Last month, for Mother’s Day, I shared one of my mother’s poems I discovered at their house, while cleaning out 50+ years worth of clothes, memories, paper, and assorted sundries from the attic and closets.
Today, it’s Dad’s turn in the spotlight!
When I posted Mom’s poem, I mentioned that I was surprised to find it because I’d never known how much she loved poetry. With Dad, however, I wasn’t quite as surprised because I’d always known him to be very creative: a graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, he was very skilled at graphics, woodworking, and problem-solving. He could make an entertainment center for our living room one minute and then turn around and craft earrings for Mom.
He and I even built the barn!
Dad was always writing songs, too, and sharing them with Mom and me…so discovering his poetry, while surprising, was not completely unexpected. So, like I did for Mom last month, I’m sharing one of his poems today. I told him he’d finally be a published poet – and he chuckled and said, “Well, if you think anyone would want to read them!”
I definitely do think so, Dad. In fact, I’m going to share two!
Pretty impressive, I think, for someone who never studied the craft formally. A very classical style, of course, but very thoughtful, with solid meter and rhyme. As soon as I read it, I knew I was going to have to post it here.
The other poem of his that I wanted to share is much more unusual in its structure and rhyme scheme, but no less insightful:
…..Thy life fulfilled –
…..Thy kindness spilled…on others,
…..Are part of life, and still –
…..And sow the seeds I find
…..Of knowledge, in my mind –
…..But not to hold as divine, but
…..That they may know
…..That I might share – and so,
…..The understanding grows – but then,
…..All – and still just one…
…..With depth and meaning – and done,
…..Myself complete…I’ve known it’s worth
– © Forrest H. Esenwine
Again, I’ve got to hand it to Dad (and Mom) for all the poetic genetics they’ve passed on to me. I’d never known they had the interest nor the ability to craft poetry like this, so my love of the genre and whatever skill I may possess did not come about through learning at home. There were a couple of poetry anthologies in their small library that I used to read all the time, but I don’t recall there ever being any push to get me to “like” poetry. In fact, I only had one poetry collection as a child, Dorothy Aldis’ The Secret Place and Other Poems (Scholastic, 1962), which I can look back on now as the single most important book in my literary development…so I can’t thank my parents enough for lighting that spark!
There’s plenty more poetry to be found, though, so be sure to head over to Laura Shovan’s blog, where she is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup with some choice selections from her poetry students!
July 2, 2019: ………………………………………June 23, 2019:
Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!
Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH a note requesting the signature and to whom I should make it out to. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)
- NY Public Library’s “100 Best Book for Kids 2017” AND “Staff Pick!”
- KIRKUS Starred review!
- Kansas NEA Reading Circle Recommended Books!
- “Best Reads of 2017,” Unleashing Readers
- Amazon “Best Books of the Month,” Sept. 2017
- Positive reviews from Horn Book, School Library Connection, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and Shelf-Awareness
Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!