Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tip #20: Add a bit of poetry

This week, while meandering through the Internets (when, of course, I was supposed to be doing something else, like correcting finals), I found a blog post about Mother's Day that mentioned a book based on a TED talk. So, I bought the book, for myself, as a gift for Mother's Day (yes, I'm that easily convinced). I then watched the TED talk and was very happy with my decision to get the book.

For you see, the book has just one poem, called "B," and its first line says "If I should have a daughter..." and then, it goes on to say many things that I have in my heart and that I didn't know were there. It is beautifully written by Sarah Kay, a young artist who prefers to actually have her poems read aloud. I like her read version in the TED talk, but I actually like to hear the poem with my own voice. When I got the book, I read it to both my boys, each one alone, so they could also have a gift for Mother's Day.

The poem is a reminder that life is difficult. And this week, I also read a very convincing passage about  life not being fair. So, I already had the title of my post: "Tip #20: Accept that life is hard." But then I felt that my life has not been hard lately, honestly. I have been able to work one more school year successfully. I feel very healthy and happy and everyone around me seems to be doing well. Little by little, I'm learning to see beauty in things I would not notice or think ugly before, and I am now able to see positive things in people I may not like that much. I truly feel blessed, so, in part not to jinx myself (ahh, the superstitions do persist!) but also because I have always had the intention to have this blog be something very positive, even if it is at the cost of sounding naive or pollyannaish, I realized that the tip was not about the message of this one poem, but the poem, or better poetry, itself. Our souls crave poetry. We just forget it often.

The poem is about life being hard. And then, being harder. But also about it being beautiful. Here's a quote that I think sums it up:

But I want her to know
That this world is made of sugar.
It can crumble so easily
But don't be afraid to stick your tongue out
And taste it.
 Here's Sarah Kay reading her poem, just 3 minutes (there is a longer version of her talk here with subtitles):

And last week, I also read another poem, this one written by my 11 year old son. It was part of an assignment for class. He says he didn't think much about it, didn't even enjoy writing it (I don't believe him). I think it is also a song to friendship and discovery and love, just like the first poem. So here it is (and I do see a clear influence from Shel Silverstein). I know I'm the mother of the author, but it also touched my soul.

So, this tip is about remembering to add poetry to your life. It is soothing, comforting, beautiful, maybe the opposite, but always music to our ears and to our hearts.

Do you have a  favorite poem? Let me know!


  1. que bonito eñ ted de Sarah Kay y tu gusto por los poemas.Enricar

  2. Hey Pilar! I was reading this while on HOLD with FedEx, trying to sort out our shipping problems... What a great distraction :)
    Mark's poem is DELIGHTFUL.
    I am going to go to my bookshelf right now (really!), pull a book of poetry, and put it by my bed for tonight.
    Thank you again my dear.
    (HOLA ENRIQUETA!!! Feliz dia de las madres!)