Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Famous, Infamous, or Un-birthdays

“I mean, what is an un-birthday present?"

"A present given when it isn't your birthday, of course."
Alice considered a little. "I like birthday presents best," she said at last.

"You don't know what you're talking about!" cried Humpty Dumpty. 

"How many days are there in a year?"

"Three hundred and sixty-five," said Alice.

"And how many birthdays have you?  One.” 

Midweek Motif ~ Birthdays
(Famous, Infamous, or Un-)

When I decided on this motif, I was thinking of Dr. MLK Jr's Birthday tomorrow, the 15th of January (though in the USA it is celebrated next Monday to make a long weekend).  When I lived in Virginia, I was astonished to see this birthday shared with that of Confederate General Robert E. Lee whose birthday is the 19th of January.  The 19th is also my grandmother's birthday who lived from 1901-2003.  And it's one of my un-birthdays.  And so what?  What is so special about birthdays?

Your Challenge:  
Create a Special Birthday Poem.

Marilyn Monroe: Happy Birthday Mr President

     by Samuel Johnson  (1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

LONG-EXPECTED one and twenty 
Ling'ring year at last has flown, 
Pomp and pleasure, pride and plenty 
Great Sir John, are all your own. 

Loosen'd from the minor's tether, 
Free to mortgage or to sell, 
Wild as wind, and light as feather 
Bid the slaves of thrift farewell. 

Call the Bettys, Kates, and Jenneys 
Ev'ry name that laughs at care, 
Lavish of your Grandsire's guineas, 
Show the spirit of an heir. 
. . . .   (Read the rest HERE at

A Birthday

5 Dec 1830 – 29 Dec 1894 / London)

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me. 


For those who are new to Poets United:  
  1. Post your new music poem on your site, and then link it here.
  2. If you use a picture include its link.  
  3. Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
  4. Leave a comment here.
  5. Visit and comment on our poems.
(Our next Midweek Motif is Fashion, as in Christian Dior.)

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  1. Morning Susan - thank you for officially inviting Alice! Sorry technical problems again...the correct poem link is the wrong one this time - the second should be right..please do feel free to remove (again) :)

    1. I feel free at times. It's good to see you here again, tech problems or not.

  2. Hi kids, I posted a zippy little thought I had this morning, as I was driving Sebastian to school. His school rocks - it is First Nations, and they start the day every morning by forming a circle, beating drums and singing in their tribe's language. It does not get any better, as a way to start a school-day. I always come away feeling wonderful! Happy Mid-Week!!

    1. What a fine beginning to the day. Have a great one, Sherry.

  3. Thanks Susan and Happy Birthday to Dr King.

  4. Thanks for the all shading of birthdays. Happy Day to All! x

  5. I enjoyed this prompt Susan. Thanks. I'm always at a loss for what to write about. You come up with such good ideas.
    Have a good day!

    1. These prompts help me too--I approach them near or on the day of with a blank mind and let some pieces of the collage/motif touch me. This time it was the triumph and tragedy of MLK.s mom.

  6. Susan,

    Spent some time contemplating a direction with this prompt..Not quite a birthday connection, in the actual sense; more a significant family date in mind...
    Interesting prompt!!

    1. Love the insight into rebirth--and thank you for your deep comment on my poem.

  7. Thank you for the challenge, Susan! Hello poets. :)

    1. Wonderful to see you here, Hannah, from the snowy north country.

  8. Just a head up on the poem I submitted. I know I'm running late with the post, but I was searching for inspiration for this one. Finally received that inspiration today by thinking of the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Time is a valuable thing to was, so why not use it wisely as our years (un-birthdays) wear down.

    1. You are not late... though the white rabit was! I check in all the way to Saturday.


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