Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Poetry Friday’ Category

Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura Shovan.

Like the nation, I have fallen head over heals in love with Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet ever, and a heroine to many young girls just like the ones I teach. All girls, no matter their race, can now dream of being a Vice President someday. As much as I admire Kamala Harris and her accomplishments, the star of Inauguration Day was young Amanda Gorman. I couldn’t wait to present her to my students this week.

We started on Tuesday with her poem “In this Place (An American Lyric)” written for Tracy K. Smith’s inauguration as Poet Laureate in 2017. (This post from the Library of Congress contains the poem and a video from the reading.) As Kaia heard that poem, she was writing. And after class that day, she sent me two more poems. Amanda lit a fire in her, a flame for words.

There’s a poem in this place 
after Amanda Gorman


Not here nor there
But there’s no need to look everywhere
tug and pull on my hair 
Hoping that this poem, has time to spare

There’s a poem in this place 
While i’m in disgrace
Of finding my lyric
That belongs in this place

There’s a poem in this place
Still not being found 
Is it in a dog hound?
No, it weighs more than that one pound 

There’s a poem in this place
While the wind is hitting my face
Being withdrawn due to lack of space
Without leaving any sign of a trace

There’s a poem in this place 
Where could it be?
Wait, I have found it!
It’s in YOU
and ME. 

Kaia, 5th grade

On Thursday, we used Pernille Ripp’s generous gift of a slide show to visit and discuss “The Hill We Climb.” While the message of this poem was powerful, I was drawn to Amanda’s effective word choice, how they sound and how their meanings change with usage. Combinations like just is and justice, arms, harm, and harmony, and tired, tried, and tied. Chloe’s poem below is her good effort to play with word sounds like Amanda.

There’s a poem in sight 
Too bright
To fight
It takes flight 
To the world
of an artist
Who’s never artless
Who just started
to harness
The sharpest words
That bring out
The creativity
With a twist
And a big
Dream to
Feel like
They exist

Chloe, 5th grade

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is here today! Put your links with InLinkz at the bottom of this post.

Last week the Sunday Night Swaggers posted Nestling poems, like Irene Latham in This Poem is a Nest. I couldn’t stop there. I had to share the concept with my student writers. I had planned to teach the inaugural poem by Richard Blanco, One Today. I have the picture book, and it’s just an amazing poem all the way around. It’s especially full of nestlings for writers to find.

I filled two notebook pages with them. I copied a few into a Canva design. (My student helped with titles.)

Kaia and I wrote this one together, each choosing lines back and forth.

millions of faces 

arrayed

all of us 

we keep dreaming

many prayers

buon giorno

every language spoken

into one sky

by Kaia and Mrs. Simon

trains whistle

like a silent

drum tapping

on every rooftop

a birthday tune

by Chloe (She asks you to guess the title)

For the Winter Poem Swap, I received a gift poem all the way from Australia, along with the cutest little carrying bags with an original print of an echidna. Kat Apel and I muse about how similar and how different our landscape is. We often post similar pictures on Instagram of canoeing and walking about. Her poem is a delightful back and forth about our similar, yet different homes.

Pop over to Kat’s post to see how Robyn wrote in a similar style in her poem for Kat. It’s a small world after all.

Please leave your Poetry Friday links below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Sylvia at Poetry for Children.
She highlights poetry books coming in 2021.

The Sunday Night Swaggers have entered this new year with a challenge from Heidi Mordhorst. We’ve all read and admired the new poetry collection from Irene Latham, This Poem is a Nest. I reviewed her book on this post.

Irene created the term nestling, which is similar to a found poem. She started with her own poem and found new poems within it. I decided to start with a poem I wrote for Heidi for the Winter Poem Swap.

