by Anna Marie Trotman

April is National Poetry Month so let’s think of how it has touched our lives. Poetry feeds my soul. There is poetry in music and poetry in verse, there is poetry in silence and poetry in laughter, it’s everywhere and it gives meaning to life. When I first heard Maya Angelou read these lines from one of her poems, I burst into tears; it was just what I needed to hear. She softly and powerfully declared, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” These words helped to heal a part of me with an awareness of love that had not fully formed in my consciousness. 

So to honor National Poetry month, I want to share a poem that spoke to me very differently when I read it in college than it does today. The very first line of the poem, Being Born by Carl Sandburg says; “Being born is important.” I thought how spot-on, sure it’s important! Today I see how Sandburg honors the process of birth, the mother, the baby, and the witness. Being born is important and giving birth is important, as Sandburg puts it, “it is loves payday”. 

I urge you to take some time this month and read some poetry or prose, listen to the words of a favorite song in a new way and notice how it feeds your soul.   

Being Born

by Carl Sandburg

You who have stood at the bedposts
and seen a mother on her high harvest day,
the day of the most golden of harvest moons for her.

You who have seen the new wet child
dried behind the ears,
swaddled in soft fresh garments,
pursing its lips and sending a groping mouth
toward nipples where white milk is ready.

You who have seen this love’s payday
of wild toiling and sweet agonizing.

You know being born is important.
You know that nothing else was ever so important to you.
You understand that the payday of love is so old,
So involved, so traced with circles of the moon,
So cunning with the secrets of the salts of the blood.
It must be older than the moon, older than salt.