Thursday, November 8, 2018

Poetry Friday - Legacy


           Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty has the Poetry Friday Roundup today, a gathering of words that feel good to the soul. Thank you, Michelle!



             I'm been thinking much about women recently, those close in my family and those I know only through well-known, sometimes famous, deeds. And I've been watching campaigns by women all over the U.S. I am proud of all the women who ran in this election and prouder still that so many will be traveling to Washington. It's often a surprise what poetry finds me. I do write every day, not always a poem, but some lines that intrigue me I want to capture. This time, with so many posting #Vote pictures and art on social media with quite a few of them using the suffragettes as inspiration, I've written about mothers and daughters, what links between, what is passed on from one to the other, implicit hopes from elder to youth. Perhaps it's also about our links from woman to woman? It's a sestina, a form I like writing though don't do often.


Sestina Memoir

From the mantle shelf, the book
was brought with a smile by the mother.
She turned then toward her daughter,
inviting her to sit by the fire
and listen to poems of the seasons,
at this time of cold, snow, ice—of winter.

Soon, the words reminded of a long-ago winter
when others sat and marveled over a book,
this book, the only one 'twas valued, about the seasons.
It told of long years' wisdom, that mothers
passed on to their daughters.  The fire
blazed, illuminating the face of the daughter.


“Mother, explain this to me,” said the daughter.
“We’ve often sat the long evenings of winter
talking and sewing, telling our stories by the fire.
Why is it that this time you remember that book?”
“Because you are almost a woman,” replied the mother.
“And I was told I would know the right seasons

to guide my life, my family.  Those seasons
of growing toward young womanhood, my daughter,
are what I’ve left to give you as your mother.”
The young woman shivered, for it was full winter.
She averted her eyes from the book,
to watch the embers glow in the fire.

Then in her body raged a new kind of fire,
one that would take fuel from all the seasons.
And the things shown pictured in the book
were now asked after in detail by the daughter
because she did know that it was already winter,
and she desired answers from her mother.

“Yes, my dear, I have some answers,” said her mother.
“If you’ll throw more logs upon the fire
to keep from me the chill of winter,
I’ll share with you the secrets of the seasons.
First, the spring, when you were my little daughter.
See, look here, at pictures in the book.”

They rambled on to winter, last of seasons,
then the mother turned and kissed her beloved daughter,
said goodnight, put out the fire and returned the book.
Linda Baie (c) All Rights Reserved



38 comments:

  1. I'm charmed by your sestina, Linda! It moves the reader along so invitingly. (Picking the words is such a difficult and crucial step -- you did a top-notch job!)

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    1. Thanks, Tabatha. It is a challenge to choose, but was inspired this week by all the election words by others who mentionned their mothers, so many who spoke of the suffragettes we are beholden to, plus winter cold here!

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  2. I like the story you wove–the passing of lineage amongst mother's and daughter's, and it flows so well––which I think is a challenge for this form. I also like how you tied it all together as it closes–strong poem and bond, thanks Linda!

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    1. You're welcome, Michelle. It was fun to try to capture this week.

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  3. Linda, this story poem was beautifully crafted and fits so well at this time when women are moving forward and looking back.

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  4. Oh, my goodness...how beautiful! Not only is this a great yarn...keeping me in suspense about what's in the book that the daughter needs to know, you've created the feeling of the shell of closeness in that moment. The fire, the embers, the outside cold giving shivers, the mantel. The details are perfect and wonderful. It is a sacred thing...what passes between mothers and daughters. Some of us are fortunate that what is passed is done so with love and easily. Others, not so much. I love the feeling of special and sacred in this poem.

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    1. Thanks, Linda, I wonder what such a book would contain?

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  5. So beautiful, Linda -- love the evocative setting,the sense of intimacy between mother and daughter, and how the narrative unfolded. The passing on of wisdom and traditions and values is so important. I agree that with this week's midterms there was a feeling of solidarity, woman to woman, sister to sister, also a strong kinship with those who paved the way.

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    1. Thank you, Jama. I am grateful for the wonderful women in my family that I grew up with, but also the special teachers, then friends, today my daughter and daughter-in-law. I agree, sharing and passing on wisdome and values is a very good thing.

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  6. Such a timely poem! I love the affectionate conversation and the wisdom shared by women over generations.

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    1. Thanks, JoAnn, it was a pleasure to write.

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  7. This is wonderful, Linda... and so meaningful. I think of the sestina form as a package with it's precise repetitition. It's like unwrapping layer after layer, and you've wrapped it up in so much love, respect, and tradition—everything that makes the mother-daughter bond so familiar and so special.

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    1. Thank you. It is a story with a past, and one still unfolding, isn't it? I love the thought of women continuing to support each other.

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  8. This is one of the most challenging forms. I read somewhere that a sestina is like the way we tell stories with repeated words. I hear a story in your poem, one of love and sensitivity of a mother to her daughter.

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    1. My comment didn't show up with my name. Above from me, Margaret Simon

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    2. Hmm, wonder why? Thanks, Margaret, it's nice to hear that idea of a sestina.

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  9. Dear Linda, you've created a beauty here! I love all the dialogue in the poem especially. I can see these two together by a fire... thank you! xo

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    1. You're welcome, Irene, and thank you for good words!

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  10. Captivating tale you've shared here, Linda - and packed with love, tenderness, introspection, and hope. Well done.

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    1. Thanks, Matt. As you read, it was an inspiring week to write.

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  11. This is beautiful, Linda and, as others have said, so timely. Such a complex form but you have well and truly conquered it.

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    1. Thanks, Sally. As said a lot above, the inspiring week made it one to enjoy writing.

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  12. Blurry eyes reading this, Linda - so beautiful, such a comforting rhythm, so many layers, both intimate and universal. Thank you, my friend.

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  13. Sestina seems to be your forte, Linda. Please share more!

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  14. Thanks, Robyn and Diane. The seeming impetus for a sestina doesn't come often, but I'm glad it did this time.

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  15. Oh, this is lovely, Linda. So tender and (I'm stealing Robyn's word) intimate.

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  16. Well done, Linda! This is such a challenging form and you've crafted such a lovely, loving image of the power of women and words. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  17. Women showed quite a lot of power this past election week, really inspiring. Thanks, Molly & Catherine.

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  18. Your sestina is woven with the expertise of a poetic seamstress, Linda. Bravo! And hooray for the women who voted and those who were elected. Look out DC!

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    1. It is very exciting, isn't it? Thanks, Bridget!

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  19. This is a beautiful sestina. The image of mother and daughter sharing wisdom and a book by the fire will linger.

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  20. This is a beautiful poem--beautiful images and a lovely relationship between mother and daughter.

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