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a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: KellyMarie (
Date: October 17, 2004 09:11PM

My aunt is putting together an album for her daughter's 13th birthday and she has asked family and friends to send pictures or advice about growing up...something of significance to put in the album. I wanted to send her a poem because thats something of interest to me and I know there are a lot of good poems about life, youth, growing up, etc. but I can't seem to find any for some reason (probably because I'm looking so hard). If anyone has any suggestions, please send me the title and author. It would really help me out alot. Thanks!

Re: need help finding a poem
Posted by: marian2 (
Date: October 18, 2004 05:01AM

Girl in the Doorway by Dorianne Laux

She is twelve now, the door to her room
closed, telephone cord trailing the hallway
in tight curls. I stand at the dryer, listening
through the thin wall between us, her voice
rising and falling as she describes her new life.
Static flies in brief blue stars from her socks,
her hairbrush in the morning. Her silver braces
shine inside the velvet case of her mouth.
Her grades rise and fall, her friends call
or they don't, her dog chews her new shoes
to a canvas pulp. Some days she opens her door
and musk rises from the long crease in her bed,
fills the dim hall. She grabs a denim coat
and drags the floor. Dust swirls in gold eddies
behind her. She walks through the house, a goddess,
each window pulsing with summer. Outside,
the boys wait for her teeth to straighten.
They have a vibrant patience.
When she steps onto the front porch, sun shimmies
through the tips of her hair, the V of her legs,
fans out like wings under her arms
as she raises them and waves. Goodbye, Goodbye.
Then she turns to go, folds up
all that light in her arms like a blanket
and takes it with her.

She Pops Home by Cal Clothier is another similar one, but I don't have a copy yet - it was read on the 25th Anniversary Edition of Poetry Please on Radio 4 a couple of weeks ago and the copyright rests with Molly Temple, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UNiversity of Sunderland (info from Poetry Please website_

Re: need help finding a poem
Posted by: ilza (
Date: October 18, 2004 09:03AM

She pops home is available online


Re: need help finding a poem
Posted by: RJAllen (
Date: October 18, 2004 09:13AM

Larkin's Born Yesterday applies, 'though it was written about a baby.

Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: October 18, 2004 05:08PM

Here is my usual advice in such situations: Write something.

No matter how bad you think it is, something written BY you, ABOUT her, will be a "keeper."

And/or, you could give her a list of the poems and books that you loved best when you were 12-13-14-15.

Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: lg (
Date: October 28, 2004 01:31AM

bump, for Marian2.


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/31/2006 04:28AM by lg.

Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: marian2 (
Date: October 28, 2004 04:26AM

Thanks, Les. This poem appeared on another thread (Japanese American Poetry 1940s) and seemed appropriate for this one:

For a Daughter Who Leaves

A woman weaves
her daughter's wedding
slippers that will carry
her steps into a new life.
The mother weeps alone
into her jeweled sewing box
slips red thread
around its spool,
the same she used to stitch
her daughter's first silk jacket
embroidered with turtles
that would bring luck, long life.
She remembers all the steps
taken by her daughter's
unbound quick feet:
dancing on the stones
of the yard among yellow
butterflies and white breasted sparrows.
And she grew, legs strong
body long, mind
Now she captures all eyes
with her hair combed smooth
and her hips gently
swaying like bamboo.
The woman
spins her thread
from the spool of her heart,
knotted to her daughter's
wedding slippers.

Janice Mirikitani

Post Edited (10-28-04 03:27)

Re: need help finding a poem
Posted by: Jayne Whaley (
Date: November 17, 2004 08:42AM

I am looking for a poem for my high school graduating senior daughter for a yearbook tribute. My daughter is a ballerina, cheer leader and very spiritual. Any suggestions? Thanks for any help you could give. Dorothy Parker's "Paths" was suggested but I cannot find it.

Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: lg (
Date: November 17, 2004 11:32AM

Dorothy Parker

I shall tread, another year,
Ways I walked with Grief,
Past the dry, ungarnered ear
And the brittle leaf.

I shall stand, a year apart,
Wondering, and shy,
Thinking, "Here she broke her heart;
Here she pled to die."

I shall hear the pheasants call,
And the raucous geese;
Down these ways, another Fall,
I shall walk with Peace.

But the pretty path I trod
Hand-in-hand with Love-
Underfoot, the nascent sod,
Brave young boughs above,

And the stripes of ribbon grass
By the curling way-
I shall never dare to pass
To my dying day.


Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: Veronika (
Date: November 20, 2004 06:42PM

This is probably not what you are looking for, but still a very beautiful poem.

