Friday, March 6, 2009

Poetry Friday

What My Child Learns of the Sea
Audre Lorde

What my child learns of the sea
of the summer thunders
of the riddles that hide in the curve of spring
she will learn in my twilights
and childlike
revise every autumn

What my child learns
as her winters grow into time
has ripened in my own body
to enter her eyes with first light

This is why
more than blood
or the milk I have given
one day a strange girl will step
to the back of a mirror cutting my ropes
of sea and thunder and spring.
Of the way she will taste her autumns-
toast-brittle or warmer than sleep-
and the words she will use for winter
I stand already condemned


March is Women's History Month. I love WHM. For this week's poetry selection, I thought it was fitting to post a work about one of the most volatile and contenious relationships a woman knows- her relationship with her daughter. I am a true fan of Ms. Lorde so I selected her poem over the other powerful and beautiful works compiled in the collection, Tangled Vines: Poems to celebrate and explore the relationship between mothers and daughters, edited by Lyn Lifshin, copyright 1992. Find more selections here.

7 comments:

laurasalas said...

Oh my.

a strange girl will step
to the back of a mirror cutting my ropes
of sea and thunder and spring.

Wow. That is beautiful. What strange and powerful imagery throughout--thanks for sharing!

Thinking Aloud said...

My eldest daughter is turning 16 and I am compiling narratives that I have written about our relationship with poetry and other shorts about mother-daughter relationships. This one will be added to the collection.

Thanks for always providing fodder for the soul!

susan said...

Laura and T, Glad you enjoyed the selection.

Angela said...

susan thanks for posting this hauntingly beautiful poem.

Cloudscome said...

A couple years ago I did a post about mother daughter poems and it is still one of my most frequently visited posts, found in google almost every day. This is a lovely poem about the mystery and beauty we live with and puzzle over. Awesome.

Claudia said...

Whoa, there is more to this poem than meets the eye. I'm going to have to think for a bit before I leave a substantive comment. Am I mistaken or is there a lot of boat/ship imagery here with the ropes, etc.?

...deb said...

An amazing poem. One to come back to and read and read and ponder over and again. You know what I mean.