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Posted by on Oct 13, 2009 in Random, TheOnlyCin, Writing | 9 comments

LOOKING AT MY CHILD

LOOKING AT MY CHILD

LOOKING AT MY CHILD

How strange it seems
that joy and sorrow merge!
Here I stand;
suspended in momentary bliss,
behold: my curious sunshine child.
And then,
bewildered:
a chilly breeze of premonition;
(begone, unwelcome Zephyr!)
inevitable: she will be hurt;
rites of passage I can’t prevent.
I hide the dread away,
beneath a heap of mothballed quilts
and turn again towards the now.

©Cindy Taylor 2009

CRIT FROM DE WAAL VENTER, MY POETRY TUTOR:

This is not a full crit, just my reaction as you requested. Short answer: no, it’s not too sentimental.

Longer answer: the poem deals with the well-worn theme of a mother who is worried about how life is going to treat her daughter. Well-worn it may be, but that doesn’t take away one iota of its relevance.

The poem has a freshness and simplicity that is attractive. The phrase “curious sunshine child” is not the most original in the world, but it works in this context.

I was stopped by the curious 19th century phrase “(begone, unwelcome Zephyr!)”. But then I thought it could be functional – it evokes a type of brooding Victorian emotionality that somehow helps to deepen N’s sorrow about her daughter’s future pain.

The phrase “beneath a heap of mothballed quilts” is quite original and vivid. This makes the poem. It paints the scene of N anxiously turning away from the possible terrors of the future and seeking solace in the everyday reality of “now”.

One small nit: “I shut the dread away,”

The word “shut” doesn’t feel quite right here. One doesn’t really “shut away” something beneath a quilt. Wouldn’t word like “hide” or “push” or something be a better choice?

A poem worth keeping 🙂

9 Comments

  1. HELP bLA!!!!

    I can't get the poem to be under the pic…

    • Poem 'undered' pic as requested. Email sent with quick how-to for you.

  2. Thanks Bla!

  3. My daughter is not yet even in her teens and I already feel that "chilly breeze of premonition" for her.

    Nice poem TOC. Thanks for sharing it here.

  4. Maybe it will help that you are aware that this is going to happen, and that you will feel as if you have been hit by a sledge hammer.  The first time Caitlin was rejected by a boyfriend,  I ended up in a psychiatrist's office.  I took it much harder than she actually did. Hopefully you are much less neurotic about your daughter's happiness.   I know my mother wasn't very moved by my heartaches 🙁

    • I can imagine you were devastated on her behalf Carina.  There are so many other things that endanger them in today's world; drugs, crime … I guess we can only stand by and offer guidance and support.

  5. It's beautiful Cin, I know that feeling well. Cannot escape it unfortunately. But a mother's heart and arms makes up for so much of lifes hurts…xxx

  6. Good words………mine is seven going on 13, if you know what I mean.

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