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

Poetry Friday: Solstice

Buffy Silverman has the Christmas Eve edition of the Poetry Friday roundup. Thanks, Buffy! Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and to those who don’t, Happy Solstice!

Next Friday, the Poetry Sisters will be showcasing our poems that feature bells. Do join us, please!

Photo credit: Martin LaBar, Creative Commons photo on Flickr

Poetry Friday: Call Us What We Carry

Today I picked up my copy of Amanda Gorman’s new book, CALL US WHAT WE CARRY. I’ve only dipped in to browse, and I can’t wait for time to curl up on the couch and savor every single word. This sampling via The New Yorker takes my breath away.

If you missed Franki’s Text Set last week, “Using Guides to Help Us: Our Own Unlearning and For Use in the Classroom,” it’s one of her best. I would add to the guides she spotlighted, the one that was prepared by the #DisruptTexts team (Tricia Ebarvia, Lorena Germán, Dr. Kimberly N. Parker, and Julia Torres) for CALL US WHAT WE CARRY. I have printed off the discussion questions to help inform my reading.

Cathy has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Merely Day By Day.

If you are interested in hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup in January-June 2022, the call for roundup hosts is here.

Poetry Friday — Call for Roundup Hosts

It’s that time again. Six months have passed since last we queued up to host the Poetry Friday roundups.

UPDATE: THE SCHEDULE IS FILLED! If you missed out this time, stay tuned for July

What is the Poetry Friday roundup? A gathering of links to posts featuring original or shared poems, or reviews of poetry books. A carnival of poetry posts. Here is an explanation that Rene LaTulippe shared on her blog, No Water River, and here is an article Susan Thomsen wrote for the Poetry Foundation.

Who can do the Poetry Friday roundup? Anyone who is willing to gather the links in some way, shape, or form (Mr. Linky, “old school” in the comments, or ???) on the Friday of your choice. If you are new to the Poetry Friday community, jump right in, but perhaps choose a date later on so that we can spend some time getting to know each other.

How do you do a Poetry Friday roundup? If you’re not sure, stick around for a couple of weeks and watch…and learn! One thing we’re finding out is that folks who schedule their posts, or who live in a different time zone than you, appreciate it when the roundup post goes live sometime on Thursday.

How do I get the code for the PF Roundup Schedule for the sidebar of my blog? You can grab the list from the sidebar here at A(nother) Year of Reading, or I’d be happy to send it to you if you leave me your email address. 

Why would I do a Poetry Friday Roundup? Community, community, community. It’s like hosting a poetry party on your blog!

And now for the where and when:

January
7 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
14 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
21 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
28 Irene at Live Your Poem

February
4 Elisabeth at Unexpected Intersections
11 Linda at TeacherDance
18 Laura at Small Reads for Brighter Days
25 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

March
4 Kat at Kathryn Apel
11 Sylvia and Janet at Poetry for Children
18 Ruth at there is no such thing as a God-forsaken town
25 Amy at The Poem Farm

April
1 Heidi at my juicy little universe
8 Janice at Salt City Verse
15 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
22 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
29 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch

May
6 Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup
13 Rose at Imagine the Possibilities
20 Carmela at Teaching Authors
27 Linda at A Word Edgewise

June
3 Karen at Karen Edmisten*
10 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
17 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
24 Catherine at Reading to the Core

Poetry Friday — Autumn Cento

Autumn Cento 

Little grey dreams
holding up the hawk:
a blur in the periphery.
I’ve little time left.
Everything’s been said.
My heart is so giant this evening
following old
migratory patterns that would have been better left alone.
Someone raised a camera to capture us both in a moment;
the only gift I have to give.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

SOURCES:

1. Little Grey Dreams by Angelina Weld Grimké
2. In Gratitude by Abigail Carroll
3. The Hummingbird by Blas Falconer
4. Elegy for Estrogen by V. Penelope Pelizzon
5.  Rabbits and Fire by Albert Rios
6.  First by Carrie Fountain
7-8.  anti-immigration by Evie Shockley
9.  The Vine by Laura Kasischke
10. Offering by Albert Garcia

Molly’s challenge for the Inklings this month was to try a poetry form that was new to us. I tried a tricube, a rondelet, and this cento. The definition of a cento (from poets.org) is “From the Latin word for “patchwork,” the cento (or collage poem) is a poetic form composed entirely of lines from poems by other poets.”

