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 to Whispers from the Ridge! I'm so glad you are joining me on this Poetry Friday. For all the poetry offerings this week, stop by Katie's space The Logonauts.
Today, I am honoring the memory of a dear friend of mine who passed away earlier this week. She was such an incredible motivator and mentor to so many. Many lives were inspired by her passion for her family and the work she loved. She will be sorely missed.
Yet, her dedication to children and her love of literacy will live on. Her belief in providing an authentic space for real readers and writers to create will continue to positively impact the lives of children in classrooms across our school district.
When she wasn't putting her heart and soul into her leadership work as our district ELA curriculum coordinator, she was often hanging out at her special beach spot with her family. She loved the beach. It was where she would spend hours laying in a simple hammock with a notebook and a good book.
This poem is in loving memory of her and the place she dearly loved.
Invitation to Write:
Writing can have the power to heal at times. Often times when we are having a rush of emotions, we can feel overwhelmed with all the words and feelings we want to express. Getting them written on paper can help pin them down. Once on the paper, we can begin to sort them out and make sense of them. Whenever you are full of a blur of emotions, try writing them down. Put the pen to the page, and let yourself go. Spilling thoughts and feelings onto the page during any emotional state can be good for the writer's soul.
Happy Poetry Friday and July full moon week! On the ridge this week I am sharing a poem in honor of my friend, the moon. For more Poetry Friday friends and offerings, visit Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink.
There's just something about a full moon that really helps ignite my writing ideas. It's fun to watch the moon grow and rise. My writing seems to grow more full and heavy with emotions the more time I spend under the moonlight. Perhaps that's why the moon is one of my favorite magnet topics. I can always find inspiration from its glow. In this way, I consider the moon as one of my "topic friends."
As a writer, I think it's so important to have topic friends to count on as well as people in your life that you consider writing friends. These might be members of a writing group, colleagues, or even members of your family.
If you would like to see the full moon this week, be sure to look to the sky on Sunday July 9th. My dear friend, moon, will be there waiting to light the way to many new words and writing ideas for you!
Invitation to Write:
Make a list of your "topic friends" and other writing friends. Think about one of your topics and spend a little time collecting ideas around this friend. Sometimes having a conversation with your topic and listening to your topic speak to you is helpful, too! After you have collected around your "topic friend", choose a writing friend from your other list as someone you can talk to about your writing. Writing with friends can be a rewarding and joyful experience!
Welcome Poetry Friday visitors! Thanks for stopping by the ridge today. Another exciting round-up is happening over at Tara's space, A Teaching Life, where you'll find lots more poetry fun!
The dictionary defines fortitude as "strength in the face of adversity or difficulty." People described as having fortitude are often admired for their courage, which is why fortitude comes from the Latin word fortitudo, meaning "strength".
I thought it was such a great word for so many different reasons. I guess you could say, I fell in love with the word, as writers often do.
Not only did I like how powerful the way the word sounded when I said it out loud, but it also made me think about how much I would like to be regarded as someone who embodies fortitude. This poem is my attempt to find fortitude through the simple act of listening and surrendering to all of nature's teachings.
Invitation to Write:
There are some words that naturally have a way of sticking with us all the time. As writers, we keep list upon list of these words we hold dear. Think about some of your favorite words. What makes them special to you? Study the meaning(s) of the words. What do they mean to you? Try putting a few of these words together. Write whatever comes. You're sure to find what you were looking for. Words have a way of finding their way onto the page and into your heart.
Happy Poetry Friday! It is so good to be back with all my poetry friends. I am so very grateful to be a part of such an incredible community of poetry enthusiasts! All are welcome to join in the round-up at any time. This week, the poetry festivities are happening at Catherine's space, Reading to the Core.
Last week, I took a step outside to take a deep breath and write some poetry. I do this often, not just to find inspiration for writing, but especially before I take on the work of revision. I realize that when I take a step away from a draft for a period of time, I gain a sense of clarity and purpose for my work. Then when I am ready, I am eager to awake my resting draft and reread it with a renewed lens of attention. This "step out" strategy really has helped me approach the revising process with excitement and initiative.
Today, I am sharing a poem which came to life only because I chose to step out and away from my draft for a moment before returning to the real revision work with fresh eyes.
Invitation to Write:
Sometimes taking a step out or away from our normal routines can help refresh our thinking and help us to make sense of our world. As a writer, I have used this strategy often. Often times, a physical step out into nature or an emotional step out of my comfort zone, is just what I need to inspire new ideas. Other times, a step out and away from a first or second draft, allows me the time to consider my work with a fresh pair of eyes.
I invite you to take some time to think of how a step out or away from your current work might help you as a writer. Take your current work or a working draft, and let it rest in a quiet space for as long as you feel necessary. Then, give yourself permission to step out for awhile. When the time is right, take out your piece. Give yourself a nudge, and begin again.
Welcome Poetry Friday friends! Don't miss today's round-up over at Brenda's Friendly Fairy Tales, where there's tons of poetry magic! Thank you for hosting, Brenda!
This week I decided to share a poem that expresses my feelings for a plant in my yard that I am particularly fond of. You see, I have a habit of writing about my admiration for all living things up here on the ridge. I'm afraid I just can't help myself! There are so many things in this world to shower with poetic adoration. My Elaeagnus plant happens to be one of the things that brings me joy to write about this time of year. It graces my yard each fall by offering up the most delicious autumn fragrance. The tiny white flowers are practically invisible to the eye, but the smell that fills the air is hard to miss! Something about the smell takes me back to the many autumn memories of my childhood. Out of all the ways to express my affinity for this silvery shrub, a letter seemed the most appropriate form in which to declare my gratefulness.
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving wherever you are. May your hearts be thankful and glad!
Invitation to Write:
Writers have different ways of expressing their emotions within poems. Think about the people and things in your life that you have strong emotions for. You might start by making a list of these in your notebook. Then pick one and start jotting all the different feelings and emotions you have for that one thing. Ask yourself, "Why do I feel this way?" and "What does this mean to me?" Now read through the words and descriptions you have down on paper. How will you choose to express them as a writer? What form will you use to declare your emotions? Play around with your words and lines. You'll discover lots of ways to express yourself as a writer!
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:
7 Carol at Beyond Literacy Link
14 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
21 Katie at The Logonauts
28 Linda at A Word Edgewise
4 Donna at Mainely Write
11 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
18 Kay at A Journey Through the Pages
25 Jone at Check it Out
1 Kat at Kathryn Apel
8 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
15 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
22 Amy at The Poem Farm
29 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
6 Violet at Violet Nesdoly | Poems
13 Irene at Live Your Poem
20 Leigh Ann at A Day in the Life
27 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
3 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
17 Jane at Raincity Librarian
24 Carol at Carol's Corner
1 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
8 Lisa at Steps and Staircases
15 Diane at Random Noodling
22 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
29 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe