I knew, before my birth to be,
   The planet that I chose,
But angels who were prepping me
   Induced a gentle doze:
They brought Amnesia's velvet soup
   And I, with willing heart,
Drank down the broth before the group
   And from them did depart.
Suspended in a neutral state,
   My memories were cleared.
In timelessness I seemed to wait ...
   And then a light appeared.


I 'woke' within a liquid hue
   Of orange warmed with light
As someone moved me gently through
   A chamber much more bright.
What could it mean? I cannot say.
   But I was well aware
That whoso brought me through that day
   Did so with perfect care.
As amniotic fluids flowed
   There imminent was birth ...
That planet, yes, my new abode,
   Was fast approaching—Earth!


I took in gently earthly air
   (the breathing came with ease),
And when my mother drew me near
   I felt her tender squeeze.
A drumming filled her weary chest,
   As slowly I awoke—
Those mortal tappings in her brest
   Did thoughts of life evoke.
Between each beat a soothing pause
   Spoke softly to my ear;
And though I knew not where I was,
   I knew that home was here.

About this poem

I’ve always found the various concepts of pre-existence fascinating and philosophically fun to contemplate. Where do souls come from? Are they aware of their pre-existent surroundings? And if so, why do they not remember it after birth? From the Judaic concept of the Guf to the crossing of the Chinese Naihe Bridge, beliefs like these have always intrigued me. The poem above is my brief poetic attempt on the matter: a fun write.

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Submitted by Vixility on August 19, 2023

1:19 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,324
Words 264
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 12, 12, 12

John W. May

John W. May has lived in Colorado all his life. He currently works in the field of ophthalmology and loves to mountain bike and read about history. John first became a lover of poetry in 2008 after having read a poem by John Milton. He has been reading and studying the works of various poets since. His favorite poets are Emily Dickinson, Fyodor Tyutchev and W. B. Yeats. more…

All John W. May poems | John W. May Books

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Discuss the poem Birth with the community...

  • Vixility
    Thank you, Sue! I’m really proud of this particular piece. I originally wrote it years ago, but recently revised it as I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the language and imagery used. I can now say I feel pretty good about this piece along with the unfolding of the story. Fun stuff … 
    LikeReply 129 days ago
  • susan.brumel
    John, I’m not sure how I missed this one, but I love it. My younger son says he remembers being in the womb, (he has a vivid imagination) and he describes it as you do in your poem.
    The description of the baby at its mother’s breast took my breath away, and right back to the moments after my sons were born. Thank you! 
    LikeReply 11 month ago
  • Risingwerdz
    It is the closest to perfect out the bunch. The imagery carries me from beginning to end without a hiccup.
    LikeReply 19 months ago
    • Vixility
      Thank you so much for the vote here. I really took pride in this poem and was hoping that it might do better, but sometimes that’s just how it is. Still, it was a really fun piece to put together and am happy I was able to share it.

      Again, thank you!
      LikeReply 29 months ago


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"Birth" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jun 2024. <>.

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Who wrote the poem "The Road Not Taken"?
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