Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘ekphrastic poetry’

National Poetry Month 2018

 

Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden

My dog lies heavy as the storm moves through.
Worry keeps him close.
Rain streaks the window with tears.
We are safe inside.

Infinite line of tangled roots and vines,
God’s garden grows wild.
Endless labyrinth of life to life.
We are safe inside.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

Commentary: In this poem, I began with what was happening in the moment.  A storm was pounding, and my dog was afraid.  I held him on my lap.  As he relaxed, much like an infant, he became heavier on my lap.  I then moved to the drawing for interpretation.  I saw the white lines as the lines of connection of humanity.  When I looked for a synonym for connection, I found labyrinth which alliterated with life to life.

From PoemCrazy #25: “there may be a measurable field of energy for the buzz of life around moments and things.  Poems are alive this way. When a poem comes to me I have to tend to it like a small fish, a possum, a snake or a puppy, depending on the poem.  It’s often kicking and unruly.”

Read Full Post »

National Poetry Month 2018

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

 

Today the Kidlitosphere is celebrating Lee Bennett Hopkins’ 80th birthday.  Click the Poetry Friday button to go to Robyn Hood Black’s site to see more posts for this celebration. How fun to light up cyberspace with candles and confetti!

 

Lee Bennett Hopkins is well known as an anthologist.  He collects the best children poets and puts them together in unique ways.  His most recent collection is World Make Way. 

World Make Way

This book is a collection of ekphrastic poetry, poetry about art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The book opens with the following quote:

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.

Leonardo da Vinci

This month I’ve been writing poems about my father’s art and this quote speaks to what I believe to be true;  My father’s art is poetry that is seen.

Lee’s poetry collections are a canvas for poets, a place to find words that can be felt rather than seen.  To write my poem today, I have chosen a line from Early Evening by Charles Ghinga.

Steamboat by John Gibson

 

Coming Home

We are coming home
stretched across a canvas of time
waiting for steam to rise

into still humid air.
We carry a load
of dreams from far

away where seas meet rivers.
We are born of the river,
her muddy banks birthed

strength to carry us
through toil and trouble
all the way home.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

 

 

Read Full Post »

National Poetry Month 2018

 

Riverbank

 

Riverbank (Upside down)

A wild forest lives
in the reflections
on Riverbank.
A forest of trees to swim in,
a bouquet of trees,
and the moon there.
See it winking at you?
The moon draws us into
where a wild forest lives.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018


PoemCrazy #24: “I sometimes think poems come from electricity in the air, a hum inside, impulses we can feel in our body…Stand on your head for as long as possible. Notice details upside down…Do anything new.” (p. 88, 90)

With my students, I am presenting Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s daily poetry prompt on her site The Poem Farm.  Yesterday we wrote using circular structure.  This poem uses that structure because I felt the echo worked well with looking at the drawing upside down.

Read Full Post »

National Poetry Month 2018

 

After Vespers by John Gibson

 

The mist calls them forth
from Vespers into evening.

Prayers echo like bells,
rising like incense before them.

Brother Anselm hums Hodie
holding tones with his breath.

Together they pray, again and again
invoking blessings, psalms, forgiveness

for a world in peril, a world outside the mist,
a world released from her sins.

Now, Lord, let your servant depart in peace.

Commentary:
This drawing is set at St. Joseph’s Abbey near Covington, LA. where my father’s best childhood friend, Billy, was a Benedictine monk.  Brother Anselm, as he was named in the Abbey, is the short one in the drawing. I remember fondly visiting him there.  He was a musician, organist and cantor, so I can imagine him humming after the service.  He also had a hilarious, ironic wit that I couldn’t capture in this poem.  Brother Anselm died a few years ago, but his spirit lives on in the music of St. Joseph’s Abbey.

Read Full Post »

National Poetry Month 2018

See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

 

Afternoon Light by John Gibson

Sometimes it’s in the details of the day,
these spokes of wheel, pattern of brick, leaf fall.

Sometimes it’s the conversation you hear,
standing by, eavesdropping, that gossip-talk.

Sometimes it’s the way you walk to and fro,
wandering through tall grass and stepping into light.

–Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

“A poet needs to keep his wilderness alive inside him.” Stanley Kunitz

As I write a poem every day to my father’s incredible art, I feel unworthy, like a child waiting for a parent’s approval.  When I wrote the poem above and many of the ones I’ve done this month, I hear the echo of a first line in my head.  I go with it and follow it through the path to a poem.  Sometimes I don’t think it’s really me writing.  More like scribing.  The Stanley Kunitz quote above speaks to this wilderness inside me where poems live.  I’ve decided to trust this voice even when I don’t really understand her.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

National Poetry Month 2018

Railway Station

This week my students and I read an article in the Scope Scholastic magazine about the Kindertransport.  Jewish families paid for their children to board a train to Great Britain where a group of people welcomed and fostered these children escaping the dangers in Germany in 1939. The article focused on the story of one girl, Lore. For some of my students, this was their first exposure to the horrors of the Holocaust.  They became fascinated and touched by the terror these children had to go through.

