No reply at all #PoetryFriday

This week, my Teach Write “Playing with Poetry” workshop participants are hearing voices. Figuratively speaking, that is! We are playing around with voices and perspective, including, but not limited to, writing to someone or something or as someone or something.

While preparing for this week’s time together, I reviewed my own body of work and discovered I have written more poems of address (or apostrophe poems) than I realized.

to a willow catkin
to our class wood frog babies
simultaneously to my writing notebook and Henry David Thoreau

No reply at all,” to quote the lyrics to one of my favorite Genesis songs.

My mystery bird of course hasn’t shown up since the Cornell Lab of Ornithology added “Sound ID” to their already amazing Merlin app earlier this summer. It figures, right?

Isn’t it interesting how we are drawn to certain forms and subject matter more than others? Who or what do you write about or to? Which poetic forms are in your comfort zone? And what about audience? In this week’s session we had a great conversation about who we tend to write poetry for — kids or adults — and what makes a poem a “kid’s” poem or and adult poem.

Many thanks to this week’s hostess, Rebecca Herzog, for hosting this week. You can find her roundup on her blog, Sloth Reads. I hope you will join us for reading, writing, commenting, and celebrating Poetry Friday!


8 thoughts on “No reply at all #PoetryFriday

  1. Christie, what a great topic for this week’s class. I tend to write for adults, or really for me, I guess. I don’t think I have written too many children’s poems, though a I would like to explore that voice more. I recently wrote a poem to the apostle Peter after reading a chapter in the book Holy Curiosity.

    My favorite poem of yours is the one you wrote to your writing notebook and Thoreau: “Wandering and wondering / together” and “Listening / For whispers and songs” Great images and I love who you are writing to. Lots of treasures here.


  2. These are are fantastic! I will have to go back through my work and see how many apostrophe poems I have. I know I have a lot of poems about monsters and other things that go bump in the night. Hope you have a great day!


  3. Wonderful post this week Christie, so many treasure filled poems here. I love the soft-spoken yet info pact journey in “Tiny frogs,” from “Tiny teachers,” and your delightful flying frog image!
    And two more favorite lines, ” to the web of nature,” and “I have Merlin,” perhaps Merlin is also from Camelot…
    I write and the poems land where they land, though I do write for children’s publications. And I write for our environment, nature, humanity, social causes, and sometimes, whims that call on me,Thanks!


  4. I think this is a form that works well for children. A poem of address can also be an ode or poem of praise as yours are. Maybe a collection is forming?


  5. It is interesting to step back and see what topics we’re drawn to write poems about. For me it’s definitely nature, so I particularly enjoyed your nature-themed poems. And the tip about the Merlin app, which I did not know about! Thanks!


  6. I love that last stanza in your bird poem! I have heard about the sound ID on the Merlin app, but I haven’t used it yet. You have inspired me to look through my blog for poems of address!


  7. Sorry I’m just getting here, Christie! I’ve done a couple of sorts of all my poems in the last few years but I haven’t ever really looked at form/type, for whatever reason. I do love a poem of address, much more than mask poems, and these are so friendly and intimate–probably like you! It’s good to have them all in one place–can you make a collection?


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