Reading Poetry to One Another
My mom and I intended to watch a movie one evening after Thanksgiving. But first, she wanted to share a poem that moved her. It’s about giving thanks and was written by Anglo-Welsh poet Edward Thomas (who died young during WWI). The poem is titled “The Owl”:
Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved;
Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof
Against the North wind; tired, yet so that rest
Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof.
Then at the inn I had food, fire, and rest,
Knowing how hungry, cold, and tired was I.
All of the night was quite barred out except
An owl’s cry, a most melancholy cry
Shaken out long and clear upon the hill,
No merry note, nor cause of merriment,
But one telling me plain what I escaped
And others could not, that night, as in I went.
And salted was my food, and my repose,
Salted and sobered, too, by the bird’s voice
Speaking for all who lay under the stars,
Soldiers and poor, unable to rejoice.
- Edward Thomas
One poem led to another, and we decided not to watch the movie after all! Instead, we spent the evening reading poetry to one another. We found a few poems on her bookshelf and more online. We were in heaven. My mom pulled out some of her own poems, most of them written years ago. I was astonished by their beauty urging her to organize her poetry and get them published.
Needless to say, mom and I spent an emotionally rich, memorable holiday evening together. Have you had a similar experience with a relative or friend? And what do you think of “The Owl”?