Sunday, January 4, 2009

Poem hunting

I have a week, roughly, before the Spring semester begins; it is my final semester. I have reason to believe that it may be a slightly stressful one, added to the fact that I'm beginning to feel slightly burnt out and will be in my third trimester for the majority of it *doing third trimester dance*. Forgive me now for the things I may say and do--and those things which I do not say or do that I should have.

That said, Floyd and I got a head start on some baby stuff (note: there's about 2 1/2 weeks between the due date for final grades and the due date for the baby, so anything we can get done now is uhm, beneficial). The room is bluish, light bluish. That doesn't mean we're having a boy. It just means the room is blue. It also has a sun and some clouds, which is pretty darn cute, but not above-board cute--for the record, I find many baby nurseries nauseating. It's like, dude, the baby's cute; no need to overload everyone with smarmy attempts to make everything surrounding the baby cute, too. Although an alphabet was suggested, and fairly so, as one appears on the lil quilt we bought (on clearance!), I think that it puts a lot of undue pressure on an infant. However, it got me to thinking. If I'm going to pressure my little one into being an uber-nerd like me, why stop at the alphabet? This is where all y'all come in.

I would like to hang up a giant-sized poem in the room. Originally I considered jest paintin it up on the wall, but have decided to put it on a large canvas instead (the canvas is also painted sky/clouds, so maybe I can always keep a little bit of the nursery...yep, there you have it. An already nostalgic mom moment. Move along, folks).

Any poem suggestions? Presently, I am considering Langston Hughes' "Dreams" (see below) but it seems almost too negative, in spite of its positive message (the poem talks more about injured birds and barren winter fields than dreams). I am open to ideas, and much in need of them.

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

In another forum, I was given two other suggestions, which I thought I'd throw out there as well, for your thoughts.

I carry your heart with me (e.e. cummings)*

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and
whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Note: not entirely sure on the original/correct format, although this was lifted from a fairly reliable .edu website

And someone else suggested a poem from Khalil Gibran from "the Prophet" (he adds that I could probably find a better translation).

And a woman who held a newborn babe against her bosom said,
- Speak to us of children!

And he said:
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


Dedalus said...

Well, when it comes to the Newborn, I always like to bring out:

Thou must be patient; we came crying hither;
Thou knowest the first time that we smell the air
We waul and cry...
When we are born, we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools.
(Lear IV.6)

But that's not really a poem, is it? :)

I like the cummings and the Hughes well enough. But I've always felt that if you're gonna expose kids to rhyming verse, it should scan consistently. (This is what's so great about Dr. Seuss! You can read one of those books at age three and instinctively know forever what meter is, even if you couldn't explain it. There isn't a syllable out of place! Langston Hughes doesn't care about those things, which is fine.)

Tried to think of something a child would like but that I would also like. Thought of "Kubla Khan!" It's like proto-Seuss! But not as inspirational as your choices. Thought of Yeats and thought of "Innisfree" right away; it's actually got a lullaby quality to it. "Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings..."

But on the same page of my Yeats book I found "A Cradle Song," which I'd never read. So sweet and simple that it might just work!

...I sigh that kiss you
For I must own
That I shall miss you
When you have grown.

I got an "A" in Crazy Beeyotch said...

I hadn't looked at any Yeats--wow, it really is quite sweet. Leave it to the Irish :)

Kubla Khan as proto-seuss--awesome.