Tuesday, August 22, 2023

A Bit about Poetry

I've finally completely aged into poetry. 

I'm still not able to stomach country music, my friend's marker of getting up in years, ready for a rocking chair and blanket on the front porch, but I was more metal than she was to begin with.

But I used to hate poems unless they were funny limericks. What's the point?? They're all just fancy words that sometimes stop mid-sentence for a new line and are often ridiculously unclear. Just tell me what you mean, already!! Get to the point. 

"nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands" 


That was actually the opener for me. A little E.E. Cummings tucked into the middle of the lovely film, Hannah and Her Sisters

I don't get it, but it makes me want to cry anyway. What's going on with that? 

Over the years I've gotten more of a taste for ambiguity and absurdity. That's very lucky because... look around. And I've becoming more welcoming of the tears. 

I feel like the whole world has aged into poetry. 

My two daily doses are from Plague Poems, like this one:

After I told him
at yesterday's meeting
that I was wearing a mask
so that anyone else masking
would not be alone
he arrived at today's meeting
wearing a mask
and though we were but two
in a room of seventy
for a brief moment
I remembered how hope feels.

Or this one:

My friend
even if I was certain
that we are doomed
I would still try
to take care of you

They always help me feel less alone with it all.

And my second daily dose is from Joseph Fasano, who writes little fill-in-the-blank poetry prompts for the kids in his class and then posts the results, but they've gone absolutely bonkers viral and now everyone's using them! Here's one from a 9-year-old who's been having a hard time at school and poetry's helped her process some of her feelings:

Deep Dark Forest by Alice S.

Let the trees be tall.
Let the stars be bright lights.
Let every worry inside me find its magic
and fly carefully, gently toward this world.
I have a story I have never told:
Once, when I was little,
I looked up at the moon and saw the future
and knew I was a fairy made of big dreams.
I am still a fairy made of big dreams.

And one from him for other teachers to use in class as a discussion prompt.

For a Student who Used AI to Write a Paper by Joseph Fasano

Now I let it fall back
in the grasses. 
I hear you. I know
this life is hard now.
I know your days are precious
on this earth.
But what are you trying
to be free of?
The living? The miraculous
task of it?
Love is for the ones who love the work.

He also posts other beautiful poems by published poets! Like this one:

Praying by Mary Oliver

It doesn't have to be 
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't 
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Geez! Right?

Then I googled "art will save us" looking for an image to add to this, and Mary Oliver popped up! 

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