Friday, February 05, 2016

Poetry Friday - Welcome Mat Is Out!

Welcome poetry lovers! I'm happy to be hosting Poetry Friday this week. I'm especially thrilled to be hosting on a day when the Poetry 7 gang is sharing a crop of new poems.

This month we wrote poems to images chosen by Liz. After attending the Picasso Sculpture exhibit at MOMA, she shared some photographs she took and challenged us to pick a piece and write to it. You can read about the exhibit at Pablo Picasso, Now in 3D. I chose the cat sculpture. (This is not the picture Liz shared, but one that shows the piece at a slightly different angle.)

A photo posted by Ben Sutton (@itsbensutton) on
Early draft 

From Whence Le Chat (maybe?)

Art takes shape
in peace and war
from light and dark
an act of defiance
a voice of truth
in every age

Paris, 1941 …

Declared “degenerate artist”
exhibits halted
he retreated to his studio

German laws
did not douse
creative flames
a world at war
did not quell his genius
La Résistance française
saw to that
smuggling bronze into Paris

In a Left Bank studio
surrounded by Nazis
art did more than survive
it flourished
and le chat was born
Most recent draft

Pablo’s Cat
Paris, 1941 …

Declared “degenerate artist”
exhibits halted
he retreated to his studio

German laws
did not douse
creative flames
a city in turmoil
did not thwart
his genius
surrounded by Nazis
he shaped
smuggled bronze

Le Chat
was welcomed
into a home
swelling with

In a Left Bank studio
as war waged on
could not be quelled
would not be silenced
did more than survive
It flourished
Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.

You can read the ekphrastic poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below. 
I hope you'll help me celebrate poetry this week by joining in the round-up and visiting other folks sharing their thoughts. I'm and old-school style host, so please leave a note with a link to your offering in the comments. Thanks to all of you who stop by to read, write poetry, and share in the love of children's literature.

Happy poetry Friday friends! 
Original Poetry
Robyn Hood Black of Life on the Deckle Edge is sharing a lovely little poem entitled Groundhog Day and a story about her neighbor that will make you smile.

cbhanek of Quick Thinks About Literature & Life isn't giving up on snow-inspired photo poems and shares a new poem entitled Chillin'.

Diane Mayr of Random Noodling shares a poem entitled 2016 Antique Mart.

Jone MacCullough of Check It Out shares her poem Super Bowl Sunday.

Joy Acey of Poetry for Kids shares the poem Ducks and issues a poem writing challenge.

Sally Murphy checks in from Down Under and shares a lovely little photo poem.

Heidi Mordhorst of my juicy little universe muses a bit on the nature of blogging and shares a poem entitled INSTRUCTIONS | dmmg.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater shares a poem entitled The Traffic Lights. She also shares an image of her draft and some wise advice for writing.

Ramona of Pleasures from the Page shares a short poem about her upcoming day. Fingers crossed that she has time to share a poem with her students today!

Brenda Harsham of Friendly Fairy Tales shares a poem entitled Squirrel Haven.

Bridget Magee of wee words for wee ones made me laugh out loud! Check out her poem entitled The Ex Files.

Violet Nesdoly is still thinking about and writing nothing poems and shares one entitled I Read Nothing.

Liz Steinglass is sharing a lovely poem entitled Fog.

Kay of A Journey Through the Pages is sharing a haiku in defiance of snow.

Penny Parker Klostermann shares a new post in her series A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt and highlights a beautiful art and poetry collaboration between Irene Latham and her 9 year-old niece.

JoAnn Early Macken of Teaching Authors shares a poem entitled Staring Out the Window.

Found Object Poem Project 
Laura Shovan of Author Amok invites everyone to join in a month-long daily write-in. All of the information people need to participate (and the Week One prompts) are at 2016 Found Object Poem Project.

Matt Forrest Esenwine is hosting Laura Shovan's Poetry Prompt series today and sharing his poem entitled Heirloom Moon, along with those written by others playing along.

Mary Lee of A Year of Reading is also participating in the found object poem fun and shares a poem entitled Mysteries.

