Happy Poetry Friday! It's so great to be visiting the round up. I'm grateful that our sweet friend, Carol is hosting this week at her space, Beyond LiteracyLink.
Throughout the month of November, I have taken some time to consider the simple things in my life and my gratefulness for them. I need only step out into nature, and I am reminded of the blissful way it calls to me. These days it is one of the things that is always sure to fill my cup. This old elm tree is one such majestic being that brings joy time and time again. It is particularly lovely in the autumn as it turns, and when there is also a full harvest moon on the rise, a poem is destined to emerge. For this poem, the words came to me in threes. Soon, images began to form and words tumbled on the page.
I invite you to be inspired by the "power of threes" strategy in my invitation below. May it stir your poetry spirit!
Invitation to Write:
As it so often happens in fairy tales. many things happen in threes. For this poem, I brainstormed a list of strong verbs. I arranged them and re-arranged them until I found my perfect combination of three. Afterward, I stepped out on my back porch and let nature do the rest! I focused in on the sights, sounds, and smells around me. I invite you to try out your own "power of three" poem as well. Once you have your three, allow yourself to immerse into your senses. Retreat to your own oasis for inspiration and let the pen carry you to wherever it may.
Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome to the ridge! I am excited to be hosting the round up this week. Thanks for visiting, and be sure to leave your link for others to enjoy!
This week, I would like to share a few poems by one of my favorite poets, Paul Laurence Dunbar. He is known for his dialectic poetry collections, novels, essays, short stories, and other poems. If you would like to learn more about his life and accomplishments, HERE is a link to an article with more information.
The two poems I would like to share are "Sympathy" and "We Wear the Mask." Enjoy!
BY PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR
I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals--
I know what the caged bird feels!
I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting--
I know why he beats his wing!
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,--
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings--
I know why the caged bird sings!
Paul Laurence. Dunbar, "“Sympathy.”" from The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, )
Source: Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2004)
We Wear the Mask
BY PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
Paul Laurence. Dunbar, "“We Wear the Mask.”" from The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, )
Invitation to Write:
A poet's words can often sustain us and change us all at once. With each word and line, our own emotions are unmasked. When we truly connect with a poem, it becomes a part of us. In this way, our favorite poems can be windows to our souls. Take some time to reread your favorite poems. Keep them close to you throughout the day. Memorize a line or the whole poem if you can. What do you value about these poems? How do the words of your favorite poems change you and sustain you?
Happy Poetry Friday! It's great to be back in the round up this week! For more poetry bliss, be sure to visit Christie's space, Wondering and Wandering.
I'm taking some much needed time this week to return to my writing life. While it brings me joy to be continuing to provide learning at home to my students and my own children, I am also reminded of the importance of taking care of myself. I think that is so crucial for all of us to do for ourselves and for others. Taking time to write or to do the thing you love is necessary right now more than ever. Whatever your heart is calling you to do, I wish you hope and courage to make the time to do it, for you.
Listen to my poem-
Invitation to Write:
Writing has the power to heal. It can provide us with an outlet to express ourselves in ways we never imagined. I invite you to set aside some time for you. Do the thing that makes your heart happy and your hope soar. Be present in the experience. Take it all in. Grab your favorite writing tools and write whatever comes.
Happy Poetry Friday! I am excited to be back in the roundup this week. Thanks for visiting the ridge. You can find lots more of the poetry fun happening at Sally's space HERE!
From now on, I choose brave. It was the one word destined to be my focus for the new year. It kept bubbling up in poems and books that I had been reading. Many of my friends and colleagues even started calling me brave. It's interesting because I never would have described myself as brave. I would call myself a risk-taker. I often seek out opportunities to stretch beyond my comfort level. But to me, being brave goes even deeper than that. The dictionary defines brave as:
ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage
By that definition, I realize I really am brave. I have had to show courage, and I have had to endure many emotional hardships this past year. But somehow, I found my voice. I found my brave. It comes from a deep urge inside of me to speak, to share, to witness, and to question. I am better for it. I will always choose brave.
Now is the time to be brave for ourselves, for each other, for our world. We must be brave together. As I gaze up at the full January Wolf moon, I am reminded of the courage that it takes to be truly brave.
Listen to my poem:
Invitation to Write-
What is your brave? How would you define it? What does it look like, feel like, sound like? Brave heart, write! You have a courageous story to tell.
Happy Poetry Friday, friends! Thank you for visiting me at the ridge. For more of the round-up, head over to Poetry for Children.
This week, I am sharing an image poem that I am offering to Carol Varsalona for her #EmbraceableSummer gallery. You can find out more about Carol's invitation at her space HERE. Thanks for the inspiration, Carol!
Listen to my poem-
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:
2 Laura at Laura Shovan
9 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
16 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
23 Kat at Kathryn Apel
30 Becky at Sloth Reads
6 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
13 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
20 Carol at The Apples in My Orchard
27 Elisabeth at Unexpected Intersections
3 Heidi at my juicy little universe
10 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
17 Denise at Dare to Care
24 Laura at Laura Purdie Salas
1 Catherine at Reading to the Core
8 Irene at Live Your Poem
15 Bridget at wee words for wee ones
22 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
29 Linda at TeacherDance
5 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
12 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
19 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
26 Ruth at there is no such thing as a God-forsaken town
3 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
10 Cathy at Merely Day by Day
17 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
24 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
31 Carol at Carol's Corner