Friday, January 02, 2015

Ringing in the New Year with Poetry Friday

I'm pleased to host the first Poetry Friday round-up of the new year, but even more excited to share some work the Poetry Seven have been working on.

Last year for my birthday in late August I suggested that writing poems together would be an amazing gift. Kelly Fineman picked up on that, Liz Garton Scanlon made some suggestions, and we were off writing triolets on the topic of beginnings and endings. Our goal was to share with each other some time in October. During that time my life was in a bit of an upheaval and I was dealing with the approaching death of a beloved colleague. The poems that came out of that time were all dark and depressing. I lost my friend and mentor just 43 days after he was diagnosed with cancer. He'd probably be mortified that I was writing about him, but the poems helped me get through those days. Here are the first and current drafts of my triolet.
First Draft (untitled) 
I dreamt of you last night
Knowing nothing ever stays
Past wrongs not yet made right
I dreamt of you last night
Saw you loosed and taking flight
Slipping towards the end of days
I dreamt of you last night
Knowing nothing ever stays
37th Draft ... or something ridiculous like that. After all, "A poem is never finished; it is only abandoned." (A paraphrase of Paul Valéry by W. H. Auden)
Letting Go 
I dream of you each night
knowing nothing ever stays
glimpse that smile despite your plight
I dream of you each night
watch you loosed and taking flight
slipping towards the end of days 
I dream of you each night
knowing nothing ever stays 
Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2015. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below.

I am happy to be free of 2014 and ready to embrace 2015 and all it will bring. I hope you'll help me ring in the new year by celebrating all the amazing poetry folks are sharing this week. I'm and old-school style host, so please leave a note with a link to your offering in the comments. Happy new year and happy poetry Friday all!

As the hostess today I'm taking the liberty of sharing this one. A Year of Reading celebrated its 9th birthday yesterday with a look back at their nine most popular posts. Congratulations to Mary Lee and Franki! We hope you'll be with us for another nine years.

The Cybils
Linda Baie of Teacher Dance shares a bit about the Cybils finalists in poetry and also shares a poem by Michael Chitwood entitled Accomplishments.

Sylvia Vardell of Poetry for Children shares the book blurbs for the Cybils shortlist and reminds us of all the terrific books nominated in the 2014 poetry category.

Margaret Simon, a round one judge, also shares the Cybils finalists for poetry.

Jone MacCulloch of Check It Out, our fearless leader in the round one judging for Cybils poetry, also shares the Cybils poetry shortlist.

Original Poetry 
Robyn Hood Black of Life on the Deckle Edge shares an original haiku for the new year.

Sally Murphy also shares an original poem for the new year.

Greg Pincus of GottaBook started my morning with a laugh with his poem My New Year's Resolutions Are Making Me Loopy.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater shares her wish poem entitled A Box of Snow.

Matt Forrest Esenwine shares an original poem entitled Night Light.

Diane Mayr of Random Noodling has been participating in an annual New Year's haiku postcard exchange, called a Nengajo, for quite some time. She shares this year's postcard with us.

Mary Lee Hahn of A Year of Reading shares her one little word for 2015 and a poem entitled Expectantly.

Donna Smith of Mainely Write shares a poem inspired by her dog, Gingersnap. (What a great name for a dog!)

Jan Godown Annino of Book Seed Studio shares an original poem inspired by a marsh visit. She's also sharing an excerpt of the poem Purple by Alexis Rotella.

Carlie of Twinkling along shares her poem entitled The First Month.

Ramona of Pleasures from the Page shares her OLW for 2015 and her poem entitled Moving On.

Poetry of Others
Julie Larios of The Drift Record shares the poem Apples by Laurie Lee.

Catherine of Reading to the Core shares the poem I Dwell in Possibility by Emily Dickinson.

Michelle Haseltine of One Grateful Teacher joins us for the first time (welcome Michelle!) and shares a little gem by Emily Dickinson.

Myra Garces Bascal of Gathering Books shares a bit of T.S. Eliot.

Doraine Bennett of Dori Reads shares an excerpt from The Prelude by William Wordsworth.

Irene Latham of Live Your Poem shares her word for the year (wild) and some poetry on that theme. Included are poems by Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry.

