Happy Friday friends! Join the Poetry Friday crew at Kat's space HERE.
Today, I am thinking beyond the ridge down to Houston and the gulf coast of Texas where so many lives have been rocked by a storm called Harvey. As you may have heard, many people have been displaced from their homes due to the destructive and devastating Hurricane Harvey. You can see this storm's wrath and read about its destructive path throughout the news. When things like this happen, I realize how important our connection to each other is.
We all feel the swamps. We may all face the storms. Together, we can find our way home. Right now across the state of Texas and throughout the USA, so many people have joined together to provide comfort and help to those in need. It's truly amazing and inspiring to witness the generosity and kindness happening all around us. If you would like to help, there are many ways to do so. One great place to start is the American Red Cross. Our friends in Houston and South Texas could use all our thoughts and well wishes.
The impact of this storm called Harvey has made me reach for Mary Oliver's poem, "Crossing the Swamp". In this poem, Oliver speaks to the struggles and bogs of human life that we often encounter. Yet she speaks of hope, too. Throughout the entire poem there is a sense of determination and strength to re-root. These words are perfectly etched in a way that only Mary Oliver could craft. I do hope you have a chance to read it.
Today, I offer my own poetic response to Mary Oliver's inspiring poem that spoke to me after a storm called Harvey.
Invitation to Write:
How will you brave each storm that may come your way? When you feel stuck in a swamp or flooded by a river, what guides you? I invite you to take a moment and write. Write until your words flow like a river. May they toss upon the page and land, re-rooting themselves home.
Happy Poetry Friday! Our friend Margaret is hosting today at her space Reflections on the Teche. Don't miss out on the poetry fun!
This week, I am back at the ridge with my friend, the moon. Yes, that's right, the moon again. I never grow tired of giving the moon praise for my writing inspiration. The moon is one of those magnetic topics for me. I feel drawn to write about it whenever I might feel a little empty. Thanks to the moon, my writing can always fill itself full.
Invitation to Write:
Writers have different ways of filling their writing life with an abundance of words. What strategies do you have for bringing fullness to your writing?
Happy Poetry Friday and July full moon week! On the ridge this week I am sharing a poem in honor of my friend, the moon. For more Poetry Friday friends and offerings, visit Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink.
There's just something about a full moon that really helps ignite my writing ideas. It's fun to watch the moon grow and rise. My writing seems to grow more full and heavy with emotions the more time I spend under the moonlight. Perhaps that's why the moon is one of my favorite magnet topics. I can always find inspiration from its glow. In this way, I consider the moon as one of my "topic friends."
As a writer, I think it's so important to have topic friends to count on as well as people in your life that you consider writing friends. These might be members of a writing group, colleagues, or even members of your family.
If you would like to see the full moon this week, be sure to look to the sky on Sunday July 9th. My dear friend, moon, will be there waiting to light the way to many new words and writing ideas for you!
Invitation to Write:
Make a list of your "topic friends" and other writing friends. Think about one of your topics and spend a little time collecting ideas around this friend. Sometimes having a conversation with your topic and listening to your topic speak to you is helpful, too! After you have collected around your "topic friend", choose a writing friend from your other list as someone you can talk to about your writing. Writing with friends can be a rewarding and joyful experience!
Welcome! I am so excited to be hosting the Poetry Friday round-up this week. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of this group of poetry friends! Thank you for joining in the round-up this week. Please be my guest here at the ridge and add your link at the bottom of the post if you like.
A few days ago, a special package arrived in the mail. Inside was a well-loved copy of the book, The Shape of a Year by Jean Hersey. It was a gift from my dear cousin Ali, who had discovered it in her late grandmother's house. She had read it and thought that I might enjoy reading it as much as she did.
It turns out she was right. After reading the inside jacket and the introductory chapter, I knew that it was one of those unexpected treasures that find their way into the heart.
Here are a few excerpts that I particularly admire.
QUIET AND SMOOTH, fresh and untouched the new snow lies across our meadow. Its pristine surface catches the sunlight, and tree shadows stretch like great blue pencils over the unbroken white. The snow folds gently over rocks and hummocks half concealing, half revealing a variety of different shapes.
So lies our year ahead, its basic ingredients sun and shadow and suggested shapes of things to come. I wonder what we will do with this year, what it will do with us, and what together we and life will create during the twelve months ahead.
A new year is a gift... Things happen. We grow (we hope), and we learn willy nilly... Our reachings, acceptances, rejections, our hesitancies, courage, fears, and our loves, all these form the shape of the year for us, as individuals, as part of a family, as a member of a community.
For me, Hersey's words offer a gentle invitation to find joy in the ordinary gifts of each day of the year. She invokes a sense of purpose in the awareness and careful observation of ourselves and the world around us.
Though I was unable to find much information online about her personally or professionally, I was able to find a few tidbits about her life's work. Jean Hersey was born in 1902 in New York City. She later moved to Weston, Connecticut where she wrote several books about gardening including, A Woman's Day Book of Houseplants and I Like Gardening. Her other books, A Sense of Seasons and The Shape of a Year, are incredibly poetic memoirs that reflect her love of nature and her pleasure in documenting the beauty of ordinary life.
I have only begun to read The Shape of a Year, but I am certain that I will continue to be inspired by Hersey's graceful words and the joy she finds in the realm of daily life.
