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Seven – Explained

150. Seven – Explained

I believe that William Wordsworth’s poem “We Are Seven” is a powerful narrative poem. As I read it for the first time, I found myself near tears at this little girl’s calm insistence that her brother and her sister who are buried in the graveyard are still in fact part of the family as she counts them. The poem by itself is wonderful.

It also struck a deep chord with me because I have sixteen grandchildren. They are between the ages of two and twenty-six. One of them lies in the Branchville, New Jersey cemetery and I count him every time. His name is Jackson and if he had lived, he would be twelve now. But my memories of him are very clear of when he was six months old. Just as the little girl in Wordsworth’s poem, I too sometimes go to his grave site and sing the songs I sang to him eleven years ago.

And so, when people say “How many grandchildren do you have?” I smile and answer, “Sixteen.”

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