Thursday, October 11, 2018

Poetry Friday --Falling in love with the Kyrielle

Poetry Friday....oh, it's so good to see you again.

Today's round up is hosted by Writing the World for Kids. Laura Purdie Salas is a pretty amazing poet-author AND cheerleader for other writers. I recommend visiting her and signing up for updates from her blog.

Have you fallen in love with the Kyrielle? If I'm correct, Robin Hood Black kicked off love of them with her blog post of September 27th in which she introduced us to poems of hers included in The Poetry of Us edited by J. Patrick Lewis (National Geographic. September 2018).

Robyn also shared a definition of the form:

I had never heard of a kyrielle before, but I loved the sound of the form, the history....what Amy Van Derwater did with the form in her poem Monarchs and Math: A Kyrielle last week. So, I decided to give it a go. 

One of Molly Hogan's photographs was inspiration for my exercise in Kyrielle writing. I had a hard time with an ABAB pattern. Writer buddy Margaret Simon helped me figure out that the poem was stronger as AABB and I'm pretty happy with my first crack at this form. It's so pretty. I know I'll write more. You?

First, the photograph prompt by Molly

By Molly Hogan

Next, a quote from Ann LaMott to get the juices flowing...

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.   Anne Lamott

Finally, a kyrielle...

Mystery of Grace

River and I are watching Sun both of us on a daily run
Enter morning without a fuss
A mystery of grace greets us

My sneakers pound and race ahead
River makes-up its unmade bed
We routinely do what we must
A mystery of grace greets us

Shadow and rapids round the bend
We brace ourselves for dark again
A mist-moored boat whispers, trust
A mystery of grace greets us

River and I, long running friends
know that in due course shadow ends
We re-enter sun’s light joyous
A mystery of grace greets us

(c) Linda Mitchell

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Riffing on American Children's Poets of 1920s

Happy Poetry Friday, friends.

This week's round-up is hosted by Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference . I hope you get a chance to spend time at her blog. She brings a fresh look to poetry every single week. 

Last week, Renee La Tulippe and Lee Bennett Hopkins teamed up to present the first episode in their series: History of American Children's Poets. I loved the interview and chat between these two. The poems from the 1920s were new to me. I chose two as mentor texts to write to.

The first is,

Something Told the Wild Geese

by Rachel Field (1924)

Something told the wild geese
It was time to go,
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered "snow."

read the rest here

My attempt at a similar poem was OK. It was an attempt with few surprises--a greeting card.

Something in the Dreaming Teen

Something in the dreaming teen
no one knows quite how
Amid playthings and games of youth
Something whispered now.

High school’s final year
projects finished,  prom attended,
between homeroom and final bell
a fish hook descended

into the small pond of big fish
set to swim out to the sea
into new unchartered waters
vast with danger and discovery.

Something in the dreaming teen
said it was time to grow.
Caps and gowns wave goodbye
tomorrow's sunrise beams hello.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Then, I took a look at Hills by Hilda Conkling. 


The Hills are going somewhere;
They have been on the way a long time.
They are like camels in a line.
But they move more slowly.

read the rest here

This poem reminded me of Amy Ludwig Van Derwater's challenge last week to write a persona poem as a place. 

                  If you do not know what to write about today, 

                 try making a list of places.  

                  Then  choose one. Become it.  Write.  

Read Amy's Poem, A Note From the Trail  included in the beautiful anthology The Poetry of US, (Harper Collins 2018) edited by J. Patrick Lewis.

I imagined being the hills seeing the girl that wrote Conkling's poem. This writing was more fun and playful.

a response of the hills 

The girl is going somewhere;
she has been
for some time.
scatters autumn bits –
and plum, gold and frost
about the
trees, brush and wild grape.
The color burns off a heavy dew.
She pays
less mind to our sunny tops
than the opal harvest moon.
Sometimes she lifts her hands
beyond our grey shadows 
to the sky – an overflowing basket

of fresh washed clouds.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Inspired by Molly H.

Hello Poets, Hello Friday!

Thank you, Jone for hosting our round-up this week at her blog, Deo Writer: Musings to Spark the Spirit. I can say that there is not a time that I have visited her blog or received a poetry gift from her that my spirit hasn't been sparked and soothed. Please stop by to see her writing and exquisite photos.

I love photos shared by Molly Hogan in her blogs and social media. The photo below really spoke a story to me. Thanks, Molly!

Photo by Molly Hogan


Summer echoes
Their long handled brooms
push piles of
and bits of 
The fried dough stand 
is already down
Tilt-a-whirls trussed-up
tractor trailers cross
the bridge heading south
A confetti of squeals
and dizziness
linger this foggy
        --droplets on
late blooming asters. 

A ferris wheel web
still holds
a bit of breeze
from above the crowd
rounding us up again
down again
back again
into Fall.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Connections 9/21/18

Hellllloooooooo Friday and the poetry you celebrate.

This week's host is Erin. Please visit and welcome her with thanks at her blog, The Water's Edge  

Truth: Some weeks I have no idea what  to post for Poetry Friday. Then, there's a week, like this past week, when I'm tripping over poetry connections.  

Our US Library of Congress (with a chic new logo) 

hosts Poetry 180  for high school students -- and the rest of us too.

A poem of  Ron Koertge's ' settled on me.  

