Gransnet forums

Other subjects

Just poetry

(13 Posts)
Mishap Thu 08-Nov-12 18:03:05

My poetry group members have just left. Each time wew bring both a poem that we have written ourselves and one by someone else that we like. Today someone brought this poem and I thought you might like it.

Her First Week by Sharon Olds

She was so small I would scan the crib a half-second
to find her, face-down in a corner, limp
as something gently flung down, or fallen
from some sky an inch above the mattress. I would
tuck her arm along her side
and slowly turn her over. She would tumble
over part by part, like a load
of damp laundry in the dryer, I'd slip
a hand in, under her neck,
slide the other under her back,
and evenly lift her up. Her little bottom
sat in my palm, her chest contained
the puckered, moire sacs, and her neck -
I was afraid of her neck, once I almost
thought I heard it quietly snap,
I looked at her and she swivelled her slate
eyes and looked at me. It was in
my care, the creature of her spine, like the first
chordate, as if, history
of the vertebrate had been placed in my hands.
Every time I checked, she was still
with us - some day there would be a human
race. I could not see it in her eyes,
but when I fed her, gathered her
like a loose bouquet to my side and offered
the breast, greyish-white and struck with
miniscule scars like creeks in sunlight, I
felt she was serious, I believed she was willing to stay.

gramps Thu 08-Nov-12 18:47:06

That is a lovely, special poem!

I write poetry, but this is SO special,
The Mother love shines through it!
You have a special
talent. Well done!

Ariadne Thu 08-Nov-12 18:51:03

I love that, thank you, Mishap! I came across this the other day, and found it strangely moving:

"The night it is so very dark,
And I am oh so cold.
I wish I was a child again
And had a hand
To hold."

Wished I was still teaching so that I could share it...

Mishap Thu 08-Nov-12 19:14:58

gramps - I did not writte it - I wish I had! Sharon Olds is an American poet - I did not kn

Mishap Thu 08-Nov-12 19:16:48

gramps - I did not write this poem - I so wish I had! It was written by Sharon Olds who is an American poet - I did not know of here till today, but my friend introduced me to this poem - I am very glad she did.

Sorry - this post arrived twice - or bit by bit. I am on ther laptop and sometimes I hit the wrong button as it is small.

annodomini Thu 08-Nov-12 19:58:53

Ariadne you have shared it! smile

Greatnan Thu 08-Nov-12 20:12:28

What a wonderful poem - thank you, I will find more of her work.

Mishap Mon 12-Nov-12 16:57:46

Latest offering....


Poppies line up in faded rows
Pinned to breasts that swell with pride.
Creaking limbs and crooked backs
Dusty comrades, side by side.

What is it that they remember?
This dwindling crew, this ragged band.
Can they still dredge up the picture
Of events long past, of another land?

But every year they make their way
From faded mansions, council flats
With demob suits and Brylcremed hair
Regimental ties and breast-clutched hats.

And children at school in straggling groups
Are torn from lessons scuffling and yawning
To listen to the tale of slaughter
And have their turn to share the mourning.

And what is this remembrance for
When nothing changes? Can it make sense
For lists of dead and former carnage
To meddle with their innocence?

And here the great and good and rich
Stand in line just as they ought.
Lowered heads and sombre voices
Seeking the best camera shot.

But it is they who bear the guilt
Of taking new young men to war
To feign the image of true statesmen
And make their mark on history's score.

And all around the towns and hamlets
Is touted yearly “Lest we forget”
But it is clear we have forgotten
For nothing new has happened yet.

So let us forget and free our hearts
From inherited guilt and hand-me-down pain.
Claim the future for our children
And seize the chance to start again.

jeni Mon 12-Nov-12 16:59:54

Very Spatz,

jeni Mon 12-Nov-12 17:00:17

I typed apt! iPad!

Nelliemoser Mon 12-Nov-12 18:59:56

Another one for remembrance time.

Wilfred Owen
Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing bells for these who die as cattle.
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, -
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds.

annodomini Mon 12-Nov-12 19:33:38

I was reciting that to myself while they had the two minute silence yesterday, Nelliemoser. I'd rather hear that than 'Land of Hope and Glory'.

Jendurham Tue 13-Nov-12 01:25:38

That's the one I mentioned on the Poppies thread. It really gets to 14/15 year old schoolkids. Might get a better reaction from grownups than For the Fallen.