Friday, May 28, 2021

Poetry Sisters Write Ekphrastic Poems

This month's Poetry Sisters challenge was to write a poem in response to an image. We had a few to choose from, but I decided to write to a photo Sara shared of Spider Dress and Serpent. This dress was designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1946 for Martha Graham dance productions. It was worn by Graham for the performance Cave of the Heart, in which she portrayed Medea who, after being abandoned for another woman by her husband Jason, killed his wife and their children. 

Photo taken by Sara Lewis Holmes at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

When we met on Zoom almost two weeks ago, I was still thinking about the 4×4 form that I'd seen in an earlier Poetry Friday post. Denise Krebs at Dare to Care invented this form. Here are the rules.
  • 4 syllables in each line
  • 4 lines in each stanza
  • 4 stanzas
  • 4 times repeating a refrain line–line 1 in the first stanza, line 2 in the second stanza, line 3 in the third stanza, and line 4 in the fourth stanza.
  • Bonus: 4 syllables in the title
  • No restrictions on subject, rhyme, or meter.
This felt like a good form to constrain my writing. Given the dress, a restrictive form seemed like the way to go. I wrote several different poems, but this one is my favorite.

Corsetted Heart

inside a cage
I'm tightly bound
can barely move
no breath, no sound

my heart is locked
inside a cage
the pain it feels
time can't assuage

these wounds don't heal
when locked away
inside a cage
a taut ballet

all tender souls
will disengage
when living life
inside a cage

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 
Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing zentangle poems. If you are unfamiliar with this form, check out this post by Kat Apel. Share your poem on June  in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems!

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 21, 2021

Poetry Friday - Celebrating Mary Lee

When I started my blog late in 2006, I quickly found my way to kidlit blogs, Poetry Friday and an amazing community. A Year of Reading, so beautifully written by Mary Lee and Franki, became one of my regular reads. It has evolved over the years, much like this blog has, though Mary Lee and Franki have been more consistent than I. 

I'm grateful for all Mary Lee has taught me over the years about teaching, about poetry, about life. As a teacher educator, I find retirements bittersweet. I know how hard it is to find good teachers, especially those who serve for many years with a passion that is unabated. I also know how hard teaching is and how well-deserved a rest is when it is time to go.

I spent a week trying on different poetic forms and trying to find the words for a fitting tribute. In the end, I went with fishing, because this isn't an end, but a beginning. The poem I wrote is a lai. The Lai is a French syllabic verse form consisting of one or more stanza of nine lines with two rhymes, though the rhyme can vary from stanza to stanza. Here are features of the form.

  • 9 lines.
  • Rhyme scheme is a-a-b-a-a-b-a-a-b.
  • Lines ending with rhyme a are five syllables in length.
  • Lines ending with rhyme b are two syllables in length.
Mary Lee, I wish you many happy hours in a stream, up to your waders in quiet, and sun, and peace.

Fly Fishing
perfect and apart
river steals my heart
each swish
of line, each cast start
a rhythm to chart
a wish
that this quiet art
hook set will impart
a fish

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out the posts honoring Mary Lee today, as well as all the other wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering. Happy poetry Friday friends.

Friday, April 30, 2021

NPM 2021 - Poetry Friday, Found Poem 30, and Writing With My Poetry Sisters

Welcome Poetry Friday friends! This year for National Poetry Month I wrote and shared found poems, most of which were science- or nature-themed. Even though my poetry sisters and I are sharing the results of this month's challenge today, I couldn't let the month pass without completing one final poem in this series.

Today's found poem comes from Seashells: More Than a Home, written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. Unlike other found poems I have written this month, this one uses words and phrases in an order that is different from the way they appear in the text.

Seashells

at home in the sea
mollusks
live a secret life
some float and dive
dodge and dart
skim and glide 
through the water

some spend time
on the ocean floor
scrape and grind
sand and mud
tunnel into the seabed

in time, a curious afterlife 
as treasures 
in all shapes, 
sizes and colors
wash up on beaches
all over the Earth

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

You can find links to all the found poems I've written this month on the NPM 2021 page. I also shared these poems as images on my Instagram, which is a good place to go if you want to see them all in one place.  

*****
This month's Poetry Sisters challenge was to write a poem in the style of Linda Hogan's "Innocence." I spent a lot of time thinking about (stressing over) this one and was feeling really lost. We had an opportunity to exchange ideas before we met on Sunday, and our subsequent conversation about form and topic really helped me think about how to proceed. Since I have volcanoes on the brain, I decided to use a variation of Hogan's first line and begin with "There is nothing more __."  The word I chose was constructive. The poem didn't go where I expected, but they rarely do. This one is untitled.

