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For Poppy

by Zettel 

Posted: 04 March 2015
Word Count: 120
Summary: On the birth of a first grandchild

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For  Poppy
Children suffer to come unto to us
born through pain that ends
the pain of life that mercifully
the power of love transcends
Conceived in passion
borne with mother’s patient will
new life, new hope, a destiny
chance and choice to fulfil
The mystery of life, the joy to be
this new self enters time
all tomorrows now, no yesterdays
her rhythms waiting rhyme
Wanted, longed for, this unbroken
thread of life bonds and binds
in blood, in spirit, and in love
our hearts, our souls, our minds
So welcome to our world little one
to its passion, joy and fun
time ebbs away so secretly
live it to the full
till your journey too
is run.

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Comments by other Members

James Graham at 20:24 on 08 March 2015  Report this post
In 1673 Milton published his Poems upon Several Occasions, reflecting his belief that as a professional poet it was his job, as it were, to write a poem when an event happened – what was called an ‘occasional poem’. I’ve noticed in the past that you too often write ‘occasional’ poems (in that sense).This one is very touching.
I especially like
this new self enters time
all tomorrows now, no yesterdays
time ebbs away so secretly
- ‘secretly’ rings very true; at those moments when we say ‘How time flies’, it almost seems that time is some mysterious entity conspiring to make our lives seem even shorter than they are. Time has tricked us again.
In the third stanza, would this be better?
The mystery of life, the joy of being
I know you like to get the rhythm right. In the fourth stanza I think it would help to put ‘that’ in the second line.
(It is) Wanted, longed for, this unbroken
thread of life that bonds and binds
Grammatically, it reads as if there’s an ‘It is’ at the beginning, without these words having to be there, and the rest of the stanza is grammatically correct – and flows nicely.
It’s a pity that the ending is close to being a cliche – your journey is run/ your race is run. At the same time I wonder if you need to end with such a plain reference to death. It’s such a celebratory poem that perhaps mortality could be more muted in the wonderful presence of a new life. You could end with something like this:
time ebbs away so secretly
live it to the full
till your _____ days
are done.
This needs an adjective, one that’s a little surprising, e.g. abundant, vibrant, fertile, radiant. I’m not sure any of these are just right, but there’s quite a lot of choice. With this sort of ending, mortality is still present, but there’s a positive note as well. And you don't have to change the rhyme throughout the stanza.
Congratulations, and best wishes to your new granddaughter!

Zettel at 02:28 on 09 March 2015  Report this post
Sorry James I have just lost everything I just wrote in response to you - perhaps half an hour's writing. This has happended before, simply by apparently inadvertently hitting a single wrong key. This is too infuriating and frustrating to restart now becasue as I am sure you also find, one can never actually recreate what one has just lost.

There are some aspects of the WW system that will permit these problems and I find them most off-putting. It simply should be possible for such miskeys to default to the work being retained in draft or recovered from a 'trash' file.

I'll try to respond again when less discouraged.As ever thanks for the comments.



James Graham at 15:27 on 09 March 2015  Report this post
I'm sorry that happened. It's very frustrating. I don't know if this will help, but I write all comments first in Word, save them in Word, then copy and paste them into the 'Post your own comments' box in WW. Then if anything goes wrong the text is still there, in the saved document.


Zettel at 03:32 on 17 March 2015  Report this post
Thanks James.

I'll do that from now on but it shouldn't really be necessary.  What is about modern technology that 'progress' always means getting worse?

best Z/W

Zettel at 02:55 on 19 March 2015  Report this post

Thanks for your original comments. Didn't want to leave them without response. Briefly: I looked at your suggestions and I accept that they are both grammatically accurate and relevant as to tone. However as the poem was meant to capture some sense of Poppy and I being at the opposite ends of our journeys a slightly sad tone seems appropriate to me.  Rhythmically my only litmus test is to read the poem out loud and its present form reads best to me. My dilemma is that my less grammtical form says what I want to say and correcting the grammar loses that - it's a bit like "to boldly go" in Star Trek - "to go boldly" is grammtically right but aesthetically wrong. The other thing is of course that the poem is about and for me now and about Poppy now but for her in some years time.

Perhaps for the first time then I am going to leave the poem as is. But thanks again for the time and effort,as ever, you put into your responses.  I am always grateful for them and value the fact of them highly.




James Graham at 20:48 on 19 March 2015  Report this post
You're the final judge. I can understand why you prefer to leave the poem as it is. And I hope your difficulties with the site will be over now. If anything else does go wrong, please let me know. Looking forward to your next poem.


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