Judith Wright

(1915 - 2000 / New South Wales / Australia)

Request To A Year - Poem by Judith Wright

If the year is meditating a suitable gift,
I should like it to be the attitude
of my great- great- grandmother,
legendary devotee of the arts,

who having eight children
and little opportunity for painting pictures,
sat one day on a high rock
beside a river in Switzerland

and from a difficult distance viewed
her second son, balanced on a small ice flow,drift down the current toward a waterfall
that struck rock bottom eighty feet below,

while her second daughter, impeded,
no doubt, by the petticoats of the day,
stretched out a last-hope alpenstock
(which luckily later caught him on his way).

Nothing, it was evident, could be done;
And with the artist's isolating eye
My great-great-grandmother hastily sketched the scene.
The sketch survives to prove the story by.

Year, if you have no Mother's day present planned,
Reach back and bring me the firmness of her hand.

Comments about Request To A Year by Judith Wright

  • Kim Barney (9/7/2015 6:23:00 PM)

    This poem paints a vivid picture of the scene in my mind. What a talent she had with the way she used her words! (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Kinyua Karanja (9/7/2015 4:34:00 AM)

    Artistic is a driving force that knows no steep mountain nor sharp corners it conquer all. I like the way that grandma sketched the scene. nice poem. (Report) Reply

  • K.c. Ford (9/7/2015 3:04:00 AM)

    I really like the ending couplet. Rounds the poem off nicely. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (9/7/2015 12:35:00 AM)

    Life adventure of a beloved if sketched into a picture by a grand grandest mother, it would be the best gift to her on Woman; s Day sure! (Report) Reply

  • (4/23/2008 11:10:00 PM)

    To sum a life in carefully chosen lines. To paint a picture with words in a way no other image would suffice. The life that pokes out in its confidence from between the lines, was the life of one who was alive every moment of her existance. No end to love's portrayal. (Report) Reply

  • (4/15/2007 6:15:00 AM)

    It seems that this lady passed away,
    before I got to say,
    that I enjoyed her imagery.
    I cannot speak for you,
    but, at least I said that I enjoyed it.

    Though it be posthumous!

    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: daughter, river, son, children, mother, hope, child

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

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