Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Poetry Stretch - Yearning

I came across this poem yesterday while I was reading through Winter: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur.
Yes, we've had
Enough of winter's white
And we long for the
Rich green of a
New season.
All I could do was shake my head in agreement--vigorous agreement.

I don't know about you, but this time of year always puts me in the doldrums. What do I yearn for these days? Sunshine, spring, flowers, nesting birds, a trip home, and more. How about you? What do you yearn for? Let's write about that this week.

Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. Actually, I have a poem on file that pretty much sums up yearning for me. It's for a YA collection I'm writing (slowly).

    Sometimes There’s Something

    Sometimes there’s something
    I want so much I think
    my hands will fly off,
    fingers fluttering like birds,
    to search in the east
    and my feet will run fast
    by themselves to the west
    and my head will dive down
    to the ground to roll south,
    my eyes flashing to find it
    while my body flounders
    around, trying to go north,
    every bit of me wanting,
    wanting to know what it is
    that I’m wanting so much.

    --Kate Coombs, 2010


    Reporter's microphone captures
    background sounds of children
    playing and unknown birds a-twitter.
    Both groups unaware that they
    put the war in context and make it
    that much more unbelievable.

  3. This is an old poem, but it has that sense of yearning in it so I thought I would share:

    Round Frame

    My father's past lies hidden in an round frame.
    The child there has plump cheeks,
    uncolored eyes; a heavy Russian hat
    perches awkwardly on his baby curls.
    He stares out at me, through me, daring me
    to take away his manufactured birth
    in Connecticut. All those years Ykaterinslav
    was lost to me, when I could have celebrated
    Ukrainian winters, learned words of love,
    fashion, passion, paternity,
    how to season the fish with pepper, not sugar,
    how to cut the farfl from flat sheets of dough.
    All I had was New Haven.
    Would I go there now, when Ykaterinislav
    no longer exists; go and see
    what Cossacks, Hitler, Chernobyl could not conquer,
    the little shtetl my father alone destroyed
    by never speaking its name.
    No, I shall stay here, at home, instead,
    gazing back at the boy who stares at me,
    whisper to him, through him, dare him,
    "Tell me the story of Ykaterinslav,"
    till one day the picture itself speaks.

    By Steven Withrow

    is to hold
    the interminable
    of time
    over the bowl
    of what's possible
    and wait,
    to savor,

  5. Each year I yearn
    to write some fiction.
    I think of dialogue
    and diction,
    and motivation,
    rising action
    point of view
    (He and She
    or Me and You?)
    I do my best
    with prose and plot
    to do what poetry
    does not:
    Go on and on
    and on and on
    and on and on
    and on and...yawn.
    I toss my fiction
    on the floor
    and cuddle up
    with Metaphor.

  6. I wrote this one a few years ago. It was a time of very deep yearning for me.

    Still, She Cannot Write the Spring

    It was a cold Christmas
    That chilled the roots and left no promise
    Against the hard consonants of November.
    A songless sparrow picks lichen
    From trees standing bare in the wind
    And listens with her for a touch
    Of sunlight, for words to melt the icy ground,
    To bear the burden of a crocus
    Rising through frozen earth.

  7. What I’d say to the mountains

    Your blue edges blur
    Beyond the belltower
    at the edge the town,
    over the river
    outside my vision, just,
    but hovering over us
    to catch us
    in the event of a sudden loss of gravity.

    Why are you not here
    In this flattest, barest place
    Where no blue exists,
    Nor belltowers, nor even towns,
    Only white fields
    And more white fields
    And more white fields
    And tufts of dried grasses?

    I know your contours,
    Your smoky smells.
    I could draw you, with my finger, in the air
    I could erase the train that carried me away,
    And leave me standing on a mountaintop
    Looking at a mountaintop
    While the valley between us
    Hums with pleasure.

    But my train rumbled out
    And I wished I’d yelled and leapt.
    You would have caught me, I think,
    Picked me out of the air and held me close
    So I’d never need leave you,
    Never need remembrance or the writing of poetry
    But only the living of it
    Without this missing piece at the middle.

  8. "The hard consonants of November . . ." YES!

    It reminds me of Dickinson's "the very Norway of the year."

    And Julie--your poem made me giggle.


  9. Thanks, Jane. I am honored to have your comment on my poem. I'm looking forward to seeing you in person in Atlanta next week at the Southern Breeze SCBWI conference.


  10. Yearning
    by Nicole Marie Schreiber

    For passports and postcards,
    countries with castles,
    anywhere there’s tea brewing,
    and tall ships at sea.

    For sunrises on bridges
    beaches with seashells,
    anywhere with ruins,
    and a tale not yet told.

    For flowers and fairies,
    dancing and music,
    anywhere to read a book,
    and a pillow to dream.

  11. English Was Her Second Language

    In tears
    Without words
    She declared

    My husband said.
    Our government said
    No. White-
    My husband said.
    We lost our jobs,
    We lost our home,
    We lost our servants,
    All we had.

    In external form –
    Hand slapped
    Against a classroom wall…