Mother’s Day

May 8, 1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

ROBERT PINSKY, Poet Laureate: For Mother’s Day here are two poems in which the poet writes as a mother. First, Sylvia Plath, regarding her infant child tenderly and with the contrasting sense of Plath’s own adult worries and her darknesses.


Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks, 
The zoo of the new

Whose names you meditate-
-April Snowdrop, Indian Pipe, 

Stalk without wrinkle,
Pool in which images 
Should be grand and classical

Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star.

ROBERT PINSKY: And here is Louise Glick, also writing as a mother looking at a child:

The Gift 

Lord, You may not recognize me 
speaking for someone else.
I have a son. He is 
so little, so ignorant. 
He likes to stand 
at the screen door, calling
oggie, oggie, entering 
language, and sometimes 
a dog will stop and come up
the walk, perhaps 
accidentally. May he believe 
that this is not an accident
At the screen
welcoming each beast
in love’s name. Your emissary.

ROBERT PINSKY: And a very happy Sunday to Sylvia Pinsky.