Poetry Friday: Bells

Where to begin?

There are my favorite bells in music, “The Bells of St. Geneviève”…

…and my favorite bells in film…

…and my favorite classic bell poem which contains my favorite bell word: tintinnabulation. (I so wanted to include that word in my own bell poem, but it was not to be.)

I was all over the place trying to write my bell poem this month, but my drafts kept getting closer and closer to my heart, until this memory emerged:

Carol Wilcox, at Carol’s Corner, has this week’s final Poetry Friday roundup. Let’s hold her, and all of those in the Denver area who are reeling from the recent wildfires, close in our hearts.

There are bound to be lots of bell poems around the roundup, ringing in the New Year. I can’t wait to read them all! Check out what the other Poetry Sisters came up with:

Tricia @ The Miss Rumphius Effect
Tanita @ {fiction, instead of lies}
Sara @ Read Write Believe
Laura @ Laura Purdie Salas
Liz @ Liz Garton Scanlon
Kelly @ Kelly Ramsdell
Andi @ A Wrung Sponge

17 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Bells”

  1. Poem chasing. I believe that’s a thing. There are poems I have wanted to write and chased them with my pen and keyboard until we are both too tired to keep going. Ha! Love this poem about the blue bell. And, I also love that it’s a haibun!


  2. I’ve thrown away things I wish I hadn’t, but poems are perfect for capturing what we (thought) we let go. I can see that ornament in my mind’s eye, and the little hands that made it, and the heart of the poet who re-made it again now.


  3. I love the form you chose for this, and find myself wondering why we don’t do this–combine prose and a poem–more often. Thank you for installing a dear memory in my memory.


  4. Like Heidi, the haibun feels perfect for your subject, Mary Lee. I have saved many pieces for my children, but they aren’t really interested now. Maybe I’ll drop this in the box of things for them? It’s so filled with feeling!


  5. This form is new to me and I also wonder, like Heidi, why we don’t combine prose and poetry more often. Writing the prose poem makes it easier, perhaps to condense the ideas into a shorter form. This Haibun is lovely and isn’t Christmastime so imbued with memory triggered by so many things?


  6. This is beautiful and heartbruising. It’s important to pare away what no longer serves us, but sometimes we pare a bit close to the quick, as it were, losing a bit of ourselves that we have to reconstruct. I’m sorry.


  7. A haibun is the perfect form for this poignant memory. As you recounted your childhood Christmas traditions, I was checking off similar customs, right down to those “small, long-ago hands.” I can’t decide whether it’s fortunate or unfortunate that my attic still groans under the weight of all those accumulated memories!


  8. Thank you sharing your poetic memory, Mary Lee. Letting go of things that then become the memories that hold on ‘rings’ true for so many of us. 🙂


  9. Your haibun (I had never heard that word before, I don’t think), strikes especially close to home, given that I have spent the past few months sorting through my mom’s stuff. I am the keeper in our family and my little house is currently filled to overflowing with “treasures.” I love this!


  10. “Downsizing” from a 4,000 square foot house to a 350 square foot RV + four 8×8 storage units. One year later two 8×8 storage units. One year later one 8×8 storage unit. Over 13 years the contents moved from St. Louis to Texas and to Tucson. Soon to be moved to Costa Rica. Less than one storage unit will be moved this time.

    “Why do the things we’ve let go come to mean so much more once they’re gone?” This question caused my heart to break. Yes, indeed. Even though the overall majority of letting go of “stuff” has remained positive decisions (take pictures to keep memories alive), I have some deep regrets. You see, the woman who made those choices is not exactly the woman who lives today. One cannot stand in the same river twice. The item does not change, but the way we personally value the memories associated with the item may change greatly as we experience life, grow and age.

    I love how you honored the bell made by a little girl long ago. The construction paper may be long gone, but “the little girl” is alive in your heart and will never leave you.


  11. Mary Lee, I love the word tintinnabulation also. It has a ringlike tone to it that makes me want a handful of bells to listen to make their jingling sound. The haibun captured your heart thoughts from childhood that made me remember mine also. Have a wonderful start to the New Year.


  12. I wasn’t familiar with haibun poetry before reading this, Mary Lee. The details in this haibun make it so poignant. What a wonderful introduction to the form for me.
    I’m trying to scale down and toss out unneeded things. Don’t think I have any regrets yet about what I’ve gotten rid of, but I can definitely relate to the possibility.


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