Tabatha Yeatts of The Opposite of Indifference shares the poem Ode to the Hotel Near the Children's Hospital by Kevin Young.

Diane Mayr of Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet shares the poem Acceptance by Robert Frost.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes of Today's Little Ditty shares the poem Sea Glass by Donna JT Smith.

Keri of Keri Recommends shares a poem from the winter poetry swap entitled Winter's Cooking by Linda Baie.

Carol of Carol's Corner shares the poem by Walkers With the Dawn by Langston Hughes.

Tara Smith of A Teaching Life shares the poem To the New Year by W.S. Merwin.

Karen Edmisten shares an excerpt from the poem Journey of the Magi by T.S. Eliot.

Ruth of There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town shares her OLW for 2015 and the poem God Knows by Minnie Louise Haskins.

Little Willow of Bildungsroman shares the poem Entrance by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Colette Bennett of 100 Words a Day shares thoughts on loss and the poem One Art by Elizabeth Bishop.

Kim Doele of Flukeprints shares some thoughts on writing poetry for children.

Heidi Mordhorst of my juicy little universe shares how she selected her one word for the year.

Carol Varsalona of Beyond Literacy Link shares a link to the Finding Fall gallery of poems and images and invites readers to participate in the 5th gallery of artistic expressions, to be titled Winter Whisperings. You'll also find an original poem here!


  1. Thanks for hosting this week, Tricia, and for sharing this personal story and poem. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope the returning light with this new year might ease your sorrow as time goes on. Will keep you in thoughts & prayers.

    I look forward to reading the other poems linked in your post. I've got a short entry today with a new year haiku:

  2. What a beautiful poem, Trish. Condolences on your loss.
    Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday. I've followed along on and off for quite some time, and have decided that it's time I join in. My first offering,t hen, is a New Year's poem:

  3. It often feels like life hands us what we need in hard times, like your poet friends being with you during this time of the loss of your friend. I'm glad you had them & your poetry to help you through this hard thing. The poem is lovely, Tricia. I especially connect to 'watch you loosed and taking flight'. Thank you for sharing this personal grief.
    I'm celebrating these new Cybils' poetry finalists this Poetry Friday, & sharing a poem that recently touched me for this new year. Thank you for hosting!

  4. Love the poem (and the draft), and all of you super seven, for that matter.

    I'm in with an original today - My New Year's Resolutions Are Making Me Loopy.

    Thanks for hosting. And here's to 2015!

  5. Tricia, thanks for your lovely poem and for the links to the others. When my dad died I gave the Poetry Friday poem I posted this week to my mom for comfort. It helped both of us during those dark times to think of life as a "rounded world" where we were learning how to "welcome the ripe, the sweet, the sour / the hollow and the whole." Hope 2015 offers you a good helping of the ripe and sweet. The poem is over at

    1. Thank you, Julie, for sharing this. 2014 was certainly full of the sweet and the sour. I'm going to carry your words with me into this new year.

  6. Your poem is beautiful, Tricia. I'm sure it will comfort others who are dealing with losing a loved one, just as it helped you cope with the loss of your dear friend.

    I'm still thinking about One Little Word for 2015, and turned to and old favorite, Emily Dickinson's "I Dwell in Possibility," for inspiration.
    Thanks for hosting this week!

  7. This is a beautiful poem, and seeing it next to its first draft is a gift too. I am sorry for the loss of your friend and thank you for giving me some words to hold onto in such times. Somehow a triolet is the perfect form for comforting and remembering.

    Here for the first Poetry Friday of 2015, I have a wish poem...

  8. I love the present tense you ended up with, Tricia. And talking with you at NCTE about your friend...this just feels like a just-right tribute to him. Your description of him as "loosed and taking flight" feels uplifting and lighthearted, despite the fact that it's death. It makes this poem work for so many letting go-s. Hugs, and thank you for sharing your grief and poetry. xoxo

  9. P.S. As you already have noted in your post, I'm at with a triolet called "Rowing to the Future." It was inspired by my daughter Maddie's leaving for 6 months for Scotland/India, and the bigger leaving of growing up and leaving us for the whole world.

  10. What a powerful and beautiful poem! I'm in awe!! This is my first Poetry Friday. Looking forward to more. Here's my link...

