Flighty Lullaby

Recently, I’ve had a strange desire to write a poem that rhymes. This is unheard of for me – I think the last rhyming stanzas I wrote were on a card for Mother’s Day ’96. I hate feeling restricted, and I’m rarely talented enough to create rhymes that don’t feel forced. But, in the interest of stretching myself, I’m putting this one out there – even though I haven’t quite gotten over the rhymes making me feel like I’m saying, “Look, look! You guys! I wrote a POEM!”

Flighty Lullaby

I’ve built a cottage in the clouds.
See? It plainly floats in air.
Both star-dappled and sun-streamed –
Birds, chorusing, respite there.

I’ve never needed more than whim
To float my airy life aloft.
The sky is simple when your goal
Is only to avoid loss.

She gave you all you’d need of hard
And firm, unchanging, resolute.
Escape, escape! Come waft with me,
Borne by the wind down scenic routes.

Lay your sleeping head, my love,
human in our skyward home.
Time to follow passion now;
Time to learn what dreams may come.

~*~*~

The poem above is my little homage to one of my favorite poems: “Lullaby” by W. H. Auden. Here’s the first stanza, which is one of the few pieces of poetry I have ever memorized:

“Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.”

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21 responses to “Flighty Lullaby

  1. I love this poem. Is the image from the movie “UP” ? Wish my sons were young enough so I could read it to them at bedtime! I also like how you juxtaposed it with the Auden piece. Lovers have their own lullabies, don’t they?

    • Hello! The image is from a children’s art contest – you can go to the link if you click on the image itself. The girl who made this is only 12 – I was so impressed! But I also love the movie Up, even though I absolutely leak tears at the beginning love story and when Kevin is captured.

      “Lovers have their own lullabies, don’t they?” <–I think this is beautiful and sounds like the perfect beginning to yet another poem. 🙂

    • Thanks, Carrie! I’ll try to keep stretching…. I’m sure there are some great examples I could read up on to get inspired about how to use rhymes in interesting ways.

    • Thank you, Stef! “Compelling” is one of my favorite words, and one I’m so glad was true for you.

      Every decade or so, my husband’s family plays a game where everyone sits around the table on Christmas Eve and, one by one, each person present is given an adjective by every other person. Then the group votes on which is the one word that best describes the individual, and that’s their word until the game is played again.

      Last Christmas was the first time I got to play (I actually begged for it to happen; I was so caught up by the idea) and the word I was given was “compelling.”

      Thank you for reminding me of that, and for being so lovely, as always. 🙂

      • The game your in-laws play sounds fantastic! I’ll have to share that idea with my in-law crew and see if they might be willing to play a round. 🙂 I’m curious to hear what your word for this next coming year will be; please write about it after the game is played next!

  2. This is a beautiful poem! I do know what you mean about feeling like you’re shouting “Look! Look! I wrote a POEM!” when using rhymes, it feels the same to me!

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