Poem to a daughter
Daughter so precious, dear light of my heart,
An angel from heaven, the Lord's work of art.
The first time I held you, I felt the love rise,
As I sounded the depths of your wise baby eyes.
Sweet little helper,you made housework such fun
We danced our way through, till all chores were done.
Then off to find places most secret and wild,
Where with you I regained my lost inner child.
Too soon you were standing before the school door.
The years marched on by, you were baby no more.
You received your degree, I watched with such pride,
Then you had to leave for that big world outside.
Wherever you go, my love will stay near,
If life gets too stormy, your shelter's still here.
I think of you daily, although we're apart,
Daughter so precious, dear light of my heart.
Poems for daughters
Writing poetry about a daughter who is already an adult inevitably brings back lots of memories and feelings of the time when she was small. Of course, it would be possible to write a huge epic poem about all the things she did and all the events that happened. However, I decided I wanted to keep it short and simple.
Surprisingly, I have not been able to find many pieces written by famous women poets about or for their girls.
Sappho wrote an ode to her little "golden flower" Cleis more than 2500 years ago.
Janice Mirikitani wrote the touching For a Daughter who Leaves about a woman preparing for her daughter's marriage and departure, which was inspired by a short stanza written in the 8th century Japanese poet, Lady Otomo.
The US poet Anne Sexton had major postpartum depression both times after giving birth, with numerous subsequent breakdowns and suicide attempts until one succeeded. You can hear her reading her poem about elder child Linda "Little Girl, My String Bean, My Lovely Woman" in the video below. Another long piece, is written about younger child Joyce, but also deals with Anne Sexton's relationship with her own mother. Words and a recording available at this link: The Double Image
I welcome suggestions for further pieces to feature in this section.
Anne Sexton reading her poem about her daughter
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