No cheese for Mother's Day
February 24, 2010 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a non-cheesy short poem/quote/verse to put inside a Mother's Day card.

I've made a card for my Mum, and am searching for something to write on the inside. All the poems/quotes I've found on Google are really cheesy, and my Mum is a very straightforward woman who really wouldn't appreciate it!

I like ee cummings and have used his poetry in Valentine's cards before, but can't find anything suitable from him.

posted by ellieBOA to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This is short, and quirky:

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be -
I have a mother who read to me.

- Strickland Gillilan (1869-1954)
posted by noxetlux at 10:43 AM on February 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

Hey Mom,

Remember when you carried me for nine months, gave birth to me, fed me, clothed me, read to me, taught me to talk and walk and swim and laugh and brush my teeth and stand up straight and stand up for myself and follow me dreams?

Thanks for that.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 11:09 AM on February 24, 2010

I'm surprised at how few good poems I could find. I think this is longer than you want, but you can always excerpt part of it.

"The Lanyard," by Billy Collins

The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.
posted by sallybrown at 12:16 PM on February 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

Maybe one of these?

God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers. ~Jewish Proverb

If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam. ~Lord Langdale (Henry Bickersteth)
posted by LauraJ at 3:00 PM on February 25, 2010

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