Written in 1992 by American poet Julia Kasdorf, What I Learned From My Mother is a poem that crosses time, languages, cultures and continents. Its message is familiar to all women. The rituals of death and grieving, of condolence, of a kind word, flowers and chocolate cake and the blessing of your presence.
This poem is subject to copyright restrictions. Please search for the full poem in an anthology or at your local library.
‘What I Learned From My Mother’
I learned from my mother how to love
the living, to have plenty of vases on hand
in case you have to rush to the hospital
with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants
still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars
large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole
grieving household, to cube home-canned pears
and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins
and click out the sexual seeds with a knife point.
Read these other excerpts and find a new poet to love:-
‘Invictus’ by WE Henley
‘Runaways’ by Daniela Nunnari
‘Valediction’ by Seamus Heaney
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A #poem to read in the bath: ‘What I Learned From My Mother’ by Julia Kasdorf https://wp.me/p5gEM4-4ch via @SandraDanby