Prayer For a New Mother: Daily Dose of Art and Poetry

Jacopo Bellini Madonna and Child

Jacopo Bellini Madonna and Child

I don’t remember who shared this gorgeous gem of a poem on Facebook and I’m too tired to go hunt it down. Whoever it was, I’m grateful.

Prayer For a New Mother

by Dorothy Parker

The things she knew, let her forget again-
The voices in the sky, the fear, the cold,
The gaping shepherds, and the queer old men
Piling their clumsy gifts of foreign gold.

Let her have laughter with her little one;
Teach her the endless, tuneless songs to sing,
Grant her her right to whisper to her son
The foolish names one dare not call a king.

Keep from her dreams the rumble of a crowd,
The smell of rough-cut wood, the trail of red,
The thick and chilly whiteness of the shroud
That wraps the strange new body of the dead.

Ah, let her go, kind Lord, where mothers go
And boast his pretty words and ways, and plan
The proud and happy years that they shall know
Together, when her son is grown a man.

2 Responses to Prayer For a New Mother: Daily Dose of Art and Poetry

  1. Karen January 8, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    How beautiful. I have admired Dorothy Parker since high school, and this is one of her best (and lesser-known) poems.

  2. Melanie Bettinelli January 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

    I don’t know Dorothy Parker well, but I’m going to seek her out.

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