Nature #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem

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Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by a word or phrase mined from the pages of Henry David Thoreau’s jewel-laden journals. I have left my challenge open so that the poems may take any form — haiku, free verse, borrowed line, blackout –and who knows which direction they will go in.

Day #28: Nature

Nature (final)
infinite expectation
uncertainty broad and unexplored
from scraggy hillside to partridge drum
lies out there as old, and yet as new
varies every day
growth and changes of the seasons
influence of the elements
the eye never twice
rests upon the same prospect
much more does a
character show newly and variedly
if directly seen


A peek at my process

On April 28, 1841, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “I approach a great nature with infinite expectation and uncertainty, not knowing what I may meet. It lies as broad and unexplored before me as a scraggy hillside or pasture. I may hear a fox bark, or a partridge drum, or some bird new to these localities may fly up. It lies out there as old, and yet as new. The aspect of the woods varies every day, what with their growth and the changes of the seasons and the influence of the elements, so that the eye of the forester never twice rests upon the same prospect. Much more does a character show newly and variedly, if directly seen.(The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal I: 1837-1846, Chapter V. 1841, p. 254)

It would be hard to improve upon Thoreau’s thoughts about nature from this entry. In fact, I found his words so eloquent, that I scooped them up and formed them into a concrete found poem in the shape of a drumlin. Drumlins, and their geological opposites — kettle holes — dot the landscape here in Massachusetts and may be found all over the world. The image in the background is the namesake drumlin at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, just down the road from us in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Drumlins are giant deposits of sediment formed during the last glacial retreat. Their whale-like shape is steep in the front and tapers to a tail in the direction of the ice flow. The view from the top of this particular drumlin on a clear day is lovely, and Thoreau wrote about it in his journal in 1853.

And now for…

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Our Poetry Friday family has launched the 8th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche is taking over this year as the organizer. Many members of the #PoetryFriday family have signed up to provide a line for the 2020 poem, and Friday was my turn.

Here’s where things stand with our sweet poem’s adventure thus far.


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Today it’s Jessica Bigi’s turn to provide a line choice for Fran to choose from. You may find her lines on Mainely Write, as they have a guest appearance there today!

Here’s the itinerary for the final days of the Progressive Poem. I really don’t want it to end! Does it have to?

1 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
2 Irene Latham at 
Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, 
Liz Steinglass
Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at
7 Catherine Flynn at 
Reading to the Core
8 Tara Smith at 
Going to Walden
9 Carol Varsalona at 
Beyond Literacy Link
10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at 
Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme
11 Janet Fagel hosted at 
Reflections on the Teche
12 Linda Mitchell at 
A Word Edgewise
13 Kat Apel at 
Kat Whiskers
14 Margaret at 
Reflections on the Teche
15 Leigh Anne Eck at 
A Day in the Life
16 Linda Baie at 
Teacher Dance
17 Heidi Mordhorst at 
My Juicy Little Universe
18 Mary Lee Hahn at
 A Year of Reading
19 Tabatha at 
Opposite of Indifference
20 Rose Cappelli at 
Imagine the Possibilities
21 Janice Scully at 
Salt City Verse
22 Julieanne Harmatz at 
To Read, To Write, To Be
23 Ruth,
24 Christie Wyman at 
Wondering and Wandering
25 Amy at 
The Poem Farm
26 Dani Burtsfield at 
Doing the Work That Matters
27 Robyn Hood Black at 
Life on the Deckle Edge
28 Jessica Bigi at Mainely Write
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
Michelle Kogan

And lastly, I am also excited to share that I have joined the Teach Write blogging team and will be writing a Poetry Ponderings blog post for them every month. My first offering, Finding Your Poetry Secret Decoder Ring, is now live and May’s post, about inviting poetry into your classroom, will be up soon. And my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offers up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Think & Ink post in honor of National Poetry Month. I hope you will take a peek at all of the posts by the Teach Write team!

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