Thursday, August 18, 2016

Poetry Friday - Goodbyes

             Doraine Bennett at Dori Reads hosts Poetry Friday today. Be sure to visit this week’s poetry links.

         I love Linda Pastan's poetry, and imagine many of you know this poem. Yet, this is going-back-to-school time, and whether you have a little one going off to Kindergarten, one starting high school, or going to college for the first time, even the second, this particular poem speaks to a kind of separation most can relate to. It's a separation needed and strived for, but so hard too. Even teachers know about this at their "ends" of school years. 

         Wishing everyone a delightful school year for those young people in your lives.

To A Daughter Leaving Home

When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,

        the rest is HERE.


photo credit: 234A4033.jpg via photopin (license)

44 comments:

  1. This is such a bittersweet poem! I have several friends taking kids to college this year, and will have to share it with them!

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    1. It is bittersweet, but captures the feeling so beautifully. I'm glad you have some friends to share with, Keri. Thanks!

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  2. Oh my! Tears. My girl is leaving next Friday. I needed you to remind me of this!

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    1. Hugs and best wishes to you, Julieanne. I've been there!

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  3. Oh, my. How did you know? How did you know that Linda Pastan is in my top ten favorites for poetry and that my eldest is going off to college as she has acted like since she was two. Linda B, you knew. You knew.

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    1. No matter the age, saying goodbye is happening in so many places this month, Linda. Best wishes to you and to your daughter!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this poem, Linda. I've loved watching my kids enter adulthood, and one of the gifts of parenthood is looking at them all grown up and seeing all that came before. They are so many people in one! As we all are. And I don't think I've ever seen a pic of a baby flamingo, so thank you especially for that! xo

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    1. I remember all the years, too, Irene, and now watch the grandchildren moving on, their parents watching! I looked for a child pic, but found this one and fell in love. I'm happy you like it! Thanks!

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  5. Thank you for sharing, Linda B. Linda Pastan's poem brought tears to my eyes. I'm already missing my girls as they head back to school soon and have missed my son all summer as he graduated last spring and wobbled his wheels into independence. Pride, fear, laughter, joy, sorrow--such a mix!

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    1. Thanks, Molly. I imagine this collective sigh of parents everywhere, Molly, in that special kind of saying goodbye.

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  6. Linda,

    That is one of my favorite poems! When my daughter graduated from high school, I made her a scrapbook filled with pictures of her life from the day she was born through her teen years. I included some of the poems that I had written specially for her--as well as poems written by children's and adult poets. "To a Daughter Leaving Home" was one of them.

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    1. It is a favorite of mine too, Elaine, hits us true, doesn't it? How wonderful that you created that scrapbook. I bet the grandchildren will love looking at it! Thanks for sharing about it!

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  7. Right in the heart, Linda! Our son is moving onto campus next Thursday. Thanks for the good wishes!

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    1. You're welcome, Tabatha. So many have this "next step" to live here in August. Good luck to your son!

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  8. Yes, this poem tugs at the heartstrings. We don't have anyone going off to school this year, those memories never fade. By the way, that photo is adorable! Thanks for sharing, Linda.

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    1. You're welcome, Catherine, old memories too, right?

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  9. Oh, my daughter is 7 and hanging onto her training wheels like tiger. My first thought was, so other kids learn at 8. Whew! LOL I will not be able to see her ride away from me now without thinking of her hair, waving goodbye. So sad even to imagine it.

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    1. Each one is different, each one a treasure I think, Brenda. I like that you love that hair waving! Me, too!

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  10. Linda, this one is perfect for me today. We drop our oldest at college tomorrow. I love, love, love "more breakable" and of course "screaming/with laughter." Thank you!

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    1. Oh, so glad I posted this Friday. It is time for everyone to be back, younger or older. Best wishes for a good day for you all, Liz!

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  11. I do love this poem, Linda. Yes, there’s some sadness, some worry, but what a glorious image of that kid pumping like wild and screaming with laughter as they learn to fly!

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    1. Yes, as I wrote above, this may be sad, but it is what we wish for all our children. Thanks, Dori.

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  12. Just beautiful. I remember writing a poem for my kindergartner the night before the first day of school. This makes me think back to that beginning for both of us!

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    1. They are leaping into new parts of their worlds, and Linda Pastan shows that so beautifully.

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  13. Your timing and selection are perfect for me today, Linda. I'm in the second category you mentioned– my baby girl started high school this week! I can't believe it. She's so much older now, but her hair still flaps in the same way.

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    1. Love hearing about that hair flapping, Michelle. So many of us ask "where has the time gone?" Best wishes to her and to you, too. It's a new kind of parenting in high school!

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  14. That last image is breaking my heart. We take my son back to college tomorrow. Another goodbye. I sometimes think the goodbyes get harder as our children get older.

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    1. It is hard to do when my son & family leave, knowing it'll be quite a while before we see each other again. Hugs to you & best wishes to your son, Laura.

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  15. I do love this poem, Linda, but can't read it without tearing up. Goodbyes are still bittersweet.

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    1. I understand. It is clear in its point, always a shock when goodbyes happen.

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  16. This poem has been a favorite for years. "...pumping for your life." Like you said, it's what we want, and yet it's difficult too. And the pic of that baby flamingo is delightful. I have to admit that I missed it on first reading. But went back to look at it when I noticed the comments about it.

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    1. I love that baby flamingo too, Ramona, and remember well those goodbyes. Thanks!

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  17. Linda Pastan is also one of my favorite poets. This is a perfect poem to read at this time of year.

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    1. I agree, Violet, lots of goodbyes happening!

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  18. That saying goodbye. So, so, so hard…

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    1. I know you know this, Carol. Thanks!

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  19. I had a fun beginning to the school year -- I got to reconnect with some "ends." I met a former student for a glass of wine (!!!), reconnected with another from the same class on FB, and saw others a little closer to their end with me -- girls going into 6th and 7th grades. The end is hard, but the journey is so so fun.

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    1. Yes! I was just 'friended" by another grown-up student this week, so wonderful to see what she's doing. It's fun to remember our journey together. Sending them off to their futures is what teachers do, and it's not easy. Thanks, Mary Lee.

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  20. How beautiful. I do love this. (And I'm glad the little cyclist didn't meet the corned of a fence... and the prickle patch, soon after, like I did!)

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    1. Oh my, what a memory! My son had quite a large mishap, too, on his bike. But, in this poem, happy that all is well. Thanks, Kat!

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  21. Poignant poem, Linda! The lines:
    "more breakable
    with distance" - are especially touching to me these days. Thank you for this. =)

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    1. You're welcome, Bridget. I'm happy that you found a line that touched you.

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  22. I can so relate to this, Linda - such a touching poem. And so apropos for this time of year!

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    1. I know you've been there, Matt, and will again. Happy you liked it.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!