Wednesday, December 19, 2012

That's What Makes it Special


'It's just a poem, that's all'
and her words hang in the air
as she turns to me
with a reckless stare
while I order her and her brother
to sit down
and listen to their mother...
(I ignore their frowns:)
Because, I replied,
A poem is never
'just a poem'
It is unlike
any other form
of printed word
placed, interlaced,
broken then shirred
Taking ordinary
bits of sound
Weaving them softly
jagged, profound
into heart-wrenching treasure
or kisses of pleasure
Beauty, mystery
and ecstasy.
That's poetry
...a fire in one's bosom
that refuses to die
until it is set free a butterfly
keening the mind
to night's sensuous flow
or running one's thought
where feet cannot go
That's a poem, you know
Waves pressing hard
restless, they rage
held against their will
in an ivory cage
until at last they spill
onto a page
where they will be
forever preserved
in poetry
and that's what makes it special


It all began with the mention of someone's name...and suddenly I remembered him reciting a poem at a school Christmas concert so I was going to find it and read it to them. My son asked, as I went to the computer, 'What are you looking for and my teen-age daughter replied...'just a poem':)

Here is the Poem I was Looking for...

One, Two, Three

By Henry Cuyler Bunner

It was and old, old, old, old lady
And a boy that was half-past three,
And the way that they played together
Was beautiful to see.
She couldn't go romping and jumping,
And the boy, no more could he;
For he was a thin little fellow,
With a thin little twisted knee.
They sat in the yellow sunlight,
Out under the maple tree,
And the game that they played I'll tell you,
Just as it was told to me.
It was hide-and-go-seek they were playing,
Though you'd never have known it to be--
With an old, old, old, old lady
And a boy with a twisted knee.
The boy would bend his face down
On his little sound right knee,
And he guessed where she was hiding
In guesses One, Two, Three.
"You are in the china closet!"
He would cry, and laugh with glee--
It wasn't the china closet,
But he still has Two and Three.
"You are up in papa's big bedroom,
In the chest with the queer old key,"
And she said: "You are warm and warmer;
But you are not quite right, "said she.

"It can't be the little cupboard
Where mama's things used to be--
So it must be in the clothes press, Gran'ma,"
And he found her with his Three.
Then she covered her face with her fingers,
That were wrinkled and white and wee,
And she guessed where the boy was hiding,
With a One and a Two and a Three.
And they never had stirred from their places
Right under the maple tree--
This old, old, old, old lady
And the boy with the lame little knee--
This dear, dear, dear old lady
And the boy who was half-past three.

1 comment:

  1. An exquisite description of what that thing called 'poetry' is. And I love the One, Two, Three--thanks for sharing it! So heartwarming.


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