Friday, October 04, 2019

Poetry Sisters Write Pastoral Poems

Rebecca set this month's challenge to write a poem in the pastoral mode. We could choose the form and topic, so this one was wide open. Rebecca shared an excerpt from one of my "go to" books on form, The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. I also found Poetry 101: What Is a Pastoral Poem? to be particularly helpful. Here is an excerpt:
What is the Purpose of a Pastoral Poem? 
An overriding, defining theme of pastoral poems is the idea of an idealized vision of country life, in which humans live simply and in harmony with nature. Other common themes and motifs that characterize the pastoral mode include:
  • A beautiful, natural setting
  • Shepherds as central characters (who are often used as vehicles for political or religious allegory)
  • Religious allegory in pastoral poetry is aided by the common association between Christianity and shepherds/flocks of sheep
  • The trope of a return to an idealized Golden Age, when humans lived in complete harmony with nature
  • Focus on imagined life in the country, rather than reality
  • The working belief that country life is superior to urban life
It was hard to live up to some of these motifs, but I gave it a shot. I have been scribbling random lines of poetry all over my field notes this week. I'm not sure I have a finished poem, but the idea here is to be brave and share our drafts. Here's mine.

On Retirement In a Tiny House 

In dreams I Marie Kondo my life
pack what remains into a tiny house
built from reclaimed barn wood
and church windows
(indoor plumbing be damned)

I put down roots in my very own Walden
find solitude in a wildflower meadow
just beside a copse of trees
or shallow, vernal pool
a bucolic spot to loiter through the seasons
my only neighbors the birds and wild creatures

No television, phone, or radio to distract
from the serenading of the hooting owl,
chirping cricket, chittering squirrel

I've all the time in the world
to tend a garden
read books
write poems
walk and wander and wonder
grateful and thrilled to be alive

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected at Library Matters. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Poetry Sisters Get Herpetological

Laura set this month's challenge to write a "poem comparing something with a snake — some snake pairing you think has never been done before! 8 lines or less."

Hmmmmm ... my brain has been on overload since I started my sabbatical in earnest 3 weeks ago. I'm going to blame it for my inability to follow the rules in any meaningful way. I did however come up with something that is a close tangent.

What a Herpetologist Sees

That lamp cord, that shoelace,
that bathrobe waist tie,
some pasta just rolled up
jet trails in the sky
Anguiform, serpentine
shapes all around
each place that I look
snakes simply abound

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. Kelly will be back with us next time.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected by Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Poetry Friday - #DearOneLBH

Today I'm sharing a poem that includes a line from a Lee Bennett Hopkins poem and is inspired by the man himself. He is so very missed.

The line I chose is "He opened the door." It is the first line from the poem entitled Librarian, found in the book School People. Here is that poem.

And here is mine.

Always Opening Doors
He opened the door
to the magic of words
of word play
of metaphor
of poetry
He was pure poetry

He opened the door
for writers of rhythm
writers of rhyme
writers of nature
of space and of time
He was pure poetry

He opened the door
for teachers
for children
for young and for old
for the love of a poem
and the joy that it holds

Lee opened the door

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.


I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Poetry Sisters At It Again with Ekphrastic Poems

This month the challenge was to write to one of three photos Sara shared with us. Here's the photo I chose and a few of the poems I scratched out.

Street Art, along the waterfront, Tel-Aviv
Photo by Sara Lewis Holmes

13 Ways of Learning This Landscape

I.
open your heart
open your mind

II.
rely on all your senses
what do you see?
what do you hear?
what do you smell?

III.
start with the sky
the blue
the white
the spaces in-between

IV.
notice the dark
the light
the rising
the setting
the moon and the sun

V.
lower your eyes
to the horizon
where lines blur

VI.
see what rises
out of the landscape
tall and imposing

VII.
admire flora
and fauna
earth and water

VIII.
take your shoes off
sink your feet in the sand
dip your toes in the water

IX.
shift your view
to what man has made
take it in from
every angle

X.
find structures of
concrete and metal
barbed wire

XI.
look for color
for movement
for light

XII.
find it not among
the buildings
but on their sides

XIII.
birds take wing
street art bringing
hope to life

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected by Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Poetry Friday and Triolets

Welcome! Poetry Friday is here today. It's also the first Friday of the month and that means the Poetry Sisters are sharing poems for a new challenge. This month we were charged with writing triolets with heat as a theme.

