Thursday, June 18, 2020

Poetry Friday is Here!

Last year when the call went out for Poetry Friday hosts, I selected this date because I knew I would be knee deep in the classroom and anticipated this day would be at the end of my year in second grade. I never imagined it would end this way. And could you have imagined in January all that would occur in such a short span of time?

I wish I had the words to express how deeply saddened and angry I am about all that has happened and is still happening, not just since Memorial Day with the senseless killing of George Floyd, but for more days than I can count. My social studies methods class last night focused on the teaching of hard history and slavery. I'm not sure I did the topic justice in one 2 hour and  40 minute session, but  at least we began the conversation and talked about the importance of confronting our past and recognizing the impact it has on our present and future.

My writing has been dark and sad. It lacks hope, but I keep writing. My first poem in the summer poetry swap went to Ruth of There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town and was entitled In the Shadow of Violence and Oppression. It was a found poem inspired by current events and was created using lines adapted and modified from The Poisonwood Bible, the story of a missionary family who move from Georgia to the Belgian Congo in 1959. You can read it here if you are interested. I wrote several draft poems using language from this text, including the one below.

The poem I'm sharing today is a golden shovel that uses the lines "Do I dare/Disturb the universe?/In a minute there is time" from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot.

It was one thing I was able to do 
hold a sign, hold a hand. 
wanted to do more, but did not dare
too afraid to offend, too weak to disturb.
As lives turn inside-out and upside-down, the 
world turns uneasily, barreling through the universe.
Here in my city, in
this former confederate stronghold, a
glimmer of hope sparked for a minute
but it did not last, could not take root where there
are towering statutes to pain, to our ugly history. Is
this a battle we can win? I hope so. It's long past time.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today. I'm rounding things up old-school style, so please leave a comment and I'll add you to the post. 

In  Tribute
Michelle Heidenrich Barnes of Today's Little Ditty shares a memorial to her dear friend Carrie Clickard.

Original Poetry
Laura Purdie Salas shares a poem on eve of her daughter's wedding entitled I Need You Need Me.

Robyn Hood Black of Life on the Deckle Edge is sharing a found poem collage entitled Keep in Balance.  

Janice Scully of Salt City Verse has some clerihews for us.

Linda Mitchell  of A Word Edgewise is sharing a found poem entitled This is What Listening Looks Like.

Sally  Murphy shares her poem Orange Cats in a lovely, narrated video form.

Charles Waters rounds up all the amazing poetry happenings in his world AND shares an original poem.

Michelle Kogan shares a poem for Father's Day entitled Father's Perseverance.

Carmela Martino of Teaching Authors shares Trying Something New, a syllable-square poem in the "In One Word" poetry form invented by April Halprin Wayland. 

Carol Varsalona of Beyond Literacy Link shares a photo collage poem in the form of a golden shovel entitled Grandma Love.

Linda Baie of TeacherDance shares a poem entitled All Sides Are Slippery.

Bridget Magee shares many wee things today, including an original poem, a book 'wee-view', and a tiny word wee-source.

Molly Hogan of Nix the comfort zone shares a poem entitled Tabernacle.

Amy of Book Buzz shares a poem inspired by a favorite decorative item in her house.

Irene Latham of Live Your Poem shares her latest ArtSpeak: RED poem entitled "And this is where we shall meet."

Fran Haley of Lit Bits and Pieces shares a loop poem inspired by Margaret Simon's “This Photo Wants to Be a Poem” prompt. 

Tim Kulp of Reflections Arc is sharing a poem in the form of a social media retelling of a myth.

Tim Gels of Yet There Is Method shares a poem entitled Feathers.

Elaine Magliaro of Wild Rose Reader shares A Poem For Three Baby Birds, written by her granddaughter.

Matt Forrest Esenwine shares his poem "Stumpfield Pond, 1975," which won the MacGregor Poetry Prize in 2019.  

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater of The Poem Farm shares a poem entitled "Here".

Carol of The Apples in My Orchard is sharing a number of pandemic haiku.

MSheehan of A Few Words is sharing a poem inspired by "The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot.

Margaret Simon of Reflections on the Teche shares a found poem to celebrate Juneteenth.