There is nothing more constructive
than an active volcano
eerily silent for centuries then
suddenly roaring to life
with a mighty rumble
belching ash, cinder, and smoke
into the sky 
while fissures in the earth
ooze lava in a scorching
blanket of molten rock

Beneath the surface, Vulcan
hammers away at the smithy 
forging weapons of war
Earth tremors have me wondering
who has wronged whom, 
and why
 
We do not learn from our missteps
conflict is inevitable, as unavoidable
as an island newly formed
from a volcano awoken

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 
Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing ekphrastic poems. Share your poem on May 28th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems!

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Matt Forrest Esenwine. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

NPM 2021 - Found Poem 29

Today's found poem comes from Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story, written by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Jessica Lanan.

Wild About Nature

hold it close
feel it squish
run barefoot
climb tall trees
just sit--watch

discover secrets to
marvelous mysteries
  caterpillars changing into butterflies
   water freezing into snowflakes
    trees turning rain and sunlight into sweet sap

explore
fall in love 
with nature
keep passion 
for the environment
alive

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new poem I've found. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series. I'm also sharing these found poems as images on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 
April 1 - Flotsam
April 2 - A Warm Wind
April 3 - Zentangle Poem
April 4 - Soap Bubbles
April 6 - Mount St. Helens
April 8 - Muir in California
April 9 - Night on the Reef
April 12 - Slow Thoughts
April 13 - Snowflake Bentley 
April 16 - One Well
April 17 - Phytoplankton 
April 18 - Beneath My Feet
April 19 - Being Caribou 
April 21 - Fossils
April 22 - On the Brink
April 23 - Surtsey
April 24 - Up From the Dirt
April 25 - Black Holes
April 26 - Meant to be Noticed 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

NPM 2021 - Found Poem 28

Today's found poem comes from The Sky's the Limit: Stories of Discovery by Women and Girls, written by Catherine Thimmesh and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

The Sky's the Limit

women
endowed with curiosity
 seek, explore, question 
   to dig up, to find out

despite scant recognition
in history books
 century after century
  day after day
   women are discoverers

unbound
 unhindered
  limitless
women--past and present--
 define the world

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new poem I've found. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series. I'm also sharing these found poems as images on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 
April 1 - Flotsam
April 2 - A Warm Wind
April 3 - Zentangle Poem
April 4 - Soap Bubbles
April 6 - Mount St. Helens
April 8 - Muir in California
April 9 - Night on the Reef
April 12 - Slow Thoughts
April 13 - Snowflake Bentley 
April 16 - One Well
April 17 - Phytoplankton 
April 18 - Beneath My Feet
April 19 - Being Caribou 
April 21 - Fossils
April 22 - On the Brink
April 23 - Surtsey
April 24 - Up From the Dirt
April 25 - Black Holes
April 26 - Meant to be Noticed 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

NPM 2021 - Found Poem 27

Today's found poem comes from The Secret Life of a Snowflake: An Up-Close Look at the Art & Science of Snowflakes, by Kenneth Libbrecht. Unlike other found poems I have written this month, this one uses words and phrases in an order that is sometimes different from the way they appear in the text.

snowflakes fall
  look close!
tiny ice flowers
float gently down
reflecting light 

wonderful shapes, each different
tumble through the clouds
  winter's secret beauty
   falling art and science

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new poem I've found. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series. I'm also sharing these found poems as images on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 
April 1 - Flotsam
April 2 - A Warm Wind
April 3 - Zentangle Poem
April 4 - Soap Bubbles
April 6 - Mount St. Helens
April 8 - Muir in California
April 9 - Night on the Reef
April 12 - Slow Thoughts
April 13 - Snowflake Bentley 
April 16 - One Well
April 17 - Phytoplankton 
April 18 - Beneath My Feet
April 19 - Being Caribou 
April 21 - Fossils
April 22 - On the Brink
April 23 - Surtsey
April 24 - Up From the Dirt
April 25 - Black Holes

Monday, April 26, 2021

NPM 2021 - Found Poem 26

Today's found poem comes from the New York Times article Some Male Birds Fly Under False Colors to Attract Mates, Study Suggests, written by Emily Anthes. Unlike other found poems I have written this month, this one uses words and phrases in an order that is sometimes different from the way they appear in the text.

Meant to be Noticed

elaborate feathers 
with optical effects
deep black plumage and 
splashes of color 
  electric yellows
   traffic-cone oranges
    nearly neon scarlets

a vibrantly colored male
alerts nearby females
he would make 
a standout mate  
in the game of life

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new poem I've found. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series. I'm also sharing these found poems as images on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 
April 1 - Flotsam
April 2 - A Warm Wind
April 3 - Zentangle Poem
April 4 - Soap Bubbles
April 6 - Mount St. Helens
April 8 - Muir in California
April 9 - Night on the Reef
April 12 - Slow Thoughts
April 13 - Snowflake Bentley 
April 16 - One Well
April 17 - Phytoplankton 
April 18 - Beneath My Feet
April 19 - Being Caribou 
April 21 - Fossils
April 22 - On the Brink
April 23 - Surtsey
April 24 - Up From the Dirt
April 25 - Black Holes