Linda Baie of Teacher Dance shares her response to today's found object in a poem entitled Early Valentine's Day.

Carol Varsalona of Beyond LiteracyLink shares a couple of found object poems and issues a reminder about the invitation to the upcoming gallery, Winter Wanderings.

Molly Hogan of Nix the comfort zone shares her found object poem entitled One Plump Tomato.

Poetry of Others
Keri of Keri Recommends shares the poem The Other Side of a Mirror by Mary Coleridge.

Diane Mayr of Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet shares the poem Merry-Go-Round by Langston Hughes for Black History Month.

Tara of A Teaching Life shares the poem Thinking of Flowers by Jane Kenyon.

Tabatha Yeatts of The Opposite of Indifference shares poems by Joy Acey and Robyn Hood Black and sets them to music!

Jama Rattigan of Jama's Alphabet Soup shares a gorgeous Friday Feast that includes Adele Kenny's poem entitled To Blueberries AND a recipe for Bluemisu.

Carol of Carol's Corner provides her own poetic and heartbreaking introduction to the Langston Hughes' poem Let America Be America Again.

Catherine of Reading to the Core is sharing two poems by Judith Moffat and Marilyn Singer that connect to her one little word for the year.

Ruth of There is no such thing as a God-foresaken town shares the poem Questions of Travel by Elizabeth Bishop.

Donna Smith of Mainely Write took up Tabatha's poem/song matching challenge and has selected music to go with poems by Tabatha Yeatts and Irene Latham.

Little Willow of Bildunsroman is sharing the poem The Awakening of Dermuid by Austin Clarke.

Janet of All About Books with Janet Squires shares the poem Birches by Robert Frost.

Doraine Bennett of Dori Reads shares the poem Reply to the Question: "How can You Become a Poet?" by Eve Merriam. She also rounds up a whole bunch of her poems in this post.

Carlie of Twinkling Along shares the poem Genetics by Jacqueline Woodson.

Poetry Books and Interviews
Myra of Gathering Books introduces readers to the book all the words are yours: haiku on love and shares a few excerpts.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes of Today's Little Ditty welcomes David L. Harrison as February's spotlight author, shares his newest poetry collection, and offers up this month's ditty challenge.

Margaret Simon of Reflections on the Teche shares Irene Latham's new book When the Sun Shines On Antarctica, along with some of the poems and poems written by her students in response.

Irene Latham of Live Your Poem shares a Cybils nominated poetry book, Sleepy Snoozy Cozy Coozy: A Book of Animal Beds.

Tamera Will Wissinger is celebrating the  release of her new book There Was An Old Lady Who Gobbled a Skink. Congratulations Tamera!

Mandy of Enjoy and Embrace Reading shares the book Messing Around on the Monkey Bars by Betsy Franco and an excerpt.

Sylvia Vardell of Poetry for Children shares a mega-list of resources for celebrating Black History Month with poetry.


  1. Tricia, I thought the last stanza of poem 2 was welldone. It showcased the word flourish while providing background knowledge. I enjoyed the poems that combined history, art, and beautiful language to weave a story around Picasso's sculpture. Today, I am offering a couple of found object poems for Laura Shovan's site and a reminder to access the invitation to my upcoming gallery, Winter Wanderings.

  2. Love your poem Tricia and enjoyed seeing how it evolved from version one to version 2. Thanks for sharing. I've shared a brief photo poem today:

  3. I'm in with an original from my first week participating in Laura Shovan's Found Object Poem Project:

    (I'll have to come back and read yours later! So happy it's a Poetry Princess week!!)

  4. Love mixing history and poetry! Thanks for hosting, Tricia :-)
    My post features poems by Robyn Hood Black and Joy Acey, matched to music:

  5. I always enjoy the Poetry Seven projects and especially like ekphrastic poems!

    This week I'm sharing Adele Kenny's "To Blueberries" + her recipe for Bluemisu:

    Thanks for hosting this week!

