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

  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (1/22/2020 10:31:00 PM)

    YEAR COMES AND GOES; SILENTLY PASSES AWAY THE TIME; BUT A MIND THERE LIVES MANY DESIRES, MANY HOPES, MANY PRAYERS; A CONNOISSEUR MIND ALWAYS PRAYS FOR THE FINE ART WHERE S/HE FINDS HER/HIS ULTIMATE HAPPINESS OF MOMENTS///GREATLY POEM PENNED(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Douglas Scotney (11/14/2019 10:49:00 PM)

    philosophical grandmothers are the best(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Savita TyagiSavita Tyagi (11/14/2019 3:51:00 PM)

    Marvelous poem! Only a person who has gone through the experience can create a sketch such as the Greate grand ma did to be remembered for generations.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (11/14/2019 10:25:00 AM)

    Beside a river in Switzaland.


    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (11/14/2019 10:01:00 AM)

    The scene is sketched very heartily by grandmother with beautiful request to the year. The year will definitely bring firmness with mothers day. A great poem is excellently penned. Reading such a poem of the day we feel glad.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (11/14/2019 1:10:00 AM)

    Nothing,
    it was evident,
    could be done;
    And with the artist's isolating eye // superb poetic expression(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (11/14/2018 11:53:00 PM)

    Congrats for this wonderful poem. Great imagery.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (11/14/2018 6:47:00 PM)

    Such a heartwarming poem by Judith Wright.....(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rose Marie Juan-austinRose Marie Juan-austin (11/14/2018 8:40:00 AM)

    A great tribute and remembrance.
    So vividly depicted.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar PandaAnil Kumar Panda (11/14/2018 8:40:00 AM)

    A beautiful poem indeed. Loved it.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (11/14/2018 7:42:00 AM)

    A great and glowing tribute paid to the artist in the grand mother and her ability to see the disturbing scene from quite a distance and sketching it as a treasure.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (11/14/2018 6:49:00 AM)

    When year is very meditative in nature this is definitely suitable for feelings. Difficult distance is viewed but this distance can be elaborated with positive vibration with meditation. Great-great-grandmother sketches this picture and wonderfully we feel emotion. Bringing out firmness is really great. An excellent poem this is and this is a nice poem of the day in modern section....10(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Adrian FlettAdrian Flett (11/14/2018 3:46:00 AM)

    Filled with emotion, meaning and irony.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (11/14/2018 12:57:00 AM)

    time - the great sketcher! the great composer of history! the greatest reminiscent books!

    /// lovely poem(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kim BarneyKim 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

    7 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Kinyua KaranjaKinyua 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

    6 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • K.c. FordK.c. Ford (9/7/2015 3:04:00 AM)

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

    7 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Ramesh T ARamesh 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

    6 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Susan Witman (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

    9 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Barry Van Allen (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!

    B.V.A.
    `(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
Read all 20 comments »




Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

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



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



[Report Error]