Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Poem Is Born

At some point during the past year or so, and for whatever reason,  I started saying to Sooby and Pooh, "I love you, love you, love you."  Gradually, I began to add qualifying descriptors, like "as tall as the mountains" and "as deep as the ocean."  The kids seemed to like these additions.  By the time I had done this enough to become aware of some kind of pattern forming, I had added "as wide as the sky," "as warm as the sun," and "as bright as the moon."

A couple days ago, when I was getting ready to leave the kids' house, I was making my way to what I thought was the end of our litany.  When I stopped, I couldn't figure out why both kids continued to look at me expectantly.  Then, barely above a whisper, Pooh prompted me:  "moon."  I had forgotten to include the line about the moon.

During the first leg of my three-hour drive home, a children's verse assumed the semi-permanent shape I give it below.  It fascinates me to think about how it evolved over days and weeks and months of my feeble efforts to make Sooby and Pooh understand how very much they are loved by this old Googie.

Like all poems, it seems to reflect a mishmash of the literary and musical experiences that somehow connect in the mysterious synapses of my brain.  Surely the ghost of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet 43 prompts me here, as does the new hit single of 2011 American Idol Scotty McCreery ("I Love You This Big"--check it out on YouTube).  "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" flashes briefly through a neuron, and that part about the strawberry--could I be indebted to the New Christy Minstrels for that?

At any rate, and for whatever reason, and in spite of myself, a poem is born containing DNA from all these genetic sources.  Maybe you will find it helpful should you ever try to explain to your grandkids how you really feel. 
I Love You Times Three
I love you late;
I love you soon:
As tall as the mountains,
As bright as the moon,
As deep as the ocean,
As warm as the sun,
As twinkly as stars
When the daytime is done.

I love you now;
I love you then:
I love you like puddles
Where raindrops have been.
I love you like breezes
Caressing the nights.
I love you like fireflies
With bright orange lights.

I love you here;
I love you there:
I love you like bird songs
That hang in the air
As sweet as strawberries,
As wide as the sky--
Could I love you more?
I think not--but I'll try.


  1. Thank you, Googie! I really enjoyed it. What a legacy you will leave to your little ones!

  2. Oh yeah--William Wordsworth is in on this too: "late and soon."

  3. Wonderful. I especially like the "bird songs / That hang in the air." You should make a book of poems for your little ones. Oh, and thanks for reminding me of one of my favorite Wordsworth poems.

  4. This would make a great children's book! You could have one line on each page with a separate illustration! Kids would love it!

  5. I know that feeling........just can't love em big enough.........grand post

  6. What a wonderful poem! And I agree -- it needs to be a book!

  7. What a great poem, agree it should become a book. Thanks for sharing

  8. I love it! And I agree with the other commenters, it should be a book. I can actually imagine the beautiful illustrations.

  9. Great poem. A wonderful genesis story, as well. :o)

    Thank you for linking to the GRAND Social!

  10. What a sweet poem! And I LOVE how your grandkids showed how much they loved it by waiting for the missing word! What sweet family memories for you all!