For the love of poetry

232323232-fp537-5-nu=32-6-572--77-WSNRCG=336548-63532-nu0mrjThere is something about poetry that has a way of taking the ordinary and opening your eyes to the beauty hidden within the otherwise mundane, that can provide you with the words to express what you’re longing but couldn’t find words to fit. I love how Mary Oliver puts it in her poem “I want to write something so simply” (from Evidence, 2009):

I want to write something
so simply
about love
or about pain
that even
as you are reading
you feel it
and as you read
you keep feeling it
and though it be,
my story
it will be common,
though it be singular
it will be known to you
so that by the end
you will think–
no, you will realize–
that it was all the while
yourself arranging the words,
that it was all the time
words that you yourself
out of your own heart
had been saying.

Which is obviously something I really love, given the title of my blog and its tagline. And yet it is hard to find the mental clarity and quiet needed to express in words how my heart is journeying through this unique season. Enter a perfect lunch in Williamsburg yesterday.

My good friend from grad school and counseling colleague, Mel, introduced me yesterday to Sarah Park, who is not only another fellow twin mom but also a published poet. And what’s her subject? “honest poems for mothers of small children” Really? When she handed me her book of poetry entitled “What It Is/Is Beautiful”, I took in my hands a gift. A gift of words to express what I feel and words to help me see what’s hard to see some days. (Like on Tuesday night when we put the twins back in their big girl beds  and found a string of *dirty* diapers they had retrieved from their *childproof-but-not-twinproof* diaper pail, and yes, we both stepped in poop as we entered their nursery-turned-modern art-display.)

While you may not be hearing a poem from me about poop or the angst of big girl bed transition for twins, you will be hearing more from me about Sarah’s book as its release date draws near (April 6th).

One of the few lines that’s already becoming a favorite is below, from “Already But Not Yet”. Join me in savoring the art of words that flow and words that fit –

I have already

drawn my children near,

tucked their hair behind their ears,

told them how much

I love them;

but I have not yet

made it through a day

loving perfectly,

free of discontent, guilt,

or fear.

3 thoughts on “For the love of poetry

  1. Pingback: The one voice that matters most | hidden glory

  2. Pingback: an open letter to my daughters: reflections on three-years-old | hidden glory

  3. Pingback: Countdown to 2014: top 10 books read in 2013, part 3 | hidden glory

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