When I Have Fears …

Today is my mother’s birthday, and I would like to post one of my mother’s favorite poems in her memory, “When I have fears that I may cease to be” by john Keats. Afterwards is an interpretation of that poem my mother wrote for a college class. The teacher gave her top mark for the … Read more


This poem goes back to 1985, during a period when I experienced a tremendous opening, and poetry poured forth. Unbeknownst to me while I was writing the poems, my mother (who lived across the country) had a terminal illness. I did not learn about her illness until she had died. Naturally this was a great shock. I feel somehow my mother wanted to spare me, and in a way she did, because I doubt the poems would have come as they did if I’d known of her illness. This poem came two days before my mother’s death. I dedicate the poem to her with all my love.

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This is an autumn poem, but it is also about beginnings, and so feels appropriate at this time of beginning for my blog. And it is about my mother, who died in the month of May, not long before Mother’s Day. I felt the energy of the end of the poem this morning as I was reflecting on the needs of my friends and the world and my own feeling of incapacity to really help despite the abundance of gifts that have been bestowed upon me.

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