Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ladies in Our Land

Coming up this weekend, to coincide with Easter Saturday and Shakespeare's 447th birthday (23 April):

my family's celebration of my mother's 80th birthday
This picture of her the piano is everyone's favorite; and next to it is the only one that any of us can find that includes both parents and all six kids (plus little Jerrod, my older sister Peg's firstborn, being held by my younger sister Di). Underneath is our Easter picture from 1965, with Di and me in our little sailor dresses, and next to that a shot from 2009 in which we tried to re-create the same pose from 1965. [Click on picture to enlarge for a better view.]

In fact, my mother actually turned 80 on 21 January, but she didn't want us all out traveling in the blizzards, so we postponed until a more travel-friendly time of year. Easter weekend, already a celebratory festival seems perfect for the occasion! And here's the perfect poem (just wish I knew the identity of "L. R-M" ~ can anybody help me out or hazard a guess?):

There are certain ladies in our land
Still living and still unafraid
Whose hearts have known a lot of pain,
Whose eyes have shed so many tears,
Who welcomed pity with disdain
And view the fast encroaching years
Humorously and undismayed.

There are certain ladies in our land,
Whose courage is too deeply bred
To merit unreflecting praise.
For them no easy, glib escape;
No mystic hopes confuse their days;
They can identify the shape
Of what's to come, devoid of dread.

There are certain ladies in our land
Who bring to Life the gift of gay
Uncompromising sanity.
The past, for them, is safe and sure.
Perhaps their only vanity
Is that they know they can endure
The rigours of another day.

by Noel Coward, 1899 - 1973
Witty, flamboyant British playwright, composer, actor, singer

Don't look too closely at this one or else you will see my typo:
2010 -- should be 2011!


  1. Don't know you and yours, but love the same poem, which I copied for my mother on her 85th birthday! She died at 93 young years of age. I searched and searched for the poem and couldn't find it again until yesterday (in my own bookshelf;-).
    I can't help with RLM, without a little more research, which i was doing when i found you! I am so glad someone else loves this poem, I hope we can be certain ladies like our moms!

  2. Dear Saint Joseph's,

    Thank you so much for your kind comment!

    I first came across this poem, several years back, in the following anthology:

    Art & Love: An Illustrated Anthology of Love Poetry
    Selected by Kate Farrell
    Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art