Friday, May 15, 2015

rotation

Daisy is working on a big poetry project for English 10.  She and a partner had to choose a poet from a list, select 10-15 poems  for anthology, write commen-
taries on each poem, write their own poem "similar in content and style" to the poet's work, and analyze their own poem.

Daisy's first choice was Naomi Shihab Nye (I may have influenced that), but they ended up with Natasha Trethewey (also no slouch).  Here's my favorite of the poems that they selected, an exquisitely constructed pantoum which manages to be both simple and as grand as the planets.

Rotation || Natasha Trethewey

Like the moon that night, my father —
         a distant body, white and luminous.
How small I was back then,
         looking up as if from dark earth.

Distant, his body white and luminous, 
         my father stood in the doorway.
Looking up as if from dark earth,
         I saw him outlined in a scrim of light.

My father stood in the doorway
         as if to watch over me as I dreamed....
***********

Read the rest at the Poetry Foundation website, and then send Daisy some good vibes for her original poem.  She's more comfortable with math and visual art, so is feeling rather challenged.  (Personally, selfishly, I'm thinking of a nice villanelle in which I am the warm yellow sun burning queenly and she orbits teenly, keenly around me, a lush little bluegreen planet of statistical formulas.)

Also check out Natasha's Poet Laureate project, a whole PBS NewsHour special series called "Where Poetry Lives," which I managed to miss entirely. It looks like--and this fits her historical, social-personal themes very well--the program is focused on the ways that poetry can contribute to social justice.  Watching it goes on my list of summer treats.

You'll find the round-up this Poetry Friday at Random Noodling with the intriguingly in-sane Diane Mayr.

4 comments:

  1. I, too, missed "Where Poetry Lives." Thanks for the link! Much luck to Daisy! And by the way, you'd make a luminous sun!

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  2. Sounds like a project that could either make her love poetry forever or hate it. I did a similar project with my gifted kids. I personally find reading master poets like Naomi and Natasha inspiring. Thanks for the heads up about the PBS series which I totally missed.

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  3. Good luck to Daisy! Ariana read a book of Natasha Trethewey's poems before Trethewey came to campus this spring. (That poem was in it.) Like Diane, I think you make an incandescent star!

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  4. This is quite the poetry project - It has the feel of a project that may make poetry lovers love it all the more and the poetry haters confirm their loathing of it. The indifferent will most likely give up their indifference and decide on loving or loathing at the conclusion of this project. Let's hope most choose love!

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