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.
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.
Welcome Poetry Friday readers! This week, I am sharing a poem that sprang up while I was exploring some different ways to use space and line length.
For more poetic posts, visit Dori at Dori Reads. She's rounding up the poetry peeks for us today. Thanks, Dori!
Invitation to Write:
Try having some fun with white space and line length in one of your poems. Notice how the changes in space and length influence the different aspects of your poem. How do the changes impact both the structure and the mood? Read your poem out loud, paying careful attention to your chosen syntax and line breaks. Rewrite if you choose, but be sure to save each draft! You might decide to take them out of the compost pile later and plant them in a new poem where they will grow just fine. Keep revising and rereading until your poem says to you, "I'm ready!"
When I sat down and reread the entry in my notebook that inspired this poem, it reminded me of the scene from one of my favorite books Owl Moon when the little girl and her Pa go owling. I recalled the opening to Jane Yolen's story and marveled at it again as I have often done. I decided at once that I would borrow those unforgettable first lines as a mentor for the poem I hoped to write about my ride with my son Zane.
As a writer, I have discovered the importance of collecting mentor texts and borrowing craft techniques from all the greats. I learn more about my own style and craft, the more I study the beauty of craft in mentor pieces.
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