The Pomegranate
by Eavan Boland

The only legend I have ever loved is
the story of a daughter lost in hell.
And found and rescued there.
Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
Ceres and Persephone the names.
And the best thing about the legend is
I can enter it anywhere. And have.
As a child in exile in
a city of fogs and strange consonants,
I read it first and at first I was
an exiled child in the crackling dusk of
the underworld, the stars blighted. Later
I walked out in a summer twilight
searching for my daughter at bed-time.
When she came running I was ready
to make any bargain to keep her.
I carried her back past whitebeams
and wasps and honey-scented buddleias.
But I was Ceres then and I knew
winter was in store for every leaf
on every tree on that road.
Was inescapable for each one we passed.
And for me.
It is winter
and the stars are hidden.
I climb the stairs and stand where I can see
my child asleep beside her teen magazines,
her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit.
The pomegranate! How did I forget it?
She could have come home and been safe
and ended the story and all
our heart-broken searching but she reached
out a hand and plucked a pomegranate.
She put out her hand and pulled down
the French sound for apple and
the noise of stone and the proof
that even in the place of death,
at the heart of legend, in the midst
of rocks full of unshed tears
ready to be diamonds by the time
the story was told, a child can be
hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance.
The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured.
The suburb has cars and cable television.
The veiled stars are above ground.
It is another world. But what else
can a mother give her daughter but such
beautiful rifts in time?
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
The legend will be hers as well as mine.
She will enter it. As I have.
She will wake up. She will hold
the papery flushed skin in her hand.
And to her lips. I will say nothing.

Re: need help finding a poem
Posted by: LRye (
Date: December 23, 2004 01:31PM

I love that "Girl in a Doorway" poem by D. Laux---details like the phone cord say it all for me.

Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: gina (
Date: January 24, 2005 02:46PM

I am looking for something nice to put in my daughters high school senior year book....

Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: lg (
Date: January 24, 2005 02:52PM

---Knial R. Bateman

I walked beside the mountain streams,
Adored the mystic starlit sky
And built my castles in my dreams
As endless time was passing by.
A zephyr whispered in my ear
Of secrets hidden along the way,
To be discovered some distant year
And guide my footsteps every day.
They told of wonderful things to be,
The night wind, stars and sky;
I wish I had known they were telling me
You would be my Daughter by and by.
Perhaps it was their sly intent
When they made this vow to me;
A flower from heaven shall be sent
To warm your heart eternally.
Because of you, my world is made divine
And shadows will never linger near.
God picked the brightest star and made it mine
to love and cherish always, "Daughter Dear".


Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: lg (
Date: January 24, 2005 05:49PM

A Wish For You<br />

---Susan Roth-Weitzel

If I could blow a dandelion
And make your dreams come true
I'd wish only the very best
In all the world for you
I'd ask the fairies to please
Leave the stardust in your eyes
And not disturb the shining
Dreams you hope to realize
I'd ask the shadows not to cross
Your path to cause you to falter
And I'd ask the Lord to
Bless you, always my daughter


Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: brooke callan (
Date: January 24, 2005 06:47PM

hi my name is brooke and my teacher has gaven me a ansignment i have to write a book of peotry in these forms of poetry:haiku,diamante,cinquain,and a limerickin the parts of speech

please help me if you can at


Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: January 25, 2005 11:14AM

I love that "Girl in a Doorway" poem by D. Laux ...

Yeah, good stuff. Here are some more of hers:


Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: LRye (
Date: January 25, 2005 08:24PM

Dear Hugh---

Thanks for that link. You are so wonderful in how you find those for this forum.

Dorianne Laux was one of the first poets I grew to love when I first began writing 7 years ago. Her work is clear and accessible which I appreciate. I'm not a very abstract person---that's not to say that I dont enjoy abstract work at times though too. I sponsored her as a poet / teacher once at a retreat, here in MI. She was quite different than I expected.

Her images and situations are almost always interesting.

Take care,


Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: January 26, 2005 01:26PM

You are more than welcome. Fyi, she writes in her forward to the book below that she learned to write poetry by taking a class from Steve Kowit:


Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: LRye (
Date: January 27, 2005 10:15PM

Thanks Hugh.

One of my first teachers also used that book as a guide.
I appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness.


Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: Pedro (
Date: January 28, 2005 10:28PM

The tinny flower has grow
as the wind moves from her toe
open her petals to the world
showing her beauty with awe

Re: a poem about a daughter growing up
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: February 11, 2005 04:08PM

To A Daughter Leaving Home

When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
-- Linda Pastan

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