Friday, January 13, 2023

3 Ways of Looking at a Night Party (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Susan at Chicken Spaghetti for Roundup.

Shout-out to our youngest son Eric whose birthday is today. (Ever since he was born on the 13th, I have adopted 13 as a Very Lucky Number...even when it falls on a Friday. :)

For this week's ArtSpeak poem, I kind of fell in love with the title of Norman Rockwell's "And the Symbol of Welcome is Light." I wanted to work those words into the poem, but then that felt a little like cheating! I decided to challenge myself. Here's where I landed. (I may honor Rockwell's title in a future poem!)

3 Ways of Looking
at a Night Party

Moon whispers
to her cloud-sisters—
here I am!

Paper lanterns
hung from branches
lean into breeze—
follow me!

Lamplight shatters
doors and windows,
reaches across the dark—
there you are!

—Irene Latham

A little more backstory about the poem: Once, a long time ago, someone told me (or I read in a book) that there are two kinds of people in the world—the ones who walk into a party and say, "here I am!" and the ones who walk into the same party and say, "there you are!" I know exactly which one I am. What about you?


  1. I love the assonance you create in your poem, Irene. Lovely sounds that roll off the tongue and delight the ears. I'm definitely a "there you are" person at a party.

  2. I'm 100% "there you are," haha! Your Night Party poem is one for re-reading and pondering. Funny that we were both thinking about paper lanterns this week. :) xo

  3. I love the three perspectives, Irene, especially "reaches across the dark." I definitely fit into the "there you are" category.

  4. I agree, Irene. That Rockwell title is wonderful. Lovely poem in response!

  5. Rockwell so often captures happiness, as you do, too, Irene! I love the "there you are" at the end and believe that's who I am, too. I got to be that when my son & family arrived last week, only for a day this time, but it was special! Have a great weekend!

  6. Irene, oh, the perspectives you present are right on! Your poem is one to ponder. I especially like this line: to her cloud-sisters. Celestial beings are related in nature's sky. There you are is a humble way to enter a gathering. I can definitely see you as the one who quietly enters and mingles with grace. Happy weekend and Happy Birthday to your son. Friday the 13th is your family's
    lucky number.

  7. Irene, what a great question! I am definitely not a party person but if I went I would be a "there you are" attendee. I do not like drawing attention to myself - which I've found is kind of contradictory to writing and publishing! I am an introvert at heart.

  8. Ha! Take the power of the 13th and use it for good. That's the way! I love it. And, isn't that the truth about people. I know which one I am too.

  9. I love that moon is a "here I am" partyer, and yet she's whispering. A contradiction. I guess you can't help it when you glow like that. Happy birthday to Eric! We have a niece born on September 11, and I always think that it's so wonderful to celebrate the best of humanity on an anniversary day of when many experienced the worst.

  10. I love this poem--so inviting and welcoming. I definitely fall into the there you are camp.

  11. Cloud sisters!!!! I love thinking about that!

  12. I love your sweet poem, but we are currently struggling with some light trespassing that's disrupting our sleep, making it impossible to see the night sky from our yard, and worrying me about the effects on the neighborhood ecosystem. I'm hoping we can find a solution that will bring back the darkness.

  13. Irene, I love your response to Rockwell's art - You found your own way to communicate the friendliness of night's invitation. BTW - I have a son who was born on FRIDAY-THE-13th ... such a lucky day!

  14. I love that the moon, the clouds, and the things of people are all in the same party. Happy Birthday to your son! He must have loved it falling on a Friday. My first son was born on April Fool's day. xo

  15. I love the three perspectives your poem captures and also your final comment about the two kinds of people in the world. I suspect there's another kind too--the ones who linger in the darkness and watch the party from afar. It's nice to think that the light reaches them, too.

  16. I'm a "there you are" -- parties are much happier when a friend is there. The paper lanterns in your middle stanza put stars in my eyes.


Your thoughts?