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Poetry Friday -- Marie Howe

It's stunning to me how quickly our family pace changes when August turns to September each year.
It may just be indication of how seriously we take our summer downtime, but I fear it's also that we squeeze almost too much into our lives September through May.

The thing is, we love what we do -- all of us.
The Shakespeare and swimming, the pick up basketball games and women's groups, the library events and 10K runs.
We love it all.

It's just that there are four of us and 7 short days each week and sometimes, in order to get to do what we love, we have to hurry. Which is fine occasionally, but boy-oh-man, you wouldn't want to make a habit of it.

I am ever mindful of the need to sloooooow it down, catch my breath, reassess and say the occasional No, Thank You.
But sometimes, I need a little reminder. We all do.

Here were mine this week:

My Tall One's first formal Scrabble game.
Scrabble is a sloooow game, requiring patience, good humor and total presence.
I love it...

And this poem, by Marie Howe:


We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store   
and the gas station and the green market and   
Hurry up honey, I say, hurry,   
as she runs along two or three steps behind me   
her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.   

Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?   
To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?   

Read the rest of the poem here... and subscribe to American Life in Poetry while you're at it.
Make time for it.
You'll be glad you did...


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After awhile, we just forbade our kids to get any older. Didn't work.

You can play Scrabble really, really slowly on Facebook. My dad and I do.

I have often threatened the girls with bricks on their heads to keep them from growing but it hasn't worked either :)

I love Marie Howe. She wrote a charming piece about reading the Little House books with her daughter in a recent issue of the Oprah magazine -- July, I think it was. Bonding over the books and distant in time disasters.

Thanks for the poem!

I love her, too. She is so profound and so accessible at the same time. I'll look for her Oprah piece...

Okay, so this is making me cry. 'Cause a) I've been hurried all week and b) I always look at my sweet girls and wonder WHY I DO IT and c) Marie Howe is so talented it hurts and d) she wrote one of my top-five favorite poems ever, which just thinking of it makes me tear up.

But it was a GOOD misty-eyed moment, so thank you.

7-Imp (who knows she has missed so many of your what-I-read-this-summer, I hope to get caught up. I don't want to miss those! I have a feeling it will inform my TBR pile.)

Oh, Jules, you are sooooo not alone. Time keeps marching on, doesn't it? It takes a concerted effort to slow things down sometimes.

Which Marie Howe is your all time fave?????

7,000 years later, I'm answering:


Great poem. Great point, too.

I love almost ALL of her poems -- do you?

It's the first of her work that I've read. I'll be sure to look for more!

Marie Howe

I do love all her poems. And she is teaching an advanced poetry workshop at the 6th Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival, January 18-23, 2010, in Delray Beach, FL. Want to apply?
Visit: I hope so.

Miles Coon, Festival Director

Tanita Says :)

I love this. I love the idea of slowing down and I ADORE Scrabble. Yay, Tall One!

She thought it was "hard" but wants to play again. Which I take as a good sign...

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