Friday, April 24, 2009

Poetry Friday and Quote of the Day: Thorton Wilder and Mark Jarmon

Again, for Poetry Friday, I have both a quote and a poem.  I like the way these two resonate with each other.

From Thornton Wilder's play, Our Town

Emily:  Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it---every, every minute?

Stage Manager:  No--- The saints and poets, maybe--- They do some.

and via poetryfoundation. org

Dressing My Daughters

One girl a full head taller
Than the other—into their Sunday dresses.
First, the slip, hardly a piece of fabric,
Softly stitched and printed with a bud.
I’m not their mother, and tangle, then untangle
The whole cloth—on backwards, have to grab it
Round their necks. But they know how to pull
Arms in, a reflex of being dressed,
And also, a child’s faith. The mass of stuff
That makes the Sunday frocks collapses
In my hands and finds its shape, only because

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Lisa Chellman

This post is part of my Poetry Quote a Day series for National Poetry Month.


  1. Have to read that Mark Jarman poem over and over. There's so much truth there.

    I did the makeup for Our Town in college, and felt so honored to dress the Emilys.

  2. I love that Jarman poem...I'm thinking I need to get my hands on a copy of "Questions for Ecclesiastes."

    Happy Birthday, Sara! Thank you for bringing the grace and beauty of poetry (of YOU) into our lives. I'm so glad I met you.

  3. Oh I love that. Thank you. Clothes that ..."weigh like a slow hour." So vivid. I think I'm gonna go read that again.

  4. Sara,

    Great poem selection! "Dressing My Daughters" is the kind of poem that one can read over and over again--and find something new.

  5. I can so relate to this: "After a day like Sunday, such a long one,
    When they lie down, half-dead,
    To be undone, they won’t help me.
    They cry, “It’s not my fault.”

    Happy Birthday sweet girl!

  6. Like everyone else mentioned, it's definitely a poem to read over and over. And "weighed like a slow hour" really hit the mark.

  7. This poem "talks to" the one at Carol's Corner in a very fun way!

  8. The quote from Our Town has been in my quote journal for years. Thanks for posting it today. And the Jarman poem is so real and full ... thanks for that, too.

  9. Oh, mercy, that poem.
    It is like many, many stories all in a few lines. I LOVE it...

    And I have to admit that I DID.NOT.LIKE. Our Town. But now I think I kinda do...

  10. Liz, we'll have to have an OUR TOWN discussion one day. I stage managed it in high school. (Not the part of the stage manager, but the actual SM.) I was so thrilled to be given that responsibility that I guess I didn't think to have an opinion on whether I liked the play or not. But I have strong memories of the nights it was performed, and ours was beautifully cast.


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