Monday, August 14, 2006

Summer and Sunlight, Helen Talmadge

Today you get a poem which for once was not composed by that tiresomely unknown poet from the Third Galaxy. Instead I will treat to a lovely piece written by a little 93 year old lady who lives in a nursing home in Ocala. Before all my 93 readers rush to send me a poem thinking I will post it, let me hasten to add that I only post poems by little 93 old ladies if they happen to be my aunt, Helen Talmadge.

Of the hundreds of poems she has written, this deceptively simple poem is my favorite. I first read it about ten years ago and it only gets better. As poorly as I explain my own and the poetry of the unknown poet from the Third Galaxy, perhaps I should refrain from commenting on hers.

Perhaps, but I can’t resist pointing out that the speaker in this poem starts with “summer and sunlight” then settles for less and less until finally it is a “bit of paper sailing” away from her. One of these “bits of paper” sailed all the way to my little blog where, in theory, it can be seen by millions of people.

Dear hearts, SUMMER and SUNLIGHT , written by Helen C. Talmadge, please give the lady some applause!

I want a boat while there’s
still summer and sunlight --
it’s bright sails all afloat
in the soft summer breeze.

The boat must be little
for our lake is little --
it’s shadowed and shaded
and it’s sheltered by trees.

If I can’t have a boat
that someone can ride in,
then I’ll whittle one
from the dry bark of a tree.

To its mast I’ll fasten
a bit of white paper
and I’ll sit on the bank
while the wind blows it from me.


Anonymous said...

Chuck, thanks for sharing Aunt Helen's awesome poetry. Hit me with her's anytime...this made my day.

Cuzin Karen, San Diego, CA.

Chuck Cliff said...

Thank you for the response.

This particular poem is perfect in itself. In my opinion it compares well with the best of Emily Dickinson.

There are a couple of other poems of hers which I will post later.

If there was one thing I could change in my life, it would be that I knew about her poetry when I was quite young. I was well into the afternoon of my life before I learned of her work and recognized that I myself was possesed by the poetic spirit.

Again, many thanks for your response! Blogging is a bit like street singing!