  11. Hello Tricia! Thank you for hosting this week's Poetry Friday! I hope you had a glorious New Year's celebration. Here is the link to my post, a little Eliot to start the year -

  12. A beautiful poem, Tricia. Thank you for sharing. And for hosting. I'm in today with a bit of Wordsworth.

  13. The poem is heartfelt. Beautifully-written, desptie its sadness. :) Endings and beginnings indeed.

  14. Dear Tricia - I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful way to honor your beloved colleage... poetry truly can heal, can't it? I love seeing your poem's metamorphosis. Thank you.
    I'm in with my One Little Word for 2015 and some related poems. Thank you for hosting!

  15. Your colleague did not have much time between his diagnosis and his passing, did he? Still enough time for a glimpse of smile along with making ready for flight. Wishing you a gentle 2015, Tricia! Thanks for hosting. I've got the starts of three poems today:

  16. Your poem is beautiful. I am very sorry for the loss of your dear friend.

    I have a piece to contribute today with some thoughts on writing poetry with children. It Might Just be the "Lure and the Blur" -hope to join more Poetry Fridays in 2015.

  17. As others have said, your poem Is beautiful and touching...very well done! Thanks for hosting, too, Tricia. Today I'm celebrating happiness and frustration with an original poem I wrote for a collection I'm putting together:

  18. Good morning, Tricia. I'm glad you found a way--more than one way!--of remembering the friend you told me about in November, and I wish you a better year. (It seems that 2014 was not a favorite year of many of us.)

    I'm sharing my One Word for 2015, until it needs revision.

  19. Thanks for sharing your grieving with us. As the proverb goes, "shared sorrow is half a sorrow." The triolet is the right form for your poem.

    At Random Noodling I have my annual haiku postcard post.

    Kurious Kitty has a poem by Robert Frost, "Acceptance."

  20. Happy New Year, Tricia. Your heartfelt triolet is lovely. Thank you for sharing. On Today's Little Ditty, I'm also looking at new beginnings and sharing a winter swap poem by Donna Smith.

  21. Thanks for sharing your triolet. Sometimes beautiful poetry is born from loss. I can't wait to read the others.

    Thanks also for the Blog Birthday shoutout! Hard to believe it's been 9 years!

    I have an original today, inspired by my OLW -- Notice.

  22. Very touching work -- so much loss in 2014. I try to focus on the blessings and good memories of my dad, and your line about taking flight reminds me he is blessed to be free of this earth.

    Today I'm sharing Linda Baie's poem "Winter Cooking" from the poetry swap at Thanks for hosting!

  23. Thanks for hosting, Tricia. Your poem in honor of your colleague is beautiful- I hope you will share it with other people who loved him. Like you, I'm really glad to be rid of 2014. I'm celebrating 2015, and my OLW, hope, with a new-to-me Langston Hughes poem.

  24. Thanks for hosting, Tricia, and for sharing yourself so openly. What a lovely tribute to your colleague and your relationship.
    Thanks also for including me already-- so generous.
    Here's to happy times and wonderful poetry in 2015!

  25. Your triolet is filled with hope despite the loss. Thanks for sharing yourself and your vulnerability.

    I'm not very original today. Also announcing the CYBILS finalists.

  26. No PF post from me. Just wanted to say that I loved your poem and, like AmyLV, also enjoyed seeing how it evolved from first draft to its final/"abandoned" state. Thanks! -Ed

  27. A beautiful poem, Tricia. Thank you, too, for hosting today. I have a New Year's poem (of course) by W.S. Merwin:

  28. Tricia, first of all may I say that your triolets are filled with such sensitive emotion that honors your colleague. Thank you for sharing those brief moments of bonding with your mentor's memory. I am offering a unique package today. I created a second look at the Finding Fall Gallery-NYC museum-style and an invitation to the next gallery (the name revealed at the end of the post to build excitement). I would be deeply honored if you brought your sensitivity to the collection and penned your take on Winter Whisperings. Thank you and Happy New Year.

  29. Oh, Tricia, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved friend. Your poem is beautiful and so touching. Thanks for sharing it, difficult and personal as it is.

    My contribution this week is Eliot's "Journey of the Magi" -- it's a poem that always takes my breath away. The link is here.