I was downstairs in my “studio,” doing some stitching and catching up on episodes of The Slowdown podcast. Rather than using a concrete/old school approach (poring over books of poetry, copying down lines by hand, cutting them apart, and rearranging them into a poem), I used a digital approach (listening to the poem, copy/pasting the line I liked, and hyperlinking the poem in my list of sources).

Here’s how the rest of the Inklings met Molly’s challenge:

Linda@A Word Edgewise
Heidi @my juicy little universe
Catherine@Reading to the Core
Margaret@Reflections on the Teche

Michelle has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Michelle Kogan. She’s celebrating holidays and happy poetry news along with some of her gorgeous cards and several poems!

Take note…next week I’ll put up the signup for Poetry Friday Roundup Hosts for January-June 2022! Get ready to claim your spot!

Poetry Friday — Ode to Autumn

Yesterday’s Ode to Thanksgiving is perhaps a more proper ode (even though it starts off angry and critical) in that it directly addresses Autumn, and focuses narrowly on a single autumnal event: Thanksgiving.

This Ode to Autumn, on the other hand, is really only an ode because I say so in the title. Poet’s prerogative.

Here’s how the rest of the Poetry Sisters met the challenge of writing an Ode to Autumn:

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

In December, we’ll be writing poems that feature bells. Join us! Ruth has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town. Join us!

Poetry Friday: Dormancy

I’m endlessly fascinated by the intricacies of nature.

Black Swallowtails don’t migrate. The last brood of caterpillars to hatch sense the approach of fall: the length of the days shorten, and the weather begins to cool. These last caterpillars go into diapause before the pupa hardens into a chrysalis, producing their own form of antifreeze to prevent their cells from freezing. On the other end of winter, these butterflies who have overwintered in chrysalis emerge as the first generation of Black Swallowtail butterflies in the spring.

Carol has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Beyond LiteracyLink — AND the unveiling of her Bedecked in Autumn Gallery. With the Poetry Sisters’ challenge to write a ode to Autumn coming up next week, we’ll be celebrating Autumn for two weeks in a row!

A #PoemPair for Poetry Friday

All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake
by Tiya Miles
Random House, 2021

FIRST THE BOOK
The embroidery on the cover caught my eye and the title pulled me in to read the jacket blurb. There I absorbed the lines that Ruth Middleton embroidered on a cotton sack that her great grandmother Rose filled with simple yet precious items to give to her daughter Ashley, Ruth’s grandmother, before Ashley was sold away at the age of nine from her mother to another slave owner.

“My great grandmother Rose
mother of Ashley gave her this sack when
she was sold at age 9 in South Carolina
it held a tattered dress 3 handfulls of
pecans a braid of Roses hair. Told her

It be filled with my Love always

she never saw her again
Ashley is my grandmother
Ruth Middleton
1921″

The historian Tiya Miles traces every bit of what can be known, as well as inferred, about this sack, its contents, and these three women. As she traces every lead, Miles comes back again and again to the tenacity and revolutionary love of Rose and other enslaved women whose perseverance through slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, and the Great Migration, is what has carried generations of Black families into the present.

Reading this book made me rethink my poem “Persevere is a Word.” It seems trite now. Perhaps suitable for a motivational poster, but naively unaware of a deeper, more nuanced and historically-based version of perseverance.

AND NOW THE POEMPAIR

Persevere is a Word

Persevere is a long word:
four hundred years long,
the distance of the Middle Passage,
the length of a ship’s hold, packed with bodies chained together.

And although persevere 
contains none of the letters that spell luck,
privilege shines through from beginning to end.

The privilege of tracing a blood line
for generation after unbroken generation 
in an ancestral story of ascension

rather than a lineage that dead-ends
in the shackles of slavery,
in lives with trauma encoded in the DNA,
in the knowledge that one’s existence
is not predicated on bootstraps
or an innocuous insistence to try again 
or the blithe assertion to summon grit

but instead dependent on ancestors who persevered
surviving horrors unimaginably severe
family members inhumanely severed from each other
per their owners’ whim.

Persevere is a light word for some,
a chirpy motivational poster word.
For others it is a heavy word,
a how-dare-you-assume word,
a claim-my-humanity,
praise-the-ancestors,
lift-while-we-climb* word.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

*Angela Davis


Matt has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.