A triolet is an 8-line poem that uses only two rhymes throughout. Additionally, the first line is repeated in the fourth and seventh lines, while the second line is repeated in the final line. Because of this, only five different poetic lines are written.  The rhyme scheme for a triolet is ABaAabAB (where capital letters stand for repeated lines).

My poem was inspired by a memory of my grandmother and the realization that I was complaining and just needed to buck up and do my work. While writing it, I was also reminded of a letter my grandmother wrote to my father during the war. (One page is pictured below.)
If you can't read it, the portion at the beginning says:
We are having lots of fun trying to get butter, so far we have had enough, & now Truman says we have to tighten up our belts, so we can feed the other countries, & we are going to have to eat dark bread, so there was a flour scare on & Sat. I went shopping in the Star Market & the people in there it was just like a mad house & no flour.
So, that's a long introduction to my poem, which isn't really about heat, but uses the word.

Grandma Quoted Truman
Grandma quoted Truman in times of trial
"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
Would tell tales of Depression and war, if you'd just sit a while
Grandma quoted Truman in times of trial
Made my worries seem so juvenile
I think of her words when I feel like bitchin'
Grandma quoted Truman in times of trial
"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. (I won't be adding them again to the round-up below, so be sure to visit them!)
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today. I'm rounding things up old-school style, so please leave a comment and I'll add you to the post. Happy poetry Friday all!

***************
Original Poems
At A Journey Through the Pages, Kay shares an original poem entitled Lady Liberty.

Kimberly Hutmacher shares a poem she wrote for a clunker swap (cool idea!). It is entitled Be Changed, Be You.

Molly Hogan shares a "little love song to oatmeal" in her poem entitled Oatmeal.

Linda Baie shares a poem entitled Looking Long. It was inspired by the exhortations of a John Moffitt poem that says "If you would know that thing/You must look at it long."

Michelle Kogan is sharing an acrostic poem for the 4th of July reflecting on American values. She's also sharing "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is sharing her poem "For A Little While" in the new anthology I Am Someone Else.

Carol Varsalona is reflecting on nature the part it plays in her writing life. She shares some digipoetry and a cherita.

Matt Forrest Esenwine shares a tanka in the form of photo poem. What a lovely window box!

Irene Latham is sharing a number of poems she's written, inspired by LOST WORDS>

Inspired by the word feldgang, Margaret Simon wrote a poem while looking out her kitchen window.

Heidi Mordhorst is cleaning out, going through papers, and sharing some original poems from childhood.

Mary Lee Hahn is showing off her fence beautification project and her poem entitled The Choice is Yours.

Cheriee Weichel is writing about her family history and sharing these inspired poems. Today's poem is entitled Crossing.

Jone MacCulloch is sharing a lovely haiga/haiku.

Poems of Others
Tabatha Yeatts is sharing the poems of Christine Potter and Cambra Koczkur, two poets writing about current events.

Catherine Flynn is honoring her dad and sharing the poem High Flight by John Magee.

Ruth is sharing a lovely collection of thoughts and poems on and by Donald Hall.

Sylvia Vardell is is asking poets to share poems that did not end up in a published collection. One such poem and an interview with Janet Wong are highlighted today.

Little Willow is sharing song lyrics from the Duncan Sheik song She Runs Away.

Poetry Projects and Exchanges
Linda Mitchell is showing off some of the incredible poetry swap goodies she has received.

Talking Poetry and Writing
Michelle Heidenrich Barnes is kicking off a new series of reader highlights. Today she's spotlighting Linda Mitchell, who also set the ditty challenge for the month.

