There are countless short poems in praise of moms on Mother’s Day. That’s hardly surprising, because mothers are very special people and countless people love their moms.
Some poems are centuries old, some are brand new. Some are the simple verses you find on greetings cards, some are the profound thoughts of famous poets, or even quotations from the Bible.
Of one thing you can be sure: all are deeply felt, tributes to the women who brought us into the world and nurtured and cared for us and, if we are lucky, are still around to be our friends.
Some poems are simple, yet very moving and full of truth, like this one by Strickland Gillilan (1869-1954):
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I had a mother who read to me.
Francis Cardinal Spellman’s poem “What is a Mother?” is a quite different but equally sincere way of saying it:
What is a mother? Who shall answer this?
A mother is a font and spring of life,
A mother is a forest in whose heart
Lies hid a secret ancient as the hills,
For men to claim and take its wealth away;
And like the forest shall her wealth renew
And give, and give again, that men may live.
The English poet George Barker obviously not only loved his mother, but admired her huge spirit, her steadfastness and strength. In his poem “To My Mother” he likens her to “a procession no one can follow after but be like a little dog following a brass band.”
Most near, most dear, most loved and most far,
Under the window where I often found her
Sitting as huge as Asia, seismic with laughter,
Gin and chicken helpless in her Irish hand,
Irresistible as Rabelais, but most tender for
The lame dogs and hurt birds that surround her –
She is a procession no one can follow after
But be like a little dog following a brass band.
She will not glance up at the bomber, or condescend
To drop her gin and scuttle to a cellar,
But lean on the mahogany table like a mountain
Whom only faith can move, and so I send
O all my faith, and all my love to tell her
That she will move from mourning into morning.
Or how about this wonderful heartfelt poem by Pat O’Reilly?
God made a wonderful mother
A mother who never grows old;
He made her smile of the sunshine.
And He moulded her heart of pure gold;
In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,
In her cheeks fair roses you see;
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear mother to me.
There are so many ways of thanking your mom and telling her you love her. It is not just about going and spending money on a present (although receiving a beautiful gift is always nice!) But probably the thing that nearly all moms love best of all is to be given a homemade card containing beautiful words of love and appreciation.
Maybe in the end the best way to do it is to forget what others have written and tell her in your own words. However simple, they will be from the heart, and she will be the first to know it.