Friday, February 15, 2008

Poetry Friday - Babylon

My amazing boy will be seven tomorrow. It's heartbreaking, really. He's growing up too fast. This year, for some reason, it's hitting me hard. Perhaps it's all the new babies I'm surrounded by at work these days. It seems just like yesterday that we were driving to the hospital for delivery day, not sleeping at night, celebrating first steps, and many other milestones. I read this poem a while ago, and it captures the melancholy I feel.
By Robert Graves

The child alone a poet is:
Spring and Fairyland are his.
Truth and Reason show but dim,
And all’s poetry with him.
Rhyme and music flow in plenty
For the lad of one-and-twenty,
But Spring for him is no more now
Than daisies to a munching cow;
Just a cheery pleasant season,
Daisy buds to live at ease on.
He’s forgotten how he smiled
And shrieked at snowdrops when a child,
Or wept one evening secretly
For April’s glorious misery.
Wisdom made him old and wary
Banishing the Lords of Faery.
Wisdom made a breach and battered
Babylon to bits: she scattered
To the hedges and ditches
All our nursery gnomes and witches.
Lob and Puck, poor frantic elves,
Drag their treasures from the shelves.
Jack the Giant-killer’s gone,
Mother Goose and Oberon,
Bluebeard and King Solomon.
Robin, and Red Riding Hood
Take together to the wood,
And Sir Galahad lies hid
In a cave with Captain Kidd.
None of all the magic hosts,
None remain but a few ghosts
Of timorous heart, to linger on
Weeping for lost Babylon.
The round up this week is being hosted by Vivian over at HipWriterMama. Do stop by and read all the great poetry being shared this week. But wait! Before you go, be sure to check out this week's poetry stretch results. Happy poetry Friday, all!


  1. Happy Birthday to William tomorrow. Loved the poem.

  2. I always imagined that most parents felt relief by the time that their kids went off to school - but what an evocative poem that says otherwise.

    I guess every milestone is a part of the road you can't go back to - but there are so many miles of road ahead...

  3. Lord have mercy...
    Did you read my post about MY baby turning 7 on Tuesday??? I am right there with you, Tricia. Let's go out for a coffee and a good cry...

  4. happy birthday to William tomorrow--we share a birthday! (I knew he was special!)

    I didn't feel that nostalgia when either kid was seven, but with one heading to college in the fall, I'm feeling it now...

  5. Tricia,

    Those feelings you're experiencing really hit me when my daughter was five and lost her first tooth. I got all excited with her...and then I nearly cried. I had actual physical evidence that my baby was growing up. My "baby" turned twenty-eight on Tuesday.

  6. Happy Birthday to your big boy. It goes too fast to be sure. This is the perfect poem for the mood.

  7. Oh how sad it is to watch them grow, even as we're proud and happy of them all at the same time.

    Happy birthday to your little one.

  8. He’s forgotten how he smiled
    And shrieked at snowdrops when a child,
    Or wept one evening secretly
    For April’s glorious misery.

    Wow--the price we pay for adulthood, and for watching our kids grow up!

    Happy Bday to your son, and thanks for the lovely poem!

  9. Happy Birthday to William, and happy birth day to you and hubby!

    And I am absolutely up for another chant! Maybe practice will help.

    Here's my hint to anyone who tries it -- I wrote the names on slips of paper and sorted them by number of syllables.

  10. Wonderful poem! A big Happy Birthday to your son. It's a bittersweet moment, isn't it?

    Enjoy the day.

  11. The saddest moment for me was when my kids got too heavy to be carried. Now my son could easily carry me. On the bright side, now both my kids can drive to the store and get whatever I forgot for dinner. As long as I pay, of course. :)

    Enjoy his day tomorrow!

  12. Happy Birthday to William! I think this melancholy must be why humans decided to start celebrating birthdays with cake and chocolate.