Poems to give to expecting mothers as a gift

Written by eirik ott
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Few experiences are as profound as the miracle of childbirth, and many writers and poets have sought to capture the joy of a mother's love for a child. Many collections of poetry exploring the relationships between a mother and her child have been published, each containing a wealth of passionate writing and contemplation that makes a thoughtful gift for any expectant mother.

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Walt Whitman, "Unfolded Out of the Folds"

American poet Walt Whitman was born in 1819 and wrote one of the most well-known collections of poetry in the English language, "Leaves of Grass." His poem "Unfolded Out of the Folds" tells of the moment a man-to-be arrives from his mother during birth. The final lines, "First a man is shaped in the woman/He can then be shaped in himself," illustrates the notion that behind every great man was a woman. This poem can be found in the collection "Mothersongs: Poems For, By, and About Mothers," edited by Sandra M. Gilbert.

Emily Bronte, "Upon Her Soothing Breast"

Emily Bronte was an English writer born in 1818 whose classic book "Wuthering Heights" is one of the centrepieces of English literature. Bronte died in 1848 at the age of 30 due to complications from tuberculosis, leaving behind a small but very influential body of work. Her lovely poem "Upon Her Soothing Breast" is a short piece that paints a gentle portrait of a mother holding her small child to her chest and offering comfort from fears and despair. This poem is available in the collection "Motherhood: Poems About Mothers," edited by Carmela Ciuraru.

Elizabeth Akers Allen, "Rock Me to Sleep"

Elizabeth Akers Allen was born in 1832 in New York and published a collection of poems under the pseudonym Florence Percy when she was only 23. Her poem "Rock Me to Sleep" recalls the comfort given by a mother who has died. This poem is read as a gentle reverie of an adult filled with the yearning to return to a mother's arms. This poem can be found in the collection "A Mother's Love: Classic Poems Celebrating the Maternal Heart," edited by Kathleen Blease.

John Agard, "Ask Mummy, Ask Daddy"

John Agard is a writer of poetry and children's stories who was born in Guyana and has lived in the U.K. for many years. His deceptively simple poem "Ask Mummy, Ask Daddy" details the thought process of a child trying to find the "Yes" answer that all children so desperately desire at some point. In the end, the child's loyal teddy bear is the bearer of his anticipated good tidings. The poem is whimsical and comforting and is available in the collection "Mothers Please!: One Hundred Poems for Every Mother," edited by Douglas Brooks-Davies.

Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, "Budding Beauty"

Jayne Jaudon Ferrer is a modern poet living in Greenville, N. C. who writes free-verse poetry about women's issues, especially concerning mothers and their children. Her poem "Budding Beauty" details the day a mother catches her young daughter trying on her bra. The incident in told in gentle language that acknowledges the lilting sadness of realising a young child grows so quickly into an adult. This poem is available in the collection "Dancing With My Daughter" by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer.

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