Birthday Poems - Poems For Birthday - For A Thirteenth Birthday
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For A Thirteenth Birthday - Poem by Lisel Mueller
You have read War and Peace.
Now here is Sister Carrie,
not up to Tolstoy; still
it will second the real world:
predictable planes and levels,
pavement that holds you,
stairs that lift you,
ice that trips you,
nights that begin after sunset,
four lunar phases,
a finite house.
I give you Dreiser
although (or because)
I am no longer sure.
Lately I have been walking into glass doors.
Through the car windows, curbs disappear.
On the highway, wrong turnoffs become irresistible,
someone else is controlling the wheel.
Sleepless nights pile up like a police record;
all my friends are getting divorced.
Language, my old comrade, deserts me;
words are misused or forgotten,
consonants fight each other
between my upper and lower teeth.
I write "fiend" for "friend"
and "word" for "world",
remember comes out with an "m" missing.
I used to be able to find my way in the dark,
sure of the furniture,
but the town I lived in for years
has pulled up its streets in my absence,
disguised its buildings behind my back.
My neighbor at dinner glances
at his cuffs, his palms;
he has memorized certain phrases,
but does not speak my language.
Suddenly I am aware
no one at the table does.
And so I give you Dreiser,
his measure of certainty:
a table that's oak all the way through,
real and fragrant flowers,
skirts from sheep and silkworms,
no unknown fibers;
a language as plain as money,
a workable means of exchange;
a world whose very meanness is solid,
mud into mortar, and you are sure
of what will injure you.
I give you names like nails,
walls that withstand your pounding,
doors that are hard to open,
but once they are open, admit you
into rooms that breathe pure sun.
I give you trees that lose their leaves,
as you knew they would,
and then come green again.
I give you
fruit preceded by flowers,
Venus supreme in the sky,
the miracle of always
landing on your feet,
even though the earth
rotates on its axis.
Start out with that, at least.
Comments about For A Thirteenth Birthday by Lisel Mueller
Poems About Birthday
- 1. A Birthday , Christina Georgina Rossetti
- 2. Poem On His Birthday , Dylan Thomas
- 3. A Birthday Poem , Ted Kooser
- 4. A Prayer For A Mother's Birthday , Henry Van Dyke
- 5. Happy Birthday , Sylvia Chidi
- 6. Birthday, Birthday, Happy Birthday , Udiah (witness to Yah)
- 7. For K.R. On Her Sixtieth Birthday , Richard Wilbur
- 8. Poem For My 43rd Birthday , Charles Bukowski
- 9. Best Birthday Haiku- Birthday Cake , john tiong chunghoo
- 10. Ninetieth Birthday , Ronald Stuart Thomas
- 11. Birthday , Robert William Service
- 12. Birthday Wishes For A Grieving Wife , Jonathan Goldman a.k.a JGthe ..
- 13. Happy Birthday Papa... , Ravi Sathasivam
- 14. A Birthday , Aleister Crowley
- 15. A Birthday Candle , Donald Justice
- 16. To The Memory Of Mrs. Lefroy Who Died De.. , Jane Austen
- 17. Birthday Wishes For My Step-Daughter , Jonathan Goldman a.k.a JGthe ..
- 18. For My Sister On Her 16th Birthday , Charlie F. Kane
- 19. Happy Birthday, Birthday Happy , Ray Hansell
- 20. Birthday , Yevgeny Yevtushenko
- 21. Happy Birthday, My Dear Wife! , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
- 22. Stella's Birthday March 13, 1727 , Jonathan Swift
- 23. Ninon De Lenclos, On Her Last Birthday , Dorothy Parker
- 24. On My Birthday, July 21 , Matthew Prior
- 25. For A Thirteenth Birthday , Lisel Mueller
- 26. Sonnet: “happy Birthday, Dear Father-In-.. , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
- 27. A Ninth Birthday , Algernon Charles Swinburne
- 28. ! A Birthday Celebration , Michael Shepherd
- 29. Happy Birthday Ez , David Harris
- 30. Five Decades (Birthday Birthday Birth.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
- 31. Your Milestone Birthday , Jonathan Goldman a.k.a JGthe ..
- 32. Happy Birthday..... , Ravi Sathasivam
- 33. Its My Birthday , Cecelia Weir
- 34. Happy Birthday Son (Feb 19-2nd Bday) , MELVIN BANGGOLLAY
- 35. Sonnet: Happy Birthday, Dear , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
- 36. A Birthday Song. To S. G. , Sidney Lanier
- 37. The Birthday Card , Ernestine Northover
- 38. Happy Birthday To My Favourite Pilot , Herbert Nehrlich
- 39. Happy 37th Birthday Sunny , Seema Chowdhury
- 40. Happy Birthday To Me! , Marilyn Lott
- 41. Happy Birthday, My Twin , Barbara Haskell
- 42. Happy Birthday (Wish You Were Here) , Charlie F. Kane
- 43. God Bless You On Your Birthday! , Denis Martindale
- 44. To My Loving Mum On Her 86th Birthday , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
- 45. I Know She'Ll Be Alright (For Chelsey's .. , Mary Nagy
- 46. Matts Birthday , Erin Hanson
- 47. Happy Birthday, Wendy! , Herbert Nehrlich
- 48. My Daughter On Her Thirtieth Birthday , Alison Cassidy
- 49. February 21 - Whose Birthday Today? , Michael Shepherd
- 50. For Betty On Her 90th Birthday , Francis Duggan
New Birthday Poems
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