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Archive for the ‘Poetry Friday’ Category

Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura Purdie Salas this week.

 

Have you gotten a set of metaphor dice yet?  Here’s a link to them on Amazon. 

I’ve been playing with metaphor dice and the skinny poem form.  To make a skinny poem, roll the dice to find your first statement.

I got “Love is a silent blessing.”  This becomes line one.  Lines 2, 6, and 10 are all the same word.  Other lines are only one word long.  Line 11 repeats the same words as line 1.  Confused?  Try numbering your paper from 1-11.  Write your metaphor phrase in line one.  Choose a simple word for line 2, 6, and 10.  Fill in the rest.

Love is a silent blessing
a
whisper
touch
smile
a
soft
unspoken
wink
a
silent love blessing.

Here are a few student skinnies:

Beauty is a glorified dance
a
midnight
shining
flower
a
gentle
soft
breeze
a
beautiful dance glorified.

by Landon, 5th grade

 

 

The past is a broken wonder
an
old
broken
tree
an
unbelievable
impossible
mistake
an
incredible, broken, wonder
by Daniel, 4th grade

 

We also wrote bug-ku this week inspired by Susan Bruck on her site last week. Check out all student poems on our kidblog site.

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Tara at Going to Walden.

 

Taylor Mali developed an innovative set of dice called Metaphor Dice.  I have a set that one of my student groups plays with daily.  They’ve made it into a sort of game to end each class session.  Each of us grabs a set of three dice, white, red, and blue.  Roll. Read the resulting metaphor and talk about how it could work.  Some of them are challenging to find a real connection.  But sometimes you get something intriguing, like “Time is an impossible super hero.”

We also start each notebook writing session with a quote.  This week one of our quotes was “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”  Then I rolled an odd combination: My heart is a well-worn wonder.

These types of activities work well to turn off your critical mind and turn on that right-brain creative soul inside.  This is the poem that came out on the page:

A well-worn wonder like a beaten path
as in
we’ve been this way before
My heart keeps time
with the meditation tone
like a natural wonder,
a miracle of breath
& air
& blood
pumping
beating
living
waking up!

The poem was shaping up to look like a skinny.  I double-checked the rules for a skinny poem.  “A Skinny is a short poem form that consists of eleven lines. The first and eleventh lines can be any length (although shorter lines are favored). The eleventh and last line must be repeated using the same words from the first and opening line (however, they can be rearranged). The second, sixth, and tenth lines must be identical. All the lines in this form, except for the first and last lines, must be comprised of ONLY one word. The Skinny was created by Truth Thomas in the Tony Medina Poetry Workshop at Howard University in 2005.” The Skinny Poetry Journal

My heart is a well-worn wonder like a beaten path
as in
we’ve  been
here
before
as in
natural
miracle
of breath
as in
a well-worn path of my beating heart is a wonder.

–Margaret Simon

What do you think?  Version one or two?

Try a skinny with the phrase “Time is an impossible super hero.”

Matt Renwick is the winner of my extra A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver.

Leigh Anne Eck tried the prompt and posted here. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is at The Miss Rumphius Effect

Mary Oliver has died and the whole world is mourning.  I checked my Facebook page at the end of the day and found that most of my “friends” were posting Mary Oliver’s words.  Every one of them connected me to her, to the natural world, and to these people.  It was like our own wake, of sorts.

I was introduced to the poetry of Mary Oliver by my good friend Nettie who died this past fall.  I imagine they are both writing poems on the clouds.  When I was at a crossroad in my teaching career, Nettie sent me the poem Wild Geese.  I listened to it over and over and have most of the lines memorized.  This poem saved me at a time when I needed to be saved.

 

 

I looked on the poetry shelf in my study and pulled out my collection of Mary Oliver books.  I found that I have two copies of A Thousand Mornings.  If you would like a copy and live in the continental US, leave a comment.  I’ll let you know by email if you are the winner.

Mary Oliver had a way of placing you in the moment with her and in a sense, saying a prayer.  This poem from A Thousand Mornings places me with her, thinking through things, and noticing with pen in air.

I Happened to be Standing

I don’t know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can’t really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep.  Maybe not.

While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why.  And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don’t.  That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.

–Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings. The Penguin Press, New York, 2012.

 

I do not presume that my poetry is in any realm of comparison to Mary Oliver’s, but I was moved to write this morning, a way of expressing how her words are written on my heart.

 

A Misty Mary Morning

I’m walking through a misty world
thinking of Mary.  Her words turn
night to day, day to night,
an answer to prayer, a comfort to loss.

She taught me to notice things
like the bird breaking dawn with song.
She would notice the sound
and sing along.  I hold hands

with every poet and poetry lover
across the world. We are united
in our collective breath
wishing with Mary for a resurrection

of amazement.

(c) Margaret Simon, 2019

 

Nikki Grimes wrote this post on Facebook (and gave me permission to repost.)

Mary Oliver, Sister of my heart, how I will miss you! Your absence feels impossible.

