A Poetic Find by Candy
Quite a challenge – choose a favorite poem and poet to share!
Billy Collins has been a favorite of mine for some time, although my first poetic love was Rod McKuen (yes, I freely admit it). So I went to my bookcases to find which of Billy Collins’ poems I would share. This took most of the afternoon, reading poems from his books (and from Rod’s too), which turned out to be the perfect way to spend a rainy day, along with a cup of tea.
I came across some slim volumes of poetry hiding there in the dark, waiting for someone to hold them, open them, read the words from a poet’s heart. One of these was a book titled, Grass Songs by Ann Turner. I’m sure I found this little gem at a used book sale. It is a collection of 17 poems about the women who were part of the westward wagon trains and their experiences. These poems are simple and real, and they pierce your heart.
According to the brief biography included, Ann Turner was doing research for a novel when she first read some of the journals of these pioneer women and was inspired to tell their stories in poetic form.
She is best known for her children’s books, but has written several volumes of poetry.
The book was published in 1993, so I don’t know if its still available. If you haunt used books sales, as I do, be on the lookout for it.
Here is the one I chose to share with you:
“Make One Woman”
by Ann Turner
There is a better way to make a woman. Cut her from cloth, gabardine, so strong and fine it will not scratch or tear. Sew eyes of black that will not cry. Paint one nose not over- Particular about cattle Smells and prairie ills. Fashion two ears that do not listen for love, that are content with the wind and rain and sleet. Stitch her hair down tight so the blizzard will not tear it off. Make those arms strong enough for horse, harness, and frozen wood. Get two legs that will not ache, that walk a prairie like a city street. And feet – do not forget to make them long and large for river fords and winter boots. Did I forget the heart? Sew one red outline, No shading in between. It will not feel a child gone, a husband cold, a home left behind like a favorite patchwork quilt. I would have lasted, had I been of thread, cloth, and buttons.