Thursday, June 11, 2009

Let's Get Poetic!

I've found that poetry makes me happier than anything right now... perhaps because it switches my brain out of bored-mode, perhaps because it has little to do with the reality I'm living. However, today I want you to write a poetic ODE... to someone. This one is to my mother-in-law, and it captures one aspect of who she is:

To Barbara


But you are strong. 

Strong enough to bear


Strong enough 

To thrive

To use the words

The hurts 

And grow.

But you are not strong

Not strong enough

To stop his anger,

To put aside his hateful words

To keep 



But you are still strong

Strong enough to work

Long hours

Strong enough

To keep yourself 



There is no food.

But you cannot be strong

When your children

Whined from hunger

Or looked with 

Big eyes

At what

You could never afford.

And yet, you are strong,

Strong enough to find 

Your happiness

And love

With someone 

From long ago.

Strong enough 

To take

That chance

And move to 

Unseen pastures.

But, no, you are not strong

Not strong enough

To stop his heart 

From breaking,

To keep his blood

From slowing down

To keep your love 

From dying.

And yet, 

Through even this,

You are strong.

Strong enough 

To stop your tears,

Strong enough 

To cry them—

Strong enough 

To smile

When his name

Is spoken.

Strong enough 

To stay

Surrounded by the remnants

Of all 

That you have lost.

Teach me that strength

Show me where I can

Grow that strong.

Who knows?

I may have need of it


This kind of poetry is person-specific, and it's often very personal. From reading it, you may have no idea what any of it is about, but when I gave the poem to Mom, she understood every word. In a way, the poem was written for her and nobody else. However, it may hold meaning for readers anyway, especially readers who have survived abuse, who have pulled themselves out of poverty, or who have loved and lost. 

If you fear writing poetry and posting it here, that's fine, but at least tell me whom you WOULD write an ode to, if given the time. Who in your life deserves a poem? 

And if you ARE brave, and I know some of you are, post your own ode in the comments. I'd love to see what you can do!


  1. I gotta tell you, I don't think I have an ode in me today. Let me think and I might try one later.

    (Dental work)

  2. my wife is the person i would write it to first. and then my daughter, i can't over look her. then my mother, all of these wonderful women deserve to be told how they have made my life better, and inspire me to be better every day.

    ODE are not something i have ever done, but if i do one i will share it.