Essence of Heidi

There you are rolling Play-doh 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 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

Here are my nestlings…

Happy Birthday!
Play-Doh cake
in celebration
of You!
Writing Teacher
Words
inspire-up
praise.
Picture Book
Lighting
a miraculous
child, then
turn-the-page
Autumn
Undoing–
become shedding
silence
Peek-a-Boo
There,
There,
there you are.
Irene’s Nest
Ritual of passion
pulsed the page
into poem
Nestling drafts, Margaret Simon

Read more nestlings from my friends.

Molly Hogan: Nix the Comfort Zone
Linda Mitchell: A Word Edgewise
Catherine Flynn: Reading to the Core
Heidi Mordhorst: My Juicy Little Universe

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Ruth in Haiti.

Happy New Year! If you are looking for a way to feed your writing life, subscribe to Poets & Writers’ The Time is Now. I do not do their prompt every week, but this week when I was feeling out of touch with writing, I opened it to find a prompt that worked well for me.

“Mars Being Red” by the late poet Marvin Bell lyrically explores the color red as a state of being, likening it to a list of images that both physically resemble the color and provide memories, such as that of youth. In this compact, twelve-line poem, Bell begins what seems to be a portrait of the planet Mars and then delves into a series of digressions that find resolve in a meditation on the possibility of change: “You will not be this quick-to-redden / forever. You will be green again, again and again.” Inspired by Bell, write a poem that serves as a portrait of a color. Use physical descriptions to begin and then personal memories to develop a transformation in this study of hue.
From The Time is Now

Bayou Being Green

Being green is the color of an amaryllis
bud before blooming. Color of time lost
in growth, of soul lost inside
meditation. Green of grassy meadows
we walked with the dog, while our steps
made time disappear for a moment.
Contemplation becomes green in your eyes,
emerald of stars, early light reflects
sage from the bayou surface where green
water darkens as we stroll west toward
sunset, away from dawn into an age
of white on white on white. 

Margaret Simon, draft after Marvin Bell “Mars Being Red”
Bayou Teche in November, Margaret Simon

If you are looking for a weekly photo writing prompt, subscribe to my blog, I am posting a photo each week on Thursdays and invite you to write a small poem response. This Photo Wants to be a Poem.

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Michelle Kogan.

One of my favorite things about teaching Reading and Writing to elementary gifted students is our weekly poetry reading and writing. We’d gather around the center table and read a poem together, talk about it, annotate, and write “like” the author. While it looks different this year, I have not given up teaching poetry. This week we worked with Teach this Poem and Joy Harjo’s poem Perhaps the World Ends Here. I love this poem, the universality of it, the simple profound language, and its accessibility to young students.

When Jaden suggested we steal a line, I knew exactly which one I wanted to steal: “This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.” After a few false starts, I am pleased with my poem. I am also posting Jaden’s because it shares wisdom beyond his 10 years.

The Writing Table

At this table,
dreams are written
in decorated notebooks.

There’s a pocket for poems
and clean blue lines open
to ideas.

At this table, there are
scraps of paper,
colored pens in a coffee can,
a tube of glitter-glue.

Today, this table is empty.
A screen glows
while children type 
& breathe through cloth.

Words still float onto an empty page.
Poems still light a spark.

This table is a house in the rain,
An umbrella in the sun,
a dawn in the darkness.
Come taste the sweetness.

Margaret Simon, 2020

Why all
the gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. 
So has it been since creation, and it will go on.

The gifts have been laid out through history
traveling through our mind.
The table of gifts has been the energy of life in our heart.
The gifts of the table have been tampered with.
The gifts in our heart have been bruised.
The table is the immune system 
shielding the gifts of the earth.

Jaden, 5th grade

Read Full Post »

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

This month, Molly Hogan challenged the Sunday Night Swaggers to write a poem from a favorite line. The prompt can be found here. The idea is to find a line from a book or poem and use the line as your title. Write the poem, then change the title.

I recently had a pleasant email exchange with a friend. She sent me this Rumi poem, The Guest House. I took the line “This human being is a guest house.”