Poetry Books and Other Inspirations
Carol is sharing a review of Kate Messner's middle grade novel, Breakout, where one of the main characters uses mentor poets to write her own poems.

Myra from Gathering Books is sharing thoughts about the collection Standing Female Nude: Poems by Carol Ann Duffy.

Robyn Hood Black shares a link to her artsyletters Summer Letter. There are so many fun things in it. Do stop by for a visit.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Poetry Sisters Write Skinny Poems

Andi set this month's challenge to write a skinny poem. A skinny poem consists of eleven lines. Lines 1 and 11 can be any length and line 11 must use the same words from line 1, thought they can be rearranged.  Lines 2, 6, and 10 must be identical. And finally, what makes this poem skinny, is that fact that all lines except for 1 and 1 (the first and last) my be only ONE WORD LONG. You can learn more about the form at The Skinny Poetry Journal.

This form scared me. Couple that fear with a hellacious work schedule as of late, and that meant I had no poems the afternoon before posting. So, I was poem-less, but promised I'd try my hand at this form. Here are several first drafts of poems I whipped up just in the nick of time.

Skinny 1
A poem is a prayer
a
touchstone
of
truth
a
triumphant
metaphorical
wonder
a
prayer is a poem

Skinny 2
My numbers don't lie
just
forget
the audit
just
trust
my
calculations
just
don't number my lies

Skinny 3
Carefully chosen words
are
poems
stories
psalms
are
epistles
lyrics
speeches
are
words carefully chosen

Skinny 4
Traveling through time:
one
dimensionally
transcendental
TARDIS,
one
Doctor.
We
are
one,
traveling through time.

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. Liz and Sara hope to have poems in the next week or so. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Michelle Kogan. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Friday, May 03, 2019

Poetry Sisters Write Dizain

Sara set this month's challenge to write a French Dizain, with bonus points awarded for using the word “square” in the poem. This form consists of one 10-line stanza with 10 syllables per line. The rhyme scheme is a/b/a/b/b/c/c/d/c/d. You can read more about the form at Robert Lee Brewer's site at the Writer's Digest.

I played around with a several topics and wrote three poems, all of which are fair attempts at the form. However, I couldn't get past the calendar and the date, so I decided to write one more poem. You see, my father would have been 93 on Sunday. The tenth anniversary of his death is May 7th, and on the 10th, he and my mother would have celebrated 67 years of marriage. I hate that the beginning of May makes me so maudlin, especially because I thought it would be easier by now. It's not. Here's the poem I was inspired to write about my dad. I struggle with titles, so this one is untitled at the moment.

In early May my heart’s a hollow square
a box that holds my memories of you
Time heals all wounds but this cannot repair
Ten years without a father, I’ve made do
despite the dark and sad days I pushed through
I long to call you up, seek your advice
This time I’d listen well, would not think twice
Despite the gruff exterior you cared
I knew your heart, your work, your sacrifice
I’m pained by all you’ve missed and should have shared


Here are two additional poems I wrote while experimenting with this form.

How to Write a Poem
A poem doesn’t need to rhyme they said
it’s all about the heart and words you choose
select the ones that mend a broken thread
or square with all you know or just amuse
then tell the story of your faithful muse
take form and substance over what is new
eschew the window dressing, find a view
translate the human drama into art
dig deep into your soul and tell it true
love letter to the world a splendid start


Welcome to Boot Camp
A military life? They were surprised
It didn’t seem the hill I’d want to climb
The day we all arrived we exercised
our independence for one final time
then changed our clothes and scrubbed the floor of grime
We marched from place to place our corners squared
No matter what we thought we weren’t prepared
They broke us down and built us up again
as iron bonds were formed by hardships shared
they gave us swords but I preferred the pen

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

I also gave Laura's photo poem format a try and posted another dizain to Twitter. Head on over to check out  my math-themed poem.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. Kelly, Laura, and Andi  are all grappling with life this month, but they'll be back with us soon.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Happy poetry Friday friends!