Friday, February 26, 2021

rip lawrence ferlinghetti

I confess: I have been a fan of the IDEA of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the Beat poets far more than of their actual work.  But on the occasion of the end of his very long and active life--the things he's seen!--combined with my participation in the February Poem Project hosted by Laura Shovan, I did some reading.

For the project, the theme of which is BODIES, I posted this for today:

 

Legendary Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti left us this week at the age of 101. He came to prefer the term “wide-open” rather than “Beat” poetry, because of the way it ranged and raged. One critic characterized Ferlinghetti’s work as “a revolutionary art of dissent and contemporary application which jointly drew a lyric poetry into new realms of social—and self-expression. It sparkles, sings, goes flat, and generates anger or love out of that flatness as it follows a basic motive of getting down to reality and making of it what we can.” 

 I invite you to enjoy Ferlinghetti’s “Underwear”, below and continued at the Poetry Foundation https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42871/underwear, and then to write about our "foundation garments," channeling Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s revolutionary art of dissent and contemporary application. [Underwear ads included as extra fodder.]

 





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 









 I have not yet written my own foundation garment poem because during my explorations I found a fine and important poem called "I Am Waiting."  It is full, as the critic says, of Ferlinghetti's "sad and comic music of the streets." And then I saw that this poem was published IN 1958, in A CONEY ISLAND OF THE MIND, and somehow it sounds so current and live, and I am kind of stunned.

This is the fifth of six stanzas. The other five are worth your time!


I Am Waiting [excerpt] | Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am waiting for the day

that maketh all things clear

and I am awaiting retribution

for what America did   

to Tom Sawyer   

and I am waiting

for Alice in Wonderland

to retransmit to me

her total dream of innocence

and I am waiting

for Childe Roland to come

to the final darkest tower

and I am waiting   

for Aphrodite

to grow live arms

at a final disarmament conference

in a new rebirth of wonder

Ferlinghetti preferred to call his poetry "wide-open" and now we see why.  Why can't Tom Sawyer and Alice in Wonderland and Childe Roland and Aphrodite meet on the same turf?  Oh, they can.  My, I feel educated today.  Thanks, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

 Our host today is Karen at The Blog with the Shockingly Clever Title where she also is marveling, with Billy Collins, at the age of things. May we hang on to history, everything from Aphrodite to Cheerios to the Governor of Louisiana, and publish our howls. Friendly note:  I will probably not comment on PF posts this week so that I can do due diligence by the Feb Project responses. 


Friday, February 19, 2021

slps 4: frost & fletcher

How it's going down in my district...I'm perpetually downtrodden.

So today in my self-led poetry study I reach for a wee volume called 101 POEMS THAT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE: An Anthology of Emotional First AID (HarperCollins 1999). Published in the UK and edited by Daisy Goodwin, it has familiar famous poems and some you wouldn't know at all.

 This one's in the birthday section, and I'm familiar, but I never read it as a poem about aging.  It's a poem about learning, I think. Which, oh, IS a poem about age, wisdom, experience.

What Fifty Said | Robert Frost

When I was young my teachers were the old.
I gave up fire for form till I was cold.
I suffered like a metal being cast.
I went to school to age to learn the past.

Now when I am old my teachers are the young.
What can't be molded must be cracked and sprung.
I strain at lessons fit to start a suture.
I go to school to youth to learn the future.

 *************************************

I've lost my faith in school--not all schools, but in School as a concept. It must be cracked and sprung and I'm too tightly bound to break it.  There is, there will be suffering.

What  could possibly go with this, from my collection of poems for young readers?

In the same year as my SQUEEZE came out, Wordsong published A WRITING KIND OF DAY: Poems for Young Poets by Ralph Fletcher (2005).  I. love. this. book. 

I've just rediscovered this poem.

Writer's Block | Ralph Fletcher


We're doing grammar in school

which is bad enough but now

it's infiltrating my dreams.


I dreamed I was playing football

against a huge run-on sentence--

Coach said I had to stop him.


I threw a wicked block on that sentence

that knocked him into the next paragraph

and dislocated three compound words.


Verbs cracked! Nouns splattered!

That big sentence just splintered.

Til. Only. Fragments. Were. Left!

 *******************************

 

 Hm. Perhaps I'm less downtrodden than angry. I dream of dismantlement.

