Mothers and Daughters

The cruel girls we loved
Are over forty,
Their subtle daughters
Have stolen their beauty;

And with a blue stare
Of cool surprise,
They mock their anxious mothers
With their mothers’ eyes.

David Campbell


6 responses to this post.

  1. hahaha! ohhh, yes … i have definitely seen this!


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on November 15, 2016 at 8:13 am

      I thought it a sad poem. But clever. David Campbell was a wonderful lyric poet who often wrote about nature.


      • yes, it is sad in a very tragic sort of way … the curse passed down to their daughters, never satisfied, always jealous, mean, catty, cruel, arrogant – their daughter becomes their mirror.

        those mean girls out there often learned well from their own mothers. not always, but a lot of the time.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on November 16, 2016 at 5:35 am

        What is interesting is also that David Campbell (who lived around the Canberra area, where I live) was a rich and handsome young man. So the “cruel girls” of which he writes must have been either unusually attractive and haughty; or maybe they were only “cruel” in the sense of beauty being cruel. After all, they were apparently lovable.

        Beauty can seem cruel to men, even gifted young men like David Campbell. If I may quote a line from one of my older (and unpublished poems):

        Of a lake …

        ” … cruel and smooth and untroubled
        like a young woman’s skin … “

      • hummm … in some circles ‘lovable’ isn’t a criteria – status, appearance, how one can effect or elevate their spouse, would all be of critical importance. and in these circles beautiful women are very, very cruel … and they often do not realize they’ve hit the wall till their daughters grow up and begin to take the attention away from their mothers – daughters who have learned well from their mothers to have great disdain for anyone who tries to compete with them.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on November 16, 2016 at 5:54 am

        Maybe there are some men who choose wives only on the basis of those traits. But I think they are foolish, of course. I believe that a man should choose a woman he finds attractive, but he should be careful to choose a companion who is also of good character.

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