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To My Grandchild (From Afar)

You're here at last (or rather there) .

You didn't seem too happy on arrival:
I've seen photos of you howling.

By entering this world you overcame
your first big obstacle
on what will be a life-long course.

You'll have to learn so much -
to eat, sit, crawl, walk, talk...
Then your formal education will begin
with its endless-seeming complication
of what could be a simpler life.

In Spain, where you happen to have landed,
you'll have to study almost everything there is,
mostly by rote like a huge parrot,
repeating your teachers' words like mantras.

And this world, though unpredictable,
may well get worse in your time:
overcrowded countries may get denser,
forests smaller, air and sea dirtier,
food less natural, wars more frequent,
weather more extreme, the list goes on...

Despite such gloom you'll have some fun.
There'll be games and sports and holidays,
then songs and dances and romance.
Someone will probably break your heart
or you'll break theirs...

All that of course if you survive
the mass of prowling illnesses
and accidents which lie in wait.

I just pray that you'll be healthy.
The rest will be the usual mixture anyway
of ups and downs and twists and turns
in which you'll need to learn
to gradually forget the bad times
and cling on hard to the good.

Till one day you'll look back, I hope,
and say that life was worth living,
despite its jumbled light and dark...

Editing stage: 

Comments

I like the feeling of this. It flows naturally as if you're
really talking to the new-born baby.
Many favorite lines there to choose.
Congratulations on becoming a grandpa. I bet it has a special feeling.

I thought the title will hold the baby's name but..., it is yours :)

a typo: stanza 1, "You didn't seem to [too? maybe?] happy on arrival:"

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

Thanks for your comment and glad you liked this. Idea of name in title is good but I can't remember it. Carolina maybe? I suppose that's a sign of just how far away I am. Thanks for noticing tipo, have corrected. Love your success-under-construction slogan. That has been the story of my life.
Best wishes,
Robert.
P.S. I think the idea of sounding as if I'm really talking to someone is what I try to achieve in most of my poems, but people don't always get it.

author comment

And this world, though unpredictable,
may well get.....
worse in your time:
overcrowded countries....
may get denser,........... (poorer)
forests smaller, air and sea dirtier,
food less natural,
wars more frequent,...certainly.....
weather more extreme,
the list goes on...
a
n
d

ONNNNNNNNNN

very good
she will remember you
for all the worse to come
but you have made your warning contribution
well done

"Denser" did sound a little odd, maybe "poorer" is better. Glad you liked it in general though. I was worried it might be too negative and depressing, but perhaps it's just realistic.
Best wishes,
Robert.

author comment

this lacks prosodic vales. Notice that if i remove the line breaks it is merely a letter to your Grandchild.

You're here at last (or rather there) .

You didn't seem too happy on arrival: I've seen photos of you howling. By entering this world you overcame your first big obstacle on what will be a life-long course. You'll have to learn so much - to eat, sit, crawl, walk, talk... Then your formal education will begin with its endless-seeming complication of what could be a simpler life.

In Spain, where you happen to have landed, you'll have to study almost everything there is, mostly by rote like a huge parrot, repeating your teachers' words like mantras. And this world, though unpredictable, may well get worse in your time: overcrowded countries may get denser, forests smaller, air and sea dirtier, food less natural, wars more frequent, weather more extreme, the list goes on...

Despite such gloom you'll have some fun. There'll be games and sports and holidays, then songs and dances and romance. Someone will probably break your heart or you'll break theirs... All that of course if you survive the mass of prowling illnesses and accidents which lie in wait. I just pray that you'll be healthy. The rest will be the usual mixture anyway of ups and downs and twists and turns in which you'll need to learn to gradually forget the bad times and cling on hard to the good.

Till one day you'll look back, I hope, and say that life was worth living, despite its jumbled light and dark...  

 

I wish I could offer positive constructive suggestions, and I expect a ton of bricks of my head from you and your peers for saying this, but it is not poetry.

 

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

for all the trouble you have gone to in order to write this out as prose. But I'm afraid stubborn is my second name ( I should be using a photo of a donkey instead of one of a bear) and I still think it's better with the line-breaks. Not all that much better, I admit, but better. Why shouldn't a poem make sense as prose? Why shouldn't it have clear, grammatically sound sentences? Personally I am in favour of the existence of many types of poetry, from rather prose-like to almost incomprehensible due to weird word-order or outlandish diction. But why can't I prefer to use simple sentences sometimes in my work? Just by using shorter lines than in prose I'm am saying to the reader "Please read this more carefully than you would read prose, because I have left a lot of blank page around it, like a frame round a picture, in order to focus your attention on the meaning of each line." I am also hinting that this is perhaps more concentrated language than usual, more concise or suggestive or emotional, and by breaking the text up into stanzas I am giving the reader a chance to pause to digest each idea or group of ideas and/or feelings. Perhaps I'm claiming that my text is a little more original than the average piece of prose, too, at least in terms of content if not in terms of form, and inviting the reader to give it some extra time and attention. So I would be quite happy if someone called this a prose-poem, but I can't see how it can be considered to be simply 100% prose.
Best wishes,
Robert.
P.S. Why can't we just agree to differ?

author comment

I agree with most of your points and did not challenge your originality. However without cognitive psodosodic qualities what justifies calling this poetry instead of very good prose?

Prose-poem, why not?

I did fail to mention that I enjoyed it as read? Perhaps a reading might add that extra element.
https://soundcloud.com/user536630132/to-my-grandchild-from-afar

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I have to agree with Rula on this one. Its lovely. Kudos.

Alid

you liked it.

author comment
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