“Snows hard in afternoon…” #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 #27: “Snows hard in afternoon…”

Copy of Winter's Final Curtain Call

A peek at my process

On April 27, 1858, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Snows hard in afternoon and evening. Quite wintry. About an inch on ground the next morning.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal X: August 8, 1957-June 29, 1858, Chapter IX. 1858, p. 385)

Snow is sadly in the forecast for us tonight and the early o. It isn’t unusual for us to still have a few flurries this time of year in New England, but fortunately, they don’t last for very long.

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 Robyn Hood Black’s turn to conjure up new lines for Jessica to choose from. You may find them on her blog, Life on the Deckle Edge.

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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Two Blue Herons #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, all! Robyn Hood Black is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, Life on the Deckle Edge.  Won’t you join us there? Robyn is sharing some lovely Scottish memories as well as a few bird-related treats. My offerings this week share an avian connection — two blue herons. 

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Blue Heron #1 — Here in the Boston area — Cambridge, to be exact — we are blessed with a vibrant early music scene. One particular resident vocal ensemble, Blue Heron, has been getting loads of well-deserved attention lately. This is in part because in 2018 their CD, Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks Vol. 5, won a Gramophone Classical Music Award for Early Music, the British equivalent to a Grammy! (Click here to have a listen.) It is now part of a boxed set, The Lost Music of Canterbury.

I have been mesmerized by polyphonic Renaissance choral music since I was a child, and had the good fortune to be selected to sing in several small groups dedicated to this style beginning in Middle School and straight through until after I had graduated from college. To this day, listening to this music still sends chills down my spine. My husband and I wait eagerly for the next concert in Blue Heron’s subscription series the minute one performance ends. (Note: For those of you in the NYC area, they perform there quite often!)

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And why did they choose Blue Heron for their name? This from their website: “Someone once mentioned to us a medieval legend which had it that the heron was the only bird that sang in parts, but we have been unable to substantiate the tale.” Fact or fiction? Who knows, but it makes for a terrific tale. And it leads me to…

Blue Heron #2 — My companion Great Blue Heron was found on the shores of Ithaca’s Sapsucker Pond on the campus of Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology. I had the great privilege to spend a week there last summer, studying with other science educators. The Great Blue Heron is a favorite bird of mine. This one in particular, who made an almost daily appearance, inspired several haiku which I’ve dusted off to share today as a side dish to the main course. 

heron poetry

P.S. If you live near Providence, Seattle, or Vancouver, Blue Heron (the singers, that is) is headed your way! 


Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. I hope you’ll join us on this Poetry Friday by posting a bit of poetry — your’s or someone else’s — and leaving a comment here or there.