Friday, June 29, 2012

Poetry Friday: The Poetry Roller Coaster

I'm putting a few posts up over at Books Around the Table - my critique-group blog. Head over there to read a lovely little poem by William Jay Smith (Poet Laureate 1968-1970) titled "Moon" (no, it's not about the moon) and to hear some thoughts about the "roller coaster" ride that poetry is for me.

The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Marjorie over at Paper Tigers. Head there to find all kinds of links to what people are posting. And for a list of upcoming Poetry Friday round-ups, July-December 2012, go to this post at A Year of Reading. (Schedule is now full, but the the list is helpful.)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Poetry Friday: What's Great, Wide, Beautiful and Wonderful?

When the sun comes out, is there anything better than a walk? It can be brisk. It can be a stroll. The pace doesn't matter, as long as you can take the world in with all your senses. Yesterday I posted some thoughts on what walks can do for writers on one of my other blogs, WRITE AT YOUR OWN RISK (it offers up "shop talk with the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults.") If you follow the link below, you'll see a poem by William Brighty Rands. I thought it was by Robert Louis Stevenson, but my memory fooled me. My brain's default poet for children is Stevenson, and sometimes it goes there even when directed other places.

This is not the first time I advocate getting away from your desk and getting some fresh air. I've been known to do it before. But this time I added pretty pictures. Check it out.

Here's a peek at the poem and at 3 of the photos. The poem answers the question I posed in today's post title, in case you couldn't guess it.

Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful World, 
with the wonderful waters around you curled, 
and the wonderful grasses upon your breast,
World, you are beautifully dressed....

(See more here.)

Leaves in sunshine and shade....

A blue woman falling apart on a wall....

A raspberry, plain and simple and not so simple....
The Poetry Friday round-up today is hosted by Amy over at The Poem Farm. Head over there to see what other people have posted.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Poetry Friday: Robert Frost in a Mood

Robert Frost 1958 - Photo by Yousuf Karsh

For Poetry Friday, I'm just going to post this photo of Robert Frost owning a chair. He looks pretty relaxed for a guy who thought in iambic pentameters, though maybe the height of his waistband says something about that. Love the tie going the opposite direction of the body. Love that dog, who seems to have survived a Frost-like blustery day in New England.  The photo is by Yousuf Karsh, a wonderful Armenian-Canadian photographer - when you think of portraits of Winston Churchill or Ernest Hemingway (in his Papa Hemingway years), you're probably thinking of iconic photos by Karsh. I wonder if he had to tell Mr. Frost, "Try putting your right leg up over the arm of the chair"? Or maybe he just asked politely. Or maybe Frost just sat like this with no urging - what a wonderful thought.

I should really post a poem by Frost, too, but somehow the photo is a poem of its own. To give credit where credit is due, I found the photo over on, at the top of a review of the new book The Art of Robert Frost by Tim Kendall, which I am going to go right out and buy. Sounds terrific. I hope this photo is on the cover. I might just make it my screensaver.

The Poetry Friday round-up is hosted today by Mary Lee Hahn over at A Year of Reading. Head over there to see what other people have posted.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Poetry Friday: Thomas's Halfmoon with a Vegetable Eye

Just offering this up to readers today, Poetry Friday, for pleasure. Imagine being able to write this, a traditional sonnet - well, the rhyme scheme is his own - but traditional iambic pentameter, and come up with breath that burns a bush, love that can be pared, stars with husks, a halfmoon with a vegetable eye. A wonderful combination of traditional form and modern language. We can do this, you know - bend the form, make it our own.

I'm typing this up from Cannon Beach, Oregon, where the wind is blowing and rain lashing - a "discordant" June beach, if there ever was one.


When all my five and country senses see,
The fingers will forget green thumbs and mark
How, through the halfmoon’s vegetable eye,
Husk of young stars and handful zodiac,
Love in the frost is pared and wintered by.
The whispering ears will watch love drummed away
Down breeze and shell to a discordant beach,
And, lashed to syllables, the lynx tongue cry
That her fond wounds are mended bitterly.
My nostrils see her breath burn like a bush.
My one and noble heart has witnesses
In all love’s countries, that will grope awake;
And when blind sleep drops on the spying senses,
The heart is sensual, though five eyes break. 
                                              —Dylan Thomas
The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted this week over at Jama Rattigan's 
wonderful Alphabet Soup. Head over there to see what people have posted.