It's so great to be back with the Poetry Friday community this week! I welcome your words here at the ridge today. For more of the round-up, Liz is hosting today at her space, HERE.
A few weeks back, when I was home sick, I stumbled across a film documentary of the legendary poet Robert Frost. I was so inspired and intrigued by his words, that I quickly pulled for my notebook to document the experience in some way.
It all began with this poem he recited. The word "retreat" tugs at heart each time I read this poem. In his commentary, Frost spoke of his purposeful decision to use the word retreat, despite the fact that it rhymes with defeat. There is no shame in retreat. We don't escape, we retreat for reasons that are ours alone. In doing so, we regain our strength and fortify ourselves to reach those places we've not been. Following Frost's poem is my own poem, which was inspired by this remarkable man and poet. And to my incredible friends, who give me strength in my retreat. They let me know, I'm not alone.
In winter in the woods alone
Against the trees I go.
I mark a maple for my own
And lay the maple low.
At four o'clock I shoulder ax
And in the afterglow
I link a line of shadowy tracks
Across the tinted snow.
I see for Nature no defeat
In one tree's overthrow
Or for myself in my retreat
For yet another blow.
I would like to end with some of my favorite lines and speeches that Frost shared within the film. Perhaps some of the most cherished words I hung on, were his words on poetry.
"It starts with a mood. It's a curious state that takes over you...Every poem solved something for me in my life. Every poem is a momentary stay against the confusion of the world. Then so is making a basket or making a horseshoe. Giving anything form, gives you a confidence in the universe, that it has form. All you want to do is get a sense of form, makes you healthy and well, makes you feel like there is some sort of form to your business, your occupation."
I am often in awe of inspirational poets like Robert Frost, and I find that I have this same admiration for my dearest friends. I am grateful for courageous friends who challenge me every step of the way. I couldn't agree more with the words of Mr. Robert Frost, "The gamble of life takes bravery." I'm so glad to be able to boldly venture forward with my friends as we make our mark on this world.
Invitation to Write:
Think about the notion of retreating and finding form. Where do you retreat for strength? What sense of form do you seek? Who or what inspires you to retreat in search of this form? Write down your thoughts for safe keeping!
Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks for joining me this week. Donna is hosting our first round-up for February at her space mainelywrite.blogspot.com/.
This time of year, I love to walk into the woods and hear the joyful noise of winter birds. Their chatter and songs in unison, are music to my ears! I especially enjoy the whistling notes and repeated syllables of the Robins. If you listen closely, it almost sounds like, "cheerily, cheer up, cheer up, cheerily, cheer up!" I wondered if I could write a poem in metrical verse that created a rhythmic pattern that sounded very much like the repetitive tunes of the Robins. It was certainly worth a shot, and I had a lot of fun trying it out! The result is the poem I am sharing today, written in tetrameter couplets (for the most part I think)! I love that poems offer us so much grace to try new things.
Invitation to Write:
One of the wonderful things about poetry is the freedom and space it invites us to explore with. I like to study and learn about the different technical elements of poetry. Learning the craft of writing poems is an important task, but sometimes it's easy to get bogged down in the technicalities. That's when I remember the words of Mary Oliver, "Poems must, of course, be written in emotional freedom." So whenever you feel yourself getting wrapped up in formalities, take back your freedom, and write from your heart.
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 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
13 Sylvia at Poetry for Children
20 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
27 Catherine at Reading to the Core
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
10 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
17 Christy at Wondering and Wandering
24 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
31 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
7 Carol V. at Beyond LiteracyLink
14 Amy at The Poem Farm
21 Erin at The Water's Edge
28 Jone at Deowriter
5 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
12 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
19 Kimberly at Kimberly Hutmacher Writes
26 Kay at A Journey Through the Pages
2 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
9 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
16 Linda B. at TeacherDance
23 Irene at Live Your Poem
30 Carol W. at Carol's Corner
7 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
14 Laura S. at Laura Shovan
21 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
28 Donna at Mainely Write
1 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
3 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
4 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
5 Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
9 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
10 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
14 Heidi at my juicy little universe
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
21 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
22 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
25 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
28 Kat at Kat's Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads