Hemingway’s Parents

I’ve heard it said that brilliant children

Are often the offspring of unremarkable parents

I believe I heard it in a movie or on a TV show

Some place where we receive fiction

As fiction

While thoroughly believing it is true


Of course there are those who would contend

That no parent is unremarkable

That the act of bringing a child into this world

And raising it is extraordinary

Of its own merit

Such people who say these things

Are usually parents themselves

So their opinions are suspect


Still it got me thinking

About Hemingway’s parents

Clarence and Grace from

The suburbs of Chicago

Once a respected Doctor and musician

Now a late night Wikipedia search


I wondered if they read

The Sun Also Rises or

For Whom the Bell Tolls

And marveled at this person

They had created

And the words and worlds

That sprung from him


Or if they read and shook their head

At his wilderness wanderings

And tragic endings

His pairing of love and loss

And if they wished he had become a banker

Or had remained the good Christian boy

They had tried so hard to raise