Poetry Friday: Hippocrene by Elizabeth Smith

Poetry Friday is hosted by Jama Rattigan at Jama’s Alphabet Soup

Packing up the house where one raised one’s children is a tricky business.  This is what I’m discovering as I delve into closets, under beds, and through stacks of papers my three children have left behind in their journey from childhood to independence.  School projects, English papers, love letters, knick knacks picked up on travels here and there…all the detritus of growing up and growing into the beautiful souls they are today.  Some things I open up and then put away quickly in boxes labeled for each of my three, these are their private detritus, which they can choose to keep or toss away as their private selves dictate.  Some things are just meant to be lingered over, revisited for the glimpses they provide for each child at some particular stage of their development.

Elizabeth’s AP English poetry project falls into this latter category.  I never saw these poems or this booklet in real time.  So, it was all the more meaningful to stumble upon it at this stage, the stage of packing up the home she grew up in.  On the eve of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share this relic of our past, where she pays homage to all the words we celebrated together when we lived together, and then creates something that is indelibly her own, as children are wont to do.

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17 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Hippocrene by Elizabeth Smith

  1. Wow – that is a gorgeous poem. Glad you found it and that Elizabeth could share with us. The power of words, indeed.
    (Sending encouraging vibes as you finish all that packing up… having done that just a few years ago, I’m with you in spirit!)

  2. Tara, it is so good to see you at PF again. I have been trying to sort out old items too. My daughter did share with me that she had her little one in one of the dresses I resurrected from the past. That made me feel great, thinking that she does honor past artifacts. The artifacts you shared are priceless. I do like the photo of you and your daughter and think her poem is so full of beautiful thoughts that I wondered if she would like to offer it for my spring gallery (invitation: http://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2018/04/spring-salutations-with-invitation-to.html). Happy Mother’s Day.

  3. I’ve given over those boxes to my children, too, Tara, a travel to the past as you pack and ready for your move must be both sweet and bittersweet. Elizabeth’s sonnet shows that teen feeling of wanting to go, but also to be sure home will stay near. I love seeing the picture and her dedication. Happy Mother’s Day!

  4. Wow, what a gorgeous poem — talent definitely runs in your family. Beautiful and poignant to run across Elizabeth’s poetry project while packing up — a lovely Mother’s Day gift for you.

  5. This is so perfect for Mother’s Day weekend, Tara. Elizabeth’s dedication is such a wonderful tribute to you — the one who taught her “the power of words!” And her poem is a treasure. May you be blessed with stamina as you sort and pack. I hope I never have to do it again. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day!

  6. How poignant to find a poem about seeking home…while you are packing up to head to a new one! What a treasure!

  7. All the best in your packing. It’s the one thing that keeps me from considering retirement and moving! But, maybe if I could consider the fact that I might turn up some insights into my own kids, I might be inclined to begin. What does Elizabeth do for a living? Is she still practicing poetry?

    • Elizabeth works at the New York Historical Society as a program director, Diane. Her writing is densely academic and analytical these days, but her poetry always sang a different tune to me. Not sure she writes much poetry these days, which is a pity, I think.

  8. This is a lovely tribute to mother and daughter, past, present and future. So happy that you shared with us. Thank you

  9. Wonderful that AP English would provide a platform for such a rich project! Sometimes it feels like these classes are all about the tests, so seeing this is comforting. Thank you both for sharing it! I hope Elizabeth does write more poems.

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