What is your favourite poem? When someone asks me that it’s a bit like asking me which one of my children I love the most…it changes every day (joke!).
In case you missed it World Poetry Day was Tuesday. I know poetry is not for everyone, but I find a comfort and pleasure in it I could never get from a book. In times of sadness certain poems salve my soul or give me the words a broken heart cannot express. The same is true for Love, happiness, friendship and parenthood.
I have many poetry books but my go to book is Daisy Goodwin’s ‘Poems To Last A Lifetime’. It’s a compilation of poetry covering life from birth to adolescence, first love, marriage, everlasting love, divorce and death, beautifully illustrated and edited. There is a poem for everyone in there and many I’d never heard of.
So tonight I’d like to share with you two of my favourites at the moment.
My first is one I’ve loved ever since I began to realise my children were growing up and turning back the clock was not an option. It’s simplicity is striking. So much emotion conveyed in so few words. With Mother’s Day on Sunday this poem is very much on my mind as my small children are no more.
Beatrix is Three.
At the top of the stairs
I ask for her hand. O.K.
She gives it to me.
How her fist fits my palm,
A bunch of consolation.
We take our time
Down the steep carpetway
As I wish silently
That the stairs were endless.
My second choice is a poem I’ve lived by especially in the past year. We are often asked to make decisions in our lives, some bigger than other. Sometimes it comes down to ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, but was it the right ‘No’?
Che Fece…Il Gran Fifiuto.
By C.P. Cavafy.
For some people the day comes
when they have to declare the great Yes
or the great No. It’s clear at once who has the Yes
ready within him; and saying it,
he goes forward in honor and self-assurance.
He who refuses does not repent. Asked again,
he would still say no. Yet that no—the right no—
undermines him all his life.
Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard
If you have a favourite poem, always or just todays choice I’d love to know.