Namesake poem

For the Mother of Kathryn Barbara

There’s a star in the wind
and the wind winds high

Blowing alight, through fog, through night
Through cold, through cold and the bitter alone

There high in the wind rides a star, my own
And the star is a word…of white, of white

And the star in the wind is a word.

Walt Kelly


8 responses to “Namesake poem

  1. Joel

    December 16, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Yes, attributed to the character Porcupine in Pggo (written, of course, by Walt Kelly). One of my favorite poems from my childhood, and perhaps the only one I ever memorized though not required to for school…

    • Joel

      December 16, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      “Pogo”, durrrr….

    • toesinthedirt

      December 18, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      Exactly. Same here. Part of what got me interested in memorizing other poems, and trying to write some.

  2. Dale

    October 31, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Kathryn Barbara was Walt’s daughter, who died before her first birthday.

    • toesinthedirt

      November 4, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      Thank you for letting me know–I could not find out anything the last time I searched. It gives the poem even more poignancy for me.

  3. joelleitner

    November 4, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    I never knew that. More poignancy indeed…

  4. June

    April 30, 2019 at 10:23 am

    I found this poem in my 95 year old mother’s belongings, handwritten in FOUR different locations, one location was the actual comic strip cut out of the newspaper and put into a wallet. The poem was very dear to her. Perhaps, I’m guessing, because she lost premature twin babies in 1949. I remember the newspaper comic strip when I was a child in the 1950s.

    • toesinthedirt

      May 5, 2019 at 9:54 am

      Thank you for sharing your mom’s love for this poem. I didn’t know as a young person that it was about loss, though I discovered (in my dad’s bound copies of Pogo), memorized, and started copying it into high school yearbooks years after I lost my older sister in an auto accident. There is release and cleansing in it, somehow, as well as hope and vision.


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