Poetry Wednesday: A Congratulatory Warning

This morning, I attended my older daughter’s promotion ceremony and became the official proud mother of a fourth grader.

This calls for a poem,* wouldn’t you say?

I know just the one.

Robert Graves didn’t write many poems for children—he was known for his love poetry, among other things that belong in a completely separate post—but those that he did write have more substance than you might expect from poetry aimed small fry, and far fewer morals.**

I like this one. It can mean anything you want, or nothing, or everything—and the warning could mean “Here Be Dragons” in the best possible way or. . . not.

Mr. Graves just wants you to think for a minute or two before deciding whether or not to pull the string.  Though I personally doubt it ever stopped him:

Congratulations, my beautiful, brilliant Janie.

Worlds await you every day.

*And possibly a stiff drink or two. If you think she was happy about no homework for two months, you should have seen the handspring I would have done if only gravity and physics haven’t been taking such keen interest in my physical exertions since I was in fourth grade.

**Which you may or may not have expected, depending on your knowledge of Mr. Graves.  Mine is minimal, so I’m thinking he’ll have his own post soon.


8 thoughts on “Poetry Wednesday: A Congratulatory Warning

  1. This poem may be fore children, but it is lovely all on its own, for all ages. I love it. Janie may not have known what quite to make of it, but when she looks back, I’m sure she’ll remember it fondly. Like you said, it could mean anything–from a congratulations from your wonderful mom to an invitation to see the world as what it is: endless. Great choice. Congratulations to both of you!

  2. Congrats to the Mother of a fourth grader and to my wonderful Granddaughter, the new fourth grader. Also to the new kindergartner in the family. Way to Go.

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