Friday, April 01, 2016

Poetry Seven Write Ekphrastic Poems

This month the poetry gang wrote poems to images selected by Laura. She shared two images from the frescos that adorn the ceiling of the Founder's Hall at University of St. Thomas.  You can learn more about the frescos and the artist, Mark Balma, at Frescos of St. Thomas. Entitled The Seven Virtues, Laura shared the frescos representing Temperence and Hope. I chose Hope.
Artwork © Mark Balma, photograph © Laura Purdie Salas

This poem was all over the place from the start. I wrote it on Easter Sunday, so I was feeling quite reflective. In the end, I couldn't get politics out of my mind. Apparently, I'm not feeling very hopeful about what I'm seeing and hearing, as this is what came out. I've made a few revisions since that first draft, the biggest change was moving the narrator from "we" to "I." I'm not sure it's better, but it's a start.

What hope?

Life is a
hanging curveball
I may lack confidence
but there is no
designated hitter
I must touch each base
finish each inning
in my own time
always hoping
against hope

But hope is hard
to hold these days

When men shout angrily
that the “other” must go
and citizens fall in line
behind the vitriol
it is nearly impossible
to keep the faith
but I will persevere
and believe in …
   the newborn child
   old souls
   a tender shoot
   giant redwoods
   dawning day
   the setting sun

I know that like
a migrating bird
I will return home
one day

And it will be good

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.

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

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Amy at The Poem Farm. I also hope you'll stop by to check out my project for National Poetry Month, which began today. Happy poetry Friday friends!


  1. This is definitely what I do when I lack hope: look to nature, to love, to beauty... And of course, write poetry with my Poetry Sisters. :)

  2. I think that list is where my attention really hangs: the newborn child, old souls, a tender shoot, giant redwoods, dawning day, the setting sun... and truth. All of these things tell their own true, I think. I really like this.

  3. I love the shift to a single narrator. I think, especially in any kind of social awareness poem, making it more personal like that takes away from the preachy possibility and highlights the sharing of a personal experience/struggle. I adore your migrating bird...

  4. It really is hard to keep the faith, but turning to the things in your list, and to things like my wonderful poetry sisters, makes it easier to believe that things will in fact be good.

  5. I agree with Laura's reasoning about the I/we. Very powerful when you make it personal to you. There is such a feeling of simple hope in this - nestled amongst the overwhelming enormity, but not lost.

  6. While I understand the shift from we to I, I would keep a WE in the last stanza as a message of hope for the human race...

  7. "But hope is hard
    to hold these days"

    Thank goodness for poetry - it helps in times like this.
    Your poem brings to mind "The Peace of Wild Things" by Wendell Berry

    Happy Poetry Month!

  8. "And it will be good."

    Yes! Such a hopeful, encouraging poem! Thank you for reminding us of all the little beauties. We need more of this!