Thursday, April 18, 2019

Spring Break Poems

Happy Poetry Friday!

I've had a full, rich spring break staycation with my family. I've enjoyed waking up early, reading poetry, writing and revising poems, cooking, walking the dog, catching up on adulting details (doctor visits and cleaning) while spring unfolds all around with Virginia Red Bud and Cherry blossoms. It's been so nice, I hate to see it come to an end. 

For those that celebrate, chag Pesach samech and Happy Easter this weekend.

This week I came across:

Jacqueline Woodson’s Lovely Letter to Children About Kindness, Presence, and How Books Transform Us

on Brain Pickings by Maria Popova

Woodson's letter hit me smack-dab in the middle of my reader and writer's heart. Her words stay with me. And, in my writing time I found myself returning to it, responding... 

Found haiku from Woodson's Letter

evenings of reading
this perfect moment, called now
my sister’s stories 

(c) Linda Mitchell

Skinny Found in Jacqueline’s Letter

“this perfect moment, called Now.”
Stories in this perfect moment

(c) Linda Mitchell

This week, The American of Academy of Poets shared Emily Dickinson's ...

...which reminded me of The Nerdy Book Club's Celebration of Poetry last Sunday with Laura Shovan. She gave a delightful presentation of teaching poetry to young people--loaded with resources. Make sure you check it out on facebook. 

Laura shared how a 'cross-out poem' can jumpstart kids into the reading and writing poetry. Isn't Dickinson's poem perfect for a cross-out poem?  Here's one I wrote using words from Woodson's letter:

I hope you are enjoying #NationalPoetryMonth as much as I am. Our Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem is shaping up nicely with selected song lyric lines. My line was from Stevie Wonder's 'Isn't She Beautiful', less than one minute old added yesterday. What would you add next?

Finally, as I write this, we are celebrating National Poem in Your Pocket Day! It is a treat and a blessing to have received a postcard poem from Irene Latham to carry in my pocket...which was actually my book that I'm reading and sat down with in the late afternoon. Thank you, Irene! What poems do you carry?

How to Live Your Poem
by Irene Latham

Love without borders.

invite strangers to tea

Vow to be astonished
each moment you breathe.

Yank off the covers
open wide the door
Unbuckle your dreams;
release your inner troubadour.

Praise stones and blossoms equally.
Overflow your own banks.
Electrify your life with questions.
Most of all: give thanks.


  1. Oh gosh. "To Make Now" is completely lovely. xxxx

  2. I like when Jacqueline Woodson refers to "the two of us in one story." I guess with Poetry Friday sometimes the two of us are in one poem (or the thirty of us).

  3. So much beautiful poetry in one post! I especially love the haiku, and I' seen Irene's poem before, but its truth and beauty gets me everytime.

  4. What a rich and wonderful post, Linda! I will be back later to dive into some of the resources and links you shared. Perfect reading for a rainy weekend!

  5. I've gleaned three inspirations from this post--reorder Maria Popova's book (it must have sold out early on and Amazon canceled my order!), write a crossout poem either with Emily D. (like yours) or Naomi SN (like Laura's), mine a piece of writing I love for poems in several forms. Thank you, Oh Muse of Mine!

  6. You have left me with much to take in today. So much poetry, so many ideas, so much pleasure. Thank you.

  7. Pure delight from start to finish. Thanks for all the lovely poems and inspiration. "To Make Now" is wonderful. :)

  8. This post is full of delight! My favorite is "To Make Now." It is so true!

  9. I loved each poem you wrote, yet that cross-out poem is such fun to read & remember Dickinson's, too, "To Make Now" & "if stories are few.", Linda. I loved Irene's poem, too, carried it to the bookstore & another favorite, Karla Kuskin's "Thoughts That Were Put Into Words." Enjoy the final weekend of your break, Linda. Glad the week was wonderful for you!

  10. How delightful to enjoy your staycation so! I grew up in Oklahoma with redbuds in spring. I don't see them in the NW, but I remember the two we had in our front yard with fondness. Thanks for the links and the poetic revery in this post. I could feel it with every word you wrote.

  11. Thank you for this rich and inspiring post, Linda! So glad you've had a restful break. Your found poems are inspiring me!

  12. Thanks for this cornucopia of inspiring poetry and books in your post Linda! Love your last poem "To Make Now" and it's ending line,
    "Inside the crook of my arm alone will do,
    if stories are few."

  13. I read this yesterday and tried leaving a comment--several times. Hopefully, this one takes. Thank you for sharing all these treasures you mined during your break. I love what you did with Woodson's words and Emily's inspiration. It is just lovely, especially the end, "inside the crook of my arm will do if stories are few.


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