Thursday, September 14, 2017

Poetry Friday -- September


Three cheers for Michelle H. Barns for hosting today's Poetry Friday on her blog: Today's Little Ditty.

I've learned so much from keeping up with her blog. Writing with Michelle feels like I'm participating in a workshop.





My poetry searches seemed to create a bit of a poem/painting conversation, this week. Enjoy. 





September 2


In the evening there were flocks of nighthawks
passing southward over the valley. The tall
sunflowers stood, burning on their stalks
to cold seed, by the still river. And high
up the birds rose into sight against the darkening
clouds. They tossed themselves among the fading
landscapes of the sky like rags, as in
abandonment to the summons their blood knew.
And in my mind, where had stood a garden
straining to the light, there grew
an acceptance of decline. Having worked,
I would sleep, my leaves all dissolved in flight.


Now
Soft
Fall is coming
shhhhhhhhhhh



September 9



It’s turneresque in twilight. The word comes at me
with its headlights on, so it’s revelation and not death.
I figure I’m halfway home though I’ve only started.
Nothing is moving but me: I’m a blackbird. The neigh-
bor’s in labor, but so am I, pushing against the road.
Physics tells us nothing is lost, but I’ve been copping
time from death and can’t relent for every job the stars
drop on my back.


Turneresque: Ballew, Dave. “September Twilight by DaveBallew at Simpson Gallagher Gallery.” September Twilight,Simpson Gallagher Gallery,www.simpsongallaghergallery.com/Artwork.cfm?artistID=7&artworkID=1054.





Thursday, September 7, 2017

Abecedarian & Found Book Review

One thing I love about my work is that it's never the same from day to day. I can work with students, teachers, and books in all kinds of ways.



This week, I was hard pressed for a Poetry Friday topic. There's just so much angst surrounding us with fires, floods, and fools.  I found myself searching my library's catalog for ABC hoping for some inspiration for Carole Boston Wetherford's abecedarian challenge on Michelle H. Barns' blog, Today's Little Ditty.

I'm not sure why, but this book, Rhythm Ride: A Road Through the Motown Sound by Andrea Pinkney (Roaring Brook Press 2015) came up in the results.

I located the book....and couldn't put it down. 


It's beautiful 

https://andreadavispinkney.com/books/

The story of Motown is one that I've never taken the time to learn. I just like the music. 


I wondered...could I....maybe....try to find lines from this gorgeous book for an abecedarian poem? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Well, maybe if I.....

So, it started out with finding one sentence. And, then there was another....and another. The first part of the poem is on the Today's Little Ditty Padlet--where Michelle collects contributions to her monthly challenge. You can't miss the abecedarian found poem. It has the book cover to Rhythm Ride as an illustration.




As for letters I-Z? check back someday soon to see if it's making some groovy waves.




I challenge you to find a book that you fall in love with....and turn it into an abecedarian found poem. It's a new way to get to know what you're reading. I'll bet middle school students would have fun with this too.

For Poetry Friday fun, stop by Radio Rhythm & Rhyme for this week's round up. Give Matt a hug and a high-five for publication of his first picture book, Flashlight. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

Finally, like so many others.....I'm holding those in the Caribbean and the southeast USA in my thoughts. These hurricanes are no joke. Please check in as soon as you can, friends.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Poetry Friday--Mistakes

Geesh, it's been another long week here in the US: First week of school for many, relentless worry over loved ones in the path of Hurricane Harvey....and our president never ceases to keep the news cycle interesting.

Thank you to Kathryn Apel for hosting a brilliant and joyful space for poetry in the midst of all that distracts and stresses.

Last week, Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference put out a call for submissions for poems about mistakes for a middle school collection. Pshaw....easy, I thought. I teach middle school. I can fill buckets with poems about mistakes.

Perhaps I put a little too much pressure on myself. Because, when I sat down with a blank page...those poems were being really shy. It turns out that I don't really want to write about a personal mistake.

So, I went looking for mentor poems. This one struck my fancy...and set my course.



I searched for famous mistakes and found fun articles on how items such as the slinky and silly putty, penicillin, microwave ovens and scotch guard began as mistakes. 

Now, we're cooking with gas, I thought. 

I want to convey in a poem about mistakes that they have a silver lining...they are instructional. They are opportunities. So, here is the direction my foray into mistake poems is headed. Who knows where I'll end up?

(c) Linda Mitchell

If you are still with me, there is a great TedEd talk, How to Learn, from Mistakes. It's ten minutes long. If you want to get to the heart of it...skip to minute number Five. 


