Poetry is deep breath into the soul of things. With true economy of words, poetry can hit that place right in the centre, even if you have tried your best to build a fortress around it.
The other day, my good friend, Brooke, sent me one of her new poems that hasn’t been published yet. It pierced me to the core. It brought me to my knees, to a longing that I couldn’t articulate. But this poem could speak on my behalf.
“A poem begins with a lump in the throat; a homesickness or a lovesickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”
Robert Frost, Letter to Louis Untermeyer, 1916
As I continue to contemplate and plan the year ahead for my children, poetry is going to be a big part of it – writing it, reading it, and reciting it.
Reading poetry that strikes the most tender place of your being is like discovering a secret that you have kept from yourself. Sometimes you never know what a poem will reveal to you.
This year I am choosing a poem for each of my children. Attached to the poem is a symbol for their journey and the significance of where they are right now. Each poem will be a favourite of mine that I have continued to read at various moments in my life. As I meditate on each child, these poems come back to me. They come back to me now as beacons of light that shine upon each child. The poems reflect my own hopes and my thoughts on what they will need to draw upon for the upcoming year based on their developmental phase.
They may not understand the significance of these poems but they may simply hear the beauty in the words. They may be an echo of what they have heard before or spark a flash of new insight. It may answer questions or allow them to ask more.
My children may forget about them by this time next year or recall them when the time is right.
But what if these poems are written on their hearts forever? Gifts from their mama who couldn’t find the words herself.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.