Blog, Canada, Memoir, Miriam Waddington, Poetry, Relationships, Writers, Writing

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered am I

When certain words stay with us it’s natural and easy to wonder or question why? What about them rang so true, hit so close to home, touched us so deeply?



Hi there! I’m currently at work on a piece, a follow-up to last week’s piece on happiness….on unhappiness. And also a one or two part piece that was a request!! Unfortunately, but in a good way, life got in the way a little bit and I’m not quite finished.

Today I want to share a poem with you. Of all the many many poems that I have read and studied, in high school and university, and even ever since, for some reason this one has stayed with me, unlike very many others. It has stood out and I’m not even sure exactly why?

Maybe it came at a time when I was really receptive to something in it? I believe it was tenth or eleventh grade English class. I still have the copy that was distributed to our class.

It certainly does not mirror my marriage in any way…thankfully! But the words so echoed with me.

I don’t know any other poems by the author, nor do I remember studying her in general. Although she is well known and beloved (she actually passed away ten years ago at age 86). I know that she was Canadian, hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba. I now know that she was Jewish, and for many years she was a Social Worker. Her poem “Jacques Cartier in Toronto” is featured on the back of the Canadian $100 bill released the same year she died.

There is something about it that is very striking. The lovely and lilting, or cutting and biting, use of words. It is very deep and powerful. The metaphors, the use of seasons, it all spoke to me, and still does now. And it’s sad, as well as dark, as she reflects.

On that note…enjoy!


Thou Didst Say Me — Miriam Waddington

Late as last summer
Thou didst say me, love
I choose you, you, only you.
oh the delicate del-
icate serpent of your lips
the golden lie bedazzled
me with wish and flash
of joy and I was fool.

I was fool, bemused
bedazed by summer, still
bewitched and wandering
in murmur hush in green-
ly sketched-in fields
I was, I was, so sweet
I was, so honied with
your gold of love and love
and still again more love.

late as last autumn
thou didst say me, dear
my doxy, I choose you and
always you, thou didst pledge
me love and through the red-
plumed weeks soberly
I danced upon your words
and garlanded these
tender dangers.

year curves to ending now
and thou dost say me, wife
I choose another love, and oh
the delicate del-
icate serpent of your mouth
stings deep, and bitter
iron cuts and shapes
my death, I was so fool.




— Raina K Morton October 28 2014

*Title from “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” is a show tune and popular song from the 1940 ‘Rodgers and Hart’ musical Pal Joey.

Notable recordings:
Benny Goodman
Doris Day with The Mellomen
Ella Fitzgerald
Frank Sinatra
Barbra Streisand

and Linda Ronstadt’s version here.

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