Do You Have Any Advice for Those of Us Just Starting Out?

By Ron Koertge

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

Its alright to carry a notebook but a cheap

one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

read the rest here

Last Poetry Friday Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's  message seemed to piggyback on Koetge's:

And remember this too: the more interesting things you do, the more you will have to write about.  I am not referring to fancy things, but rather a variety of things.  Today I may sit outside for a few moments and watch ants walk around. Or maybe I will draw the pictures up in the sky, wondering if anyone else sees the same penguin I see.  What I do affects what I write.  And so it is for you.

So do stuff.  And when you do, you'll have more boats and ants and clouds to write about later.

Jane Yolen's daily poem waiting for me in my inbox seemed related...and a blessing. She knows I've done stuff and prays that the words flow right. These three poems made me connected, yeah...I can go do life and write.

Writer to Writer: A Prayer

May the words flow,
the right ones.
May the arc rise
like the moon.

May the story ring
like Great Tom’s toll.
May the words in the mouth
sing the child.

May the telling have the lift
of challah in the stove.
May your readers find
on every page a trail of love.

May your imagination
And its wonders never fail.
May the book become eternity’s
bedtime tale.

©2018 Jane Yolen all rights reserved


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Answering a Call for Octopus Poem

Happy mid-September Poetry Friday!

It seems impossible that we've reached this date on the calendar. I can hardly keep up. Dearest poet Amy Ludwig Van Derwater is hosting this week's round-up at her amazing blog, The Poem Farm. Thank you, Amy! I hope you will enjoy many offerings of poetry there.

I'm answering the call for Octopus poems that Dear Agnes: Postcards from an Octopus (Millbrook, 2018) by Irene Latham has inspired. See Irene's Desperately Seeking Octopus Poems blog of last week.

By the way, Agnes is getting good press already. Hooray! See the Kirkus review.

Did you know that the third week in June is Cephalopod Week? 

I didn't either!

Fortunately, for us, Science Friday on NPR does....complete with octopus haiku. Who knew? I may have to celebrate every year, now!

Celebrate Cephalopods

I didn’t know, did you?
Cephalopod Week
is third week of June
a date octopuses keep

With backward swims
scouting out prey
All eight of their limbs
hunt festive entrées

An Octopus parties alone
they’re really quite shy
If you find one at  home
she’ll squirt you with dye

Her masquerade ink
An off-putting greeting
Hiding from you
is all she’s needing

If you choose to observe
cephalopod week this June
show some reserve
party quietly your room

© Linda Mitchell

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Friends Meet Friends at the National Book Festival

Hello Poetry Friday,

It's so lovely to see you. Mwah!

Carol is hosting the round-up at Beyond Literacy.  Thank you, Carol!

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting up with not just one but TWO poetry friends at The National Book Festival. It was an especially good time because the three of us meet virtually for critique but had never met in person before.

Left/Center Brian Selznick presents new H.P. cover art. Right Meg Medina launches Merci Suarez Changes Gears

And, we got to celebrate Margaret's new book Bayou Song (UL Press 2018) as a Children's Choice book representing Louisiana.

As you might imagine, we found poetry celebrated EVERYWHERE!

Poetry friends 

Meet between words
on celebration pages 
kindred spirits
need no introduction

Poetry friends
recognize each other

Emotions, read
shared, written, spoken.
Curiosity and knowing
walk side by side
easy breezy—

poetry friends.

(and in reverse)

Poetry Friends

Easy breezy--
walk side by side.
Curiosity and knowing
shared, written, spoken

emotions read

Recognize each other

Poetry Friends
need no introduction
kindred spirits
on celebrated pages--
meet between words.

Poetry Friends.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Knowing Poetry Friends is one of my greatest joys. I'm so glad I got to see two at the National Book Festival. I would so love a Poetry Friday Friends Conference on the East Coast sometime. Who can make that happen for us?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Poetry Friday -- Don't Go Into the Library

Yippee! It's our Friday poetry celebration.

This has been a full and busy week back to school for my three high-schoolers, my school librarian self, my college junior and my graduate student husband. We are all about learning in this family!

My middle school library has a new theme, PLANET LIBRARY, which comes from student created graphic novel art. It's all kinds of fun comparing our library to outer space. I love it!

By Joshua and Damian

I don't have a perfect PLANET LIBRARY poem.....YET. I may have to write one. If I do, I will use Don't Go Into the Library as my mentor text. Isn't it wonderful?

Hop on over to brilliant and creative Robin Hood Black for Poetry Friday goodness. She's hosting our round-up this week at Life on the Deckle Edge.

Don’t Go Into the Library

The library is dangerous—
Don’t go in. If you do
You know what will happen.
It’s like a pet store or a bakery—
Every single time you’ll come out of there
Holding something in your arms.
Those novels with their big eyes.
And those no-nonsense, all muscle
Greyhounds and Dobermans,
All non-fiction and business,
Cuddly when they’re young,
But then the first page is turned.
The doughnut scent of it all, knowledge,
The aroma of coffee being made
In all those books, something for everyone,
The deli offerings of civilization itself.
The library is the book of books,
Its concrete and wood and glass covers
Keeping within them the very big,
Very long story of everything.
The library is dangerous, full
Of answers. If you go inside,
You may not come out
The same person who went in.
Copyright © 2017 by Alberto Ríos