 

The round-up today is with dear Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town.

I shall go in search of braided sweetgrass, of solace.

 

Friday, February 12, 2021

slps 3: Gerard and Joyce


In the wan winter daylight I pull off the shelf an unlovely 1970 paperback 4th edition of THE POEMS OF GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS (Oxford University Press).  I always say he's one of my favorite influences (despite a fundamental disagreement about the role of a God in all the wild wonder of the world), but how many of his poems do I know, really?

Here's one new to me:



That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection | 
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Cloud-puffball, torn tufts, tossed pillows | flaunt forth, then chevy on an air-
Built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs | they throng; they glitter in marches.
Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, | wherever an elm arches,
Shivelights and shadowtackle ín long | lashes lace, lance, and pair.
Delightfully the bright wind boisterous | ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare
Of yestertempest's creases; | in pool and rut peel parches
Squandering ooze to squeezed | dough, crust, dust; stanches, starches
Squadroned masks and manmarks | treadmire toil there
Footfretted in it. Million-fuelèd, | nature's bonfire burns on.
But quench her bonniest, dearest | to her, her clearest-selvèd spark
Man, how fast his firedint, | his mark on mind, is gone!
Both are in an unfathomable, all is in an enormous dark
Drowned. O pity and indig | nation! Manshape, that shone
Sheer off, disseveral, a star, | death blots black out; nor mark
                               Is any of him at all so stark
But vastness blurs and time | beats level. Enough! the Resurrection,
A heart's-clarion! Away grief's gasping, | joyless days, dejection.
                              Across my foundering deck shone
A beacon, an eternal beam. | Flesh fade, and mortal trash
Fall to the residuary worm; | world's wildfire, leave but ash:
                              In a flash, at a trumpet crash,
I am all at once what Christ is, | since he was what I am, and
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, | patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
                              Is immortal diamond.

*************************

I pick this one because it does what my other favorites do:  uses a profligacy of language to celebrate the profligacy of nature.  You did read it out loud, right? Your brain can't quite keep up with the flood of images, right? And yet the tsunami is comprehensible if you loosen your logic and let your whole body sense the wide surroundings that he's attempting to pack into one spring-loaded canister of wildwonder. Gerard's wordplay is S U B L I M E, makes me want to shred the dictionary and wallow in the mudhole of slippery wordsherds waaaaah........ hoooo!  

What poet for young readers can compare?  Hmm, let's return to the shelf for a book I haven't spent enough time with....WINTER BEES by Joyce Sidman (HMH, 2014).  Here's another human for whom nature is cause for elated wallowing in language.


Chickadee's Song | Joyce Sidman

From dawn to dusk in darkling air
we glean and gulp and pluck and snare,
then find a roost that's snug and tight
to brave the long and frozen night.

We fluff and preen each downy feather,
Sing fee-bee---and laugh at the weather!
For if we're quick and bold and clever,
           winter's chill won't last forever.

The sun wheels high, the cardinal trills.
We sip the drips of icicles.
The buds are thick, the snow is slack.
Spring has broken winter's back.

Quick and bold and brave and clever,
we preen and fluff each downy feather.
Sing fee-bee--laugh at the weather--
        for winter doesn't last forever!

************************************

May you have enjoyed that as much as I did this morning, and may you find more to wallow in over at Nix the Comfort Zone, where Molly's post on her Artist's Prayer is a serendipitous echo.


Friday, February 5, 2021

let the cage fall

Today the Sunday Swaggers are writing to Catherine Flynn's challenge. Inspired by S. Kirk Walsh’s essay “How E.L. Doctorow Taught an Aspiring Writer to Hear the Sounds of Fiction," we are to copy a mentor poem (or other text) “word for word, then replace [that poet’s] language with your own.” For this experiment I return to Lucille Clifton and the poem that she says is one of the few that came to her whole. She says it has no title.


poem by Lucille Clifton

let there be new flowering
in the fields let the fields
turn mellow for the men
let the men keep tender
through the time let the time
be wrested from the war
let the war be won
let love be
at the end

"Let there be new flowering" from good woman: poems and a memoir 1969-1980 by Lucille Clifton.  (BOA Editions, Ltd, 1987)

************************************

more than one direction
                  for Duncan

let there be new burgeoning
in the boys let the boys
turn colors in their cage
let the cage fall carried
by the light let the light
be rescued from the core
let the core be cast
let love be
in the men 

draft ©Heidi Mordhorst


So that was a challenge indeed!  As the writer of the original article explains, "I copied...then replaced her language with my own — and began to understand how I could create my own musical arrangements in my imagination and on the page." I hope Lucille's music comes through here, and also a hint of how my shiny beautiful son lends new meaning to the term "martial arts." Also I reserve the right to edit this throughout the day.  It ain't done yet.

