Poetry from my grandmother

My grandmother loved books, literature and poetry. I recently came across a little book of poems she had self published, probably in the early 1960s. (She was born in 1890). There are so many that are exquisitely painful and others gentle odes to the seasons. I’d like to share one with you.


There was an incandescence to her face,
Like that within a clear white diamond,
As if an inextinguishable light
Glowed at her heart, as if she, too, had been
Burned slowly in the crucible of time,
Pressed by the crushing weight of changing worlds,
Broken by earthquake, avalanche, and flood,
Buried and crushed again — the blemishes
At last, insensible to pressure or to fire,
The breaking ended and the burning done,
Only that luminous , imperishable strength remained:
Eternal residue of pain when pain is past.


Wow, @MarieB
She must have been an amazing Grandmother!

That is very tangible, visceral. Thank you for sharing this gem.


OK, just one more


September flings a warm arm round the earth,
While Autumn in her mirth,
Flaunts crimson flags from every bank of trees,

With hush of chilly night, the mocking-bird,
Clear through the stillness heard,
Echoes the cries of feathered refugees,

Proclaiming Summer, too, is on the wing.
Yet still she seems to cling
To these her golden fields and verdancies.


Oh please keep posting them…They are lovely…Thanks


WOW!i the exact word that came to my mind too LADA Lady. Marie, I think you have a treasure there.


HThis summer, while “kidnapping” my 90 yr old mother

To take her to my brother’s house for an “extended stay”

(We originally had set up placement in a memory care unit, which thankfully but unexpectedly did not work out)

I found 100 3 x 5 cards with typed poems on one side.

Each was somewhat similar to your grandmother’s writing, a little Emily Dickenson-esque.

On the backs of each and every card, in pencil, were the dates and names of magazines she had submitted each one of these poems.

And the notation “Rej.” after each submission.

Dates written and submitted were 1945-54
Mom married dad in 1945
My brother was born in 1954

So this was a window into my mom’s newly married life

First year is full of love and happiness
Followed by several years of disillusionment and depression
Followed by an unrequited and forbidden crush
Always with reference to the natural world.

And stopping when my brother was born (first child).

She has no memory of these any more.

It is my aim to publish them just as they are, front and handwritten back.

So I am REALLY enjoying these, @MarieB.
And I want to hear more about your grandmother, herself. Please.

And Thank You.


So often we see our grandparents as merely those that have gone before, In our minds the first inhabitants of the family circle in which we live, how precious a gift your grandmother has given you, a glimpse into her beautiful soul.

These are truly beautiful, Thank You Marie


Marie, your grandmother painted so beautifully with words.


Our parents and grandparents likely experienced both joy and pain in depths that may never become known to us…


rgcainmd, I’m soon to be 86 y.o., and a parent, grandparent and great grandparent. People of my generation have known a lot of joy and pain–well, I’m thinking the 2nd World War, Korean War, Vietnam War, and everything that goes with having diseases when there was little help for them. Still as I look at the news, I think my children and descendants are facing much in the way of pain as well, and I certainly hope they find joy Life goes on, and I wish I thought it was getting better for everyone, I do hope, and try to be optimistic. Here on TuD, I hope for a cure!


My grandmother was completely amazing. Both her parents were MDs, my great grandmother, born in the mid 1850s, was a pioneer female physician, graduate of Univ of Michigan and Northwestern, fought hard to gain acceptance for women in the State medical society & WON. She lost her doctor husband at an early age and my grandmother grew up without a father and also lost a brother at age 14. She went on to graduate from Bryn Mawr College in 1912. During WW2, she ran the rations board for a large city, and my mother was working for her (how my mom met my dad).


I’ve had more than my share of love — beyond
The dear sustaining family love I lean upon —
Love unexpected and uncalled for,
Love that I have not earned, but which has warmed
My heart and richly decked my spirit. Now
When age, and pain, and bleak inadequacy heap
Their weight upon me, this cherished love, piled
By far outweighs them all, uplifts me still.