Motherhood: Poems about Mothers

Overview

Celebrating mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, grandmothers and grandchildren, Motherhood is a glorious, wonderfully intimate tribute to the first love in every reader’s life.

From tenth-century Japan’s Izumi Shikibu, colonial America’s Anne Bradstreet, and Victorian England’s Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Israel’s Yehuda Amichai, Ireland’s Paul Muldoon, and Russia’s Anna Akhmatova, poets across the centuries and around the world have immortalized this elemental ...

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Overview

Celebrating mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, grandmothers and grandchildren, Motherhood is a glorious, wonderfully intimate tribute to the first love in every reader’s life.

From tenth-century Japan’s Izumi Shikibu, colonial America’s Anne Bradstreet, and Victorian England’s Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Israel’s Yehuda Amichai, Ireland’s Paul Muldoon, and Russia’s Anna Akhmatova, poets across the centuries and around the world have immortalized this elemental relationship. Among the more than seventy poets in this anthology, Audre Lorde recalls “How the days went / While you were blooming within me”; Jorie Graham muses on her mother’s sewing box; Allen Ginsberg says goodbye in “Kaddish”; and Langston Hughes invokes a mother’s empowering example: “Don’t you fall now— / For I’se still goin’, honey, / I’se still climbin’, / And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” From Emily Brontë’s “Upon Her Soothing Breast” and Seamus Heaney’s “Mother of the Groom” to Sylvia Plath’s “Morning Song” and Frank O’Hara’s “Ave Maria,” the more than one hundred poems collected here enshrine the miracle of motherhood and the richness of feeling and experience it inspires.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400043569
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/5/2005
  • Series: Everyman's Library Pocket Poets
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 948,522
  • Product dimensions: 4.33 (w) x 6.48 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Carmela Ciuraru
Carmela Ciuraru is the editor of the anthology First Loves: Poets Introduce the Essential Poems That Captivated and Inspired Them, and the former editor of the Journal of the Poetry Society of America. A graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism, she lives in New York City.
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Table of Contents

To a little invisible being who is expected soon to become visible 19
Infant sorrow 21
"The angel that presided o'er my birth" 21
Before the birth of one of her children 22
"Upon her soothing breast" 24
Freight 25
You're 26
Morning song 27
Child 28
An impromptu for Ann Jennings 29
Now that I am forever with child 31
The new-born baby's song 32
Ultrasound 33
Night light 39
Prayer before birth 40
Childbirth 42
The pomegranate 45
A fable 47
A mother's picture 49
To my mother 50
Mother and daughter 52
My mother's kiss 53
News for her mother 55
Something 57
First Thanksgiving 58
Black mother woman 59
All Hallows Eve 60
Little girl, my string bean, my lovely woman 62
The blossom 67
What shall I give my children? 69
After 37 years my mother apologizes for my childhood 70
Upon being awakened at night by my four year old daughter 71
Momma sayings 72
Glen Cove, 1957 75
Drawing from the past 76
Mother's sewing box 77
The only child sends a gift to her mother 79
The fortress 80
Genetic expedition 83
The month of June: 13 1/2 85
The queen and the young princess 86
Human affection 87
On my son's return out of England, July 17, 1661 91
To my mother 93
The little black boy 94
From Poems to a son 96
Shards 98
On a son returned to New Zealand 100
Mother and child 101
Illuminations 102
Mother to son 104
Pre-text 105
Mother, summer, I 107
Chiffon morning 108
Crow and mama 112
My mother's pears 114
Ave Maria 116
The horse show 118
Mother's things 120
Nick and the candlestick 121
My son the man 123
Mother of the groom 124
Brown circle 125
My mother's hands 127
Picnic 129
My mother in old age 130
Sitting at night on the front porch 131
My first love, my mother 135
To my mother 136
Mother's song 137
Mother 138
My mother once told me 139
The intruder 140
Mother 142
Ma 143
On walking backwards 144
Lines 145
Handbag 146
My mother on an evening in late summer 147
The black lace fan my mother gave me 150
What we lost 152
The parcel 154
Anniversary 156
I ask my mother to sing 159
Mothers 160
In an iridescent time 162
My mother 163
Among women 167
Grandmother watching at her window 168
Lineage 169
Legacies 170
Getting ready for the night 171
My grandmother is waiting for me to come home 173
The needle 174
Ironing grandmother's tablecloth 175
Church fair 176
Adages of a grandmother 178
From Grandmothers 181
My grandmother's love letters 183
Sestina 185
After the death of her daughter in childbirth, looking at the child 189
To an absent daughter 191
Maternity 192
On by boy Henry 193
The mother's charge 194
Heirloom 196
The wake 198
Upon the sight of my abortive birth the 31st of December 1657 200
The mother 206
On visiting the grave of my stillborn little girl 208
Dialogue 209
A mother in a refugee camp 211
Love 212
In memory of my mother 214
Childhood house 215
Not dying 217
After the pastoral 219
Song of Amargo's mother 220
My mother's R & R 221
Goodbye 222
From Kaddish 224
Miscarriage 227
"if there are any heavens my mother will (all by herself) have" 229
Clearances 230
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