Poetry Friday: The Swimming Pool

Heidi gave the Inklings a tough challenge this month. She suggested that we use the “The Lost Lagoon” by Mohawk poet, Emily Pauline Johnson (d. 1913) “to build your own poem FOR CHILDREN about a treasured place that you return to again and again (geographical or metaphorical).”

The first thing I did was copy the poem into my notebook and “unpack” the poem the way we used to do weekly in my classroom. As you can see, there’s a LOT going on in this poem!

What wasn’t hard was picking my topic — the swimming pool. What WAS hard was writing a poem “FOR CHILDREN.”

Here’s how the rest of the Inklings interpreted Heidi’s challenge:

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

Carol has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Beyond LiteracyLink, and the roundup will be HERE next week!

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 — 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: Word Play

The Poetry Sisters’ challenge for this month was to write Word Play poems, introduced to the Poetry Friday community in 2015 by Nikki Grimes as one of Michelle H. Barnes’ (Today’s Little Ditty) Ditty of the Month challenges. Laura Purdie Salas showed how the form might work in a classroom.

I have two poems this month. The first came about because of this conversation on FaceBook with Poetry Sister Kelly:

This second poem was written more in the style of Poetry Sister Laura’s “Freedom is a Word” (one of my all-time favorite poems of hers).

Don’t forget to join the Winter Poem swap…
if you’re so inclined. More info here.

Linda has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at TeacherDance, and check out how all the rest of the Poetry Sisters met this month’s challenge:

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

You’re invited to join the Poetry Sisters’ challenge for the month of November! We’re writing an Ode to Autumn. An ode is a lyrical poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often meant to be sung. Whether you choose an irregular ode with no set pattern or rhyme, or the ten-line, three-to-five stanza famed by Homer himself, we hope you’ll join us! You can share your offering with the rest of us on November 26th (the Friday after Thanksgiving, so plan ahead) in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

Poetry Friday: Form and Function

The Inklings’ challenge this month was mine. I was quite taken with the idea of this book: a book about poetry forms and techniques…written in poems. So I challenged the group to write their own poems about forms or techniques. The more we dug into the book, the more we realized that the author doesn’t always explain a form in that form. For instance, her poem about the sestina follows the form but does not explain it. And one of the flaws of the book is that nowhere is there clear definitions of the techniques and forms. Still and all, I recommend the book, and we all had fun playing around with form and techniques. Here are three of mine.

Enjambment

Writing teachers especially hate
run-ons. Close the gate
so the end of the line can have the pause
that finishes a thought or completes a clause.

.

Haiku

small observation
perhaps elaboration
wry commentary

.

Personification Limerick

I once was a limerick named Sue.
My rhythm was fine. Rhyme was, too.
There was just this one thing
caused my heart not to sing:
my longing to be a haiku.

.

All three poems are ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021. (I’m not sure what’s up with me sharing multiple poems per Poetry Friday post…this is the third week in a row…)

Catherine has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Reading to the Core. Check out the other Inklings’ responses to the challenge here:

Heidi @ My Juicy Little Universe
Linda @ A Word Edgewise
Margaret @ Reflections on the Teche
Molly @ Nix the Comfort Zone

Poetry Peeps August Challenge

Time to start working on the Poetry Peeps August challenge! The last Friday of August will be here before you know it! Here’s the challenge: We’re writing after the style of Jane Yolen’s eight line, rhyming poem, “What the Bear Knows,” a poem written in honor of her 400th bookBear Outside. Our topic is What the ____ Knows. You might have written one of these for Michelle Barnes’ Today’s Little Ditty Spotlight on Joyce Sidman.

You’ve got a couple of weeks to craft your creation(s), then share your offering on August 27th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.