In a 2009 ABC News poll of what mothers really want for Mother’s Day, moms’ number one response was predictably mom-like: meaningful time spent with family members. (Shucks, mom! For once just say “a Lexus!”) Other popular answers included: rest time, help with housework and lots of attention and appreciation.
To fulfill your mom’s desire for attention and appreciation this Mother’s Day, consider including a one of these meaningful Mother’s Day poems among your Mother's Day Presents. These poems for mom can help you express the deep sentiments you struggle to put in your own words. Since all of these poems about mothers are in the public domain, feel free to put them on your website or anywhere you like. To add even more meaning, we’ve added a little background on each poet’s relationship to his or her mother. Along with pretty flowers for Mother's Day, a sentimental poem just makes sense. Adding chocolates to the flowers and poetry? Now there’s a winning dose of attention and appreciation!
Emily Dickinson, 1830 – 1886
Emily Dickinson’s reclusiveness wasn’t new in the prestigious Dickinson family. Her mother, too, rarely left home. Emily Dickinson cared for her mother for eight years after the older woman suffered a stroke. When her mother died, Dickinson wrote to a friend: "All is faint indeed without our vanished mother, who achieved in sweetness what she lost in strength.”
If Nature Smiles -- The Mother Must
By Emily Dickinson
If Nature smiles -- the Mother must
I'm sure, at many a whim
Of Her eccentric Family --
Is She so much to blame?
Christina Rossetti, 1830 – 1894
British poet Christina Rossetti’s mother came from an aristocratic, intellectual background. She home-schooled Christina and by most accounts shaped a happy childhood for her daughter. When Christina’s father became ill and could no longer teach at King’s College, her mother became a teacher to support the family. The third line from the bottom reveals that this Mother’s Day poem was written when Rossetti’s mother was nearing eighty.
Sonnets are Full of Love
by Christina Rossetti
To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home,
To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee
I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;
Whose service is my special dignity,
And she my loadstar while I go and come
And so because you love me, and because
I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath
Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honored name:
In you not fourscore years can dim the flame
Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws
Of time and change and mortal life and death
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850 – 1894
British writer and poet Robert Louis Stevenson began dictating stories to his mother before the age of 10. Their close and loving relationship may have helped give him the confidence to abandon his study of engineering, the family business, and go into writing instead. Though they had their misunderstandings, the poet insisted his mother live with himself and his wife after his father died. We can only hope he shared this wonderful Mother’s Day poem about how much of a man’s consciousness still exists as a boy in his mother’s yard.
To Any Reader
By Robert Louis Stevenson
As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play – business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.
Ann Taylor, 1782 - 1866
Taylor came from a very close and accomplished family. Her mother wrote seven works of moral and religious advice which were considered liberal for their time. Admiring her mother, Taylor also turned to writing, becoming a poet at an early age and a respected critic later. “My Mother” is one of the most widely known Mother’s Day poems to date.
by Ann Taylor
Who fed me from her gentle breast
And hushed me in her arms to rest,
And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?
Who ran to help me when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the place to make it well?
Robert W. Service, 1874- 1958
Robert W. Service was introduced to literature and poetry at an early age by an older aunt who fulfilled a maternal role for the British poet. In 1917, his wife delivered twin daughters, Doris and Iris, but Doris died soon after of Scarlett Fever. We have to assume that his understanding of both the joy and sorrow of motherhood stems from this experience.
by Robert W. Service
Your children grow from you apart,
Afar and still afar;
And yet it should rejoice your heart
To see how glad they are;
In school and sport, in work and play,
And last, in wedded bliss
How others claim with joy to-day
The lips you used to kiss.
Your children distant will become,
And wide the gulf will grow;
The lips of loving will be dumb,
The trust you used to know
Will in another's heart repose,
Another's voice will cheer . . .
And you will fondle baby clothes
And brush away a tear.
But though you are estranged almost,
And often lost to view,
How you will see a little ghost
Who ran to cling to you!
Yet maybe children's children will
Caress you with a smile . . .
Grandmother love will bless you still,--
Well, just a little while.
Reading one of these Mother’s Day poems aloud with family gathered is sure to provoke tears of joy. Happy Mother’s Day!