My mother recited poetry to her children every night. We were many and she was one, so that she came to us all by sitting at the top of the stairs with her one book and her memory.
The one book contained the complete works of Robert Service. Her memory contained the wealth of libraries. At that hour and in that place she was our shining light in the darkness. It is the light one cannot forget, whatever the shadows.
Her days were filled with hard labor and cares, but for that one brief interlude when she became the poet's heart. She brought to us her humanity and her passion; we lay quiet in our beds, in gratitude and awe.
Poetry was a part of my childhood.
One of the poems I memorized as a child of five was "The Children's Hour" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
This poem was taught to me from my mother's memory, rather than from a book. It was her desire that I recite this poem at a children's recital; I imagine she wished to proudly display the fruit of her ambition. I, on the other hand, valued more the precious attention she paid me as we walked hand in hand with words. It was one of our many irreconcilable encounters.
I am stubborn.
I did not perform.
She is stubborn.
She taught me no more poems.
I taught myself to read.
My mother continued to recite poetry passionately and beautifully.
|RECIPES :: Cast
The Bleeding Heart
By the Easy Chair
by James Joyce
This day has been filled with the clank and clang of the neighbors earthly goods making their way up the metal ramp to the box of the moving van. Since we have been very careful to gather-back all borrowed items, I can comfortably ignore the process. My feelings about their exit from my world are shameful.
"The Teenager", who enjoys giving her parent's earthly belongings to anyone and everyone, enjoyed great popularity with these neighbors. She would find my attitude lacking in generosity. She and I will discuss this matter after she has been paying her own bills for a few years. Until then I shall avoid the subject.
4:22 PM DST
Temp: 18` C
Wind: S 7 mph
Sunrise 6:01 AM DST
Sunset 8:40 PM DST
Page by Page: A Woman's Journal