Thursday, May 10, 2012

Two for moms

It's almost Mother's Day. When I look through my piles, I see that I've written scads of poems about mothers—having one, being one. But today I feel like sharing a couple by others. Both are a peek into mothering.

The first one is this week's American Life in Poetry Column, reproduced below in its entirety.

American Life in Poetry: Column 372


We’ve published a number of engaging poems about parenthood in this column, and we keep finding more. Here’s Wendy Videlock, who lives in Colorado, taking a look into a child’s room.


I should be diligent and firm,
I know I should, and frowning, too;
again you’ve failed to clean your room.
Not only that, the evidence
of midnight theft is in your bed—
cracked peanut shells and m&m’s
are crumbled where you rest your head,
and just above, the windowsill
is crowded with a green giraffe
(who’s peering through your telescope),
some dominoes, and half a glass
of orange juice. You hungry child,

how could I be uncharmed by this,
your secret world, your happy mess?

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2003 by Wendy Videlock from her most recent book of poems, Nevertheless, Able Muse Press, 2011. Poem reprinted by permission of Wendy Videlock and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2012 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

The second poem is a wonderful Ann E. Michael imitation of the famous "For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry (excerpt Jubilate Agno)" by Christopher Smart, published this February in the Imitation edition of  quarrtsiluni.

JUBILATE PUERIS (Christopher Smart gratias)

by Ann E. Michael

For I will consider my Boy Michael.
For he is the servant of no one, although we do request his assistance.

For when it comes to food, he worships in his own way.

For this is done by opening the peanut butter jar and swirling a knife seven times round with 

For then he spreads the peanut butter upon the bread, and closes up the jar, and leaves the
 dirty knife upon the counter.

For he layers jelly upon the sandwich.

For having thus made his own lunch he does pride himself.

For this is the minimum of what is expected of him, that he make his lunch and put his 
own clothes upon his body and occasionally wash his ears.

Happy Mother's Day!

This post is submitted to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Irene Latham at Live Your Poem.


jama said...

Great poems! Especially enjoyed the second one :). Who could not love such a boy? Happy Mother's Day!

violet said...

Isn't Ann Michael's poem clever and wonderful? Trust a mother's watchful, discerning eye to know and love in such depth. Have a Happy Mother's Day, Jama.

I'm Jet . . . said...

Oh. Love them both, but esp the second one . . .


I'm Jet . . . said...

Silly me. Left a comment on the lit mag site.

So, as I was saying over there, I love both of them, but most esp the second one . . .


violet said...

Thanks Jet (for both comments - appreciate you leaving another when you thought you goofed). And me too... love that second poem - especially the ending.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Wonderful poem selections for Mother's Day! Beautiful. Thanks for sharing these, Violet. :) Happy Mom's Day! :)

Irene Latham said...

Thank you for posting these. I always think of mother poems as kid speaking of mother. And what I like about these are that they are the mother talking about the kid. thanks so much for sharing!he

Ruth said...

Both of these are wonderful for Mother's Day. Thank you!

Doraine Bennett said...

I enjoyed both. Thanks for posting. Have a Happy Mother's Day.

laurasalas said...

I loved that Kooser poem! Thank you for sharing it. (I'm apparently in the minority--not a huge Michael fan.)

violet said...

Love all your observations! It's interesting how we gravitate toward different poets and their view of life (hey, Laura Salas). I hope you all had a fabulous Mother's Day! I know I did:)