Thursday, May 17, 2018


Happy Poetry Friday! May is flying by...thankfully with the flowers brought by those chilly April showers.

Today's Poetry Round-Up is hosted by talented Rebecca at Sloth Reads. Enjoy some time with her and a great book, I'm Just No Good at Rhyming(Little, Brown 2017).

I've been spending some time in the Great, I'm not depressed. I mean THE Great Depression, the Dirty Thirties. One of my favorite places for inspiration is the cache of online photos at our U.S. Library of Congress. 

This month, Michelle Barns interviewed Julie Fogliano who challenged us to write a poem about what we see outside our window. I had a tough time finding an original "in" to the challenge. 

It occurred to me that all the searching into the 1930s is a window to the past. I chose a random photo from the Depression era that intrigued me and a favorite form, pantoum, and started playing with words and ideas. I like the draft below. I'm fairly certain this is not a final poem. I'll fiddle with it some more...but its the poetry I've been working on this week.



  1. I loved your poem! I've heard of the pantoum form before. It is fantastic! And I like your creative take on "looking through the window" prompt. Thanks for sharing!

  2. A window looking into, Hard times–and they are well presented in your poem Linda. The image and repeating lines echo each other. I found this line particularly strong,
    "Farmers squinted into dry horizons--"
    such a feeling of helplessness in the time and your poem, thanks.

  3. Love this idea of the 'window into the past' Linda. What a terrible time that was. My extended family lost farms, shared a house with another family, a very tough few years. That photo is a glimpse of the way a grandfather looked, lean, the hat, serious. I like your poem, that "carcasses of debt" shows so much.

  4. You have a way of turning your research into compelling poetry. This is a challenging form to do well. The repeated lines bring a sense of foreboding to the poem. Well done, my friend.

  5. Well played, creative one. I love how you look out a "window" as you find it.
    The Library of Congress is every second all over the world that window for us.
    As a writer dwelling in the 1840s most days (with many looks online at the great LOC) I am
    especially a fan of this poem draft. It feels well on its way - brava!

  6. I love your window to the past--and your poem has so many powerful, repeated lines that drive home the desperation of those days. I was especially struck by the dying livestock left carcasses of death.

  7. It's amazing how inspiring old photos can be - I always find myself wondering what those people's lives were like, what their hopes and dreams and thoughts were like, there's so much inspiration in those black and white images!

  8. Leave it to you to take this challenge one step further, Linda! Well, actually 2 or 3 steps when you consider both the pantoum form AND the research. Such a devastating time. The form helped to provide the gravity the subject deserved.

  9. What a great invitation, looking through the window! Your post and poem are very interesting to me. I am very intrigued by the past, particularly this time period. Best wishes with your poem fiddling, my friend!

  10. Your poem reminds me how important poetry is for understanding history.

  11. I love a pantoum too, and this form captures the depression cycle that trapped so many people--beautifully drafted! Can't wait to see the final version...


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!