Check out the re-creations of all the Swaggers here, as we very deliberately swag the language of other writers and use them with stylish confidence.

Catherine Flynn @ Reading to the Core 
Molly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort Zone 
Linda Mitchell @ A Word Edgewise 
Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche

Our Poetry Friday round-up today is at Jone Rush MacCulloch's blog, where she swags words and lines from all her lovely New Year postcards to create something new.  See you there!

Friday, January 29, 2021

stps > slps 2: lucille clifton & janet wong

Before we begin:  it was "Climate Day" at the White House on Wednesday--and about time!  In case you missed it, get summaries here and here.

***************************************************************************
It's only Week 2 of my "Self-Taught Poetry Survey" and already I want to adjust the name of what I am newly doing here at my juicy little universe.  I'm expanding my universe by grabbing a book of adult poetry off my rather dusty shelves each Friday, choosing a poem I like, and then seeking a companion poem from one of my collections for young readers.  It's not a structured survey and I'm not teaching myself as much as I am studying the work of others.  So to be more honest and less thoughtlessly supremacist,* I'm renaming this project the Self-Led Poetry Study.  It SLaPS, as my son would say.  Or maybe by the end of this post I will have been struck by a better, more poetic name.  Either way, thanks for joining me.

I had forgotten what a big deal Lucille Clifton is to me.  I knew her first as the author of the Everett Anderson books which were so important in my early work with Black and Brown children.  Then I became a Marylander and learned about her important role in the American poetry "establishment." But most of all, her style, brief and fluid and unflinching, leads me.

There's so much to discover and discover anew in BLESSING THE BOATS (BOA Editions, 2000), but I chose this one, without really noticing that its title describes what I am doing.  You know it's a good poem when you think it's about one thing but it turns out to be about a whole different thing too.

        study the masters | Lucille Clifton


like my aunt timmie.
it was her iron,
or one like hers,
that smoothed the sheets
the master poet slept on.
home or hotel, what matters is
he lay himself down on her handiwork
and dreamed.   she dreamed too,   words:
some cherokee, some masai and some
huge and particular as hope.
if you had heard her
chanting as she ironed
you would understand form and line
and discipline and order and
america.

 


And then, again because I hadn't given it its due, I pulled down A SUITCASE OF SEAWEED & MORE (Pomelo Books, 2019) by our well-known-in-this-community Janet Wong.  Look how she also brings the language and the textures of working outside beneath behind within, of smoothing and crimping to meet the demands of the dominant culture.  These two short poems both deliver words "huge and particular as hope."


Joyce's Beauty Salon | Janet Wong


They call my mother
the perm lady, "Pum Ajima."
Dozens of mad Korean women
come in each month, ugly,
furious with their families,
frustrated by their stubborn,
straight, heavy, hair.
A few hours with Mother
and they leave
carrying a lighter load,
their carefree curls
bouncing out the door.


The named women, their hands, invisible yet so central to the scene, the moment which is minutes, hours, a lifetime; the women who go by names from languages not their own all around us...thank you, Lucille and Janet.

Our host today is Jan Godown Annino at Bookseedstudio, where there is singing, so much singing going on! Go hear the angel voices.

***************************************

*This set of white supremacy culture definitions has popped up before me in several situations--this one shared by a fellow participant in a study group, so I don't have attribution.  But I'm having to see that I am--despite my efforts to acknowledge and honor other ways--a walking, talking, teaching, writing embodiment of this culture.  Claiming that I can, on a whim, at the drop of a hat, teach myself a general poetry survey, is putting many of the assumptions below into action.  I'm trying to do better.



Friday, January 22, 2021

self-taught poetry survey

Happy New Year all over again, am I right? I'm pretty sure none of us is able to release ourselves fully into the glorious dawning of a new America, knowing as we do that all THAT really is Who We Are--but at least maybe it won't be quite so draining every day.  Maybe we can relax a little.

