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:
2 Heidi at my juicy little universe
9 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
16 Christie at Wondering and Wandering -- optional theme: trees
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
30 Kat at Kathryn Apel
6 Sylvia (and Janet) at Poetry for Children
13 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
20 Linda at TeacherDance
27 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
4 Cheriee at Library Matters
11 Catherine at Reading to the Core
18 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
25 Karen at Karen Edmisten*
1 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
8 Irene at Live Your Poem
15 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
22 Rebecca at Sloth Reads
29 Bridget at Wee Words for Wee Ones
6 Tanita at [fiction, instead of lies]
13 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
20 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
27 Michelle at Michelle Kogan