Poems of Others
Karen  Eastlund is sharing a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Jama  Rattigan of  Jama's Alphabet Soup is sharing the poem  The Night of Corona by Ann Barber.

Little Willow is sharing the poem Wood. Salt. Tin. by Jane Hirshfield.

Ruth of There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town shares a lovely bunch of poetry swap poems she received from Kat Apel, and some poetic words about statutes coming down. 

Catherine Flynn of Reading to the Core shares the poem “Worth” by Marilyn Nelson.

Karen Edmisten is sharing Ross Gay's poem entitled "A Small Needful Fact." 

Poetry  Books
Mary Lee Hahn of A Year of Reading shares an excerpt and thoughts about Woke: A Young Poet's Call to Justice.
Happy poetry Friday all!


  1. Such powerful found poems, both, Tricia - thank you. They express these recent and current days with sharpness and insight. I'm actually all about found poetry today, too - sharing a sample I made for a workshop I led for young writers this week (& a link to my 'how-to' video - and confessions of foibles making the same). Big virtual hugs to you. Thank you for hosting! Oh - here's the link:

  2. It must be a challenge teaching social studies during this emotional time. Lovely Golden Shovel, Tricia, so clearly written. I've written a short post begun with a clerihew poem inspired by Michelle Obama. Thank you for hosting. Here's my link:

  3. Thanks for hosting today, Tricia. I've been thinking about how it will be as we venture forth, and this poem gave some insight...

  4. I'm thrilled to say, Happy Juneteenth!
    I so understand the frustration, dark times...feeling helpless. But, you know what we can do in Virginia now? We can understand that Juneteenth is a state holiday because our state is understanding and showing that Black Lives Matter. I'm spending time in this joy with my blog post this week, A Word Edgewise.

    1. Yes, you are so right! Happy to see Lee/Jackson day gone and Juneteenth celebrated.

  5. Oh Tricia - yes, it is time, and your poem speaks very powerfully about finding pathways, small or big, to make those changes. Thank you for your poem and hugs to you in these sad times. Thanks too for hosting the Round Up. My post this week is a poem about cats - and finding commonality.

  6. Hi Tricia. Yes, challenging times for sure. Thinking of you, your family, friends and students. Thank goodness for poetry providing a gateway in navigating these stormy situations.

  7. You've written two very interrelated and powerful poems about coming to grips with our sullied American history and deciding to make changes, thanks for sharing them both. And thanks also for hosting the roundup. On my post I'm thinking about Father's Day and Change :

  8. What a moving poem, Tricia. From my experience, writing a golden shovel is more challenging than it looks.
    Indeed, back in January none of us imagined where we'd be today.
    Thanks so much for hosting this week's round-up. My TeachingAuthors' Poetry Friday post won't go up till after midnight central time, and that's still a few hours away. I'm sharing an original Syllable-Square poem in the IN ONE WORD poetry form invented by my co-blogger, April Halprin Wayland. My poem is called "Trying Something New" and is based on the word MATHEMATICS:

  9. Tricia, while you think your poetry is dark, it is deep and soothing because there is so much hurt around yet there is hope. Thanks for hosting this week. I turned my thoughts away from pandemic woes to a bright spot, a bit of #quarentainment with a trip to Virginia to celebrate my granddaughter's birthday. I created a post-birthday photo collage poem in a golden shovel format=>

  10. Your poems are stormy, Tricia, like our days, feel very true now. That 'holding a sign' touched me, feels as if I should have been holding one a long time. I wrote today from one line I read somewhere recently, about these dark days, some light in the day to day & I am grateful. Thanks for hosting!

  11. Your powerful poems speak so well of the times. An unimaginable year for sure, and it's only half over! I fear the Fall will be worse . . .

    This week I'm spotlighting Dr. Fauci with a poem by Ann Barber called "The Night of Corona." Thanks for hosting (my link goes live at 6 a.m. Friday).

  12. Thank you for hosting Tricia, and for your strong, honest, and meaningful poems. Today's Little Ditty is on a summer hiatus, but I posted a memorial to Carrie Clickard earlier this week that I'd like to share with the Poetry Friday community.

  13. Thank you for hosting. Thank you for teaching. Thank you for sharing!

    I posted Wood. Salt. Tin. by Jane Hirshfield at my blog, Bildungsroman.

  14. Thank you for hosting and trudging through the "dark and sad" to still create, Tricia. Your poem is poignant.

    Today I am sharing a book 'wee-view', an anniversary poem, and a tinyword wee-source.
    My post is called: Wee-Sources with All My Heart

  15. Both of the poems you shared are so powerful and honest, Tricia. These times are indeed challenging, and figuring out how to navigate them honestly and courageously and wisely feels overwhelming. Thank you for opening up conversations in classrooms and through your poetry, and also for hosting today. I'm sharing a poem about walking in the woods.

  16. Thanks for hosting, Tricia! You're right - we couldn't possibly have predicted the way this school year would end. I have a poem swap today and some thoughts about statues.

  17. Thank you for hosting, Tricia. Beautiful poem. . . I’m sharing a poem about a fabric yo-yo doilie that was made by my mother. Another family heirloom inspired poem.

  18. Thank you, Tricia, for your heartfelt, powerful poem, which I'm so glad ended with hope and purpose. I've got the latest ArtSpeak: RED poem "And this is where we shall meet." Thank you for hosting. xo

  19. and here is the link!

  20. Tricia - you have used two of my favorite works here. I've read The Poisonwood Bible multiple times, as my tattered copy can attest. Kingsolver is a language magician - how powerfully you harness her words in your found poem. Strikes deep chords ... as does your golden shovel from Prufrock. Masterful use of that line to capture the times, the need for change so overdue, and invoking self-analysis. When I think of J. Alfred I always hear the repetition of "In the room the women come and go/Talking of Michelangelo," and I want to say when do they get out of their little placid circle and DO anything? When do they see a bigger picture beyond? Thank you for hosting today. I am offering my first attempt at a loop poem based on a photo of a torn spiderweb in the morning sun - another metaphor. --Fran Haley

    1. The Poisonwood Bible changed my life....even before I started writing on purpose!

    2. -How could one NOT be changed by it?? Such a kindred spirit, Linda!

  21. Nice work on your poem Tricia! I liked the ending words for each line. Here's my link: Thanks for hosting!

  22. Thank you for hosting today, and thank you for sharing your poem. These are hard times, and speaking for myself, it's difficult to know how I can contribute in a positive manner. As one who lives in a southern city, I have a glimpse of understanding when it comes to your "towering statues to pain." It's hard, all the way around.

    Here is my "Feathers" at Yet There is Method.

  23. Thanks for doing the roundup this week, Tricia. I'm happy to be posting again on Friday after an absence of months. I became a second grade teacher again when schools closed here in early March. I'm posting a poem my older granddaughter wrote about three baby birds that fell out of their nest on our property. We tried to rescue them. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, they died. The poem is titled A Poem for Three baby Birds.

  24. As others have said, yours is a powerful poem, Tricia - and necessary, for you as well as the world. We are all feeling those same feelings, one way or another. Thanks for hosting, and today I'm sharing an award-winning poem I wrote for my dad, in honor of Father's Day:

  25. Thank you, Tricia, for your words and for hosting today. I share your grief and hope. Today at The Poem Farm I'm in with a poem about plants and shadows...

  26. Thank you for hosting today, Tricia. You are not alone in the grief and anger. I'm looking forward to spending more time with your post later today. For now, here is the link to my post with a poem by Marilyn Nelson.

  27. Hi, Tricia,
    Thanks for hosting. I'm with you on the sadness and the anger. It's hard to write, hard to even concentrate well enough to read. Your poem captures the feelings of helplessness so well. Yes, "it's long past time." Today I have Ross Gay's "A Small Needful Fact." The link is here.

  28. It's hard to be positive these days. Poetry changes my mind-set and allows me to be more lighthearted and happy. Thank you for sharing the poem you chose. It's very apropos for many reasons. I will probably save the link so I can refresh my drive when I am low. I also love The Poisonwood Bible. Thanks for hosting! Carol at The Apples in My Orchard blog.

  29. Thank you so much for sharing! I was very inspired by the T.S. Eliot poem you posted and wrote about my call as a white person trying to become a better ally.

  30. I appreciate how hard it's been to write these days.
    Your poem says exactly what I feel. Unsure of what to say and how to say it. I worked on my post off and on today and have finally posted. Here's my link: