Friday, May 4, 2012

Words Worth Saving

                Poetry Friday is hosted today by Elaine at her wonderfully inviting and creative blog,  Wild Rose Reader.  Thank you for hosting Elaine!

            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.


  1. Thank you for this poem--I loved the last line of it--

    "Were it not for the way you taught me to look
    at the world, to see the life at play in everything,
    I would have to be lonely forever."

    Even though my mother is still with me, these words resonate....

  2. Yet another perfect poem it reminds me of my grandma and her sand plums.I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day with your children, you so deserve a special day.
    Happy Mother's Day early!

  3. I still have my mother too, but honestly as old as I am I dread the day. When the day does come I will remember this poem and steal a flower from her yard and savor her many intangible gifts.

  4. Lovely poem, so sweet and sad and hopeful. I love that part about how she asked him if he would be sad when it happened. A conversation they are still having...

  5. Beautiful poem, Linda! Love the last stanza especially. Kooser is one of my absolute favorites.

    The Sandburg quote is one I've posted at my blog too -- love it!

    Thanks for the NPR link. Off to read the essay now . . .

  6. Thank you for sharing, Linda. I too am blessed to have my mother still with me, one state away, and yet I teared up at this perfect poem. Wishing you and yours a glorious May! (And thanks for the link, which I'll check out too.)

  7. Oh my, what a wonderful poem. I gloried in all the garden descriptions, and cried at the last stanza...and I will go out into my garden and look upon the iris with new eyes. Thank you!

  8. beautiful poem! the imagery is amazing! thanks for sharing.

  9. Messages of survival, hope and healing.

  10. Linda, like everyone else, I loved this poem, and yes, especially the last few lines. I still have my mom, but always feel a little sad on Father's Day, because my dad is gone.

  11. I keep on getting confused as to when exactly Mother's day is celebrated. Is it the first Sunday or second Sunday of May? Haha. I enjoyed the poem, Linda. Speaks right to the core. I also loved how you included Sandburg's views on poetry: Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.

    I was reminded of the Persian poet, Rumi's own version of what poetry means to him, I posted it this week in one of my FB status updates: "Poems are rough notations for the music we are."

    Happy Mother's Day dearest Linda.

  12. OK, this is the third time I'm trying to leave this comment...

    Gregory Orr's piece is perfect. What he says has absolutely been my experience of writing since the Haiti earthquake. It's life-saving to be able to take the chaos of feeling and create something on the page.

  13. Apparently the little goblins that live in the internate ate my last comment...

    Happy Mother's Day, Linda -- I've really enjoyed reading the poems you have shared about motherhood.

  14. I never intended to read Orr's whole article, just comment on the lines you quoted. (I need those words so much right now.) Then I followed the link, and how could I NOT read the whole thing? Oh, my. Oh, my. Oh, my.

  15. I know that when I come to your blog I will find something touching here. Twice in today's post. Thank you.


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