  30. Losing a friend and colleague is so difficult. I love reading how your poem took shape. Thanks for sharing. I am sharing the CYBILS as well:

  31. Didn't think I'd get to post at all today...a bit late but here it is:

    Your poem in both renditions was beautiful. I'm so sorry for the sudden loss of your friend.

  32. Tricia.... I'm still so sad and sorry for your loss. And you've done him proud with this beautiful poem.

    I'm so looking forward to our year of writing poems together, my friend.... xxxoo

  33. Thank you for hosting and for sharing your own poem. Writing with friends is a great gift. I am sorry about the friend you lost. The line "nothing ever stays," from the first draft, is very true. Here's my contribution for today: I shared my One Little Word for the year and an old-fashioned poem to illustrate it.

  34. What a lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing the process and the progress.

    I posted Entrance by Rainer Maria Rilke at my blog, Bildungsroman:

    Happy new year, everyone!

  35. Colette Bennett, here. Thank you for hosting, Tricia. My post echoes the sentiments you wrote in your poems. My mother has dementia, another kind of loss, and I used Elizabeth Bishop's beautiful "One Art"

  36. Your friend had a mighty fine pal & I am so sorry for your loss.
    The fresh one & the revised are each memorable, but ... "past wrongs not yet made right" took my breath away.
    Poetry Seven links will be a gift to follow & I want to spring from them into "tri"ing a triolet, which I've never done.
    This nurturing post is a gift of the New Year - appreciations.

    Jan Annino/bookseedstudio
    PF 1.2.2015 post has 2 elements - original poem after marsh visit & Alexis Rotella lines from her poem about creativity, "Purple"

  37. Thank you for the lovely poem, and I hope your friend would be honored not mortified. I know I'm glad you wrote. I have heard that "Let it Go" song often enough -- it's a good song, really -- but the letting go feels so much more complicated than belting out the words.

  38. Tricia, I thought I sent in my post before lunch today but I do not see it in the comment section so I will try again. First of all, I want to thank you for hosting the first Poetry Friday of the New Year and making public such a sensitive series of poems. It is difficult to write from the heart but your memories allowed you to passionately state what you felt about your mentor. I am duly impressed with your rewrite process. Your agility with revision shows. Secondly, I want to offer another look at the Finding Fall Gallery as though it was in a NYC museum or gallery. Thirdly, I wanted to formerly announce the next gallery collection that I will design. At the end of the post, I reveal the title. It is my hope that you will be interested in writing for this collection. Thank you.

    1. Hi Carol,

      You're here! You are listed under the section entitled Invitations. And I did include you this morning. Look just above the start of the comments section.

  39. Tricia, thank you so much. I must admit sometimes I am in such a rush that my observation skills are lacking. It is so nice of you to place my piece under invitations. I hope you accept my invitation and write from your heart for Winter Whisperings.

    1. Oops, found my comment posted at 10:19. Thank you, Tricia.

  40. Thanks for sharing such a heart-felt poem, Tricia. I'm so sorry for your loss.
    Thanks also, for this terrific round-up. May the new year bring many good things.

  41. I love that you shared the first and umpteenth draft! And I love that your birthday was the impetus for us to write together again. Much love to you, my poetry friend.

  42. Oh, thank you for showing your process. I should try that - see the difference between version one and version thirty-seven. I like what you've come up with - I know you felt it dark, and it does make tears rise in me, but the way you've finished the thirty-seventh makes tears rise for a different reason... because I can see your healing in the words - and that both encourages and heals me.

  43. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt triolet. It is touching.

    And thanks for the roundup :-)

  44. I love that you managed your crazy loss with poetry. Inspiring. I also love the idea of writing poetry with others. What fun! I have to say that even though you think of your poem as dark, I think its really hopeful and full of mystic light. Love that you didn't throw out all the "things that came out of that dark time." May 2015 be a year of goodness and life for you and yours.

    I have a late contribution, an original poem about the new year, titled The First Month. You can find it here:

  45. Sad for the loss of your colleague, thanks for sharing the poems you are writing during this challenging time. I frequently turn to poetry for comfort and love your lines -
    "watch you loosed and taking flight
    slipping towards the end of days"
    I'm in a day late (computer issues yesterday) with an acrostic for my OLW.

  46. So sorry that 2014 was such a tough year. You have such a kind spirit that you deserve for 2015 to be the year of TRICIA!!