Thursday, September 06, 2007

Poetry Thursday - Hosted by Delia

This is to all of us who could use a little reminder of our own courage. I wanted to share this poem because it spoke to me. Reading and sharing other poet's work is like opening a gift and sharing it. With many going back to school, dealing with health issues or just temporarily in limbo. I'm thinking of you.


It is in the small things we see it.
The child's first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
comver your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off your heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways,
each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen,
those you love will live in a fever of love,
and you'll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you'll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out.

Anne Sexton

Photo: Photographer unknown ( in a email fwd )

Poetry Thursday is traveling. This week the amazing Delia is hosting Poetry Thursday here:


gautami tripathy said...

You can't realise how much I needed to read this.

Thanks for posting.

GreenishLady said...

Oh, Tammy, you chose such a powerful and human poem. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think what I take from this poem is that we are alone in all that we face and that we must find that resolve and courage deep inside us and not place the burden on others who will not or cannot take the journey with us. Each of our journey's are very special and unique to ourselves and we should cherish that no matter where it leads. Thanks for the poetry.

Lucy said...

courage IS shown in the smallest things. YOur examples were heartwarming. I TOO, needed to read this today, thanks Tammy. xo

Rethabile said...

" drank their acid
and concealed it."

It's called guts. Excellent poem.

Regina Clare Jane said...

Tammy- this was so perfect for today... kudos my dear friend... how many of us were blessed by this... and by you...
p.s. thanks for your kindness to me- you're a love...

...deb said...

Beautiful poem. Thank you~

Rach said...

I love Anne Sexton's poems. Great words, was looking through your pics and adore the new house and lake photo. Can't wait to see more of your new life honey.

Shelby said...

Beautiful words.

Becca said...

I have always loved this poem - the courage in the face of all of it. And you would definitely know about that too.

Thanks for the good thoughts :) xoxo

Left-handed Trees... said...

Anne is a wonder of a poet...i went through a phase where i stopped reading her just b/c the facts around her life and death made me angry--truth be told. i am so glad to have read this now...

Yolanda said...

Beautiful words and You portray courage to me.

Amber said...

Oh this moves me. Great chice to share!

I am also thinking of you, friend. ;)


tumblewords said...

Her work speaks, not always in light and sometimes not even with hope, but with honesty and power.

pepektheassassin said...

This is great! I was thinking, Wow, Tammy's really really good! (And of course, you are!). THen I got to the bottom and saw Anne Sexton.... :D

I've never read this one before. Thanks. And the picture...reminds me of that photo of the young man in China facing the army tank. Good post!

chiefbiscuit said...

'each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen,'
I'm taking that with me into the week ahead! Thanks Tammy.

tinker said...

Tammy, this is just such a beautiful poem, one I don't think I've ever read before, and one I think I needed to read right now. You inspire me more and more, every time I visit. And right now, this week, I am feeling even more humbled and grateful for your inspiration. Thank you, my friend! XOXO

TI said...

I love this inspirational poem. Thank you for sharing it. And your new look is great. And as always, I feel good when you stop by Transitions Ink to say hello and I especially appreciate your encouraging words. Counting down to the 24th!

tara dawn said...

Thank you dear Tammy for your constant support. As always, your words inspire me and bring me comfort. I love you dearly, always! - td

paris parfait said...

Alas, I forgot about the traveling bit; too busy traveling all over Paris with Jordana! This is a wonderful poem; thanks for posting it. I've always thought courage and love are deeply entertwined. xo

Chris said...

excellent poem!
please excuse typos - one handed typing!
My Blog

Anonymous said...

I can't thank you enough for this poem. I needed to read this so much more than you know. I appreciate you posting this.
I have been looking at your blog, but never posted. I enjoy your blog, you always have such thoughtful and beautiful things to say.
My brother-in-law died of ALS in 2002. It was very painful for our family. We would like to do more to support finding a cure for ALS.

TJ said...

I love all the changes here gurl.
Great entrys!
Love TJ

TI said...

Tammy, when you get a chance would you explain how you added the Blogging without Obligation thing to your blog? I can't figure out which "page element" I need to add for it. Thanks. TI

TI said...

Thanks, T. It worked!

daisies said...

: ) this is one of my favourite poems!! xox