The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

QOTD- Your Favorite Poem or Song About Mothers

Mother to Son

By Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

The voice of this poem sounds nothing like my mother. She’s never had to tell me her journey in life has not been a smooth and easy one. She rarely, if ever, feels the need to remind herself the same. She climbs the staircase because it must be climbed.

My mother is an amazing person. Words cannot do justice to the patience, kindness, and selflessness she has demonstrated through life. Not only her willingness to put others before herself, but her ability to improve and make easier the lives of those around her has turned me into the person I am today.

His own parents,
He that had father’d him, and she that had conceiv’d him in her womb, and birth’d him,
They gave this child more of themselves than that;
They gave him afterward every day—they became part of him.

The mother at home, quietly placing the dishes on the supper-table;
The mother with mild words—clean her cap and gown, a wholesome odor falling off her person and clothes as she walks by;

-from There Was a Child Went Forth by Walt Whitman

Uncle Walt tells us that every child is a product of everything he sees, all he hears, and everyone with who he interacts. I won’t argue. Every day I find myself striving to be the human being my mother has taught me to be. To care for others as they deserve; to better myself so that I am able to better those around me. If I have done anything admirable in my life it is because of her. The man I am is because of the woman she is.

If I were to write a poem for my mother it would probably go something like this:

Oh- banana peels and onions in the spring
With a banana fandango
cause it’s no fun when you gotta eat an onion
. . . down the road dirty mile

And if that doesn’t make sense to you, that’s okay. It’s for my momster.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What is your favorite song or poem about mothers?

About Jamaal

Lover of words, liver of life, director of theatre, keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts. Twitter: @JamaalAllan

One comment on “QOTD- Your Favorite Poem or Song About Mothers

  1. kiwiskan
    May 12, 2013

    Loved the mother to son poem.

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