Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Eli Siegel

Dear Birds, Tell This to Mothers

Education consists in instilling into them the universal mind.

— W.T. STACE after HEGEL


Fly, birds, over all grieving mothers.

Tell them, if they know more,

They will grieve less.

Tell them that the children they grieve for

Are as mysterious as the God they pray to;

For God's way is in them.

Tell them that the children who came from their bodies 

Have come from so far away,

And from so much;

And that these children

Are going for so much

Of Hell and Heaven, dark and light— 

That mothers can be as away from them

As from lost lines in the early poetry of France.

Find the lost lines in

The writing that is your child, mothers

(Dear birds, tell them),

And you will not grieve;

You will stand up

In sweet universality.

You will be God's mothers,

Not just your own