Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Morning Song: Poems for New Parents

The timing could not have been better. One day, I received a slew of photos from my cousin Tim of his brand new baby, Adam. The next day came an email from Emily, announcing that the poetry anthology her mom had co-edited, Morning Song: Poems for New Parents, was about to be published.

Morning Song began as a handmade book for Emily on Tommy's birth, now nearly 9 years ago! It is now a gorgeous hardcover filled with wonderful poems. I sent my friend Beth to the book's website, and after reading the selection of poems included there, she said, "They should market this as a book for all parents, not just new parents." Later that same day, I saw Susan Todd at a reception and told her this. She smiled and said, "I think of it as a book for anyone who's ever been born."

The book is really lovely and has a wide array of poems from poets ancient to contemporary. There's also an audio version, with a number of the poems read by Richard Wilbur (who recently turned 90!) and other poets as well. If you're in the Pioneer Valley and have no plans for tonight, there's a reading at Forbes Library at 7:00 p.m. with many of the local poets included in the book.

Here's one brief poem from the book, one that made Alex and me laugh when I read it to him:

The Video

When Laura was born, Ceri watched.
They all gathered around Mum’s bed —
Dad and the midwife and Mum’s sister
and Ceri. "Move over a bit," Dad said —
he was trying to focus the camcorder
on Mum's legs and the baby's head.

After she had a little sister,
and Mum had gone back to being thin,
and was twice as busy, Ceri played
the video again and again.
She watched Laura come out, and then,
in reverse, she made her go back in.

Fleur Adcock


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