But how about that Amanda Gorman, friends?! The future looks bright.

In my off-hours, I've been looking selfishly towards a time when I will not be a full-time classroom teacher and can become a full-time poet-teacher-writer.  To this end I hired a local poet to coach me in the ways of adult poetry publishing--journals, chapbooks, full-length collections--and how to start submitting in earnest  Her name is Sarah Ann Winn and we get along very well, not least because she spent 15 years as an elementary school librarian. I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH.

One thing I have learned is that the 12 years' worth of original poetry published here for you, friends, is unfortunately not available to submit.  Most adult journals consider work posted on a blog as "previously published" and will not accept it for publication.  So I have to start keeping my InstadraftTM poems to myself until I know what they are, which represents a pretty radical change to the way I blog.

So I have an idea, which I will approach in rather a different way than the younger me, which is to say, "Let's see how this goes."  I (like you?) have shelves full of adult poetry books that have never received my full attention.  Each Friday I'll pull one down and find a poem that I like and post it here.  If I can, I'll find a poem for young readers that goes with it in some way, and add that. Welcome to my Self-Taught Poetry Survey: the STPS.

Let's see what Mark McMorris has for us in his book ENTREPOT (Coffee House Press, 2010). [Disambiguation: not the Canadian professional snowboarder.]  From the ToC I choose one that might have bearing on our current moment...and I am right.

Auditions for Utopia--for Donald | Mark McMorris

Say then that there is a room with large windows.

Sunlight filters in from the sky’s reservoir. 

One wall holds a scene of naked olive bodies

and giant ferns, bodies like ferns and ferns

with the aplomb of the forest, and I am indoors.

Not that they vanish but that the mind which drew

inward to disclose the forms of one happiness 

found what it did not gestate--on the island 

whistle and seaside refrain, blades of sunlight 

peeling automata from the senses--and chose

to be its province with its own star-apple trees. 


The mind is an emperor. Or the mind is subject 

to decree from obscure parliaments of language.

And if the latter, the leafy bodies motionless 

in the heat intimate a turn from ordinary sickness 

draft a pledge to labor to liberate the faculty 

from grammars beholden to icy winds and freezing 

waterways winding down to the naval port.

Antidote to tyranny and serfdom, beauty is a face 

alive with secrets but no designs on the soul.


The other wall of the sun-dazzled room shows 

the polis in smoky industrial affray, the emblems 

of feudal lord and banker and sea captain 

in stately parade underneath the parchment heaven. 

Stevedores load gigantic ship holds with cotton.

A locomotive circles the stockyards like a cheetah.

Somewhere else, counter-posed to labial orchids, 

the estates of sugar and coffee transact menace.


Unless the muralist desire the comity of slave 

and feudal lord, or captain and bulky stevedore 

the earlier scene must altogether disappear 

to become the prehistory of advertising perfume: 

langorous beaches kissed by a glittering sun 

where industrialists repose in the elbow of a cove.


The mind is bottomless. The mind is a membrane 

of nothing where beam of light falls toward

a gravity well, curving into the fall, a fragment 

of expanding cracks in a stable law ante bellum 

center-most oleander and the shade it gives.

Only images to keep a body quiet. Little wishes.


**********************

Phew...the density, the vocabulary, the transportation.  We have been sold a bill of goods, people, and it is time to open the box, take out all the bubble wrap and packing peanuts and see what's really inside.

As it happens this poem reminds me of one for young readers which is quite familiar. 😊

by me, from SQUEEZE: Poems from a Juicy Universe (WordSong, 2005)

I don't have time this morning to pull a Pádraig Ó Tuama on these poems, but I do wonder from what place inside that box I wrote "Throwing the Roads."

Our host this Poetry Friday is my neighbor and friend Laura Shovan, who, as I hoped, is properly shining the spotlight on that Amanda Gorman.  Let's spend more attention on the battered and less on the beautiful now, okay?


Friday, January 8, 2021

nest & nestlings, à la Irene

My short two-Friday break from blogging has turned out to be both the least and most eventful period you could imagine, for me personally and for our democracy.  There are so many posts I could write today, and yet I'm sticking with the Sunday Swaggers challenge that was set for January, and perhaps it can become a bigger metaphor along the way....

although it seems that at this time, we don't have need of any metaphor.  We have just had the most powerfully honest and revealing story of US play out (yet again, but this was maybe finally loud enough for the people in the back) just 12 miles from my house at the Capitol. May we now move forward from our imagined Garden of Eden in commitment to naked truth and brave change.