  6. I'm always fascinated by people who can combine research, history, biography, and science with poetry. I also love seeing the two different iterations of this poem. Later on today, or this weekend, I will wander around and read everyone else's work.

    I'm in this week with a couple of different YouTube versions, including one read by Nikki Giovanni, of Langston Hughes' "Let America Be American Again." In the craziness of this year's election, it seems a really important reminder.

    1. Dang, I forgot the link!

  7. I'm ruminating on the unplanned nature of my blogging and sharing a poem I found in my inbox this morning!

    Thanks for hosting, and I'll be back later to enjoy!

  8. Thankfully, art does always find a way to flourish! I'm glad you shared both versions of your poem, and I love how the later draft is transformed by your thoughtful revisions.
    Today I'm sharing "Grace" by Judith Moffet, and "The Painter" by Marilyn Singer.
    Thanks for hosting, Tricia!

  9. Tricia,
    I have an original children's poem DUCKS and a poetry challenge. I'm at
    I'm still unpacking boxes and getting settled in Kauai. It just became Friday on this far, far western island.

  10. I have an Elizabeth Bishop poem today. Thanks for hosting!

  11. Love your poem, Tricia - and the sculpture, too, of course! The idea of 'smuggled bronze' is intriguing! Today I'm hosting Laura's Poetry Prompt series with an original poem of mine, and many others:

  12. "Le chat
    was welcomed"

    Yes - we need art, most of all in the hardest times. Thank you for this, Tricia. And thank you, too, for hosting.

    Today at The Poem Farm, I have a poem about traffic lights along with a story of how a writer (me) can make a silly mistake and move on.

  13. Thanks so much for hosting and for sharing both versions of your poem. It's fascinating to see a bit of your revision process and you've piqued my interest with the history you've included. I love the final, defiant emphasis on the word "flourish" in your second version. I'm participating in Laura Shovan's Found Object Poem Project this month and have linked today's effort.

  14. I always enjoy seeing drafting stages of a poem. The final is, of course, tight and leads us through the historical context of Picasso's art.
    Today I am featuring Irene Latham's new book of Antarctica poems. And my student activities and poems.

  15. Love the historical background you wove into your poem and these final words:
    did more than survive
    It flourished."
    Thanks for hosting Tricia and for sharing your powerful poem!
    Sharing my middle of the night poetry plans...

  16. Dear Tricia - yay for ekphrasis! I love how your poem has developed. Thank you! I'm in with a look at Cybils poetry nominee SLEEPY SNOOZY COZY COOZY.

  17. Hi Tricia,

    Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday, and thanks for sharing your wonderful poem. I love the focus on creativity amidst/despite chaos.

    This week I'm celebrating the release of my rhyming picture book, THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO GOBBLED A SKINK. I'm offering a copy of the book in a giveaway at my website:

    Cheers and thanks!


  18. Though you cut the first part of your draft, I still like the first stanza on its own - perhaps as the preface to a collection of poems and art from that era?
    Here's my offering today with poetry-music matchups from Tabatha Yeatts and Irene Latham, plus some postcards.
    Thanks for hosting!

  19. I'm sharing a book for two voices today.

  20. When I think of my excuses for not getting something done, they pale when compared to suffering the events exposed by that poem. It does put life into perspective to contemplate another's. I love that you saw all of that in one sculpture of a cat. Today, my children are celebrating their first snow day, and I am hurried slapping up an original poem, Squirrel Haven, which reveals my mind isn't quite in synch with my kids:

    Have a wonderful Poetry Friday!

  21. Tricia... I love how both you and Sara touched on the Nazi influence and invasion into Picasso's life and art -- yours in a really direct way. I mean, this is really kind of ode, a lifting up, of both Picasso and art in general. It's lovely. And thanks for hosting Poetry Friday, my friend.... xxoo

  22. It flourished: 2 ital. words that thumb their nose at despotism. Bravo! Thank you! And thank you for being a gracious, welcoming hostess. (I spoke too soon last night; the snow is back with schools closed. Who knew? Bring out those mint juleps:))

  23. Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday, Tricia, and for sharing your poem's creation. Powerful.
    Today I am sharing an original poem in honor of one of my favorite TV shows returning (but with a little twist) at:

  24. Thanks for hosting, Tricia and for showing us the two versions of your poem. It's interesting to see the changes.

    For my offering today I'm still stuck on NOTHING. "I Read Nothing" is here:

  25. Hi Tricia, Thanks for hosting and for sharing your poem. I am sharing an original poem, "Fog."
    Happy Poetry Friday!