IN PASSING

A poet passes
soul rising heavy as ode,
or light as haiku.
Who knows? But You, the Author
whose words are for her, alone.

(c) 2019 Nikki Grimes

 

 

 

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is Down Under with Kat.

I didn’t have any ideas about what I would write today.  As I read other Poetry Friday posts, I became more inspired.  Matt Forrest Esenwine celebrates the acceptance of a poem for an anthology honoring poet Donald Hall.  Matt’s post included an image of a snowy road.  The image led me down a path to a new poem.

 

Too many things concern me today.
My attention is crowded
with walls blocking out human sighs.

On my screen I click on an image
of a path
along a snowy road
a mountain in the distance
and find a poem.

I kick those hard stones.
Look up to the blue mountain.

My thoughts are
insignificant,
unspoken as a meadow.

–Margaret Simon, 2019

Someone on Poetry Friday suggested the book Getting the Knack by Stephen Dunning and William Stafford. I’m trying some of the poetry exercises with my students.  This week we tried out the recipe poem.

Recipe for a Poem

One blank page–open, lined, waiting…

A colorful pen. Try a different color each day.

Tip-tap your fingers over the lines making multiple dots.
Dots become letters become words.
Top off with a tasty metaphor–
Marshmallow clouds on a snowy day.
Read out loud.

–Margaret Simon, 2019

 

One Little Word 2019

 

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Sylvia at Poetry for Children.

 

 

It was one of those all day rains.  One of my last days of  our holiday break, and I was bored.  I cleaned out cabinets, watched shows on Netflix, made a fire in the fireplace, and played around with magazine collage.  During the hectic days of teaching, I crave this kind of time.  Funny how our minds work.  On this day, I was restless and wishing for the rain to stop.

100 % Chance of Rain

(with a borrowed line from Robert Frost “Revelation”)

Wind blown ripples
the water,
whipped like frothed cappuccino,

Rain slants, shower bending,
branches leave the trees.
Saturated earth bleeds
muddy moisture.

Oh, the agitated heart.
The lemons hang, ripe and wet.

But I am still today,
quieted by the storm.
Listening, longing
for the sun.

(c) Margaret Simon

Art Journal collage for my 2019 One Little Word, Grace.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Donna at Mainely Write.

 

My husband gave me a new-old art journal for Christmas.  My artist friend Marcie Melancon made it from an old book.  Inside are all sorts of paper from other books, maps, a small bag, etc.  Once I opened it, I was inspired to write.  The first page is a sketch of a woman.  I started writing a poem in my car in a little notebook.  Aha! I could fill the journal with scrap paper poetry! I’ve already taped in 5 poems.  I don’t think I’ll continue at this pace, but I’m enjoying the process.

Art journal by Marcie Melancon.

 

 

I wrote the above poem, Emily Saw More, as a #haikuforhope in response to amazing beach pictures my friend Grace Krauss posted on Facebook.

Tell me how the sun rose
Ribbons rising above the tide
Emily saw more…

Margaret Simon
#haikuforhope

Last week, Amy VanDerwater posted a suggested line for a poem, “Today you will find me…” As most of you know, I am a new grandmother.  I’m spending time with the sweetest, most amazing baby boy.  So that is where you will find me.

Today you will find me
smelling new skin,
soft fuzz of a newborn’s head,
holding a swaddled bundle,
memorizing his small ear,
round nose, and mouth
of many expressions.

Today I will stay a while,
feel present to Wonder,
hold Love
like it will never
let me go.

(c) Margaret Simon, 2018

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Buffy at Buffy’s Blog.

 

I have grown-up children and am very grateful for it, especially in light of the new elf-on-the-shelf craze.  I think I would fail miserably at being in charge of creative ways to position an elf each night.  However, when December was coming, the elf-on-the-shelf became a topic in my students’ writing.  One afternoon I left the room for a bit and when I returned, my students had positioned Jack the lemur hanging from a chair.  Chloe said, “I think Jack has an elf inside him!”

Since then, Jack has found many creative ways to make mischief in our classroom.  This phenomenon led me to respond with a poetic letter to Jack.

 

 

Dear Jack-on-the-shelf,

Your personality is showing through
the things you like to do.
Play Bananagrams.
Spell “I Love You.”
Hang with Santa.
Curl up in tissue.
Each day, Chloe looks for you
to see where you’ll be found.
You make our class time
full of joy.
I hope you’ll stick around.

Love,
Mrs. Simon

I’ve been participating in Mary Lee Hahn’s #haikuforhope this month.  On Twitter, we are all using this hashtag to share our small poems of hope.  I’ve posted mine on this blog daily.

In class every day, we choose a quote to write from.  On Monday, I wrote a haiku from this quote by E. S. Bouton, “True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things out of each day as it goes by.” I was talking to a friend about the birth of my grandson, and she told me about a book called Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Even within the happiest of moments, catastrophe lies.  We need to use the art of mindfulness to be aware and live fully through these moments.

Gathering moments
of happy catastrophe
into precious life.

Margaret Simon

 

 

 

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