Thursday, February 29, 2024

What the Letter Said

Hello March Poets,

Our Inkling challenge comes from Margaret this month:

Persona Poem: A persona poem has a specific audience, conveys a message, is written in the voice of another person, place, or thing, and uses direct address.  Sample poem, “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes.

I dug into my photos from my recent trip to Germany for inspiration. 

The portrait's description of the artist, date, and details from a quick Google search gave me some rich material to work with.

What the Letter Says

You hold me light

these words penned by Ernestine

      My dear Angelika

Greatest gift of your parents,
this sister.

      You are now 15 years old.
      I have

Long now living a different life, another world.

      copied this for you from
As if time or distance
would grow between you.

      Beautiful is, Mother
      Nature’s splendor of your invention

As if her lifeforce doesn’t
flutter in lines of ink

      scattered in the corridors; more
      beautiful happy face

Her embrace falling,
fell from my pages         that thinks the great thought

      of your creation again!
into your gaze,
and tender embrace.
  Your sister, Ernestine
  Hamburg 1822

Linda Mitchell 3/1/24

Inkling responses to the prompt:

Margaret Catherine



Mary Lee

Week 9 World Poem is on the padlet

Thank you Linda Baie at Teacher Dance for hosting our weekly round-up. Your heart-felt post about turmoil in the world and choice is a lovely leap day post.


  1. Mary what a lovely rsponse and both image and response are a testament to the bond between sisters. Thank you.

  2. I love the idea of your lines adding to the love, Linda, here: "As if her lifeforce doesn’t/flutter in lines of ink/scattered in the corridors", It's a beautiful response to this, also beautiful, painting and words. Thanks for your compliment to me, too. Happy March!

  3. Linda, I love the way you demystify AND complicate the text of the letter (what a curious translation) in the painting, and help the characters take living shape. Even more I love your letter to February, in which you break up a FULL WEEK before its end! Hee hee: "Red and gold sparkles for days" but dude, now we are THROUGH!

  4. Oh, Linda, I love the line break between "Mother" and "Nature"! Fabulous. xo

  5. Lovely response to the painting and the text of the letter, and such an interesting way to embed the lines. Very creative!

  6. Such kindness between two sisters, and these lines so sensitive,
    "As if her lifeforce doesn’t
    flutter in lines of ink"
    Lovely, thanks–as is the painting too!

  7. As I will be seeing my sister next week, your post made me think of her and how I feel about her. Thanks for sharing the painting and poem, Linda!

  8. Linda, thank you for the italics that help me read the recorded parts of Ernestine's letter and then to see your additional words told through the letter itself. It is a lovely juxtaposition. Like others, I love "As if her lifeforce doesn’t / flutter in lines of ink" Lifeforce--what a word.

  9. I love how you wove your words with the words of one sister to the other!

  10. You are consistently inventive! Lovely painting and sweet poem <3

  11. Linda, this is another poem to adore. Sister to sister letter from the past. I especially like reading vintage postcards from the turn of the 20th century. They hold elegant or ordinary thoughts that speak volumes as does your poem. I can imagine this poem being lodged in a carved box from a world past.

  12. I love persona poems and I love how you incorporated information from the caption.

  13. What a cool way to approach this challenge, Linda. Your unique approaches to poetry always make me think. Thank you for that! :)


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