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Poem For Poppy

by Zettel 

Posted: 12 May 2015
Word Count: 200
Summary: Our first grandchild 'Poppy' born 1st March

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Poem for Poppy
Love made you
And love let you grow
Your life awoke in union
shared passion and desire
You did not have to be
A gift a grace a blessing
A joy A mystery
Your beautiful existence
transcends necessity
You began as sharing
of heart and mind and cell
But self is separation
that generates identity
Life is change, division
that sets the person free
It is a delight a privilege
to watch you come to be
From suckle to chuckle
as grimace turns to smile
as love responds to simple need
we watch with wonder
and undeserving pride
the precious intimacy
selfless giving bears
entranced by your mystery
And so my darling precious child
your adventure now begins
soon you will walk
soon you will talk
another mind be born
We are here to help you
to show you how to grow
‘til our allotted time is through
Poppy you are new joy new delight
your first smiles warm our hearts
You remind us why life is precious
not for gain, reward or selfish will
Cherish now not tomorrow
seek and find your own way
In becoming learn just to be
and savour every gifted day


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Comments by other Members

James Graham at 19:55 on 13 May 2015  Report this post
A very fitting poem for this very special occasion. It’s full of the wonder we all feel on the arrival of a new human being in the world – but it’s not enough just to say that about it. As well as conveying that sense of wonder and ‘mystery’, you explore the meaning of the event too.
In the first stanza it’s the idea of necessity.
Your beautiful existence
transcends necessity
For humanity to survive it’s necessary that children be born.You could say it’s necessary that they should be cherished enough so that their parents will want to care for them. But the child’s incomparable beauty, and the plethora of joys and pleasures the child gives, seem (happily) far in excess of what is necessary. A very interesting reflection.
Then there’s the idea of sharing and separation. Each parent is an autonomous being, but they surrender part of that autonomy in order to create a new autonomous being. If that’s a paradox, it’s a happy one.
The rest of the poem celebrates the unfolding of that new separate being. I think it moves appropriately from more general reflections to a direct address – an ode, we might call it – to the little girl herself. I note one or two telling lines here too, e.g.
we watch with wonder
and undeserving pride
We do feel pride, but it’s not deserving – or only partly so – because the child seems always more than the sum of her/ his parts. Put together all the character and virtues of parents, grandparents, ancestors, and the child still seems to exceed the sum of those.
I note too
Cherish now not tomorrow
savour every gifted day
– a wise sentiment I seem to have noticed before in your work.
The only change I would suggest would be to transpose one of the last four lines, because the last line isn’t very strong. It seems rather banal after what has gone before. The second-last line is much better – quite profound. So:
So you may find your own way
cherish now not tomorrow
savour every gifted day
In becoming learn to be.
This is a thoughtful and very affirmative poem. It’s not merely a lyrical outpouring, it has an intellectual element as well. Once again, best wishes to your lovely granddaughter!

Zettel at 01:04 on 15 May 2015  Report this post
Thanks James for your as ever thoughtful and insightful comments.



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