Gaiman's "Blueberry Girl": a benediction for a girl's happy life

Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess's Blueberry Girl is a beautiful, affirming, inspiring picture book based on a poem that Gaiman wrote for Tash, Tori Amos's daughter (who is also Gaiman's god-daughter). The poem is a set of benedictions for girls, wishes for a realistically joyful life where what pain that comes only serves to make the pleasure sweeter. Vess (a well-known fantasy artist) has a distinctive style that gives the book much of its charm.

If you can read this without smiling or tearing up, you're made of sterner stuff than me.

...Dull days at forty, false friends at fifteen;
Let her have brave days and truth.
Let her go places that we've never been;
Trust and delight in her youth.

Ladies of Grace, and Ladies of Favour,
And Ladies of Merciful Night,
This is a prayer for a Blueberry Girl,
Grant her your Clearness of Sight.

Words can be worrisome, people complex;
Motives and manners unclear.
Grant her the wisdom to choose her path right,
Free from unkindness and fear.

Let her tell stories, and dance in the rain,
Somersaults, tumble and run;
Her joys must be high as her sorrows are deep,
Let her grow like a weed in the sun...
Blueberry Girl (US)

Blueberry Girl (UK)