Friday, January 25, 2019

(Poetry Is) Practically Perfect in Every Way

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Tara at Going to Walden for Roundup.

This past weekend we saw MARY POPPINS RETURNS.  Mary Poppins, as you may recall, gazes upon her reflection and declares herself, "practically perfect in every way."

And she is!

I love how that kind of vanity coexists with her way of giving others exactly what they need, yet not needing any sort of credit for it. Mary Poppins just does what she does, and then poof, a door opens, and she lifts that umbrella and floats away on a breeze.


The new movie is full of magic, too. There was one scene in particular that made me think:,poetry! Mary Poppins takes the children to visit her cousin (played by Meryl Streep) whose world, unfortunately, is "turning turtle." CLICK HERE for the fun, beautiful audio of the song. Ultimately it's about changing perspectives - how looking at the world differently can impact your life. Of course this is true for poetry as well... allow your world to turn turtle, and your poems (and readers!) will thank you!

And now a poem for 2 Marys: Poppins & Oliver. Can you find the bits in the poem for each Mary?

This Poem is Practically Perfect
for Mary Poppins & Mary Oliver

This poem knows
the worst thing
is a mind
with its windows
jammed shut –

that's why
it isn't afraid
to go flipsy-flopsy.
Is there any better way
to get out of a rut?

This poem peers
into mirrors
and smiles
at what it sees.

It floats across days
and continents –
through sleet or heat –
with a cloud's ease.

This poem wakes early
and takes
twilight hikes.
It finds music
in the moon –
MOON Moon mooooon.

Whatever your troubles,
this poem is here
to tell you:
things will get better

- Irene Latham


  1. I love that you mixed the two Marys in your reassuring, delightful poem! And what a beautiful visual. xo

  2. Your poem is delightful, Irene! Like a spoon full of sugar! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love the ending to your poem, Irene - so hopeful!

  4. Such a charming poem, and what a terrific idea to write about both Marys at once. Still haven't seen the new MP movie; looking forward to it. :)

  5. We too saw Mary Poppins and now I want to rewatch it and appreciate the link to the turning turtle part. I love how you took two current "events" and wove them together - goodness in our world.

  6. I'm in a swoon, Swoon, SWOON over this Poem for two Marys. I love the whole idea of it. I've never written a poem for two people before. This poem makes me want to try....I see the beautiful bits of both. What a smart poem this is. Thank you.

  7. Lovely poem Irene…
    Your weaving the two Mary's
    in alternating verse sings true,
    and is most enchanting too!

    The topsy-turvy turtle seen was a delight, and a grand idea, thanks for all! xo

  8. And to add to Linda's comment, two seemingly divergent Marys. And yet what a perfect pair they make. This poem went down in the most delightful way. No spoonful of sugar necessary, Irene! P.S. I ADORED the movie and find myself buried beneath my collection of Mary Oliver this week. -- Christie @

  9. It IS practically perfect! And the last stanza? I'm going to take your word for it!

  10. This poem knows
    the worst thing
    is a mind
    with its windows
    jammed shut
    This opening is perfection. It reminds me of when I get a bad case of writer's block. My poet brain seems to get jammed shut. But you're right. If we just let our minds turn turtle, the jam loosens and the ideas begin to flow.

  11. What a lovely MaryFest!
    One of the things
    that I like best
    is putting two
    and two together
    to make a wild
    new kind of weather.
    Mirror mirror,
    two perfections--
    this poem gives me
    wise directions.

  12. What a fun way to include multiple voices in one poem!

  13. This combination of the two Mary's practically perfect!

  14. Did you know that PL Tavers, the author of Mary Poppins, was born in Queensland? In... Maryborough! They hold the Mary Poppins Festival each year.


Your thoughts?