You can find some of her quotes HERE.
Invitation to Write:
The shape of our year will soon change again as we head into the summer season. Spend some time thinking about the shape of your year so far and the days to come. Where do you already find joy in your daily life routines? Take a moment to write and reflect on these instances.
Think about how these moments help shape your thinking throughout the year. What impact might this thinking have on your goals and challenges this year?
Welcome Poetry Friday visitors! Thanks for stopping by the ridge today. Another exciting round-up is happening over at Tara's space, A Teaching Life, where you'll find lots more poetry fun!
The dictionary defines fortitude as "strength in the face of adversity or difficulty." People described as having fortitude are often admired for their courage, which is why fortitude comes from the Latin word fortitudo, meaning "strength".
I thought it was such a great word for so many different reasons. I guess you could say, I fell in love with the word, as writers often do.
Not only did I like how powerful the way the word sounded when I said it out loud, but it also made me think about how much I would like to be regarded as someone who embodies fortitude. This poem is my attempt to find fortitude through the simple act of listening and surrendering to all of nature's teachings.
Invitation to Write:
There are some words that naturally have a way of sticking with us all the time. As writers, we keep list upon list of these words we hold dear. Think about some of your favorite words. What makes them special to you? Study the meaning(s) of the words. What do they mean to you? Try putting a few of these words together. Write whatever comes. You're sure to find what you were looking for. Words have a way of finding their way onto the page and into your heart.
Happy Poetry Friday! It is so good to be back with all my poetry friends. I am so very grateful to be a part of such an incredible community of poetry enthusiasts! All are welcome to join in the round-up at any time. This week, the poetry festivities are happening at Catherine's space, Reading to the Core.
Last week, I took a step outside to take a deep breath and write some poetry. I do this often, not just to find inspiration for writing, but especially before I take on the work of revision. I realize that when I take a step away from a draft for a period of time, I gain a sense of clarity and purpose for my work. Then when I am ready, I am eager to awake my resting draft and reread it with a renewed lens of attention. This "step out" strategy really has helped me approach the revising process with excitement and initiative.
Today, I am sharing a poem which came to life only because I chose to step out and away from my draft for a moment before returning to the real revision work with fresh eyes.
Invitation to Write:
Sometimes taking a step out or away from our normal routines can help refresh our thinking and help us to make sense of our world. As a writer, I have used this strategy often. Often times, a physical step out into nature or an emotional step out of my comfort zone, is just what I need to inspire new ideas. Other times, a step out and away from a first or second draft, allows me the time to consider my work with a fresh pair of eyes.
I invite you to take some time to think of how a step out or away from your current work might help you as a writer. Take your current work or a working draft, and let it rest in a quiet space for as long as you feel necessary. Then, give yourself permission to step out for awhile. When the time is right, take out your piece. Give yourself a nudge, and begin again.
Welcome, Poetry Friday friends! This week I am going back to my roots and sharing a poem that sprouted from my conversations with nature. For more poetry, visit Violet at her space Violet Nesdoly/poems.
Whenever my thoughts start to get a bit hazy or when I feel like I'm losing my perspective, I turn to nature. Each day brings so many new experiences and ideas to mull over in my brain. I love all the thinking and learning I get to do each day, but sometimes my brain goes into overload. I find it easier to lose track of my core beliefs during these overwhelming moments. When I sense that this is happening, I retreat to nature. The natural world serves as a haven for me. It provides a place for me to work through all the thoughts bouncing around in my head. Nature becomes a sanctuary where I can rejuvenate my thinking and writing life.
In this poem, I share a conversation with nature. That day at Blackjack Pond I remember imagining that the water thrush birds and the marsh shoots were speaking to me. It was as if they were welcoming me back to their world, a world where I could gain back a sense of my own perspective on subjects and topics that really matter to me.
Invitation to Write:
Think about where you find clarity in your life. It might be a person or a place that you go to for guidance, or maybe something you do to help balance your thoughts. Write about where and how you find sanctuary to approach new ideas while re-energizing your brain.
Invitation to write:
Sometimes when we allow ourselves to listen to the sounds of nature all around us, we end up imagining what the natural world might actually have to say to us. So whenever you are outside with nature, try to stop, listen, and even have a conversation with some of her friends.
Welcome! I'm Kiesha Shepard, and I have a love for writing and the teaching of writing. Whispers From the Ridge is a place where I can share my words and ideas for teaching writing. It's also a place for you to find inspiration for writing the words inside of you. I invite you into my world of writing as I capture the whispers from the ridge.
Follow by Email
Schedule of Round Up:
7 Carol at Beyond Literacy Link
14 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
21 Katie at The Logonauts
28 Linda at A Word Edgewise
4 Donna at Mainely Write
11 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
18 Kay at A Journey Through the Pages
25 Jone at Check it Out
1 Kat at Kathryn Apel
8 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
15 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
22 Amy at The Poem Farm
29 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
6 Violet at Violet Nesdoly | Poems
13 Irene at Live Your Poem
20 Leigh Ann at A Day in the Life
27 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
3 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
17 Jane at Raincity Librarian
24 Carol at Carol's Corner
1 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
8 Lisa at Steps and Staircases
15 Diane at Random Noodling
22 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
29 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe