Friday, February 22, 2019

More Winter Poetry

I have a writing group consisting of 3 tween girls and myself. I love it and I love them. We meet about once a month and talk about stuff. Usually there's a snack involved.  We discuss a writing prompt for them to work on for the next month and then when we meet again we take turns reading what we've written, weather it's the prompt or anything at all.  It's just a chance to share something we've done. I really want to support writing in girls, but mostly, I just want an excuse to hang out with them.  Last time we read Robert Frost's winter walk poem and I assigned them to do the same. Go outside at some point, be in the snow and cold, notice things, and write a poem about it.

As mentioned, we had a big blizzardy storm a couple of weeks ago and I wrote a poem of my own. I tried to write it in the style of Frost's and it was kind of hard.

It's called, Snowy Daze.  Just kidding, it doesn't really have a title.

Pushed a-drift, my eyes are blind
Snow spray and ice wind most unkind
Into a washed out winter seascape
Slippery earth leaves me behind.

Gale confused goes un-refused
Each shrub and fragile tree abused
All who breathe do so at risk
The snow, from street to street, transfused.

The whole world narrows like telescope
All I know is what I hope
The good faith bestowed on travelers e'er
Pray paths don't cross on impending slope.

Adventure screams, chaos careens
Beckons us in our machines
Will we respond? Or will we shrink
Let's wait until plow intervenes.


One of my girls recited her poem and I was basically shocked at how good it was. I felt like I had to keep my cool because W-O-W.  It was like free form poetry. Free verse? Like something to be read at a poetry slam. It was written in paragraph style and had definite rhythm but it just did what it wanted. It was good. Real good. And I asked if I could publish it and she said yes.  So here it is:

Wonders Are the World Around
by Ella H. age 10.

Winter walk with poem of life.
Snowflakes falling all around

slipping, sliding without a
sound. Me? I'm out back

taking a walk. While many 
voices in my head talk
about the house instead.
Where's the mittens? Bring

the sled! I ignore them as
I think, Maybe the snow

would like a drink. I run
inside, get the skates, get
all tidy, rush! I'm late!
To the pond of frozen water.
Where aside I start to
wander. Wonders  are the
world around. Just to
think without a sound.
Think of time, rush back
home. Oh, how I forgot
to comb! Get the tree
the ornaments too! Christmas
time, how I love you!


I snapped a pic and feel it's important to include her actual writing:

Later when it was just she and i, we talked about it more. She explained parts to me and concerns she had while writing it. She said, "I wanted it to be about movement."  I was like, UHHHH... YEAH.  It is.   It was just crazy.   I was telling Sean about it later and he joked, "you're like, 'would you mind taking a look at my poetry?'"   For real.   Anyway, she has some serious talent and I take immeasurable joy at hearing serious-effort writing by kids. This group is great and I'm still figuring out what it should be exactly but I'd call this meeting a success.

Poetry is important to me.  I love to read it and I love to write it.  It might be my favorite thing to write, though it is often quite challenging. I told Sean, when writing that winter poem, "it's hard to sit here and write about the outside."  He told me Robert Frost's poem was very simple and just an observation and I said, "yes, but he was out in it. Nature begets poetry. It's different to be out in it, come in, and then write about it."  How can I draw on inspiration from within a past moment?  I mean I assume that's how he wrote it.  Pulling out a leather-bound writing pad with his ink pot and quill. Ok, maybe that's not what he did. Also I don't really know the writing implements of his time. {googling} Whoops, looks like he died in 1963.  You know, 3 years before modern pens were invented-- ha ha.  Anyway.
To close, we're edging near the end of February and winter's still ok.  It sure feels hecka-long, though. One thing I do love is the view of the snowy mountains near me.  They are stunning and I took a picture while driving a few days ago. I wish I could get a decent pic without all the dumb houses but they're still the star of the photo.   And staring at the mountains staring at me, I felt inspired and wrote another little poem:

Snowy mountain in its place
Elusive beauty I cannot chase
Of all the mountains I embrace
I love most the winter mountain face.
I'm pretty sure Ansel Adams took his best photos from his car.


Joel said...

Sometimes I feel that poetry is one of those things where if you're in you're ALL IN, and I don't want to make that kind of commitment. The mechanics of poetry have always come easily to me, but I think the soul of it still eludes me. I should try writing some just for fun.

)en said...

Agreed. "the soul of it still eludes me"-- so good. I heard a poet say recently that to write good poetry, you have to read it. So that's my first step. Seems harmless enough.