Delicate mother Kangaroo
Sitting up there rabbit-wise, but huge, plump-weighted,
And lifting her beautiful slender face, oh! so much more
gently and finely lined than a rabbit's, or than a hare's,
Lifting her face to nibble at a round white peppermint drop
which she loves, sensitive mother Kangaroo.
Her sensitive, long, pure-bred face.
Her full antipodal eyes, so dark,
So big and quiet and remote, having watched so many
empty dawns in silent Australia.
Her little loose hands, and drooping Victorian shoulders.
And then her great weight below the waist, her vast pale belly,
With a thin young yellow little paw hanging out, and
straggle of a long thin ear, like ribbon,
Like a funny trimming to the middle of her belly, thin
little dangle of an immature paw, and one thin ear.
Her belly, her big haunches
And, in addition, the great muscular python-stretch of her tail.
There, she shan't have any more peppermint drops.
So she wistfully, sensitively sniffs the air, and then turns,
goes off in slow sad leaps
On the long flat skis of her legs,
Steered and propelled by that steel-strong snake of a tail.
Stops again, half turns, inquisitive to look back.
While something stirs quickly in her belly, and a lean little
face comes out, as from a window,
Peaked and a bit dismayed,
Only to disappear again quickly away from the sight of the
world, to snuggle down in the warmth,
Leaving the trail of a different paw hanging out.
This poem is in the public domain.
David Herbert Lawrence (1885 - 1930) was an English novelist, poet, essayist, critic, playwright, and painter. The son of a miner and a school teacher, Bert (as he was called) grew up in extreme poverty and suffered from poor health. Although he loved to read, he was not a particularly good student. He did, however, manage to win a high school scholarship and became a teacher before success as a writer allowed him to pursue that career fulltime. Accused more than once of spying for the Germans, Bert eventually left his home country to travel the world with his wife. The Lawrences intended to settle in America, but problems with his health forced them to return to Europe; Lawrence died in France at the age of 45. A prolific writer who produced work in multiple genres, Lawrence is best known as a novelist, although he wrote more than 800 poems and was considered an extremely gifted travel writer. Public opinion during his lifetime and even till today paints him as either utterly profane and depraved or as a brilliant and creative genius.
Love this poem as a prime "educative" example of prose poetry at its best. The lineage, use of detail and imagery make this a "must" study for students of free verse writing. A true masterpiece.
Posted 05/27/2022 11:05 AM
No politics here!!! Just a beautiful poem about one of God's perfect creatures!!!
Posted 05/27/2022 09:47 AM
pure-bred face is so unexpected and possibly related to the politics of the day.
Posted 05/27/2022 09:23 AM
This poem seems to be written from close observation of a kangaroo. How fortunate for Lawrence that he was able to d that. I feel challenged to find my own kangaroo today be it physical or metaphorical.
Posted 05/27/2022 07:47 AM