Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Two Line Tuesday: Maya Angelou






"In Cold Blood" by Shadi Samawi


Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world,
but has not solved one yet.


                                     – Maya Angelou




Thursday, June 1, 2017

Five for Friday: What is Poetry?


Felix E. Guerrero


What is poetry? 

I'm still learning the answer to that question... and that's okay. If I spend a lifetime pondering, it will be time well spent. 

Here's one thing I do know:
Like any art, poetry needs space and time to breathe. It can pop up when you least expect it, but you have to be present to notice and available to answer the call.

"We find poetry" by Vida Dimovska


Back in January, I announced that my one little word for 2017 is Change. I talked about building up my core and balance, and trusting that the chaos I felt at the time was exactly where I needed to be.

Six months later, how am I doing?

Well, I still feel like that fearful girl on the ski slope more than I'd like. The difference is that I'm old mature enough now to recognize that hiding out is probably not the best alternative. Instead, I've focused on saying yes to Change.


"Birth of a butterfly" by Pat Ronan


Dr. Elif Akçali taught me the value of saying yes when I heard her speak at the Convening Cultures conference earlier this year. By the way, I almost didn't go to that conference... I had to push myself to say yes. How could I afford NOT to go? It was taking place in my home town, for goodness sake. If nothing else, I get to step out of my routine for a couple days. And who knows? Maybe I'd find poetry there, or an opportunity I wouldn't have otherwise known about.

On the second day of the conference, after a transformative keynote with Lily Yeh, I sat at an empty lunch table waiting to see who might join me. As it turns out, it was some local folks (the first locals I had met in two days) who ran a theater company and did educational programs with children. I asked if they ever included poetry in their programs. Their eyes lit up. No, they didn't have the skill set for that, but they'd like to. We exchanged numbers.

I'm thrilled to be conducting seven different poetry workshops with them this summer! This is something I've pursued again and again through the schools with no luck. Apparently it took opening myself up to something new, and allowing the opportunity to come to me the way it wanted to. Isn't life amazing?


"Street Poetry" by Julen Ruiz Luzuriaga


There will be other "firsts" for me this summer as well, like the first time attending ILA in Orlando. (Anyone else going to be there on Sunday, 7/16?) Also, the first time we'll be visiting prospective colleges for my 17 year old. (Can anyone recommend a great resource for finding scholarships?)

Plus, my new ditty committee is already hard at work choosing poems for THE BEST OF TODAY'S LITTLE DITTY, 2016!

Change has told me in no uncertain terms that this is going to be my last blog post for a while. I'll be taking the summer off to be present with these new endeavors. Maybe I'll even write some poetry—what a novel idea that is!

But enough rambling about me.

Here's what I have for YOU today: 
five of my favorite quotes about poetry. 




Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers.  

~ Yevgeny Yevtushenko

* * * 

A poet is a man who puts up a ladder to a star and climbs it while playing a violin.

~ Edmond de Goncourt

* * *

The writing of a poem is like a child throwing stones into a mineshaft. You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation.

~ James Fenton

* * * 

Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting.

~ Robert Frost

* * * 

If you can’t be a poet, be the poem. 

~ David Carradine


And a few more of your favorites . . .


Poetry is tricky to explain and different each time.

~ Kindergarten students in Christie Wyman's classroom

* * * 

Poetry should be like fireworks, packed carefully and artfully, ready to explode with unpredictable effects.
~ Lilian Moore

* * *

I read poetry to save time.

~ Marilyn Monroe 

* * * 

Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes.

~ Carl Sandburg

* * * 

A good poem can frame agony and hang it on the wall.

~ Charles Bukowski, from "Defining the Magic"
(Read the rest of the poem HERE.) 

* * * 

Always be a poet, even in prose.

~ Charles Baudelaire 

* * *  

Poetry is frosted fire.

~ J. Patrick Lewis

* * * 

Well, write poetry, for God's sake, it's the only thing that matters.

~ e. e. cummings

* * *

Poetry isn’t a profession; it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.

~ Mary Oliver

* * * 

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.

~ T. S. Eliot

* * * 

Poetry lies its way to the truth.

~ John Ciardi

* * * 

The minimum requirement for a good poem is a miracle.

 ~ John Ciardi


There are so many inspiring quotes about poetry! If you leave me your favorites in the comments, I'll collect them here. That way we can return to them all summer long like a tall, bottomless glass of lemonade.


Brett Davis

Cheers to a wonderful summer!



Many thanks to everyone who contributed a poem for Melissa Manlove's DMC challenge last month. At least seven or eight more poems were added to the wrap-up celebration since last Friday, so I hope you'll have another look.

