This year, we are celebrating the 107th year of Mother’s Day to honour all mothers and motherhood worldwide. At the initiative and tireless devotion of Anna Jarvis, the modern Mother’s Day began in the United States. US President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed in 1914 the second Sunday in May as the day of celebration to honour the memories and the sacrifices of mothers made for their children.
Today, I would like to share with everyone a beautiful poem by Bruce Lansky for this occasion. Bruce Lansky is from Minnesota and America’s bestselling author of children’s poetry books. His poems are funny, hilarious, and something that will make you smile.
So, here it is…
On Mother's DayBy Bruce Lansky
On Mother's Day it isn't smart
To give your mom a broken heart.
So here are things you shouldn't say
To dear old mom on Mother's Day:
Don't tell her that you'll never eat
A carrot, celery, bean, or beet.
Don't tell her you think smoking's cool.
Don't tell her you've dropped out of school.
Don't tell her that you've drowned the cat.
Don't tell her that she looks too fat.
Don’t tell her when you're grown you'll be
A starving poet—just like me.
“The Road Not Taken” is a narrative poem published in 1916. It is one of the most famous poems that captured the fascination of so many people and often misunderstood or misinterpreted.
Some people would say that there is no single meaning or interpretation of a poem and its significance lie in the mind of the writer at the time he wrote the poem.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveller, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference. (Source)
Here’s a short recap of the poem:
The narrator in the poem encountered a problem when the road he was travelling became two separate paths. As a solo traveller, he could not take both routes. He stood for long to see where each road would lead him. Since he cannot travel on both paths, he was considering the best possible option before deciding which direction to take. However, he could not see the road very well because the forest was dense with leaves and vines.
He figured out that taking the other path was a better option because it was grassy. It looked like no one had walked there. Upon walking on that road, he realised that the grass had worn away the same as the other road because they both been travelled equally. In other words, the same number of people must have walked on that road.
Both roads have a similar condition of wear. Without uncertainty, he decided that over time he would take the other road even though he had doubts if he would ever come back there again.
At some point in the future, he would tell that he was confronted with a problem when two roads diverged in some wood. He had to make a hard choice about which route to take. His decision to take the road that was less travelled by made all the difference in his life.
The Road Not Taken is the most well-known poem of our time. After reading it through, I was deeply immersed in thoughts for its complexities and sophistication.
Poems are presented to us to be enjoyed and interpreted. It is not something that we can argue or prove, instead, it is for us to understand the significance of every single word the writer was trying to express.
The message in this poem is about making a choice. Every day in our lives we make simple choices– what food to eat, what clothes to wear, what shows to watch on the television, or where to go for our next holiday. We make hard choices too where our lives, our friends and families, our total well-being, our future and career entirely depend on that choice.
Making a choice is more difficult if what we are hoping to achieve is not visible on the other side of the road. Making a wise decision and picking the right path is the choice that we all have to take.
If our actions resulted in the improvement of our lives, then that decision to take that path had a positive outcome.
No matter which road we take, it is a considerable risk, and all we can do is hope for the best. Our choices will always make a big difference in our lives.
This is my personal view of this poem. If you have your own, I’ll be glad to hear it from you.
I dare you, try saying this word – sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.
I know, I know! It’s a mouthful, isn’t it? It is already hurting my brains.
But anyway, that word, (I dare not say) is the scientific name for Brain Freeze.
We get this from eating or drinking something very, very cold.
I don’t want to go very scientific with this one, but personally, I associate brain freeze when my brain is telling me to stop, take a break or take it easy.
Writing can sometimes take away our energy. We hit a roadblock. We stop thinking, and we get distracted very easily.
We feel tired, very sleepy, and unproductive.
It is okay to rest and re-invigorate our body because our imaginations are dried up. No matter what we do, nothing comes out of our head.
So, have you tried poetry yet?
Poetry is another form of literature that we use to express our imagination.
Some people find poetry boring.
But here’s a thing: It doesn’t take long to read a poem.
Reading short passages of poetry is relaxing. It teaches us to be imaginative, most especially when interpreting the significance of every word the author was trying to convey to his readers.
When the writing becomes tight and the days seems too long, I have with me my constant companion to help me relax and help me think of new ideas for my writing.
Here are my two favourite little books of poetry.
I have these books for so many years and never parted with them. They are both versatile books and easy to read. A perfect companion when you want to relax.
Let me show you one of my favourite poems from the Little Book of Love Poems.
The Look was written by Sara Teasdale. From the information I gathered, here’s a bit of who she was:
Sara Trevor Teasdale was born on August 8, 1884, to a wealthy family at St Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
She was an American poet. Her work was characterised for its simplicity and clarity. Her poems are classical in style, passionate and romantic.
At a young age, she grew acquainted with Harriet Monroe and became part of Harriet Monroe’s literary circle Poetry.
In 1918, she won the first Columbia Poetry Prize, which is now known as the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
Her marriage to Ernst Filsinger in 1914 ended in divorce in 1929, and after that, she lived a life of a semi-invalid. After a painful bout of pneumonia, she took her own life with an overdose of barbiturates in 1933.
Sara Teasdale wrote seven books in her lifetime. Her collections of poetry include:
Her first volume published in 1907: Sonnets to Duse, and Other Poems
Her second collection published in 1911: Helen of Troy, and Other Poems
Her third collection published in 1915: Rivers to the Sea
Her last collection of poems in Strange Victory was later published after her death in 1933.
The Look is a very short poem, easy to read and full of passion from the author’s perspective.
In here, I can only visualise the author’s emotion, passion, and her strong desire and longing for that kiss. Also, this poem could trigger some old feelings and sentiments to the readers that somebody has felt the same way before.
So, come on. Try reading one or two short poems every now and then. It will jazz up your mood, helps you think, and improve your creative expression.
Just remember rhythm and rhymes, and rhythm and beats. If you can easily get lost in music and songs, poetry will immerse you deep into the meaning of each word, because poetry is intoxicating, delirious, and captivating.
It is just simply lovely.
Till next time, feel free to share your favourite poem.