I set the poetry challenge for today, knowing that we all were captivated by the concept of Irene Latham's 2020 collection THIS POEM IS A NEST (Wordsong, illustrated by Johanna Wright).  In it Irene uses a longer, 4-part poem organized by season to hatch many, many "Nestlings," found poems constructed by taking words from the longer poem.  

Irene's book includes a direct invitation for readers and writers of all ages to try Nest & Nestlings themselves, and even includes a guide at the end--and who are we to decline such a generous invitation? The main rule is that the words must be kept in the order they are found, and most of us realized quickly that this challenge was trickier than it looks!  

In addition, it really matters what nest poem you choose to begin with, and somewhere I'm sure someone has interviewed Irene about how her Nest came to be and in what relation to her Nestlings. Luckily, there is freedom in being able to use any words for each nestling's title, and in grabbing an s or several to tidy up tenses.

For my experiment, I chose a 2011 poem about a rug.  Not just any rug, of course; the rug I bought for my then-new full-time classroom remains one of the best purchases I have ever made.  The careful reader will notice that the version below used as my Nest is slightly revised, which happened in order to give some of my Nestlings stronger wings.

Here is my Nest, followed by the best of my many, many attempted Nestlings.

























As you can see, it was quite difficult to get the Nestlings different enough! But taking PLENTY of time helps, and nest time 😉 I think I might try writing the Nest and the Nestlings simultaneously and see what develops...

Here's where to find the Nests of my fellow Swaggers:

-Catherine at Reading to the Core -Margaret at Reflections on the Teche -Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
-Linda at A Word Edgewise

A huge thanks to Irene Latham, who Lives Her Poem in so many ways, including her continued commitment to our Poetry Friday community throughout her years of busy publishing success.  

And thanks to the Poetry Sisters, whose monthly challenge inspired our group--I don't think we've ever acknowledged that sufficiently--and to Sylvia Vardell, who is our host today at Poetry for Children, performing her annual service of listing forthcoming poetry books for 2021. Just looking at all the covers has my mouth watering!  HAPPY NEW YEAR OF POETRY to all!


Friday, December 18, 2020

ho ho ho the scarlet force!

I got lucky, yes I did!  My Winter Poetry Swap elf turns out to be my own critique partner Margaret Simon!  She knows me well and so my gifts are perfect.

I love this fresh new/old journal made by Marcie Melancon,
the illustrator of Margaret's book SUNSHINE.


 
And I love this distillation of my True Essence!




Here's the Annie Dillard quote included:  

“One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”

Margaret may or may not know that for 3 months in 1986, I walked each morning from my off-campus house in Middletown CT to Annie Dillard's on-campus house, through the front door and to the key rack hanging near the kitchen. I took the keys to her taxi-yellow sedan and drove to my job at the daycare center in town because it was too far & too cold and icy to ride my bike.  Annie had answered my message-board request to borrow a car during the day, and I neither paid for this privilege nor did I attempt to capitalize on the opportunity to get to know her. We both had our jobs to do, I guess!


And here's the text of the poem, which takes a few pieces of my own writing.
 I feel seen, heard and loved!


Essence of Heidi

There you are rolling playdough balls,
placing them onto a fake birthday cake,
lighting each candle
deep breath in, then screen-blow--
a ritual of celebration, exclamation
of You Matter!

There you are creating a caterpillar's undoing,
how it digests itself 
to become something miraculous,
shouting the great wonder--
a ritual of changing, shedding the old,
in silence.

There you are writing words,
passion-pulsed onto the page
to a inspire a child or grown-up--
a ritual of reading aloud, praise
for turn-the-page, frosted ice
melting into a poem.

--Margaret Simon, 2020 Winter Poem Swap


Thank you, Margaret, and thank you Tabatha who organized the Swap and all these opportunities for JOY.  Today's round-up is dusted in stardust by Michelle Kogan at her artful blog.  

Friday, December 11, 2020

poetry friday arrives in PreK

I know, I know...you will exclaim, "What do you mean, Poetry Friday is only just arriving in PreK?!"  But, as the youth say, hear me out.

