It’s Poetry Week!

img005I kick off Poetry Week with what I refer to as my signature piece, Mom and Bocelli. Today is Mom’s birthday, so I thought it fitting.

Mom was born Lois Jane Holmes in Lansford, PA, February 18, 1921. She loved her family and instilled “loving family” in all of us. She was a seamstress, a crossword and quote-acrostic puzzler, a meatloaf to beef bourguignon chef. She could jitterbug and waltz; she liked the classics and opera and big bands. She studied French and Welsh and could pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (it’s a town in Wales and if you don’t believe me, here’s a YouTube pronunciation). And she loved Phillies baseball – she took notes and could discuss trades and stats with anybody.

I miss her awful.


Mom and Bocelli

Mom introduced me to Andrea Bocelli several years before she died,
And he comforted her throughout her final days.
He’s blind, you know. I did not.
I loved to watch her, sitting in her favorite chair, body rocking, eyes closed.
I imagine her still, mouthing words she could not pronounce,
Italian opera coming through the speakers of her silver boom box.
Before I left the coast, before she died,
I bought two tickets instead of paying several overdue bills.
She said, Dear, I haven’t been to a concert since the Dorseys.
And I said, Well, we’re going.
We drove to Philly and talked about mother-daughter stuff,
And listened to his tender voice melt through the speakers of the silver sedan.
We had two tickets and two tuna sandwiches.
At the over-under bridge, there was a back-up,
and we started to laugh about needing a bathroom,
and we agreed that you should not laugh when you need a bathroom.
Then we laughed harder still.
Inside, we sat above,
And there he was.
We were close enough to see the grizzle in his beard.
Before long, Mom and I cried and held hands.
Near the end he sang our favorite, “Nessun Dorma.”
We squeezed hands and sobbed and soaked a pile of tissues.
Through those tear-stained eyes, I will always see my mother.


Andrea Bocelli, Nessun Dorma, YouTube

Stay tuned, please. Poetry Week will continue with Beverley Hoyles, Shirani Rajapakse, Mairi McCloud, Pamela Wight, and then a few more selections by me next weekend here and as a guest on Heartspoken with Elizabeth H. Cottrell.


Filed under Prose & Poetry, Special Events

28 responses to “It’s Poetry Week!

  1. Wht a great way to kick off Poetry Week, Karen.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady! My kiddies are wondering why I’m sitting at my computer, tearing up…;~)

    Donna L Martin

  3. I remember this. As Donna said, it’s a beautiful tribute to your mother, especially on her birthday. You introduced me to Bocelli a few years ago, and I thank you for that. I look forward to poetry week. Poetry holds a special place in my heart, as Bocelli does in yours.
    Have a brilliant week, Karen. ❤

  4. Karoline Stock

    Very nice, Karen. What a wonderful way to remember your Mother. Makes me think about the time my Mom and daughter and I went to see Andy Williams just 4 months before my Mom died. Another special concert.

  5. Ahhhh…this is beautiful and moving, Karen. What a precious gift you gave your mother…and yourself…in that special time together. You have such a gift for pouring vivid emotion into your words.

  6. What a wonderful birthday tribute to your mom, Karen!
    I’ve read this piece before, but it was just as lovely this time. I could just picture you and your mom enjoying Andrea Bocelli’s incredible voice -in person! What a marvelous experience that must have been! His music is truly magical.
    You made a good choice buying those tickets. Bills will always be there.

  7. You just made my morning with a song from Boccelli! I would love to see him in concert! What a beautiful tribute to your mother today. This post is so such a beautiful way to remember your mother. And I love how your poem honor’s of that special trip. I am a big opera fan and attend the Metropolitan’s live HD perforfances at theaters.

  8. A wonderful tribute. Thanks for sharing it. Great choice in getting the tickets. Looking forward to this week.

  9. You painted a scene from a faraway time, then added some music. A wonderful way to pay tribute to a wonderful woman.

  10. Reblogged this on Shirani Rajapakse and commented:
    It’s Poetry Week at the Word Shark. Starting today with Karen’s signature piece to her mother and Bocelli. Watch this space for more throughout the week. My poems appear on Wednesday.

  11. Such a beautiful tribute; makes me wish I had met her. ♥
    Thanks for sharing your memories.♫

  12. Amazing poetry! Best poem I’ve read in a couple of decades! Going to link from my FB wall and tweet!

  13. A good poem should evoke an emotion and deliver a descriptibe slice of life. Wow, did you deliver! Beautiful, touching poem, Karen.

  14. What a lovely memory, one you will keep forever. You have immortalized it in your wonderful poem.
    I have been to the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch but cannot pronounce it.

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