Friday, May 12, 2006

Poetry Friday

A Parental Ode To My Son, Aged Three Years and Five Months
by Thomas Hood

Thou happy, happy elf!
(But stop,—first let me kiss away that tear)—
Thou tiny image of myself!
(My love, he's poking peas into his ear!)
Thou merry, laughing sprite!
With spirits feather-light,
Untouch'd by sorrow, and unsoil'd by sin—
(Good heav'ns! the child is swallowing a pin!)

Thou little tricksy Puck!
With antic toys so funnily bestuck,
Light as the singing bird that wings the air—
(The door! the door! he'll tumble down the stair!)
Thou darling of thy sire!
(Why, Jane, he'll set his pinafore a-fire!)
Thou imp of mirth and joy!
In Love's dear chain so strong and bright a link,
Thou idol of thy parents—(Drat the boy!
There goes my ink!)

Thou cherub—but of earth;
Fit playfellow for Fays, by moonlight pale,
In harmless sport and mirth,
(That dog will bite him if he pulls its tail!)
Thou human humming-bee, extracting honey
From ev'ry blossom in the world that blows,
Singing in Youth's Elysium ever sunny,
(Another tumble!—that's his precious nose!)

Thy father's pride and hope!
(He'll break the mirror with that skipping-rope!)
With pure heart newly stamp'd from Nature's mint—
(Where did he learn that squint?)
Thou young domestic dove!
(He'll have that jug off, with another shove!)
Dear nurseling of the hymeneal nest!
(Are those torn clothes his best?)
Little epitome of man!
(He'll climb upon the table, that's his plan!)
Touch'd with the beauteous tints of dawning life—
(He's got a knife!)

Thou enviable being!
No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky foreseeing,
Play on, play on,
My elfin John!
Toss the light ball—bestride the stick—
(I knew so many cakes would make him sick!)
With fancies, buoyant as the thistle-down,
Prompting the face grotesque, and antic brisk,
With many a lamb-like frisk,
(He's got the scissors, snipping at your gown!)

Thou pretty opening rose!
(Go to your mother, child, and wipe your nose!)
Balmy and breathing music like the South,
(He really brings my heart into my mouth!)
Fresh as the morn, and brilliant as its star,—
(I wish that window had an iron bar!)
Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove,—
(I'll tell you what, my love,
I cannot write, unless he's sent above!)
************************
I'll update tonight with other Poetry Friday Blogs.

Edited to add:
Blog From The Windowsill (for Mother's Day; if I'd been thinking, I would have saved my poem for Father's Day);
Book Buds (pirates) (prompting me to say, but where's the rum?, because that never gets old);
Farm School (to stay sensitive up to the end / Pay with some toughness for a gentle world);
Jen Robinson (Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—) ;
Little Willow (TS Eliot & cats):
Scholar's Blog (They went to sea in a Sieve, they did, / In a Sieve they went to sea).

And
Susan Taylor Brown (who has an amazing verse novel Hugging the Rock being published this September).

And
The Simple & The Ordinary (Mother's Day.)

And sorry that it's Saturday night already but I tonight was Harry & the Potters at the library and then an early Mother's day out with my Sis & Mom so:
Big A little a (the most wonderful Kelly, who has helped us make poetry a part of every week);
Chicken Spaghetti (attempting shared poetry);
Fuse #8 Productions (with a book review that reminds me of The Loneliest Monk, another joke that never gets old).

If I missed you, blame my bloglines; and remedy the situation with a comment letting me know about your Poetry Friday contribution.

7 comments:

Michele said...

I love this poem ! I only read it for the first time last year, but it made me laugh out loud - the mixture of solemnity over the child and the comic asides is such fun...

Melissa Wiley said...

Liz, I have goose bumps!!!! Honest to God, I was going to post this exact same poem today. It has been my kids' favorite for going on 6 years, and if I have to read it aloud one more time I might pass out. I often use it at conference talks as an example of how to get kids hooked on poetry. What a delight to know you love it too!

Liz B said...

I'm glad to see fellow fans! I love it because it shows that "old" poetry doesn't mean "stuffy"; and it's from some anthology that was at my elementary school library. It's one of those books that I would love to find again because it had so many poems I loved, but I cannot recall title or even the color of the book.

What Maternal Instinct? said...

Well, this is my first time reading the poem and I'm still holding my ribs. Thanks so much. Ha ha!

Oh, and thanks for the link too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Liz, for the link and the kind words about Hugging the Rock. I am going to try and make every poetry Friday an update on the WIP in poetry form.

Susan Taylor Brown
http://susanwrites.livejournal.com

Susan said...

Thank you for the link, Liza. Needless to say, next week Junior and I will not be moving on to "Evangeline."

Kelly said...

Hi Liz!

How were Harry and the Potters? Apparently they're an Iowa band!

Thanks for the link (blushing!)

Kelly

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