At most, a PreK student with perfect attendance has now spent a total of 44 days x 2.25 hours + 14 days x 1 hour (our Wednesdays are different) = 113 hours in school, of which .5h daily is free play time away from the screen and .2h daily is their time with specialists, leaving me 82.2 hours of instructional time.  

Wow.  That calculation is shocking even to me.  And let's not forget that every minute of that time has been spent on-screen.

OF COURSE we have read and said and sung texts that are poetic.  But just when the older kids are getting antsy and ready for a big long winter break, my littles--most of whom have never been in a group situation; many of whom arrived expert in Spanish or Amharic or Arabic but are beginners in English--are finally getting the hang of the routine, have learned their classmates' names, know what to expect from school. 

During this initial period my paraeducator and I have worked hard to make the most of our scant time, to make our days predictable for both families and children (while going graciously with the flow, of course).  The concept of "story" is familiar to everyone; the concept of "poem" not so much.  So it's only in the last couple of weeks that I have begun labeling texts as poems, and only last week that I attempted to introduce a text as poem.  It didn't go well because I didn't plan carefully, although the poem I chose was a fine one ("Crayon Poem" by James Carter).  I learned superfast that it made a huge difference not to be in the room with the children to do my patented introduction of what a poem is and how to get ready for it to "work."  It made a big difference that there was nothing graphic to look at on the screen, although I showed them the text.  At this age the poem arrives mostly through the sharer's FACE AND BODY, not through words on a page, no matter how colorful.

So this week, with my AM student Bella's interest in tigers to inspire me (this month we are doing mini student-led studies), I am getting very 2D-concrete and presenting the concept of POEM on our first-ever named POETRY FRIDAY using a POEM which I have composed. (By 1:00 when the PM Class signs onto Zoom I will also have one for Monserrath about unicorns.)  It will follow a shared reading of the Tigers article on PebbleGo.  Here are the inevitable Google Slides.




[Friday afternoon edit: Bella was absent.😆] Now I can use this presentation to add a slide for each Friday's poem (not all by me, certainly, but to get started it helps that I can match my own composition to what I know will be accessible--with just the right amount of stretch--to my actual 4- and 5-year-olds).  And then when I want to, I'll be able to print a booklet for each child to give out at our monthly materials distribution, where we actually get to see the children in person for 5 minutes. (Not gonna lie: I love it and it breaks my heart every month.)

Go here if you want a copy of this template.  Have a concrete Poetry Friday with any young ones you are working to inoculate with the entirely beneficial poetry virus, and a Merry Holiday Tiger to you!

The roundup today is with Buffy Silverman, where she interviews the NCTE Excellence in Poetry for Children Award winner JANET WONG!  I'm proud of my participation in this choice for teachers and students and all poetry lovers.

BONUS VIDEO 😊






Friday, December 4, 2020

a line that strikes you

Our fellow Sunday Swagger Molly Hogan has challenged us to use this all-purpose prompt recommended by Holly Lyn Walrath.

Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.”

It is absolutely true, evidenced by my 15-minute application of these directions, that it could not be simpler to get going!  And you have the added bonus of honoring those who are your inspirations.  Here are the first lines from "Winter Dark," by Lilian Moore, and here is my poem thereby inspired and retitled.

"Winter dark comes early
mixing afternoon
and night."


snatched

how it surprises us.
it is day, a gray day; 
day, even a sunny one,
and then

suddenly, so subtle

comes the drifting drop
of dark, floating down 
fast and heavy,
a hood over our heads.

if lights, they bright up.

how we are shocked
to find it is night, a gray night;
night, maybe a moonlit one,
has snatched us.

instadraft ©Heidi Mordhorst 2020


You can see the how each of the other Swaggers tackled this by clicking below.

Catherine Flynn @ Reading to the Core 
Molly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort Zone 
Linda Mitchell @ A Word Edgewise 
Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche


And our host for today is Mary Lee at A Year of Reading, where there's a two-for-one special featuring Irene Latham!


Friday, November 27, 2020

thanks, anyway

<poem>

********************************

Join Carol and more of the Poetry Friday crew at Carol's Corner for a Thanksgiving weekend round-up. This week for the first time, someone I know personally and locally has had COVID (and, gratefully, gotten through it), but it has closed all the way in for so many. I hope you and yours are safe and well enough. 🧡