#AtoZChallenge ‘G’ #NationalPoetryMonth ‘The Gift’ #NPM17 #SOCS #amwriting #poem

This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of both poems will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge.

Today, I’m adding a third challenge, The first part of today’s post is stream of consciousness, following Linda G. Hill’s weekly prompt, using the word “give/given/giving.”  Following part is a beautiful poem about giving gifts, called A Blade of Grass, by Brian Patten, and the final part is a poem I wrote recently but I’ve tweaked for this post, called The Gift.

Giving a gift is a privilege. It means you have someone you love to give the present to and a special occasion to celebrate. I love giving and receiving gifts. The whole process of giving is special, choosing, buying or preparing, and finding the perfect moment to give the special present we have bought.

Every time I think of gifts, I think of the beautiful poem by Brian Patten about how difficult it can become to give and receive simple, inexpensive gifts.

A Blade of Grass

You ask for a poem.

I offer you a blade of grass.

You say it is not good enough.

You ask for a poem.

I say this blade of grass will do.

It has dressed itself in frost,

It is more immediate

Than any image of my making.

You say it is not a poem,

It is a blade of grass and grass

Is not quite good enough.

I offer you a blade of grass.

You are indignant.

You say it is too easy to offer grass.

It is absurd.

Anyone can offer a blade of grass.

You ask for a poem.

And so I write you a tragedy about

How a blade of grass

Becomes more and more difficult to offer,

And about how as you grow older

A blade of grass

Becomes more difficult to accept.

****

As I often do, I’ve credited and reworked an original work of art, to express what I’m feeling at this moment.

The Gift

You ask for a star

I offer you a flower.

You say it’s not enough.

I say this flower will do.

It’s unique, perfect for you.

You say it is too easy

To offer a flower.

So I write you a poem

About how a flower

Is so easy to give

And so hard to accept.

****

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Gifts: I offer you a blade of grass

 

There is a beautiful poem by Brian Patten about how difficult it can become to give and receive simple, inexpensive gifts.

I love receiving and giving gifts, and I spend a lot of time choosing the right one for each person, but this post is for all the wonderful people who have gifted me, and I’d like to thank publicly.

Why do people give gifts?

There are a number of reasons why people give gifts, perhaps the following three are the most frequent:

  • An expression of love and/or appreciation and/or affection.
  • An expression of gratitude for a gift received.
  • As a custom, on certain occasions such as, birthdays, etc.

 We all give and receive gifts many times throughout our lives, but too often it’s an exceptional event.

Yet giving and receiving presents should be an effortless and routine custom, because a gift is a wonderful token which we willingly give another person.

Last week, I received seven precious gifts: four from my students, one from a colleague, one from my daughter, and one from each of you.

None of them were expensive, and none of them were bribes, I hasten to add!

I’d like to share them with you.

Gifts needn’t be expensive, but they should always be time-consuming. Our time, our good intentions, and positive vibrations, are the most precious gift we can give anyone.

These are the precious gifts I have received:

Two letters

A plant

A doll

A dress for my granddaughter

A bag

110 follows

None was expensive, all were time-consuming, all were beautifully wrapped, and all were emotionally received.

The letters were of gratitude from my students for helping and guiding them on their paths in life.

The first is short. Here it is.

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The second is too long to reproduce, but suffice it to say that it brought a tear to my teacher’s eye, it was from a final year college student.

I will keep them forever in my heart. A letter is a unique gift, in our digital age, and it is unsurpassed by the most expensive jewel, because it is a jewel in itself.

This doll was handmade by my pupil, Maria Angeles, who has just returned to school after twenty years of being a housewife and bringing up her children. She’s a real superwoman. She spent hours on this hand-made doll, which she says, represents me!

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This was a plant given by some of my students, too. I’m very worried about it, because, although I love plants, I wouldn’t say I have ‘green fingers’, and I would be very upset if they ‘withered’, so I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed.

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My fifth present was from one of my colleagues, Gabriela, who has given me a cute dress for my granddaughter, too.

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My daughter, my granddaughter’s mother, who knows how much I love brightly coloured beach bags, has offered me this wonderful bag which has room for ‘everything’ I need to carry!

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I feel valued, and appreciated, and loved, and joyful, and it makes me want to be an even better teacher/colleague/mother/person next year.

Please show your appreciation to your teachers, friends, colleagues, mothers, fathers, and other relatives, especially if they deserve it. Remember it doesn’t have to be expensive, a letter, a postcard, a photo, will be very well received. If you’re too busy, a ‘Thank You’ card is enough.

Presents needn’t be reciprocal, on the contrary, I’m a great believer in playing it forward, as those of you who follow my blog, already know.

Reciprocity should be highly valued in any relationship, but I also find it restrictive. It can become endogamic. Goodness, positive vibrations, should move forward to others, not only those around us, we need to open our circles altruistically and make them spiral forward.

Write a positive, encouraging, or thank you letter to someone who deserves it!

My final present is from all of you. I now have over 100 followers, 110. to be precise, which is incredible! I’d never have imagined in May, when I had eight followers, that I’d have over a hundred more in just over two months. And the greatest gift of all is that you are all creative, supportive, and interesting bloggers!

It’s not easy to keep track of all of you, because, I follow all my followers, too. But I make an effort to invest at least an hour or two a day at checking you all out, because you are all worth reading, following, liking, and commenting on your posts.

Thank you all for taking the time to follow, to read, to like, and to comment. It doesn’t cost a penny, but it’s a precious gift to me. 

According to Oscar Wilde:

‘Nowadays, people know the Price of everything and the value of nothing.’

Let’s make sure we value the gifts we receive, from the people we appreciate.