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Archive for the ‘Poetry Friday’ Category

Poetry Friday is with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

Photo from Flickr: Kelly Colgan Azar

When I was home last weekend with my parents and my sister’s family, we watched a Carolina wren feed a nest of babies inside a flower pot.  I posted about this miracle of nature here.  ( I even made a short video of the nesting chicks.)

My summer discipline includes writing a poem every day. In the Practice of Poetry, Deborah Digges offers an exercise titled “Evolutions” that can be traced back to Philip Levine.  “When you can’t write, try writing about an animal.” This exercise takes some research.  Having the internet at my fingertips helped me find information about Carolina wrens.

This exercise came with warnings: “be careful not to sentimentalize, to usurp the animal you have chosen by turning it into a flaccid symbol for human emotions…The animal is itself.”  I tend to over-sentimentalize, so I tried to focus on the behaviors of the birds.  After some work and a few writing partner critiques, I feel good about this one.

 

 

 

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Poetry Friday is with Carol at Carol’s Corner.

My writing group has decided to explore a book on writing poetry this summer. We chose The Practice of Poetry edited by Robin Behn and Chase Twichell.

I have been thumbing through and randomly choosing an exercise to try. On pages 51-53, Susan Mitchell’s exercise is titled “Experience Falls Through Language Like Water Through a Sieve.”

We write poems about what we can’t articulate, but feel pressured to say, which is why poems use language in unusual ways…And often, metaphor and simile may be a poet’s only means for capturing experience in its rich complexity.
Susan Mitchell in The Practice of Poetry, pages 51-52

She explains that when we use metaphor, we often write ahead of our understanding. When I write poems, I connect to a deeper part of myself, one who I don’t know as well, one who reveals more of myself to me.

In this exercise, I read one of the suggested poems Milkweed by Philip Levine and decided to use its form to inform my own.

Remember how
we sat in a field of clover
picking handfuls of white bursts
tying stem to stem
to make crowns, bracelets,
necklaces. We’d promenade
among the pine trees
overlooking Purple Creek,
curtsy,
loop our arms,
do-see-do
through those carefree
days of summer
that meant nothing
to anyone, even us.

Yesterday I walked my dog
through a field of clover.
While he stopped to sniff
and leave his scent, I watched
the clustering blossoms
sway and bow
to the coming
of a summer shower.

–Margaret Simon, after Philip Levine, all rights reserved

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Poetry Friday is with Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.

 “Write a poem inspired by I Spy, the guessing game popular with kids during car rides and other long periods of downtime, in which the spy offers descriptive clues that hint at a visible object for other players to guess.”
Poets&Writers poetry prompt

I Spy

in the dome of the sky
a face
full and bright.

I spy
rising on the horizon
a sphere
of golden might

I spy
smiling through the trees
a force
moving the night.

–Margaret Simon

 

 

 

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Poetry Friday: Summer

Poetry Friday is with Buffy today.

I don’t think of myself as any kind of poetry expert, but I do love poetry in many ways. When my Voxer friend, Dani Burtsfield, asked for help with writing a poem for her mother, I was honored and humbled. Yesterday she went for a walk in the mountains of Montana where she lives and sent me a message about the lilacs and how their blooming means summer. “I think I feel a poem coming on.”

Thus began our late night discussion of her poem. This is what poetry should be, a walk in the woods that leads to talk that then becomes a poem. Jane Hirshfield writes in her poem, Mathematics, “Does a poem enlarge the world/ or only our idea of the world?” I believe that poetry and your own expression of it does enlarge the world. We experience the experience in a new and loving way. Please go to Dani’s blog and read her poem, her first brave contribution to Poetry Friday.

Our discussion of summer made me think about how summer reveals itself differently in different parts of the world. For Dani, it’s in the lilacs. Here in South Louisiana, the landscape is different. My poem attempts to capture my own summer landscape.

Summer

Summer waits
like the rope swing
hanging
from the old oak.

Summer welcomes
like sunflowers
opening
a morning

Summer vibrates
like cicadas
buzzing
at twilight.

Summer lingers
like the sun
hovering
the horizon.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

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Poetry Friday is here!

Sorry, my Poetry Friday folks!  I forgot I was hosting.  You see, yesterday was our last day of school, and there were other things occupying my limited brain space.  But here I am and here you are.  Link with the button at the bottom of this post.

Each month on the first week of the month, a group of us bloggers post for Spiritual Thursday.  We are a group of open-minded thinkers who enjoy exploring what God means in our lives.  Irene Latham coordinates our group.  Last month she wrote this in her post about Reaching. 

Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam.” What beauty there is in that breath between those two fingers! And what makes it beautiful to me is the anticipation of touch, the reaching, the beauty and openness of that moment– before we know what happens next. –Irene Latham

Those words moved me.  A poem appeared as response.  I love when that happens. Thanks, Irene.

 


Breath of God

Breath–
one small space
as God reaches
to Adam
hanging high
above
turned up heads.

Eyes cannot focus
on such a small space
so far away,
yet Michelangelo
placed it there,
an inch between them.

In that space
I can rest
suspended,
floating between
God’s hand
and my own.

Nothing
becomes
everything.

–Margaret Simon

 

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Poetry Friday is with Keisha at Whispers from the Ridge

Photo by Kim Douillard

I follow Kim Douillard’s blog. She posts a weekly photo challenge. Last week’s challenge was “Path.” To me, her post was poetic, so I took words and lines and created a found poem.

Path
a found poem from Thinking through my Lens

The snail’s wet trail caught my eye.
I remember Emerson’s words–
go where there is no path
and leave a trail.

I find the sculpture;
Its path formed of trash
her artistic eye transformed
into beauty.

My own path
ebbs and flows like the tides.
I follow moments of sunshine
to clouds echoing the waves.

Seabirds above
follow an invisible path.
In the sky, agile pelicans
intersect the line of a hang glider

Causing me to wonder
what magical paths
await if we are willing
to look.
–Margaret Simon

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Poetry Friday is at Teaching Authors.

If you’ve been following my National Poetry Month project, you know I’ve been teaching a poetry form each day to my students. I am learning so much about the benefits of writing a poem each day, but most of all, I glow when my students skip into class each day asking what are we writing today?

Writing a poem each day stretches your writing muscles. Like in a yoga practice, you find new muscles that you didn’t know you had. Word play leads us to discover deeper meanings for every day language.

Today I am sharing two of my poems from this week. The kyrielle is probably the most challenging form we have tried. Noah wrote a Kyrielle about dirt. I know I’ve reached my boys when they can adapt any poetry form to a typical boy topic.

Kyrielle Poem on Dirt

A substance covering the ground.
Laying on the ground all around.
Not making any sound at all.
Tracked by dirty feet down the hall.
Noah, 5th grade

For list poems, I turned to Falling Down the Page by Georgia Heard. We read the poems that started with “Things to do if you are…”

My student, Jacob, shouted, “Sky!” Then Madison said, “Always change colors!” and this poem was born.

Things to do if you’re the Sky

Always change colors.
Hold onto clouds.
Sparkle like diamonds.
Water the garden.
Dance with the wind.
Paint treetops green.
Wake up the morning glories.
Invite birds over for tea.
Make every day beautiful.
—Margaret Simon (with a little help from Jacob and Madison)

Yesterday, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes featured Madison’s cinquain on Today’s Little Ditty. Madison wrote her poem after pulling a cadet blue crayon from the crayon box. My students are feeling like “real” poets this month. Thanks, Michelle for the affirmation.

You can read more of my students’ poem on our Kidblog site.

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