Finding the perfect gift for Mothers Day is never easy. Scented candles, charm bracelets, and flowers are fine, but do they really say, "Thanks for giving me life?" Here are nine quotes and poems from some of the world's greatest wordsmiths, ideal for jotting down on the inside of a card.
From the Devout Son or Daughter: Rudyard Kipling, the voice of the British Empire, penned the following quote about dear ol' mum:
"God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers."
From the Devoted Son or Daughter: Victorian poet Christina Rossetti is most famous for her fantasy poem "The Goblin Market," but she also wrote several tender verses about motherly love:
To her whose heart is my heart's quiet home,
To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee
I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome.
From the Cynical Son or Daughter: "Heartwarming" might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of James Joyce ("inscrutable" is more like it), but this quote from Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man is surprisingly sweet, if world-weary:
Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother's love is not.
From the Fierce Son or Daughter:
Maya Angelou--poet, teacher, and activist--had a tumultuous (to say the least) relationship with her family, and she perfectly captures the complicated love between a child and a mother:
To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power.
From the Sappy Son or Daughter:
Sometimes you just want to gush over how great your mom is. British editor and poet, James Montgomery, put those saccharine sentiments into verse:
A mother's love,--how sweet the name!
What is a mother's love?
--A noble, pure, and tender flame,
Enkindled from above
From the Baby:
Okay, an infant might need some assistance to write this one down--it's pretty long. These stanzas from William Blake's "Infant Joy" are addressed to a new mom from her baby:
I have no name
I am but two days old, -
What shall I call thee?
I happy am
Joy is my name, -
Sweet joy befall thee!
Sweet joy but two days old,
Sweet joy I call thee;
Thou dost smile.
I sing the while
Sweet joy befall thee.
From the Grown-Up Son or Daughter:
19th century American poet Elizabeth Chase Akers Allen (say that three times fast) wrote the nostalgic poem "Rock Me to Sleep" from an adult child to her mother:
Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
Since I last listened your lullaby song:
Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood's years have been only a dream.
From the Wryly Witty Son:
This bon mot from Oscar Wilde, the undisputed king of bon mots, isn't quite so charming from a daughter, but it's rather sweet from a son:
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.
From the Creative Son or Daughter:
If you didn't find the perfect lines in this list, never fear. You can always pen your own verse. Check out these tips from Writers Digest and remember to write from the heart. It doesn't have to be perfect (although you really should proofread), but it should be sincere.
After all, it's the thought that counts.