Mother’s Blessing

By Eleanor Ross Taylor 1920–2011
This timeless blood was here before begat.
     Infinity runs in your veins—
        Not mine, nor yours,
             Nor Eve’s, not Adam’s—
                  Gat of God,
                       And spinning like taffy Godwards back again.
Sapped through the centuries to us—
     Grafting a limb there for the Jesse tree—
        Remultiplied infinitely,
             From heart to heart tick-pulsed,
                  Ill clad, ill fed, ill fit—
                       Here, child, do what you can with it.

Originally appeared in the July 1968 issue of Poetry magazine.

“Mother’s Blessing,” from Welcome Eumenides by Eleanor Ross Taylor (New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1972), is reprinted with the permission of George Braziller, Inc.

Source: Poetry (February 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2012
 Eleanor Ross Taylor


Eleanor Ross Taylor was born in 1920 in Norwood, North Carolina, and graduated from Women’s College, now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, in 1942.  While studying at Vanderbilt University, Caroline and Allen Tate introduced her to novelist Peter Taylor, whom she would marry in 1943. Her poetry has been described as elegiac, lyric and feminine; writer Erica Howsare explains, “The southernness of her background . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, The Body, Religion, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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