Mothers are on my mind lately as my oldest daughter gave birth to her second child, a daughter, on Monday, Nov. 30th. I was able to be there with her. There is nothing as wonderful and miraculous as childbirth. The baby, Stella Ross, did not cry. She was plump and pink and fine, but she didn’t cry. Amazing! She has since cried, but only when she’s uncomfortable, and she settles back down easily. She is truly an angel from heaven.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
Maggie and Stella, love at first sight.

Mother is Home

Mothers welcome
a child’s tears
with embrace.

Joy lives here, too,
unexpected grace
of forgiveness.

She carries your furniture,
dusts it with lemon-scented Pledge,
scrubs the mud from the floor
you tread.

You do not have to be grateful.
You don’t have to say, “I love you.”
You don’t have to say anything.

She will hold your hand,
kiss the scratch, place the band-aid on.

No flourish.
She is your home.

Margaret Simon, draft

Read other poems from this challenge:

Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol Wilcox at Carol’s Corner.

It’s not every day that I am commissioned to write a poem. Well, actually, it’s never happened. The secretary at our school has a grand nephew, her godchild, going off to the Navy this month. She asked me to write a poem for him.

I really wasn’t sure how to get started. I don’t know this boy, but I do know his family cares deeply for him. I was inspired by Jane Hirshfield’s poem For What Binds Us.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.

Jane Hirshfield, from For What Binds Us

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Linda at Teacher Dance.

Earlier this week, Sarah Donovan once again invited teacher-writers to join an Open Write. One of her brilliant inspirations came from this poem by Joseph Bruchac. I am so grateful for my daughters, the oldest of whom will soon deliver a daughter of her own. I am pleased with how the simple form worked to express the connection I feel.

Expectant

When I place
my fingers
on the swell
of her womb,


like combing waves in an ocean
softly lapping 
to shore,


her skin
gently moves


as our time
ebbs & flows
mother to daughter
to daughter
together
in our own sea. 

Margaret Simon, 2020
Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge

On Saturday I had the privilege of attending a writing workshop with our state poet laureate, John Warner Smith as part of the virtual Festival of Words. He presented the poem This is Not a Small Voice by Sonia Sanchez. He asked us to consider the power of collective voice and love in building a more perfect society. I stole borrowed some of Sanchez’s words as well as some from Michelle Obama on Twitter (responding to Biden’s election). “…build a nation worthy of our children.”

In the spirit of poetry,
we raise our collective pens
to toast the power
of words
to move
mountains
to reclaim
a spirit of good will.

The mouths of our rivers
have spilled out enough
dirt and grime
to soil a century.
Grab your shovel, friends,
hold it high
and dig.

Dig for gold!
Dig for diamonds!
Dig for poems that move you!

It’s up to us to love
the ones who hate us,
to love with listening ears,
to love with a fever for love,

But before we do that,
kiss the face
of a nation worthy
of our children
and our children’s children.

Let’s kiss her
with all the passion
of our poems. Now
Move!

Margaret Simon, draft
A rainbow appeared in the sky on my way home from school this week.
I always stop to photograph rainbows.

Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday round-up is with Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living.

This week the Sunday Night Swaggers are drafting to a challenge from Linda Mitchell, an aubade, which is a praise song to the morning. I read on Sharing our Stories a prompt for capturing sounds in your writing. To me sounds and aubade seemed to go together.

Sound is a huge influence on people’s attention.—Walter Murch

Sounds of the Morning

Is there a sound that wakes the morning?
An alarm of the softest hum,
shrill tweet of a passing bird,
a gurgle from the coffee pot?

Will you wake from your garden
And look for me?

Will I kneel down in prayer
Or throw my head back and laugh?

Oh morning, your welcoming glaze
bathes kindness over the day.

I could bask in your freshness
And forget hatred.

Stay awhile, sunrise!

Margaret Simon, draft

To read other Aubade poems:
Linda Mitchell
Heidi Mordhorst
Molly Hogan
Catherine Flynn

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »