Friday, May 27, 2016

A wild, sweet bird

I followed two swift silver wings;
I stalked a roving song;
I startled shining, silent things;
I wandered all day long.
~Sophie Jewett

For Art Thursday, we had nests; today, the birds are back. Special birds. Ones whose songs fill our dreams and make the gray world grow young.

To a Child
By Sophie Jewett

The leaves talked in the twilight, dear;
Hearken the tale they told:
How in some far-off place and year,
Before the world grew old,

I was a dreaming forest tree,
You were a wild, sweet bird
Who sheltered at the heart of me
Because the north wind stirred;

How, when the chiding gale was still,
When peace fell soft on fear,
You stayed one golden hour to fill
My dream with singing, dear.

To-night the self-same songs are sung
The first green forest heard;
My heart and the gray world grow young—
To shelter you, my bird.

Source: The Poems of Sophie Jewett (1910)

Some information about Sophie Jewett from Women's Voices for Change:
Sophie Jewett was born in 1861. Her mother died when she was seven years old. Her father died when she was nine. She and her three siblings were reared by their uncle and grandmother until her adolescence, when, after their deaths, she chose her minister and his daughter for support. They encouraged her literary interests, and by the time she was twenty-eight she was a professor of English at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She never married and never had children.
I wanted to include this info after you read the poem, because I thought it was interesting that she never had kids.


The Poetry Friday round-up is at The Drift Record. Thanks, Julie!

P.S. I have heard from a lot of people about the Summer Poem Swap, but if you haven't contacted me and you want to join for 1, 3, or 5 swaps, let me know a.s.a.p.! I am going to be sending out match-ups sometime next week.

P.P.S. If you signed up but haven't heard from me, I do have your message. I am just disorganized and haven't sent confirmations to speak of. You're welcome to write me again. I love hearing from you anyway :-)


Sally Murphy said...

Lovely Tabatha. I'm not familiar with Sophie's work, but this is beautiful. I was very surprised to read, after such a poem, that she didn't have children of her own.

Linda B said...

Beautiful, loved the nests yesterday, too, and now this poem and new poet. What a challenging life she led. I imagine that "sheltered at the heart of me" could mean many kinds of love. Thanks Tabatha.

jama said...

Thanks for sharing these poems and the info about Sophie. These sweet poems are perfect for Spring and I like their old fashioned flavor. So tragic that she lost her parents so young. Any relationship to Sarah Orne Jewett? Interesting that they died the same year.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Gorgeous poem (and love the beautiful portrait) - each line crafted with such care. Thanks for the bit of biographical insights, too.

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

I like the way she speaks to a child, despite never having had one. Perhaps she had a special relationship with a child, nonetheless. To think, she must have lived near me somewhere, and perhaps we listen to the same birds sing.

Diane Mayr said...

Perhaps poor Sophie was recalling her own lost mother's sheltering care?

I'm afraid I'm going to have to skip the swap this summer. This week was another round of Spark, and I neglected to sign up for that, too. My brain is fried, so I need the summer to regroup. (Also, I have a grandson due on June 1, which may have something to do with my fried-egg brain!)

Margaret Simon said...

This poem spoke gently to my mothering heart. I believe she had a woman's heart whether or not she ever had a child. There are many gentle, loving women who have not had children of their own, but nonetheless understand that feeling of nesting and nurturing.