Poetry Wednesday – February 3, 2010

3 Feb

From Adeline’s birth, I’ve found myself saying “You’re not only a mother!”  It’s important to have other interests and goals, and I do, but I’ve come to realize that there’s no such thing as being “only” a mother (unless you’re really, really bad at it).  Being a mom is in everything I do, hope, read, and speak.   Even my poetry choices usually bring me back to motherhood.

This poem by Margaret Atwood is about the innocence of and the education that takes place in early childhood.  It shows the building complexity that comes with learning about the world and all that it holds.

You Begin
by Margaret Atwood

You begin this way:
this is your hand,
this is your eye,
that is a fish, blue and flat
on the paper, almost
the shape of an eye.
This is your mouth, this is an O
or a moon, whichever
you like. This is yellow.

Outside the window
is the rain, green
because it is summer, and beyond that
the trees and then the world,
which is round and has only
the colors of these nine crayons.

This is the world, which is fuller
and more difficult to learn than I have said.
You are right to smudge it that way
with the red and then
the orange: the world burns.

Once you have learned these words
you will learn that there are more
words than you can ever learn.
The word hand floats above your hand
like a small cloud over a lake.
The word hand anchors
your hand to this table,
your hand is a warm stone
I hold between two words.

This is your hand, these are my hands, this is the world,
which is round but not flat and has more colors
than we can see.

It begins, it has an end,
this is what you will
come back to, this is your hand.

Please go visit Enanoslivo to read more and submit your own favorite poems.


2 Responses to “Poetry Wednesday – February 3, 2010”

  1. Molly Sabourin February 3, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Nice pick, Jennifer! I particularly love the subtle twist of that third verse. Hmmm, I am going to read it again now. I have so enjoyed all of your poetic offerings thus far!

  2. Kris February 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    I just discovered Margaret Atwood’s fiction and am enjoying it quite a bit. Now I will have to start reading her poems. This was really good.

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