Soaring on Emily’s Wings
Soaring on Emily's Wings
Soaring on Emily’s Wings
I’m soaring on Emily’s wings
looking down on the fields and the Hudson.
My heart and my mind ease apace -
I become a new star in the sky.
I’m soaring on Emily’s wings:
those she gives and re-gives to the world.
She truly invites us to freedom
to think and to give and to be.
I’m energy gliding on wings.
I’m dancing, cartwheeling, expanding
unfettered, unspoiled, unlocked,
unblamed, understood…fully free.
I slide on her wings,
hide and seek in her strings
and aim for the place that my child-time soul
knew was right
(before logic, maturity, sense, and convention
condemned me to gloomiest ground.)
I’m coasting on Emily’s wings
On top of a Boston-bound thermal
provided for winging free spirits
of the feathered and unfeathered sort.
I’m grateful for Emily’s wings,
for the heights of the flights all-transcending
mortal care, daily woe, human stumbling –
So precious are Emily’s wings.
- Maren E. Morgan
Background of this Poem
I usually write totally free verse poetry which is often very short – I guess it can be likened to the verbal equivalent of abstract expressionist art. In other words, its prominent feature is that it is just emotional diarrhea. (However, I hope that the reader can usually find some sort of story line in it!)
For reasons I no longer remember, I decided to box myself in with a form. I do not know iambic pentameter from sonnet, but I could feel a triplet rhythm in the lines. So, if I am following any particular form, I know I haven’t strictly honed it to perfection. As I edited Emily’s Wings for this Hub contest, I did tighten up the number of syllables, but I did not hold out for flawlessness. Since I am a musician, it is easier for me to describe the stanzas in “music-speak:” the sections run as A-1, A-2, A-3, B, A-1, A-2.
I drafted this poem about 7 years ago. It honors a very talented Emily who was a classmate of my younger son. Emily has been a gifted visual artist since birth. This is not surprising as her mother is a visual artist and poet, and her older sister has a Ph.D. in Art History.
During high school, Emily was drawn to creating projects highlighting a pair of wings. Additionally, she often made art which requested viewer interaction. I especially think about one participatory art event in which she created an intricate one cubic foot wire cage into which people were invited to insert a small piece of paper with a personal wish. Perhaps it is similar to the Roman Catholic practice of lighting a candle so that God “extra hears” the prayer for the time the flame lasts. Or, perhaps it embraces other cultures’ traditions of making a New Year’s resolution and then throwing it into the flames. (That’s the thing about the fine arts – there is no one correct interpretation.) Attached to one side of this wire box were a pair of clay wings – pink clay, fired and glazed. I interpreted them as the wings of heavenly or other-wordly messengers (such as Mercury) helping carry the wish to the Power that IS.
When I wrote the poem, Emily and all her winged art symbolized, to me, the freedom and energy to embrace one’s potential. I admired the position in life where she stood. Realizing that as long as anyone is drawing breath, she or he can follow a dream, I wrote this poem to honor that leap of endeavor. It also hints of the energy one can receive when inspired by another. Like the candle flame which is not diminished when it lights a second candle, I feel that the wings of Emily also inspire without diminution.
Since the time I wrote this poem (which the subject graciously accepted tactfully and quietly), Emily has gone on to earn degrees in Studio Art and Classical Languages, and certification to install Sol Lewitt conceptual art . It has always been and continues to be a privilege to know her and her family.
Poetry by Robert Frost
Photo and text copyright 2011 Maren E. Morgan, all rights reserved.