Friday links today. This time, Tara shares a poem that means goodbye to summer, something especially poignant for teachers returning to their classrooms. Thanks for hosting, Tara!


           I've written sestinas, and have had my students write them too. It's a pleasing form, and often when one explores, I've found a story emerges. But I've never had someone write a sestina about me. I'm a bit embarrassed to share this from Doraine Bennett, who wrote and sent my latest swap surprise. It is a poem about me, and I am grateful to have been given such a compliment.


           In addition to the sestina, Doraine sent me a gift that will be remembered for a long time, a variety of bulbs and seeds from her own garden! 
           Thanks for all the lovely surprises, Doraine!


Each bulb or packet of seeds came with a note, but this
note is especially wonderful: "from my daddy from me
to you".
And something for the future flowers on their way!

Celebration
        for Linda
      by Doraine Bennett

For one who knows how to celebrate,
life is like a garden.
Every plant has its story
woven intricately into the grand
scheme of things that bloom
and stretch towering heads toward sun.

That one always lifts her face to the sun,
looking for light, a reason to celebrate.
She has a knack for seeing a wild bloom
hidden beneath mulch in the garden,
one that isn’t nearly so grand
as the rose bursting with its own story.

That singular wild flower has a story
all its own and needs the sun,
but not just the sun. It needs a grand
gardener who can celebrate
the smallest, plainest plant in the garden
and give it the room necessary to bloom.

She knows just which bloom
needs just which story
in order to sink roots deep in the garden
and lift its tiny head toward sun.
Each time it happens, she knows to celebrate
the flower, the growth, the journey. It’s grand.

And so is she. She’s a grand
gardener, a grandmother in full bloom
teacher her grand flowers to celebrate
their own roots and buds, their story,
as she points their face toward the sun,
knowing the work required to grow a garden.

What is life without a garden?
And what is a garden without a grand
mother to share the sun
shining on each new bloom,
together growing a magical story
that each will celebrate?

One must know how to celebrate a garden
for the story, grand or common,
to burst full bloom into the shining of the sun.


40 comments:

  1. What a truly wonderful gift. I am nearly speechless. Am I ever truly speechless? My hubby would say no. My surgeon would say yes, but there was no video proof thank god. I may have to go sit among the Queen Anne's lace burgeoning in my uncut lawn tomorrow just to contemplate this poem and gift a second time. What lovely people all of you are.

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    1. You've have to join in sometime, Brenda. I'm glad to offer a treat for your time out of doors in that purple nightgown!

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  2. Wow. What a gift - well, all the gifts!- and our beautiful Doraine captured you in such a special way, Linda. You are both grand women blooming with stories, and poems warmed by the sun. Thanks to both of you!

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    1. Thank you, Robyn, and you're welcome too. The honor all goes to Doraine of course.

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  3. Now that is an amazing gift with such a beautiful poem. Dori gifted you with a lasting treasure and well-deserved lines to compliment who you are, Linda. When the flowers bloom you will need to send us photos to be in awe of because they came from the heart.

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    1. Won't that be a treat, to continue the gift with pictures, and maybe a poem, too! Thanks, Carol.

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  4. This was a beautiful picture of you, Linda!
    Very beautifully thoughtful and well-put to paper. It will give a whole new feeling out in the garden when you plant those gifts, too.

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    1. That's true, Donna, it was a delight to receive it. Thanks!

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  5. So so beautiful, this! Every time I read a sestina I am kind of in awe, and this one is so Doraine, and you, too Linda! My favorite lines: She’s a grand/ gardener, a grandmother in full bloom. How lovely is that?! Enjoy your family, Linda. Thank you for sharing. xo

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    1. You're welcome, Irene, the pleasure is mine, and thanks to Doraine of course.

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  6. You'll have to send me pictures when those bulbs bloom! Enjoy your trip.

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    1. I will! Thanks again Doraine for your wonderful gift!

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  7. Such treasures to revel in and celebrate, Linda - gifts for your gardening and your poetry soul. Enjoy your family trip!

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    1. Thanks, Tara, I'm looking forward to the traveling!

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  8. It makes me so happy to see you captured in a poem like this, Linda. Brava, Doraine!

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    1. I feel honored, Michelle. It is wonderful, isn't it?

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  9. What a nice gift! How touching to be honored in such a way!

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    1. Yes, I agree, Matt. Thanks for coming by.

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  10. What a beautiful tribute and gift to you! Lovely!

    And enjoy your family time!

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    1. Thanks, Karen, it was a wonderful surprise.

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    2. I can imagine! And thank you so much for letting me know about the missing link in my post -- I appreciate it!! Just fixed it. :)

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    3. Good, and you're welcome!

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  11. Beautiful poem for a beautiful person, Linda! Doraine is spot on: "as she points their face toward the sun,
    knowing the work required to grow a garden". =)

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    1. Thank you, Bridget. The poem swap gives great pleasure. I still have all my poems saved. Maybe time for a scrapbook?

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  12. What gifts! What a grand poem you inspired!

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  13. What a gift (both the seeds/bulbs and the poem)!!

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    1. It is a special one, agreed! Thanks, Mary Lee.

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  14. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful person! Looking forward to seeing photos when the flowers bloom!

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    1. Thanks, Catherine. I need to get them planted!

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  15. How incredibly generous, heartfelt and beautiful. I am sure Doraine's gift will warm your heart for many seasons to come. And how wonderful, to be able to inspire so many wonderful words.

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    1. Thanks, Kat, it was a joy to receive so much from Doraine.

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  16. Grand generosity from Ms Bennett!! I am wowed. And also laughing from Brenda's comment.

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    1. Yes, in her recovery, Brenda has given us all a laugh, and I am grateful for Doraine's thoughtfulness, and your idea, Tabatha! Thanks!

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  17. That is so wonderful, and you completely deserve it, Linda. You are such a kind, lovely person. Even though I only know you through text on my screen, I feel blessed!

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    1. Thanks, Ruth, I always love hearing from you, too.

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  18. This is precious. What is life without a garden? Great line!

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    1. Thanks, Kiesha. It's a wonderful poem, I agree.

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  19. Wow! What an incredible, incredible gift not just to you but to all of us. The poem is beautiful and the seeds and bulbs. Just, wow. You are a most fortunate friend.

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    1. You're right, it was a wonderful gift. Thanks, Linda

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