Liilia Talts Morrison

Gold Star - 4,968 Points (August 20,1937 / Estonia)

Young I Was - Poem by Liilia Talts Morrison

Young I was and few of days
when I listened to old tales
of the hallowed ancient ways
mouth to mouth with dreamy gaze

Old men squinting in a room
filled with smoke and lined with doom
whispering in measured rhymes
epic heroes' epic gloom:

When will freedom's clear chimes ring
when will danger lose its sting
when will chains of bondage melt
and the flame of rebirth bring

Linden leaves from giant trees
summer toil with little ease
gifts of blue from flaxen fields

Salt cured fish and rich dark bread
toil from soil and water's bed
forests dark and blackbirds swift
mushroom bounty's tasty gifts

Plowmen tilling stony soil
currants plucked and summer toil
hardy smiths pound iron nails
fishermen sew nets and sails
while their women carry tales

Harvest hay in fragrant stacks
children leap and stuff in sacks
as the evening sun descends
summer with remembrance blends

Words that flow like northern seas
lapping waves in northern breeze
strange to people from the south
runes and tunes from woods and seas

Woven in their souls and songs
hand hewn spindles weathered looms
ceilings black from hardship; s soot
poppies stomped by foreign boots

Their small corner of God's earth
still reverberates new birth
dreams and lives may still abort
earthly hopes may still run short
Danger and destruction court

Their black earth and people sing
as barn swallows take to wing
children on old wooden swings
still strive hard to reach new heights
of unfathomed distant lights

Young I was and few of days
age has wrapped me in its haze
slow of step and short in phrase
yet remembered are those ways.

Topic(s) of this poem: childhood , children, memories, old memory, youth

Form: Epic

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Remembering the old days in Estonia in the early 1940's.

Comments about Young I Was by Liilia Talts Morrison

  • Margaret O Driscoll (1/21/2016 2:43:00 AM)

    'Words that flow from northern seas', they flow spellboundingly, Liilia! 'woven in their souls and songs', 'still strive hard to reach new heights', Estonia's proud daughter, take a bow! (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

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