Friday, February 26, 2016

Poetry Friday: What You Have To Get Over

I was looking up poems on aging yesterday, since this is my birthday week, in preparation for today's post.  As I scrolled, my husband walked into my classroom and gave me some life-changing news.  After that I don't really remember what happened. 

(Everybody is alive and well, and the news is about my husband's job.  So it's not life or death.  Don't worry.  We will be OK.)

This poem is included by the Poetry Foundation website under the category of "Growing Old," and that's pretty appropriate, since what is growing old other than getting over a whole series of things?

What You Have to Get Over 

by Dick Allen


Stumps. Railroad tracks. Early sicknesses,
the blue one, especially.
Your first love rounding a corner,
that snowy minefield.
 
Whether you step lightly or heavily,
you have to get over to that tree line a hundred yards in the distance
before evening falls,
letting no one see you wend your way,
 
that wonderful, old-fashioned word, wend,
meaning “to proceed, to journey,
to travel from one place to another,”
as from bed to breakfast, breakfast to imbecile work.
 
 
Wend your way over to today's roundup here.

9 comments:

Tabatha said...

I love your poetry choices, Ruth. Thank you for this. And happy birthday!! My birthday is coming up...would love to have a "birthday lunch" with you, were it possible. Thinking good thoughts for you and your husband.

Janet said...

Is it my general mood about aging, or do the obstacles seem to get more and more sinister as the poem goes on?

I am still getting over bridges. They always make me unreasonably nervous. But by high middle age, where I now am, I have gotten over my resistance to Shakespeare. For that, I feel virtuous.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

My goodness, SO many PF birthday's this month— yours, Irene's, Laura Shovan, and mine two weeks ago. Thank you for sharing such an apropos poem today. "Life-changing" sounds scary– please know I'm sending hopeful thoughts.

Jessica Stock said...

I woke up thinking about you, and maybe this is why. I will be praying for whatever it is, believing it is good. And it seems I missed your birthday! Happiest of birthdays friend, I am so glad you were born. Looking forward to chatting soon!

Linda B said...

I love the poem, and like the poet, the word "wend". Happy Birthday Ruth, and wishes for a lovely day as you "wend" your way about and through. I hope that news is something you might celebrate, too. Thanks for a poem that seems meant for me as I reach the bridge and on.

Liz Steinglass said...

I wish you and your family well, Ruth. My favorite thing about the poem is the way it moves between the abstract--love, resentment--and the concrete--the tree line a hundred yards in the distance. Thanks for sharing it.

Molly Hogan said...

Happy Birthday to a fellow Aquarius. Thanks for sharing the poem. I enjoyed how it stopped to appreciate words like wend and yonder and I love the lines, "all those shadows of yourself you left behind on odd little tables." I hope your husband's news isn't something to get over. Take care.

Tara Smith said...

Happy Birthday, Ruth - and thank you for this wordsworthy-y poem!

Mary Lee said...

Happy Birthday! Wishing you small hurdles to get over (while my heart is breaking for my 88 year-old mom's HUGE hurdles right now...)