Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Help me pick a poem!

I have a request to make to my blog readers and guests who might be stopping by. Last night at work a lady called and had me order a book for her that will be a gift for her mother. The mother in question is turning 100 years old later this month, and there is going to be a big birthday party given in her honor.

The daughter went on to tell me how her mom is still active, engaged in life, and happy. She lives by herself, cooks, socializes, and she even still drives!  (I congratulated the daughter on hitting the lottery, genes-wise. She must be in her 70s herself and still sounded like a young woman on the phone).  The birthday party is going to be a really big affair--as it should be!

Before we hung up (after I completed the order for the gift book) the nice lady asked me if I would ask around the bookstore and see if anyone had any suggestions for a poem that could be read at the party for the birthday girl. I promised her I would check around and get back to her in a day or two. Now, very few of my coworkers read anything at all, let alone poetry (and isn't that surprising and disappointing in a bookstore) and while I enjoy reading the occasional poem, it's far from an area of expertise for me. But I knew I could count on my blog friends! Many of you are very avid readers, and just the fact that most of the rest of you write a blog of your own shows you have leanings toward the literary in some form or fashion. I didn't mention my blog friends from all over the world to the woman on the phone, but I smiled to myself knowing I had a secret weapon to find just the perfect thing!

So help me out! What would be a great poem or reading for a vibrant, full-of-life woman at her 100th birthday party? Any and all suggestions are very welcome and appreciated!!


  1. Warning by Jenny Joseph.
    "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn't go and doesn't suit me ..................."

  2. I'll try and come up with something, but I'm not the sharpest quill on the porcupine.

  3. Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou
    She Walks In Beauty by Lord Byron
    No Coward Soul Is Mine by Emily Bronte
    I Taste A Liquor Never Brewed by Emily Dickinson
    When You Are Old by William Butler Yeats
    Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

  4. Two Lovers In Love by Janie Junebug

  5. I don't know enough poetry, but the above are pretty goo ones for a 100 year old woman, I would think.

  6. http://www.barbados.org/poetry/wheniam.htm

  7. Rachel already mentioned the poem I thought of: When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple.

  8. Why not commission either Yorkshire Pudding or Frances Garrood to write a poem specifically for the lady? I think if it was my Mum turning 100, I would sit down and come up with something myself - she's certainly worth the effort, and if her daughter does not feel creative enough to attempt writing something herself, I am sure someone else can do it for her.

    1. Wonderful idea to write or have written an original poem.

  9. Shouldn't someone write a dedicated poem; the daughter maybe?

    1. Exactly what I thought, Cro.

    2. Agreed. So much more meaningful to personalise a special birthday gift of words.

    3. I would suggest that, but I don't know these people at all. I only "met" the daughter over the phone. And promised to call her back with a few ideas. There are some wonderful suggestions here!

  10. A BIRTHDAY by Christina Rossetti

    My heart is like a singing bird
    Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
    My heart is like an apple-tree
    Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
    My heart is like a rainbow shell
    That paddles in a halcyon sea;
    My heart is gladder than all these,
    Because my love is come to me.

    Raise me a daïs of silk and down;
    Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
    Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
    And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
    Work it in gold and silver grapes,
    In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
    Because the birthday of my life
    Is come, my love is come to me.

    1. She also wrote the words to In the bleak Midwinter, my favourite Christmas Carol.

  11. The daughter should write it herself; 10 verses of which each verse stages 10 years of the mother's life. No need to be a poet, all she needs is a little knowledge of her mother's life and use a few kind words from the heart.
    Greetings Maria x