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.
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Schedule of Round Up:
6 Linda at TeacherDance
13 Keri at Keri Recommends
20 Violet at Violet Nesdoly | Poems
27 Carol at Beyond Literacy Link
3 Penny at A Penny and Her Jots
10 Katie at The Logonauts
17 Jone at Check it Out
24 Karen at Karen Edmisten*
3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
10 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
17 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
24 Catherine at Reading to the Core
31 Amy at The Poem Farm
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
14 Dori at Dori Reads
21 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
28 JoAnn at Teaching Authors
5 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
12 Tara at A Teaching Life
19 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
2 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
9 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
16 Carol at Carol's Corner
23 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
30 Diane at Random Noodling