February 17, 2012
It feels strange to me, having only a dusting of snow so far this winter in this area. I know many folks are celebrating this “balmier” season, and it does make for greater convenience, not having to shovel or worry about driving, etc. Still, winter is askew.
However, rather than lament this zone of the peculiar we’re in, I’ve decided to celebrate the askew and ridiculous today. Here’s a jump-rope poem I wrote a while back. May your day be splendidly odd!
cotton candy sidewalks,
pandas playing hopscotch,
tell us all
what you desire
eat a purple gumdrop
while you’re waiting for the queen
Thinking about the poem now, I’m picturing roller-skating lollipops getting stuck in the cotton candy of the sidewalks. And what about that jumbo trampoline–who’s on it? But no–stop! Let it be ridiculous already!
Today’s Poetry Friday roundup is over at Gathering Books, where you’ll find links to many wonderful poems and poetry-related conversation. Enjoy!
February 4, 2011
December 3, 2010
I came to Friday this week thinking I wouldn’t post, my thoughts elsewhere today. Instead, I planned a long walk to get a bit more centered, or whatever it is walks provide when you’re feeling angst or sadness over a difficult decision. Yet before heading out, I read Joy Harjo’s “Eagle Poem,” which felt like just the right poem for today, so I thought I’d post after all. I appreciate its reminder of the connectedness of all. Perhaps the right answer is beyond our knowing, or that we are just a part of it? More important is taking “the utmost care and kindness.”
EAGLE POEM by Joy Harjo
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadly growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Read the rest
This week’s Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Go check it out!
November 5, 2010
Have been majorly immersed in revisions lately, just now coming up for air. I think the perfect end-of-week celebration would be to slide on over to Poetry Friday and enjoy the poetry party. For anyone who’s never visited Poetry Friday, I encourage you to check it out—links to all sorts of wonderful poems, thoughts on poetry, reviews, and sometimes even a game or two. While I won’t be posting this week, I will be reading and joining the conversation! This week’s roundup is hosted by Teaching Authors. See you there?
A quick post on yet another day of precipitation in the waterlogged Boston area: lines from Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “Letter to Two Friends,” from Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments (FSG, edited and annotated by Alice Quinn).
From section IV, 1951-1967: Brazil, Seattle, New York.
Heavens! It’s raining again
and the “view”
is now two weeks overdue
and the road is impassable
and after shaking all four paws
the cat retires in disgust
to the highest closet shelf,
and the dogs smell awfully like dogs,
and I’m slightly sick of myself,
and sometime during the night
the poem I was trying to write
has turned into prepositions:
ins and aboves and upons
[overs and unders and ups]–
The poem continues for several more stanzas, with notes by Bishop indicated alongside, and includes the pleas, “Marianne, loan me a noun/ Cal, please cable a verb” (Marianne Moore and Robert Lowell, yes?) “Or simply propulse through the ether/some more powerful meter”…
Thanks to the blogosphere, I’ll be enjoying some powerful meter found over at the Friday roundup, hosted this week by Julie Larios at The Drift Record.
And if the weather lets up—or even it it doesn’t—I may head out later for a neighborhood walk. I live just a few streets away from the Walnut Hill School of the Arts, which Elizabeth Bishop attended from 1927-1930 and where she contributed as a writer and editor to the school’s magazine. We’ve had enough rain around here, it’s possible I could come across a toucan “very annoyed” or “a toad as big as your hat” (from the poem), though hopefully will instead gain fresh inspiration musing on a few lines of poetry and observing spring’s attempt at arrival. Our dog who smells awfully like dog would also enjoy an extra walk, I’m sure.
February 26, 2010
In a post earlier this week, I included Charlotte Zolotow’s poem “River Winding,” the title poem from her 1970 children’s collection. I enjoyed reading her poems these past few days, so for Poetry Friday, I thought I’d post another from the collection:
NO ONE WOULD BELIEVE
No one would believe
unless they saw too
as the train passed him
(but it’s true)
facing the river
alone in the wind
an old old man
—From River Winding, by Charlotte Zolotow, originally published in 1970 by Abelard-Schuman; 2nd edition, the one I’m reading, published in 1978, by Crowell; illustrations by Kazue Mizumura)
My thoughts immediately went to those moments on trains when you catch glimpses from the window, snapshots, as the train zips past. Joy, sadness, loneliness—you fill in the picture based on a fleeting impression of what you see. Was what you witnessed actually there? What a great image offered by the poem, an old man playing the violin before the river. Personification (a wizened tree), or something odd and wonderful, a man at the river playing the violin? Playing to the river, a celebration of life? Or mourning its passing? What’s your impression?
This week’s poetry roundup is over at Check It Out. So do.
To find out more about Charlotte Zolotow and her work, please visit her site.
February 12, 2010
I was lucky this week. Got to be the parent volunteer helping host a terrific poet and poetry instructor, Andrew Green of Potato Hill Poetry, for workshops in the third grade at my daughter’s school. We gave Andrew an ambitious schedule, five back-to-back sessions to discuss interpreting poetry and lead a writing exercise. He rolled with it and did a fabulous job inspiring the kids to become “detective poets,” discovering what a poem is “up to” by reading it slowly, rereading it and listening to the sounds within, and exploring elements like imagery and rhyme scheme. Andrew shared some of his poems, as well as works by Eve Merriam, William Carlos Williams, Jack Prelutsky, Tomie dePaola, Lloyd Schwartz, Eloise Greenfield, and Naomi Shihab Nye. Great to hear these poems coming to life, aloud, in the classroom!
Not surprisingly, the poems the kids themselves wrote were amazing—uncensored and honest, full of great sensory details. From describing a morning moment, to thinking about where poems might hide, these third-graders did a fabulous job getting into the poetic frame of mind (maybe all kids live there, and it’s only adults that struggle to make that shift?).
For Poetry Friday, I’m sharing one of Andrew Green’s poems, entitled “Days,” which seems to capture the spirit of discovery he brought to the classroom workshops. I’m also posting one of the poems he shared with the third-graders, on the lasting nature of a poem, Eloise Greenfield’s “Things,” from her fabulous collection Honey, I Love, a great collection for Valentine’s weekend:
By Andrew Green
(There should actually be a longer break before that final line; curse you, blog formatting. So when you reread it, please add that pause.)
By Eloise Greenfield
Went to the corner
Walked in the store
Bought me some candy
Ain’t got it no more
Ain’t got it no more
A little background on Potato Hill Poetry: For more than 10 years, Andrew has conducted poetry and writing workshops for students, as well as workshops and inservice presentations for teachers across the country. Based in Natick, MA, Potato Hill also offers creative-writing camps for kids.
This week’s Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted this week by Lee Wind at I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? Go check it out!
Image above from fotolia.