Posts Tagged ‘music poems’

National Poetry Month 2018

See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

Today is a combination post, Slice of Life and my final poem for National Poetry Month.   This weekend was Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette.  I was blown away by the fiddling of Dominique Dupuis of New Brunswick, Canada. She first played at this festival in 1999 when she was 12 years old. South Louisiana (Acadiana) has strong ties with Canada stretching back to the 1700’s when Acadians were exiled from Nova Scotia and given land in Louisiana. Someone at the festival commented that we are all cousins.  I am not a Cajun but living here, I have great respect for the culture and music.

I chose ekphrastic poetry to challenge myself to write a poem a day in April.  My poems this month have mostly responded to my father’s art.  I’ve also included a few photographs and art by other artists.  This poem is not a traditional ekphrasis which is defined as poetry about visual art or sculpture.  Today’s poem (written on Monday, April 30th) is poetry inspired by music.

Dominique Dupuis

The song I was most attracted to was one Dominique wrote about her gratitude for being able to do the work that she does and to connect countries and cultures through music.  The title is “Ma Petite vie” which translates to “My Little Life.”

Dominique’s bow
travels across the land
roaming over climbing rocks,
flowing through rivers,
billowing in the wind.

Her strings vibrate
with warmth of a handshake,
a hug, a welcoming smile.
Across  miles
from Canada to Louisiane.

Feel time
bow by bow.

Feel rhythm
in your own heart.

Feel distance
crossed by instruments.

of Acadian ancestors
speak in notes
connecting us all
to each other.

This is where we belong.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018


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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

We brought out the paintbrushes and watercolor paints.  Each table had a stack of white paper.  I turned on the music.  Painting flowed in time with the beat.

This is dancing with a paintbrush.  When the music stops, we title the piece of art and list three words that come to mind.  This continues for three rounds.  The songs are all instrumental, one sounds oriental, another symphonic, and another Irish.

Following this painting activity, we write.

Freedom of expression, playing with words, making associations with music and poetry, the resulting poems went in all kinds of directions. (My students share their poems on Kidblog.)

In reading Tara Smith’s book review of Writing with Mentors, I pulled out this piece of advice: “Mentors Show Students How to Play: In order to grow as writers, students need safe places to play with writing – places that aren’t assessed or evaluated or given a grade.  They need places where their work can be messy, where thinking outside the box and being wild with ideas is encouraged.”

When I was struggling to write a poem with my painting, I turned to a favorite author, Mary Oliver.  From A Thousand Mornings, “Poem of the One World” begins “This morning/ the beautiful white heron/ was floating along above the water.”

Writing beside this master poet helped me to follow the rhythm that my own words wanted to take.

This longing
the beautiful white egret
wanders from known to unknown waters

And then
onto the shore of this
one stream we all swim in

where everyone
is part of the blue vein
where we can throw a stone in

which thought made me feel
for a small moment
welcomed home.

–Margaret Simon, after Mary Oliver

Dancing with a paintbrush

The abstract painting that led to my poem.


Follow the Progressive Poem to Today's Little Ditty

Follow the Progressive Poem to Today’s Little Ditty

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