“singularly rare” #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem

ThoreaulyInspired Logo (1)

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 #23: “singularly rare”

 

singularly rare

A peek at my process

On April 23, 1857, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “I saw at Ricketson’s a young woman,
Miss Kate Brady, twenty years old, her father an Irishman, a worthless fellow, her mother a smart Yankee. The daughter formerly did sewing, but now keeps school for a livelihood…I never heard a girl or woman express so strong a love for nature. She purposes to return to that lonely ruin, and dwell there alone, since her mother and sister will not accompany her; says that she knows all about farming and keeping sheep and spinning and weaving, though it would puzzle her to shingle the old house. There she thinks she can “live free.” I was pleased to hear of her plans, because they were quite cheerful and original, … A strong love for outward nature is singularly rare among both men and women. The scenery immediately about her homestead is quite ordinary, yet she appreciates and can use that part of the universe as no other being can. Her own sex, so tamely bred, only jeer at her for entertaining such an idea, but she has a strong head and a love for good reading, which may carry her through. I would by no means discourage, nor yet particularly encourage her, for I would have her so strong as to succeed in spite of all ordinary discouragements. It is very rare that I hear one express a strong and imperishable attachment to a particular scenery, or to the whole of nature, — I mean such as will control their whole lives and characters.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal IX: August 16, 1856 – August 7, 1857, Chapter IX. 1857, p. 335-336)

My attempt at a gogyohka, or five-line micro poem, was found among the lines of Thoreau’s journal entry. It sounds as if Thoreau found a kindred spirit in Kate Brady. He scribes such high praise for her, remarking on her love of nature, her desire to live free, and her appreciation for all that an unremarkable and simple place has to offer.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

Our Poetry Friday family 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.  Here’s our sweet poem’s adventure thus far.

Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.

I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song
and night melts into a rose gold dawn

Deep into nature’s embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold
hints of sun lightly dapple the trees
calling out the sleepy bees

Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

We freeze. My green eyes and her brown
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away
Safely exiting this strange ballet.

I continue the path that winds down to the lake.
Missing my breakfast for beauty’s sake

Oh my! And now I’ve got to choose between Ruth‘s two line options:

But what’s that smell up there ahead? OR

But wait, what’s that delicious smell?

And then, I need to offer up my own for my poetry pal, Amy. Too much pressure! Tune in tomorrow to see which way I go.

Here’s the itinerary for the poem.

1 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
2 Irene Latham at 
Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, 
deowriter
Liz Steinglass
Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at 
https://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/
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, 
thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
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 TBD
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
30 
Michelle Kogan

In other news…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 my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offers up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Think & Ink post. I hope you will take a peek!

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 10.30.26 AM

 

#EarthDay #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #WaldenWednesday

ThoreaulyInspired Logo (1)

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 #22: Earth Day

I do believe (fibonacci) (1)

You were born curious (blackjack) (1)
Fibonacci (top) and Black Jack (bottom)

A peek at my process

On April 22, 1855, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “To Assabet stone bridge. Tree sparrows still. See a song sparrow getting its breakfast in the water on the meadow like a wader. Red maple yesterday, — an early one by further stone bridge. Bahm-of-Gilead probably to-morrow. The black currant is just begun to expand leaf — probably, yesterday elsewhere — a little earlier than the red. Though my hands are cold this morning I have not worn gloves for a few mornings past, — a week or ten days. The grass is crow become rapidly green by the sides of the road, promising dandelions and buttercups.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal VII: September 1, 1854 – October 30, 1855, Chapter XIII. 1855, p. 328)

I had my fingers crossed I’d find the perfect Earth Day-ish journal entry on April 22 somewhere in Thoreau’s writings. Something that mentioned the earth, its beauty, its grandeur, or our responsibility as its citizens for protecting it. But in all honesty, while Earth Day wasn’t celebrated during Thoreau’s time, every day was Earth Day to him. Day after day, he never took for granted all that surrounded him. He never ceased to notice or be marveled by any of it — the sparrow’s song, the budding of red maples, black currants, dandelions, buttercups, or the fact that he no longer had to wear gloves on a daily basis because the temperature was rising. He never missed a thing, and neither should we.

