Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Childbirth

Image result for quotes from childbirth
Strong, strong . . . by Molly 
(I intend "fair use," but if you think not, tell me and I'll remove the image.)

"Childbirth changed my perception of my wife. She was now 
the bloodied  special forces soldier who had fought 
and risked everything for our family." 
~Mohsin Hamid

“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” 
― Gabriel García Márquez

🐦 🐦 🐦

 Midweek Motif ~ Childbirth 

We all arrived on earth the same way, I believe. If you are a parent, you probably have poems rhapsodizing about it or turning the pain of it into art.  If you are a doctor or nurse or doula or midwife, you might, too. 

But whether or not you have given birth, 
please look at childbirth 
from a perspective that is new to you. 

Your Challenge:  In a new poem, use childbirth as topic, focus, theme, motif or .....


That’s the moment I always think of – when the 
slick, whole body comes out of me,
when they pull it out, not pull it but steady it
as it pushes forth, not catch it, but steady it
as it pushes forth, not catch it but keep their 
hands under it as it pulses out,
they are the first to touch it,
and it shines, it glistens with the thick liquid on it.
That’s the moment, while it’s sliding, the limbs
compressed close to the body, the arms
bent like a crab’s rosy legs, the
thighs closely packed plums in heavy syrup, the 
legs folded like the white wings of a chicken-
that is the center of life, that moment when the 
juiced bluish sphere of the baby is
sliding between the two worlds,
wet, like sex, it is sex,
it is my life opening back and back
as you’d strip the reed from the bud, not strip it but
watch it thrust so it peels itself and the
flower is there, severely folded, and
then it begins to open and dry
but by then the moment is over,
they wipe off the grease and wrap the child in a blanket and
hand it to you entirely in this world.

Excerpt from  Song of Myself  (1892 version)

Related Poem Content Details

I celebrate myself, and sing myself, 
And what I assume you shall assume, 
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. 

I loafe and invite my soul, 
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass. 

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air, 
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, 
and their parents the same, 
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin, 
Hoping to cease not till death. 

Creeds and schools in abeyance, 
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten, 
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard, 
Nature without check with original energy. 

(Read the rest HERE)

File:Cost of Childbirth.jpg
Cost of childbirth by country generated using data in the NYTimes article "American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World", By  | Published: June 30, 2013

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and 
visit others in the spirit of the community—

(Next week Susan’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Bicycles, Tricycles or Unicycles)



  1. A happy Wednesday to all

    much love...

  2. Thank you for another interesting topic to ponder

    1. It was so much harder than i thought it would be! Good to see you, Jae.

    2. Good to be back on the trail - thank you Susan

  3. Pondering. Last night when I usually write my poem, I was preparing my lesson. I had forgotten the preoccupations of teaching. But now you've given me ideas. Happy Day and Night to all poets everywhere!

    1. Disclaimer: I have never experienced childbirth.

  4. A topic on our family's mind these days. I tossed off the poem easily, I thought, but then cried when a friend asked me to read it to her. Sigh. Childbirth is not always easy.

    1. No, it is not. Not always with happy outcomes. This was hard for me, too.

  5. Here I am back and ready to write but I don't think I should write about childbirth since I never had any kids, but this gives me an idea perhaps something will come.

    I have missed everyone so much! Haven't written in weeks which hasn't happened in years but life has a way of barging in and taking over. I plead insanity. Lol!

    Better go think about this not sure I can come up with something. Whether I do or not have a wonderful week!

    1. I never had children either, but people around me did, including my mom. Whether or not you write this week, I hope you'll be back for the bicycle prompt ...

  6. Great prompt Susan. I think I can write many, more personal poems because it's such an intense subject, at least for me. But I wrote what I wrote in the absence of a muse so I did the best I could.

    1. You may have a muse you don't know about. Good to see you, Myrna.

  7. Interesting prompt, Susan! Here is my take on it...Indians and fairness-Ohhh, one of my pet peeves!!

    1. I know, I know. So much unfairness here as well as there. I am so glad you are a poet who transcends borders.

  8. Good writing everyone

    1. Thanks, Martin! I'm looking forward to yours (?). It's always good to see you.

  9. Although, I can never give birth, to a child of my own. Think, the poem, I'm sharing, has an unique twist, that many, in the trans-community have, sadly experienced. For coming out, is a form of birth, for us.

    1. Yes, coming out is definitely a rebirth. I love the term "coming out" as the implication is from the womb as well as from the closet. It also has a pregnant time, labor, afterbirth--and then the self-nurturing must begin whether or not there is a community of supporters showing the way.

  10. WOW! What a journey you all have taken me and each other on. I am almost sorry our next motif is mechanical modes of land transportation-- but hopefully it will take some of us back to our childhoods.

  11. It's such a beautiful topic. We need to appreciate the beauty of how life comes to life(!) thank you for providing us with this wonderful opportunity!


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