Posted by: John Looker | 1 November, 2015

Newborn

.
Until this moment, little apprentice person,
dwelling as you were within the womb,
            it would have been touch,
your fingers fluttering, your limbs
probing all the frontiers of your realm.

And hearing too, your mother’s heart and lungs
thundering like a mill or an engine house.
            Then something else,
something that you learnt slowly
and lovingly, like a musical score: her voice.

Just look at you now, our little explorer,
finding out about eyes, discovering light;
            and colour; and movement;
and your mother’s adoring smile.
Just look at you here, at dawn on the shore of your life.
.
.
© John Looker 2015

.
For Beth Eliza Jean
.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. The similes are very evocative and as similes remind us of the difference between the two worlds — our worlds of engines and music — and the fetus-world of things that can only be compared to things in our world because that is the only world we know; we can’t really know the world in there!

    Like

    • You’ve given me something to think about there, Tom. Yes, such unlike worlds, and no doubt similes help – as you say – to narrow the gap.

      Like

  2. Utterly perfect–and congratulations, John! 🙂

    Like

  3. A poem of wonderment…of the wonderful human senses of touch, hearing and sight as they might unfold in the fetus and the newborn, and the personal delight of the poetic voice who imagines it. When do the senses of taste and smell appear, I wonder.. then reading the poem again, I am led through the lovely imagery of “apprentice” and “explorer” to ponder the miracle of it all,

    Like

    • Thank you for that Cynthia – I do like your thoughts about the wonder, the delight and the miracle of it all. (Yes, when indeed do taste and smell arise??)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As I read this I can’t resist marvelling at that transition from womb to world.

    Like

    • Thanks Brad. That’s it really, isn’t it? The marvel.

      Like

  5. Just look at you John, exploring the poetry of new life, hearing the roar of words in your mind, putting on paper the grace of your soul with a tribute to the wonder of birth. Good stuff my talented friend. Cheers.

    Like

    • Cheers Donald — you have a big hearted way of putting it!

      Like

  6. Hi John, what a lovely way to great a new life. (Grandchild?) ❤

    Like

  7. How very beautiful and moving. 🙂

    Like

  8. Reblogged this on Bennison Books and commented:
    A very beautiful, moving and original poem from John Looker, author of The Human Hive.

    Like

  9. self explanatory.

    Like

  10. ” apprentice person”== totally new and foreign phraseology. Conjures up – well, I don’t know what.. I need to ruminate .. can you share what your intend to convey? thanks bob

    Like

    • I have found myself looking in dictionaries, wondering whether our usage of ‘apprentice’ is different over here in Britain. We will talk about, for example, an apprentice carpenter as a young novice setting out to learn the trade. Similarly I was picturing the new-born baby setting out to learn all about being alive: everything so unfamiliar that even sight had to be learnt. Does that work, would you say? Thank you for interest, Bob.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “Apprentice” reminds me of the French verb “apprendre”–to learn.
        Its appearance in this poem opens up a whole world of thought, for me, about nurture vs. nature—how much comes automatically, elementally, to the developing human being, and how much is learned/taught by the environment in which the child grows. A perennial question, certainly, and one worth pondering, though its definitive answer we may never know.

        Like

        • Hi Cynthia. I think you’re right — my dictionaries give Old French ‘aprendre’ as the root, and beneath that Latin. Do you use the term ‘apprentice ‘ in the same way in N. America?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, we do, John. All the trades—carpenter, plumber, electrician—–use that nomenclature of the medieval guilds to indicate competence and professionalism….Apprentice, then Journeyman, then Master. An apprentice plumber works under a Master plumber, as a learner; a Journeyman can work on his own, but hasn’t necessarily “passed” the tests to be licensed as a “Master Plumber,” for example. As a lover of craft, I am always a bit tickled to hear those medieval guild terms still being used!

            Liked by 1 person

      • Sight – is not learned in the intellectual sense as are the skills for becoming a journeyman carpenter. I do understand, appreciate your use of the word apprentice– cultural differences prevail.. thanks for the discussion

        Like

        • Obviously, sight is given, and is not learned in any intellectual sense. But becoming a person, as in learning to live as a human being ( your “apprentice person”) has much to do with fielding the stimuli from an environment that is constantly various and impinging. The use of the word apprentice is poetic here, and can certainly be broad enough to mean “learner” in general. I see no important cultural difference among speakers of English in the US and UK, on this account, John.

          Like

          • Bob, Cynthia — thank you both. Our discussion has sent me back to commentaries on metaphor. I’m fortified. I must agree that learning to use sight is not akin to learning the skills of a journeyman carpenter; yet learning the human skills of interpreting a smile, of recognition, and later of behaviour — under the tuition of mother — may I think be represented as an apprenticeship. The ‘ground’ of the metaphor seems broad enough to sustain it, viewed from this perspective. I’ve found all this very instructive, so many thanks.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. Ah, wouldn’t it be wonderful to be experiencing light for the first time ever? To be an apprentice human, learning what the world is expanding along our touch, in our mouth, in our nose, in the music of being who we will become? Thanks for the reminder, John, and congratulations. I assume you have a new grandchild.

    Like

  12. reminds me of ants

    Like

  13. […] View original post […]

    Like

  14. So beautiful, John. I was missing Cynthia Jobin and clicked on one of your replies to her blog, which brought me here. So glad I did. And then, as I write now, I noticed one of her replies to your own blog.

    Like

    • Thank you Cynthia, that’s kind. Yes, you’ll find plenty of cross-references between Cynthia Jobin ‘s blog and mine; we encouraged each other, with constructive criticism as well as enthusiasm for each other’s poetry and we exchanged books. At least her literary legacy remains.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. EMOTIONAL AND BEAUTIFUL

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: