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New Love

by Zettel 

Posted: 24 May 2018
Word Count: 228
Summary: At the risk of boring you all......

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New Love
At Autumn’s Winter cusp of life
surprised by joy in a new love
She is imperious, demanding
generous yet selfish without fault
I wait upon her every word
entranced by the music of its tone
challenged by its sense
She loves without reserve or doubt
unqualified by circumstance
We delight at things we share
at silliness and simple fun
with new-eyed innocence
When she cries I comfort her
without judgement or mistrust
Without jealousy I see
that she loves others too
but tell my secret self
perhaps not quite like me
even though deep down I’m glad
this selfishness is not true
She is wilful without reason
petulant without cause
but I of course forgive her
without a second’s pause
She has become my morning sun
just like one before
and my evening’s silent solace
I whispered her to sleep
a peace beyond compare
my burdens, doubts and fears are eased
just because she’s there
Without romance still less desire
she has me in her spell
and when I leave as leave I shall
Perhaps in memory I shall dwell.
‘Last time I saw her she was waving me goodbye
With hurry-back drops on her cheek that trickled from her eye
Poppy’s only 3 years old Mummy skype me please
Put me through to her before bedtime after tea’ *
*Cf: Chuck Berry – Memphis Tennessee

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Comments by other Members

joanie at 17:26 on 24 May 2018  Report this post
This is beautiful, Zettel.   I am right there with you all the way!!  The delight and sheer pleasure is tangible.  I love the sentiments throughout.  Why is it so wonderfully different with grandchildren?  I am assuming that that is what Poppy is.

I love the format and the rhymes.  I do like the total change of pace at the end.  Yes, I DID sing it!

A glorious expression of your love for her.

I really enjoyed it.


Zettel at 19:19 on 24 May 2018  Report this post
 Thanks Joanie. So glad you could
identify with it. It has been a revelation to
have the time and space with my granddaughter that our lifestyle
prevented me from enjoying with my children. 

James Graham at 20:53 on 25 May 2018  Report this post
Thank you for sharing this, Zettel. It’s uplifting and very heartening because it’s so genuine. I mean verses in praise of children, and ‘love’ poems of any sort, can be syrupy-sentimental – and this is nothing like that. (I wrote most of this comment before referring to the Chuck Berry song, and from what follows you'll see that I assumed it was about your granddaughter. Then I realised it may be more ambiguous than that. I'll return to this at the end.)

There’s a number of lines I could quote, but this is my favourite:
generous yet selfish without fault
It must be hard to find anywhere a more true description of the character of a good-natured, open-hearted child.
There’s also a very true summing-up of her ‘naughty’ side, and the grandparent’s infinite capacity for forgiveness.
She is wilful without reason
petulant without cause
but I of course forgive her
without a second’s pause
Surely any grandparent would acknowledge this. I certainly do. My granddaughter, at that age and later, used to take up a position under the dining-room table, and stay there for some time. It was a sulk because she couldn’t get her own way. It never really worked for her because she was instantly forgiven! Eventually she would emerge, resigned to the fact that No was still the answer, and just returned to being her usual delightful self. I tell that little story to show that a reader’s own experience can confirm the truth of a poetic statement. I can confirm that the above lines are true.
Coming to your end stanza, with acknowledgement to Chuck Berry – in his song about Marie we are meant to think it’s his girl friend but discover at the end that it’s his daughter. Did you mean your poem to work in the same way, with ‘Poppy’s only 3 years old’ coming as a surprise? Maybe because I already knew about Poppy, I assumed from the start that it was about her, but reading the poem again I can imagine a reader who doesn’t know the situation seeing it in the same way as the Chuck Berry song. If you meant it to seem like a grown-up love affair, your poem is remarkably like Joanie’s latest.
Of course, when we read the poem for the second time we know who it’s about. And in my opinion, it works best as a grandparent’s ‘love’ poem to his adorable grandchild. I’m happy with this unambiguous meaning, the one we all get on the second, third and nth readings.

Zettel at 00:08 on 26 May 2018  Report this post

CHuck Berry is a celver lyricists and I've always admired Memphis Tennessee. I wanted to try to to use the same littel 'twist' for a song about Poppy as it was one way of avoiding the syrupy danger you mention.For the rest I guess we write about whatever emotions and ideas are most powerful and real for us at any time: hence my return to Poppy in recent poems.

Thanks as ever for the comments: grandparents have become key players in recent years for all kinds of reasons. Children seem to find this entirely natural and satisfying and that is a blessing and a delight.



James Graham at 21:01 on 26 May 2018  Report this post
Grandparents have become key players in recent years for all kinds of reasons
– the most telling of these being that, until the mid-19th century, life expectancy was under 40. It’s possible to become a grandparent in one’s thirties, but countless children must never have known what it was like to have grandparents, and conversely 30-somethings would not have lived to enjoy their grandchildren. There would always be some who did. One of many reasons to count ourselves lucky to have been born at this time.
Children seem to find this entirely natural and satisfying
Yes, I think they really do.

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