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! Thanks so much for visiting the ridge. Be sure to head over to Dani's space HERE! You are sure to find poetry delights waiting for you!
When I think about endurance, I think of a long distance runner. I picture the runner forging forward and getting stronger with each mile. There is pain. There is exhaustion. And despite all this, the runner surges forward. The runner knows something about what lies ahead. That's why the runner pushes past the pain and past the exhaustion. The runner knows that through endurance, there is triumph. The runner knows something else, too. At the end of the run, there is fulfillment in the journey.
Picturing the endurance of the runner, gives me hope. Whenever I feel like giving up, I think of the runner. I think of the courage and strength it takes to keep going. There must be many times the runner feels like stopping, but the runner understands what it means to endure. It's not easy, but it's necessary. I remind myself of this daily. I must endure to succeed. This poem is a reflection of what endurance means to me. It takes courage and strength to reach the finish line. When we do, we realize the true test was not the race but rather our endurance to push through our doubt along the way. The result, no matter what it is, changes us in unmistakable ways. In the end, we are better equipped to endure the next race.
Listen to my Poem-
Invitation to Write:
No matter what race you endure, remember that there is courage and strength with each step you take. Writing about times or situations that have tested your endurance can help you reflect and move forward. Take some time to jot down what endurance means to you. How have the things you've endured changed you or grown you?
Happy Poetry Friday, friends! This week, Tabatha is hosting the roundup at her space, The Opposite of Indifference. You'll find many poetry delights waiting for you there!
This week, I will be wrapping up a month long blog series centered around reflection. I have learned so much about myself as a writer throughout this series and will continue to do so, but the thing that has bubbled up the most for me throughout this process, is that response drives reflection. Response is a powerful action. Our response to reflection can spark so many new thoughts and purposeful change. The same thing is true when someone responds to our reflections. Our words and thoughts are validated. They matter. We all need someone to share our reflections with. Our responsiveness to life and to each other is worth sharing.
Listen to my poem-
Invitation to Write:
We each have a unique voice to be heard. What makes yours unique? What is it that others might miss out on if you did not share your voice? What are you passionate about sharing with others? Write something you care about, something you want to stir up a bit. If you do, I invite you to share your learning reflections with the #TeacherMyth followers on Twitter. This group is also thinking deeply about reflective practices and the power of response.
Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks for stopping by the ridge this holiday weekend. For more of the poetry festivities, visit Buffy's space HERE. I wish all of you a joyful holiday!
This week, I am sharing a poem of resolution. When we make a resolution, we make a firm decision to do something or not to do something. In my experience, it is much easier for me to make a resolution than it is to keep it. I tend to be wishy-washy when it comes to making definitive decisions sometimes. I find myself resolving to do things that may be too far off in the distance to settle on so intently. Instead, I resolve to do better at setting my sights on doing and caring for things that are already in my current reality. Our sweet pony reminded me of this, each time I failed to acknowledge him when he stuck out his nose for me to give him a touch or a tickle. He made me realize, I must do better. Time must stand still for all the good in my life; all that is waiting to be seen.
Invitation to Write:
Have you ever made a resolution? If so, take some time to write them down in your notebook or write down a new one. Writing poems of resolution can help you stay focused and committed to what's important to you.
Happy International Peace Day and beyond! Our dear friend Amy is hosting the round-up this week at her poem patch, The Poem Farm.
The theme of this year's International Day of Peace is Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All. So what does "peace" really mean?
Webster's dictionary defines the word peace as:
1. a state of tranquility or quiet
2. freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
3. harmony in personal relations
4. a state or period of mutual concord between governments
While these words describe the common definition of one of our favorite five letter words in poetry, I'm certain we could each give our own unique definition of what peace means to us. In fact, let's give it a try right now. Think about the word peace and what it means to you. How would you define peace in your life, work, and in your world?
No matter how you describe it, a day of peace is a day shared with all humanity. And that's always something to celebrate.
If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships-the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace. Franklin D Roosevelt
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:
3 Linda at A Word Edgewise
10 Ruth at There is no such thing a a God-forsaken town
17 Jan at Bookseedstudio w/optional theme: FLOAT
24 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
31 Catherine at Reading to the Core
7 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
14 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
21 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
28 Heidi at my juicy little universe
4 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
11 Kiesha at Whispers From the Ridge
18 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
25 Jone at Deo Writer
2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
9 Bridget at wee words for wee ones
16 Janice at Salt City Verse
23 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
30 Linda at TeacherDance
6 Susan at Soul Blossom Living
13 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
20 Suzy at The Poetry Garden
27 Carol at Carol's Corner
4 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
11 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
18 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
25 Irene at Live Your Poem