Friday, November 30, 2007

Poetry Friday -- Morning

I'm not a morning person.

By nature, I'm the classic night owl.

I once happily sat up from 1-6 a.m. typing up a letter to a dear friend (I went through all of my old journals and compiled every entry about him, creating a chronicle of our friendship.) That seemed natural to me. I made it through several years of college without ever taking an 8:00 class. That seemed natural, too. I used to think one couldn't act truly human until sometime after 10 a.m.

But, my days of staying up late and typing till 6 a.m. came to an abrupt halt when I had children. Because children get up early, I've had to learn to get up early. And, when my children were very, very young, "getting up early" translated, for me, into "torture." They expected me to not only be awake but alive and alert and -- oh, my heavens -- to act like a good mommy. It's been an education.

And, over the years (and now that Ramona sometimes actually sleeps later in the morning) I've come to appreciate the beauty of an early rising that is accompanied by coffee and a bit of time to myself. I still don't get up at 4 a.m., like my wonderful morning-person-friend Margaret does (still staying up too late to do that) but I do love that tiny window of time in the morning, when it's just me, the coffee, and perhaps that cello on the radio that Billy Collins mentions in this poem.

by Billy Collins

Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon,
the sudden dip into evening,

then night with his notorious perfumes,
his many-pointed stars?

This is the best—
throwing off the light covers,
feet on the cold floor,
and buzzing around the house on espresso—

Read the rest of the poem here.

Poetry Friday is being hosted today by Two Writing Teachers.
Find the whole round-up here.


momto5minnies said...

4am is early .. yikes! I do get up at 5:45am, but not because I am excited to do so ;) Without an alarm and the list I see within my mind, I would very happily hug the pillow for a few more hours.

Going to bed a little earlier helps ...

Liz Garton Scanlon said...

Oooh, we're double dipping on Billy Collins this morning. Yea!!!

tanita✿davis said...

The "buzzing around the house on espresso" made me laugh out loud. I live with someone like that, and let me tell you -- he buzzes as a night owl, so it's doubly bizarre. I try to confine my own bouncing off the walls to 5:45 as well...

jama said...

Wonderful poem! I'm SO not a morning person. There is a blackboard in my kitchen that says, "People who smile too much will be eaten," warning my early-riser houseguests that they'd better be wary.

Sara said...

Remind me NOT to ring Jama's doorbell before noon. I'm such a crazy, sunrise-hugging morning person. So I totally love this poem. I want it printed on my coffee mug!

Melanie Bettinelli said...

Karen, I am so with you on the night owl thing. "Torture" is definitely the right word and I'm still working on the being graceful and not biting heads off in the morning. It helps when said head is as cute as Isabella's is. And I can't really take caffeine, though I do love coffee when I break the rules and sneak a little bit.

But even so, I love Billy Collins and this poem. I've even had the rare experience where I got to bed early and enjoyed the morning and he's right: it is lovely. I sometimes envy those morning larks who get to enjoy it all the time. I often think I'd be a much better person if I could only get myself to bed at a decent hour and wake up feeling happy and cheerful.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

That early morning hour is golden to me. I am a grouch if my children insist on getting up at 6 even on the weekends because I want that time to myself on Saturday. I didn't used to be this way when I was young (and stayed up late) but now I am totally a morning person. I get up at 4 even without the alarm. Collins has it right!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a morning person, either. Nor a night owl. I'm in the middle somewhere.

But oh, how I love Billy Collins!

Beck said...

Oh, he is SO wrong. I get up at 5:45ish but it's a brutal wrench from my warm bed and sound sleep.