Random.org has determined that the winners of LOVING VS. VIRGINIA and LOVE IS are . . .

Diane Mayr and Kay McGriff.


Thanks to Buffy Silverman for hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup.






Wednesday, May 31, 2017

DMC: "Rivers" by Juanita Havill





RIVERS

Writing,
You swim in a river of words.
Word by chosen word,
The delta nears.

Reading,
You stand in the same river twice,
Seeing deeper as
The water clears.


© 2017 Juanita Havill. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Melissa Manlove, Senior Editor at Chronicle Books. Her DMC challenge is to write a poem that explores how writing (or a book) is like something else.

You have until the end of today, May 31st, to join in! Post your poem on our May 2017 padlet and I will add it to the wrap-up presentation HERE. Two lucky participants will win a book published by Chronicle earlier this year: LOVING VS. VIRGINIA by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Shadra Strickland, or LOVE IS by Diane Adams, illustrated by Claire Keane.





Tuesday, May 30, 2017

DMC: "Elevation" by Teresa Robeson





ELEVATION

A book is often likened to
a doorway, a window, a mirror.
But for me it’s
a ladder, a stepstool, a platform
taking me higher,
making me higher
than I was
before it raised
my morals, my outlook, my spirit.


© 2017 Teresa Robeson. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Melissa Manlove, Senior Editor at Chronicle Books. Her DMC challenge is to write a poem that explores how writing (or a book) is like something else.

You have until tomorrow, May 31st, to join in! Post your poem on our May 2017 padlet and I will add it to the wrap-up presentation HERE. Two lucky participants will win a book published by Chronicle earlier this year: LOVING VS. VIRGINIA by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Shadra Strickland, or LOVE IS by Diane Adams, illustrated by Claire Keane.





Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday Musing: Memorial Day




U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kim Browne, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs


Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.
        
– Washington Irving



Friday, May 26, 2017

May DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway


A Book...                                  Delphine Devos


Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.

                – Virginia Wolff, A Room of One's Own


At the beginning of this month, Melissa Manlove, Senior Editor at Chronicle Books, challenged us to write a poem that explores how writing (or a book) is like something else.

"Convince me!" she said.


You never know what you're going to get with a DMC challenge.

"Let Me Tell You a Story" by Deb Noggle


Not until you open it up...

"Library of Alexandria," Abecedarian Gallery


and let it loose.

"Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood" by Carol Vey


By the end, you may feel sea-tossed . . .

"Octopus at Sea" by Annette Sujo


or windswept . . .

"Listen to the Wind Blow" by Malena Valcárcel, on Etsy


but the journey will undoubtedly be memorable.


I don't know about Melissa, but I've been convinced many times over this month! Thank you to everyone who contributed a poem or followed along, and thanks especially to Melissa Manlove for setting us on our way.

Scroll through the poems below, or, for best viewing, CLICK HERE.


Made with Padlet



Inspired to write your own poem that compares writing or a book to something else?

Add it to our May 2017 padlet by Wednesday, May 31st, 2017, and I will move your poem to the wrap-up presentation.





Participants in this month's challenge will automatically be entered to win a copy of LOVING VS. VIRGINIA or LOVE IS, both published by Chronicle Books earlier this year.



(One entry per participant, not per poem.) Alternatively, you may enter the giveaway by commenting below. Comments must also be received by Wednesday, May 31st. If you contribute a poem and comment below you will receive two entries in total.

The winners will be determined by Random.org and announced next Friday, June 2nd.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


As for last week's giveaway, Random.org has determined that the winner of TOO MANY FRIENDS by Kathryn Apel is . . .


LAURA PURDIE SALAS — congratulations, Laura!



Join Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for this week's Poetry Friday roundup.







Thursday, May 25, 2017

DMC: "Writing is like Parenting" by Kathleen Mazurowski




WRITING IS LIKE PARENTING

Writing is like parenting.
Dreams, questions, joys, doubts,
You have to let go.
Release your best efforts to the world.


© 2017 Kathleen Mazurowski. All rights reserved.


Click HERE to read this month's interview with Melissa Manlove, Senior Editor at Chronicle Books. Her DMC challenge is to write a poem that explores how writing (or a book) is like something else.

Post your poem on our May 2017 padlet. While some contributions will be featured as daily ditties this month, all contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration tomorrow, Friday, May 26th. Two lucky participants will win a book published by Chronicle earlier this year: LOVING VS. VIRGINIA by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Shadra Strickland, or LOVE IS by Diane Adams, illustrated by Claire Keane.