  26. Thanks again for hosting today, Tricia. Interesting how all the pieces are there in your first draft, but it becomes something much larger in the second version... and I'm not talking about the addition of 4 lines. The feeling of hopefulness or "lifting up" as Liz put it.

  27. Happy Friday! Thanks for hosting! I posted The Awakening of Dermuid by Austin Clarke at my blog, Bildungsroman:

  28. Thanks for hosting today! I enjoyed reading your Picasso poem, especially seeing how it evolved through drafts. Even in the darkest of conditions, art and poetry will survive and flourish.

    I wrote a haiku today to mark the first signs of spring showing up despite a winter weather forecast:

  29. Thanks for hosting. And thanks for sharing the drafts of your poem. I always find that fascinating.
    Today on A GREAT NEPHEW AND A GREAT AUNT, Irene Latham and her 9 year-old niece collaborate with art and a poem. It's a delightful episode.

  30. Thanks for hosting.
    My selection is "Birches" by Robert Frost, illustrated by Ed Young.

  31. Wow! LOVE how that changed and evolved, though I liked it fine before the overhaul!

    Thanks so much for hosting!!

  32. When did you do all this work, Tricia?? And I love it when poets are brave enough to show multiple drafts. I think Le Chat is happy with you, and so is the world because YOU let art flourish. By writing poetry. By pointing to other great poetry. By putting out the welcome mat, both to us and to Art. Thank you, my friend.

    1. There were many, many drafts between these two, and I'm still not very happy with it. It just doesn't feel very poetic. I think if I'd chosen a form (like Tanita and Laura), I'd feel much better about it. I may just keep going!

      And thank you for your amazingly kind words. I'm blushing!

  33. I always enjoy seeing the evolution of a poem. I especially enjoyed the image of art thriving under those tumultuous circumstances. I've posted an original poem on the Teaching Authors blog at

  34. Hi, Tricia, thanks for hosting-- and for sharing your poetry and your process! Very cool. I'm a big fan of ekphrastic poetry and love that you guys have tried it.
    My post features resources for celebrating Black History Month with poetry by African American poets!

  35. Trisha, how cool that you get to host today!! I am loving all the ekphrastic poems. Thank you for sharing your two versions so we can see the progression! I love how you show Picasso working against or in spite of the war flurry around him. I can almost see him scowling. Favorite lines: "as war waged on
    could not be quelled
    would not be silenced"

  36. Thanks for giving us that before and after version of your draft. I love seeing the process. Here is mine for today, a poem on poetry and my links to originals after reading Tabatha's recent note.

  37. I loved reading how the poem changed first draft to current. Thank you for sharing.

  38. I loved seeing both versions of your poem, Tricia, but loved the story of it too. I've read quite a bit about France during the Nazi occupation, but never about Picasso & his art. And now there is that wonderful Le Chat to remind us of those who fought against the Nazi idea of art so valiantly. "German laws
    did not douse
    creative flames" is inspiration. When I read of these stories, I wonder how I would be, think I would not give up either. Thank you!

  39. Thank you for hosting! What a great idea to give us a peek through the window of formation. Brilliant. Thanks, its insightful and helpful for those of us just getting started with poetry. I have a poem this week by another author (not myself) about family and genetics and connection. Its called Genetics and is by Jacqueline Woodson.

  40. So, now I won't just see the cat, I'll see the defiance, and the survival of ART! Thank you for a new vision!

  41. Thank you for sharing with us an earlier draft of the poem as well as its current form - only proves how difficult the stringing of words can be to a poet. :) Thank you again for hosting. Loved seeing Picasso's cat as well.