Thursday, May 1, 2008

Give the Gift of a Poem

Mother's Day is around the corner and instead of the usual bunch of flowers, why not give or ask for a poem?

Caroline Kennedy in The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, writes:

...for each holiday or birthday, John and I would have to write or choose a poem for my mother. We had to copy it down and illustrate it, and she pasted them all in a special scrapbook. A few days before Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, there would be mad scramble for the poetry books, and a mild sense of competition to see whose poem was longer or more famous. It wasn't like a school assignment, but an infinite wandering that took us out of our own world, and into so many others.

It's a great idea for birthdays too. For my mother's birthday I wrote out The Flowers by Robert Louis Stevenson and she loved it. She said it made her cry.

So for the next few days I'll be posting some poems if you want to give this idea a try. Get the kids to draw a picture to go along with it.

The Flowers

All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse,
Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.

Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames-
These must all be fairy names!

Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose and thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

Fair are grown-up people's trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.

Robert Louis Stevenson