March 21, 2017

World Poetry Day and Mother's Day

Birth Of A Human Being

for our daughter

My snow soul is slowly taking shape,
Falling from heaven to inherit the earth
And the family features of God and ape,
Angel out of my element from birth…
And this is me, this helpless drop of Man,
This perfect mould of bud and mineral,
Crawling, fight and every earthly thing.
All of it – nothing.
       Yet I’ll assert I AM
In time by striving upward endlessly;
Inherit here a kiss, to milk, like grist,
The love that made me and by which I’m born;
The word that speaks its perfect mind; the fist
That grasps its imaged God; the whole torn
And bleeding womb of human history.

From “Coming Home”

Written the day she was born (Dec 28 1986) not long after witnessing a long and troubled labour of love- she's (just) married now and living in a house of her own. I just asked her mother what poem of mine she would like to hear on World Poetry Day (there are rather a lot of them now) and this, of course, was it.

Dedicated to her mother on Mother's Day 2017. Euripides, the ancient Greek tragic playwright and  soldier, said he would rather face three battles on the front line than endure one labour. I can bear witness to the second part!

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