This is for you moms out there.
We all do it. Sometimes we embarrass them on purpose, for the sheer joy of it. Sometimes we just can’t help ourselves. We can’t stop being ourselves no matter how much we embarrass our children. My habit of reciting poetry has always driven my daughter absolutely crazy with embarrassment, but I can’t help myself. I can’t remember a number to save my soul, but for some reason I remember scores of poems, and they pop out of my mouth unbidden whenever the spirit moves me.
There are two poems in particular which I find impossible, under certain circumstances, to repress. One is Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind.” All I have to say is “O wild…” and my daughter screams “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” The other:
I will now briefly shed my cynical shell and at the risk of embarrassing my daughter publicly – and making you all cringe – I feel compelled to share this snippet from Lowell’s “The Vision of Sir Launfal”… a snippet I recite (silently) pretty much every morning in June as my dogs and I walk along the Stroudwater River trail or through the estuary of Portland’s Fore River. June amazes me year after year. I never feel quite so blessed and as thrilled to be alive as I do in June.
AND what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays;
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
Happy, happy June to you all!