My two Earth Day poems today are variations on a theme. The top is in Fibonacci format — 6 lines with the word count 1/1/2/3/5/8 —  and the other a Black Jack — 3 lines each with 7 syllables.

And now for…

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.57.16 PM

Our Poetry Friday family 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.  Here’s our sweet poem’s adventure thus far.

Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.

I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song
and night melts into a rose gold dawn

Deep into nature’s embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold
hints of sun lightly dapple the trees
calling out the sleepy bees

Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

We freeze. My green eyes and her brown
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away
Safely exiting this strange ballet.

I continue the path that winds down to the lake.

It’s Julieanne Harmatz’ turn to provide lines today. You can find the lines she is proposing to the next host, Ruth, on her blog, To Read. To Write. To Be. We are inching closer to my lap of the relay, the 24th line on Friday. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.

1 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
2 Irene Latham at 
Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, 
deowriter
Liz Steinglass
Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at 
https://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/
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, 
thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
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 TBD
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
30 
Michelle Kogan

In other news…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 my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offers up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Think & Ink post. I hope you will take a peek!

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 10.30.26 AM

 

A Message for #EarthDay #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Happy National Poetry Month! This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is to end with a message. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. It’s Earth Day today, so if ever there was a day for messages, this is it. In reflecting on the poems I’ve written throughout this month-long challenge, I often end with a message.

Let's go for a walk (1)Woods Walk (1)I believe (1)Vernal Pools

As Amy states, sometimes the message comes to us before the body of the poem. Other times the poem guides us to the message. One message that stands out to me, perhaps stronger than the others, is the final stanza in I Believe — “I believe you were born curious/Let that curiosity/protect the world we call home.” In rereading that stanza, and looking at it closely, I realized it’s a message that can stand on its own two feet. I became curious to see if the syllable count or form followed any formal poetic structure. Much to my surprise — and delight — it can be both a Fibonacci poem (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8) and a Blackjack poem (7, 7, 7), with a little editing.

I do believe (fibonacci)
Fibonacci form (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8)
You were born curious (blackjack)
Blackjack form (7, 7, 7)

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began has begun making her way in the world, finding her poetic voice, and teach us a new game. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

*******************************************************

This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 8.21.35 AM

 

 

 

Bluebirds and Let’s Go For A Walk #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday and National Poetry Month! Many thanks to Tabatha Yeatts for hosting our weekly get together today over at The Opposite of Indifference. She’s celebrating the release of IMPERFECT:  poems about mistakes: an anthology for middle schoolers. Thinking back on the hairdo (hairdon’t, really!) I had in middle school, that is THE time to be imperfect in your life. It’s all good!

Let’s kick things off with a bit of haiku inspired by a sweet bluebird who appeared during my well-filling walk Wednesday morning.

tiny bluebird
tiny bluebird you can’t hide/blue wave lengths of light/reveal your flight plan

Isn’t he sweet? We played a little hide and seek (or was it cat and mouse?) for a bit. What a joy! And I think it’s fascinating that blue feathers aren’t actually blue at all. Click here for the science behind that factoid!

fullsizeoutput_be89

This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is a back and forth structure. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. In the beginning of the month, I collected ideas from my Kindergarten students, vernal pool experts, for my writing. One of the conversations had been about what they thought the animals in the forest thought of our visits and what they might be thinking and possibly saying to us as we approach them at the vernal pool.

From these ideas, scribbled in my notebook, came today’s poem. It follows the back and forth structure and features comments and thoughts from both my Kindergarten scientists and the creatures we like to visit. Sometimes the animals respond, sometimes their comments are independent. It ends with a joint Earth Day-ish message for all.

Let's go for a walk (1)

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began is beginning to make her way in the world and find her poetic voice. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to hear what she says!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

*******************************************************

This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 8.21.35 AM

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 6.15.18 PM