Amy VanDerwater is writing a poem everyday on her blog and featuring one of the methods in her book Poems are Teachers.  I am using this prompt daily.  Added bonus: my students are learning about Orion because Amy is writing about one topic, Orion, 30 ways.

On day 2, she used story structure.  I thought this prompt paired well as a response to the Scope article.  As a follow up, my students created videos in Animoto with their poems.

Today, I am sharing my poem as well as a powerful video from my student, Erin.

Kindertransport

Alone with a suitcase,
a photograph,
an accordion,
Lore waited at the station
to be saved.

Hitler fanned the flames of hatred.
Terror washed over her.
Why did her parents send her away?
To be saved.

The only way they knew how,
they sent her away
to live with strangers
to learn a new language,
to find new friends,

to be saved.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

 

Read Full Post »

National Poetry Month 2018

Poetry Friday round-up is with Amy at The Poem Farm.

Welcome to my National Poetry Month Day 5.  I’m writing ekphrastic poetry about my father’s art.

 

 

 

 

 

Country Barn by John Gibson

Here
we take our time,
climb through barnwood
and tell secrets.

Here
we find ourselves
wrapped in fieldgrass
and speak whispers.

Here
we lower our masks
stay safely sunfree
and hum memories.

–Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

Quote from PoemCrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge: “I feel safe because poems take me to a place out of normal time and thought, dipping me below the surface to where we all meet.  The poem speaks in confidence, the reader feels included, honored, and keeps the secret.”

The form beginning with the word “here” borrowed from Janet Wong’s poem Walking to Temple found in Lee Bennett Hopkins collection World Make Way. 

 

Read Full Post »

National Poetry Month 2018

 

Three Trees by John Gibson

 

I have watched my father draw all my life.  He is still doing it in his 80’s.  I marvel at how he creates shapes with ink dots. One of his favorite subjects is trees.

I am using Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s book Poems are Teachers and following her posts on The Poem Farm to prompt my students writing every day.  She has opened padlets for each prompt, so my students are posting on these.

Poem number 3 was a mask poem. She tells what a mask poem is here.

I wrote alongside my students, so today’s poem is not ekphrasis but a mask poem from the point of view of the artist.

 

The Artist

I begin with an image
a photograph, a landscape,
a walk outside.

Drawn to the space
between light and dark,
I trace a line, soft and simple.

As time stands still,
my hand moves, dabbles, dots
until a shape appears.

Art is a way of seeing,
a definition from my eyes,
a miracle of my hands.

Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

For more Spiritual Thursday posts, click over to Carol’s Beyond Literacy Link.

Today is the first Thursday, and a group of fellow bloggers link up and share our spiritual journeys.

The theme for this month is Poetry as a Spiritual Practice. If I were to analyze word choice in my poetry, I would find many words that speak to the spirit, words like miracle, grace, sacred, God, and love.  The spirit breathes through these words. I am forever grateful for the gift of writing, for I believe it is a spiritual gift.  I am not alone when I write.  The Holy Spirit guides my hand.  Poetry is a spiritual practice.

On Good Friday last week, I was moved by Psalm 22 to write my own psalm.  I am reposting it here as a response to Carol’s call for today’s posts.

Deus, Deus meus

My God, my God, why have you forgiven me?
The toll of the cardinal song
echoes You are my child.

Long ago, I carried a child in my own womb
felt her heart beat with mine,
felt the soft body roll inside.

Is this how you love me, God?

I held the hand of his father
as he passed into your light.
I let go of his quiet strength.

Is this how you love me, God?

When I think on these things,
I can know kindness.
I can hear stillness in the noise.
I can feel love in the bird’s song.

When you are near me, God,
My soul lives for you.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

 

Read Full Post »

National Poetry Month 2018

 

Afternoon by John Gibson

I come from an ocean of afternoons
where the sun hangs
onto the sky
splashing shadows long.

I pedal my bicycle
along the path
racing with the wind,
my hair flying like curly kite ribbons.

I come from this afternoon,
an open endless time
holding onto the handlebars,
then letting go…

Just to test my balance.

Margaret Simon (c) 2018

From PoemCrazy p.64: “Look for a place in a picture that feels like somewhere you’ve come from. Begin to write about where you feel you come from.”

 

Read Full Post »

National Poetry Month 2018

See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

For National Poetry Month, I am writing poems to art, ekphrastic poetry.  My father has generously offered his art work for my project.  He works in pen and ink, using a method called pointillism in which tiny dots create the image.   The white spaces are defined by the dark.

Doves by John Gibson

Turtle doves are nesting
in
sanctified
altars,
hovering
in
holy
spaces.
Tranquility
in
nesting turtle doves.

 

Skinny Poetry Form: 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.

 

“Names are powerful. They influence our perception. The Chinese master Confucius believed all wisdom came from learning to call things by the right name.” PoemCrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge

The name turtle doves originates from the Hebrew word tor meaning twice, which became tur tur, transliterated into English as turtle dove. Thus turtle doves have nothing to do with turtles. They are referred to often in the Bible.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »