Skip to main content

Poetry Friday

Talking about reading with Will put me in mind of this exquisite poem by Diane Swan that I ran across a year or so ago on Kristin Cashore's blog. I was transfixed reading it for the first time. And I think of it, the lines running hauntingly and beautifully through my head, all the time now. 

***

Soup and Bread

by Diane Swan


Christopher's girlfriend
has a green cockatiel
and he tells the family at dinner
that cuttlebone-- what the bird
sharpens its beak on--
comes from a squid.
I am startled. He knows more
than I have told him.


One lunchtime years ago
he called me an instructicon
and often I did talk
as if my children were tall glass vases
formed to contain my twigs of trivia,
long branches of perennial wisdom.
What I wanted, though I didn't know it then,
was that clean clothes, knowledge,
bread, everything good
would come to them through me.


Now they are walking ahead
toward the theater, two young men
in gray jackets, a girl in a moss-gold
scarf, and where their shoulders touch
in heavy winter coats I see faint links
of light, the small chains they make.
And I feel my silence, old hungers
at the place of change, and hear their voices
down the flickering years ahead
telling me things I didn't know.


***


Poetry Friday is hosted at Becky's Book Reviews this week.

Comments

  1. Yes, "children stand on the shoulders of their parents."

    Sometimes we don't know what we know until we need to explain something to our children. Our children stretch us and make us more than what we are.

    Of course, the main reason I had a child was so that someone would eat the leftover yellow jelly beans. (Just kidding!)

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful. I love it when someone captures that realization a mom has that her children are growing up and away. Tender, precious, grateful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous5:29 PM

    This made me very envious. Can't wait to have a little one of my own! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Laura, well put. It's a beautifully complex and evolving relationship. And that's hilarious about the yellow jelly beans. :)

    Doraine, I couldn't believe it when I read it. It starts out simply enough and then it just hits you in the gut with its accuracy and presence. I love it.

    fictionfanatic, *grin* there's nothing like it in the world. I'm excited for you whenever that day may come. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. The line I liked in the poem was the realization that "he knows more than I have told him."

    That's similar to the shock I felt when this science-weak mom's daughter started taking Organic Chemistry! I still can't get over it. Thanks to the poem for evoking that.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Shelley, it's so wonderfully personal I think. Evoking emotions in a wide swath of readers. The last section is the one that kills me. Particularly "the small chains they make" and "their voices down the flickering years ahead telling me things I didn't know." Unfreakingbelievably good. :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Angie's 2018 Must Be Mine List

It's time for a clean slate and a brand new list of titles I can't wait to get my hands on. Behold, my most anticipated titles of 2018:




 And no covers on these yet, but I can hardly wait, all the same:
The Comfort Zoneby Sally Thorne
A Court of Frost and Starlightby Sarah J. Maas
Making Upby Lucy Parker
There Will Be Other Summersby Benjamin Alire Saenz
Off the Airby L.H. Cosway
Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradiseby Jandy Nelson

Which ones are on your list?

Update | Real Life

I felt like it might be worth writing a very brief real life update here. If just because it's occupied so much of my mental space recently. And, of course, because whatever is currently occupying large swaths of your mental space plays a not insignificant role in your reading life and which book you reach for at the end of any given day. So.

I have worked at the same job since four months after this blog began. Until a week ago, that is, when I packed up my bags and left to start a brand new job. I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around that bare fact. First and foremost, I am incredibly grateful and pleased to have this new job. It was time. In fact, all throughout my job search, that exquisite quote from the wonderful Mo Willems ran on repeat through my head,
If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave. The position I had served its purpose very well. It was what I and my family needed for that period in our lives. But at this new point in my life, it had b…

Retro Friday Review: Goodbye Pink Pig by C.S. Adler

Retro Fridayis a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! I include roundups from participating bloggers in my weekly post. You'll forgive me for indulging in what is essentially pure nostalgia this week and reviewing a book I hadn't thought of in years, but which had a profound impact on me as a young girl. I was remembering the school I attended in fifth grade the other night and mentally wandering the halls and rooms. I remembered the wonderful library it had and the kind librarian there who listened to me talk about how much I loved Lloyd Alexander and Susan Cooper and, smiling, led me over to wonderful, new authors such as Madeleine L'Engle. It was in this library that I was perusing one day when I came across Good-bye Pink Pigby C.S. Adler. I know. Can you be…