Sunday, November 25, 2007

then poetry and babies mixed themselves together.

FOR GARTH AT THREE WEEKS

Overnight the leaves have turned.

Yellow birds, brown, the thrush, the gold

crowned sparrows, chipping sparrows, wren

have gathered in their light & flown.


Being part bird you hold them

still in your dancer’s hands, light

boned with the star’s geometry

& all the fine wind come resting


after long labor, all

bright sky in this foxed autumn

leaf fire, storm candle

my loud October sun.



It's a poem that is...30 years old now, as is my firstborn. It was published in...let me think..yes, it was the Christian Science Monitor that for a while supplied little checks that went towards baby necessities and cut flowers in return for poems like this one. My baby poems are not my best; it is hard to pull out of sentimentality when the adored infant is drooling on you, and in this particular one I'm not sure about that last pun. But the poems I wrote the autumn and winter of my first child's birth felt like triumphs. So many stupid people said to me "how nice that you will have a baby to take care of--then you won't need to write". Since pregnancy was not a good time for poetry--my listening mind went inward too far with each of my pregnancies, and while I could write fiction and newspaper columns, poetry seemed impossible--I was terrified that they might be right, that I might perhaps have to trade the gift of my child for the gift of the muse, or vice versa. Any poem that came to me in that time was gratefully and humbly received.

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2 Comments:

At December 08, 2007 8:57 AM , Blogger Lori Witzel said...

Lots of fine old-new things! Thank you so much for sharing these, and the little bit of backstory.

 
At January 13, 2008 10:33 AM , Anonymous marly said...

How silly we people can be! As if having a baby couldn't be inspiring--like going to the fount of things, where babies and poems are both born.

 

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