Friday, 1 February 2013

Half Full Glass

My daughter Trisha was worried.

It was the anniversary of the birth of the foundress of the religious order which runs her convent school.

She had to make up a poem in honour of the lady.

I suggested a nice limerick.

A woman named Mary Ward,
Feeling incredibly bored
Joined the nuns, built some schools,
Set some trends, broke some rules
And heaven became her reward.

My daughter was not too happy.  Unimpressed would be the word.

So I suggested a sonnet instead. Shakespearean, actually.  Here it is:

Mary Ward you ever shall inspire us
To always try to do our very best,
The do the thing that God would find desirous
To labour and to never look for rest
The story of your life shines through the ages
Through centuries your influence still reaches
Your biography in our school diary pages
Lights our minds and continues to teach us
Your vision of the future role of women
Was indeed prophetic, we agree
You could see there were great changes comiing
Now your vision everyone can see
Educated women shape the world
More so since Loreto's flag unfurled.

Is it Shakespearean or Petrarchan?  Shakespearean I think.  It took me ten minutes to dream this up  (the limerick took longer than that actually).

Mary Ward was the founder of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Catholic community of religious sisters whose mission is the education and betterment of women and to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She was undoubtedly ahead of her time in many of her ideas.  There were quite a few inspired women like her in different parts of the Christian world.  Mary Ward lived as a Catholic at a time when being a Catholic was rather dangerous in England.  Allegiance to the Pope for spiritual reasons was considered treason to the English monarch.  Mary Ward was a loyal daughter of the Catholic Church, but she suffered a lot owing to the harsh restrictions imposed on women at that time. Many of those restrictions imposed by the very Church she had dedicated her live to serving.  Her example is very inspiring in many ways.

So my daughter took the sonnet to school.  And what happened?

Nothing, that's what!  Nobody liked the poem it seemed.  Well I liked it and I'm publishing it here on my blog for all the world to see.

We should have a positive attitude to everything.

May your glass always be half full, or even completely full, preferably of something nice!

This is my weekly post for my blogging group, the Loose Blogging Consortium. We post weekly (usually simultaneously) on a given topic and visit each other to see the different takes we have on the same topic.  We are, in alphabetical order, AnuDeliriousRummuserGrannymarMaxi, Magpie, Maria SFocdwriterPadmumPaul, The Old FossilShackman and Will. If you have time, please visit my friends too.  This topic has been given by Padmini.


  1. Old Spokeshave never filled my glass, so if the nuns were like me.... you have your answer. I have to admit being a little confused, did Trisha write the limerick and the sonnet or did you? Whoever it was is very talented.

  2. Gosh, there I go, thinking I'm crystal clear and it turns out I'm as nebulous as ever. Grannymar, my daughter is a clever little girl but she's more a design and craft kind of person, not too literary though she can give a clever answer when she's pushed. The writer of those two poems was me and my daughter was quite ready to own up to it, if necesary. The limerick wasn't submitted, the sonnet was. This wasn't homework, you understand, more an extra-curricular activity. However, as the sonnet wasn't selected for any of the activities on Mary Ward Day, there was no need of any owning up whatsoever. Which really was the point, if you understand.

    Thanks for the lovely compliment - I have to tell you, you've made my day!

  3. They're both very well written. Pity the sonnet wasn't selected. I understand how the Limerick would take longer than the sonnet. I always found them hard to pare down, but then I'm not a writer like you.
    Glass reference reminds me of a funny thing I saw, "it doesn't matter if the glass is half full or half empty; just that there's room for more wine". ha!ha!

  4. Your prose is wonderful, Maria. As a Catholic I appreciate the story of Mary Ward. A role model for all.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Blessings ~ Maxi

  5. I'm surprised there was no reaction! Actually, I thought it was quite good!

  6. Your ability to turn out something sensible in ten minutes is beyond my comprehension. Clearly there was no reaction because they were left in speechless awe.

  7. @Mimi - oh, very well said - I liked that...

  8. Thanks Maxi. Glad you enjoyed the post. And one has to appreciate what Mary Ward went through. They were hard time for women.

  9. I prefer the limerick. It has a spring in its step. The other one requires a bit more of an attention span than that of average gnat. But then, as you say, your daughter is more an arts and craft person. Which is why she should be proud of her mother to be so 'crafty' and do her homework for her.


  10. It is pathetic that there was no reaction. I would have taken a double barrel shot gun to the school and asked for the lack of response!

  11. Well I like your poems. Now please allow me to top up your glass.

  12. I too am surprised there was no response. I preferred the limerick but can appreciate the sonnet as well. Both are well written and that's a terrific story that deserves to be told.

  13. @Ursula, yes the Limerick does have a certain je ne sais quoi...thanks for the kind words....

  14. @Rummuser - Bhaiya - thanks a lot, I think they should have at least shown some appreciation even if they didn't use it....

  15. @Paty - yes, let' make that a LARGE one....LOL

  16. @Shackman - thank you for your kind support. I must visit your blog, so I must....

  17. well, I liked it!! :)
    btw, just stumpled upon your blog, it's very nice.


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