Happy Poetry Friday....I wish you lots of mistakes!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Poetry Friday

Many friends are remembering their little ones these days--me too. 

Many thanks to Check it Out for hosting this week's Poetry Friday.
Gell, Mark. “Vintage Cycling Advertising.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 8 Dec. 2009, www.flickr.com/photos/markgell/4169660746/in/photostream/.

To A Daughter Leaving Home

When I taught you

at eight to ride

a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
goodbye.



(c) Linda Pastan

Society, The Saturday Evening Post. “Gallery: Early Bicycle Advertisements.” The Saturday Evening Post, 10 Jan. 2017, www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2017/01/10/archives/advertisements-archives/gallery-early-bicycle-advertisements.html.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

About Last Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday Round-Up is at A Journey Through the PagesThank You, Kay.

And, thanks everyone for birthday wishes! What a way to kick off a new rotation around the sun.


About Last Friday

I celebrate birthdays when my age ends in a zero or a five. Because that happened last Friday, my husband and I planned a special weekend away celebrating together with--touring, theater, fancy dining. 



However, Life and Death had other celebration plans...


On Friday, my family buried one of our dearest, my Godfather, Uncle John. 

Since before I was born, my uncle battled mental illness. Sometimes, the illness made it difficult to be close. Sometimes, it was a shining example of how God can use one's weakness for God's own strength and glory.

Throughout his life, my Uncle never was judgmental or condemning or unaccepting of anyone...even if that person was in the wrong by his or anyone else's standards. 

My Uncle lived the words of  Saint Francis' prayer.


When it was my turn to speak at his funeral mass I leaned on poetry. 

What to do When a God Father Dies


Think how he’s not your Dad
     but he is a kind of a father
     chosen just for you.

Remember him present for birthdays
     and church – all the sacraments
     graduations and more.

God in an invited father
     who you see – always there
     and who watches over you, too.

Think about a Godfather
     watching you grow and grow
     as he slowed and slowed.

Remember prayers that covered all
     when you didn’t know you needed them
     even when you walked away.

God has gathered your godfather
     into His rest as you take steps in faith
     on a journey without him, but not alone.

This year, I celebrate a golden anniversary
     of knowing God the Father
     more because of Uncle John, my godfather.

I am grateful.

(c) Linda Mitchell

My family celebrating Uncle John's life after his funeral...Amen!

Everyone should be so fortunate as to have an Uncle John in their life. My life is rich beyond measure because I have. 


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Poetry Friday 8/11/17

Happy Birthday to my Birthday twin, Margaret Simon, at 

Reflections on the Teche this week's host of Poetry Friday.


I've never known a birthday twin before and have started close reading and writing with Catherine, Margaret, Julie, and Heidi.
It's so fun I'm throwing confetti as you read this.


Last week I enjoyed pairing a known painting and a known poem so much, that I wanted to the activity again. 

This might be fun with students....asking students to find (or create) an image to pair with a poem and give reasons why. 

Take a look at one of my favorite poets, Linda Pastan and painter Pierre Bonnard. Both had me at Vermilion.











Vermilion

Pierre Bonnard would enter
the museum with a tube of paint
in his pocket and a sable brush.
Then violating the sanctity
of one of his own frames
he'd add a stroke of vermilion
to the skin of a flower.
Just so I stopped you
at the door this morning
and licking my index finger, removed
an invisible crumb
from your vermilion mouth. As if
at the ritual moment of departure
I had to show you still belonged to me.
As if revision were
the purest form of love. 

~Linda Pastan
Pastan, Linda. “Vermilion.” PoemHunter.com, The Poem Hunter, 13 Jan. 2003, www.poemhunter.com/poem/vermilion/.
Pierre Bonnard | The Green Blouse | The Met.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I.e. The Met Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Poetry Friday August 4

“MoMA Learning.” MoMA | Vincent Van Gogh. The Starry Night. 1889, Museum of Modern Art, www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/vincent-van-gogh-the-starry-night-1889.

“Vincent Van Gogh. The Starry Night. Saint Rémy, June 1889 | MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art, www.moma.org/collection/works/79802.

Whitman, Walt. “When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer by Walt Whitman.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45479/when-i-heard-the-learnd-astronomer.
St.Claire, Natalya. “The Unexpected Math behind Van Gogh's ‘Starry Night’ - Natalya St. Clair.” TED-Ed, TED CONFERENCES, LLC, ed.ted.com/lessons/the-unexpected-math-behind-van-gogh-s-starry-night-natalya-st-clair.

Visit Donna at Mainly Write for more Poetry Friday fun!