Poems for Birth and Mothering .. and breastfeeding?

January 5th, 2009 by Diane Sam

 "Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you
Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the miracle of life."
 - Maureen Hawkins

I have that quote on my bulletin board. It makes me cry just reading it. It describes exactly how I feel about my children. It reminds me of the intensity of love I've experienced as a mother. It reminds me of when my little preemie was born, so vulnerable and little. It reminds me of lying down on bedrest knowing he was going to be born precariously early, worried but also loving that little in-utero baby with an indescribable ache. And yes, an hour after he was born I would have considered it a bargain to exchange my life for his .....

such is Motherhood. 

Another great poet, Sylvia Plath, writes about the birth of her daughter:

    Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
    The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
    Took its place among the elements.

Isn't that great? A child's cry taking its place "among the elements" - so primordial. Like as mothers, we almost don't know what we're getting into.. .!

Canadian poet Margaret Atwood, in her poem "You Begin", writes beautifully about explaining the world to a child:

 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.

You can read great poems about children, birth, mothering here:

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5865

Any poems or quotations you'd like to share? I'd love to find a great poem about breastfeeding! (should I write one?)

 

(as I'm still nursing a 2 1/2 year old, I'll probably call my poem "weaning"...)

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