Looking for a poem, any poem, for a goddaughter who's called Emily. There must be a poem of nice bit of prose about an Emily... Oh, if I were better read I could pluck it out of my memory banks. Any suggestions so welcome!
the only one I knows is not what you want ...
I am posting it anyway below
I am posting two poems (?) about girls - maybe you will like them
( I do ... )
Trust You'll Treat Her Well
by Victor Buono ( Buono was a poet and actor)
I bequeath to you today one little girl...in a crispy dress...
with two blue eyes....and a happy laugh that ripples all day long...
and a flash of light blond hair that bounces in the sun when she runs.
I trust you'll treat her well.
She's slipping out of the backyard of my heart this morning...
and skipping off down the street to her first day of school.
And never again will she be completely mine.
Prim and proud she'll wave her young and independent hand this morning
and say "Goodbye" and walk with little lady steps to the schoolhouse.
Now she'll learn to stand in lines...
and wait by the alphabet for her name to be called.
She'll learn to tune her ears for the sounds of school-bells...
and deadlines...and she'll learn to giggle..and gossip...
and look at the ceiling in a disinterested way when the little boy 'cross the aisle sticks out his tongue at her.
And now she'll learn to be jealous.
And now she'll learn how it is to feel hurt inside.
And now she'll learn how not to cry.
No longer will she have time to sit on the front porch on a summer day
and watch an ant scurry across the crack in the sidewalk.
Nor will she have time to pop out of bed with the dawn
and kiss lilac blooms in the morning dew.
No, now she'll worry about those important things...
like grades and which dress to wear and whose best friends is whose.
And the magic of books and learning will replace the magic of her blocks and dolls.
And now she'll find new heroes.
For five full years now I've been her sage and Santa Claus
and pal and playmate and father and friend.
Now she'll learn to share her worship with her teachers..which is only right.
But no longer will I be the smartest, greatest man in the whole world.
Today when that school bell rings for the first time...
she'll learn what it means to be a member of the group...
with all its privileges and its disadvantages too.
She'll learn in time that proper young ladies do not laugh out loud...
or kiss dogs..or keep frogs in pickle jars in bedrooms...
or even watch ants scurry across cracks in sidewalks in the summer.
Today she'll learn for the first time that all who smile at her are not her friends.
And I'll stand on the front porch and watch her start out on the long,
lonely journey to becoming a woman.
So, world, I bequeath to you today one little girl...
in a crispy dress...with two blue eyes...
and a flash of light blond hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs.
I trust you’ll treat her well
What is a Little Girl?
by Alan Beck (circa 1956)
Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people.
They are born with a little bit of angel shine about them
and though it wears thin sometimes,
there is always enough left to lasso your heart.
A little girl can be sweeter, and badder,
oftener than anyone else in the world.
A girl is innocence playing in the mud,
beauty standing on its head,
and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot.
Girls are available in five colors
-- black, white, red, yellow or brown...
yet Mother Nature always manages to select your favorite color when you place your order.
God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl.
He uses a song of a bird, the stubbornness of a mule,
the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten
and, to top it all off, He adds the mysterious mind of a woman.
A little girl likes new shoes, party dresses, small animals,
dolls, make-believe, dancing lessons, ice cream and tea parties.
She is loudest when you are thinking, the prettiest when she provokes you,
the quietest when you want to show her off
and the most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again.
Who else can cause you more grief, joy, irritation, satisfaction,
embarrassment and genuine delight
than this combination of Eve, Salome and Florence Nightingale?
Just when your patience is ready to crack,
when your dreams tumble down and the whole world is a mess
she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers,
"I love you best of all."
A Poem for Emily
from Living on the Sun Face (Louisiana State University Press).
A Poem for Emily
Small fact and fingers and farthest one from me,
a hand's width and two generations away,
in this still present I am fifty-three.
You are not yet a full day.
When I am sixty-three, when you are ten,
and you are neither closer nor as far,
your arms will fill with what you know by then,
the arithmetic and love we do and are.
When I by blood and luck am eighty-six
and you are someplace else and thirty-three
believing in sex and god and politics
with children who look not at all like me,
sometime I know you will have read them this
so they will know I love them and say so
and love their mother. Child, whatever is
is always or never was. Long ago,
a day I watched awhile beside your bed,
I wrote this down, a thing that might be kept
awhile, to tell you what I would have said
when you were who knows what and I was dead
which is I stood and loved you while you slept.
There's a Simon & Garfunkel song "For Emily, wherever I may find her", but it doesn't have the name Emily in the actual song.
Plus which (as we used to say), "For Emily, wherever I may find her" is TOTALLY inappropriate for a god-daughter.
There's an EMILY in the
"Reuben Pantier" (from "Spoon River Anthology" 1916)
Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950)
WELL, Emily Sparks, your prayers were not wasted,
Your love was not all in vain.
I owe whatever I was in life
To your hope that would not give me up,
To your love that saw me still as good.
Dear Emily Sparks, let me tell you the story.
I pass the effect of my father and mother;
The milliner’s daughter made me trouble
And out I went in the world,
Where I passed through every peril known
Of wine and women and joy of life.
One night, in a room in the Rue de Rivoli,
I was drinking wine with a black-eyed cocotte,
And the tears swam into my eyes.
She thought they were amorous tears and smiled
For thought of her conquest over me.
But my soul was three thousand miles away,
In the days when you taught me in Spoon River.
And just because you no more could love me,
Nor pray for me, nor write me letters,
The eternal silence of you spoke instead.
And the black-eyed cocotte took the tears for hers,
As well as the deceiving kisses I gave her.
Somehow, from that hour, I had a new vision—
Dear Emily Sparks!
Even if you find a very nice poem with "Emily" in it, it won't be ABOUT your goddaughter.
So my suggestion is that you write something that really IS about her: a poem that could only be written by someone who knows THIS PARTICULAR EMILY, her favorite color, her favorite animals, her siblings' names (if there are any sibs), etc. Even if it comes out sounding silly, even if it isn't perfectly rhymed or metered, if it's HER poem, she'll keep it forever.
Another possibility -- depending on her age -- would be to introduce her to the works of Emily Dickinson. Pick a Dickinson poem that's very upbeat and all about loving life (there are plenty of those) -- one that expresses your wishes for her. Give her a pretty copy of that and a book of ED's poems.