Monday, November 08, 2010

On, In, and Around Mondays: Finding Our Place Within

Japanese Maple

The place I am this morning is tired.

Maybe it's the time-change. More likely it's that the day ahead is too small for what I need to fit into it. Laundry, home schooling, business, preparing a talk for tomorrow.

Yesterday I did nothing much, because I knew the place I was in. But my daughters and I played a little poetry game.

"Bring a notebook and a pen to dinner," I said.

"That sounds mysterious. And exciting!" chimed my Littlest.

We borrowed lines from Elizabeth Bishop, to use as our own first lines. Then we played with various catalog techniques... repeat words at the beginning of the lines, repeat words between lines, repeat words at the end of the lines.

I can't say I wrote anything really worth sharing. My Littlest also found the exercises difficult. She and I are the same kind of writers; we write from a place of personal rhythm. Even so, I imagine that my Littlest and I were skill-building, though our poems-of-the-moment suffered. But my Eldest was empowered by the experience. And all of us agreed it is a marvelous way to play with words.

Here are two poems from my Eldest, then...

A washing hangs upon the line
a washing rain engulfs it.


With ten big beads,
one a pin for a dress of beads,
black and red beads,
one bead lost in a lawn where beads
of dew still stand, two beads
blue shiny earring beads
three beads forgotten in a box of buttons, only beads
to attest to ten big beads,
now three beads left, beads
yet unfathomed, unexplored, unused. Beads.

— by Sara

Japanese Maple photo by L.L. Barkat. Poems by Sara, used with permission.


On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place.

Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

This post is also in honor of Random Acts of Poetry.

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Anonymous Alex Marestaing said...

That is so cool! Poets in the making :) I'm a writer, but my kids don't like to write (probably because school writing is all they ever get to do). I think trying something like what you did might be in the works for us.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

What a great exercise! And I love Sara's poem. Very cool!

and how cool is this? The Word Verification is: bedas

9:58 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Very impressive!

I find I truly enjoy trying my hand at the cataloguing technique. As you note, it opens up "a marvelous way to play with words".

9:58 AM  
Blogger S. Etole said...

Very enjoyable poem by your daughter.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

It's a wonderful way to explore what's inside. What's inside you and your children is wonderful.

I've been on, in and around some vivid memories lately...


10:08 AM  
Blogger Michelle DeRusha said...

I love how you write poetry with your daughters at dinnertime.

11:36 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

Sara is such a talented poet, I am always so impressed with what she writes. And how you teach her. I wish I could inspire mine like that.

Do you ever think about sharing what your homeschooling is like?

12:28 PM  
Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

oh golly - empowered is right! I'm so impressed!

And that tree. Oh L.L. What a tree!

1:01 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great hands-on training. (And they think it's all just fun!)

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

I'm going to do this with Gracee next time she's here!

3:16 PM  
Blogger Jennifer @ said...

Nice work, Sara! Impressive ...

(And I love the Littlest one's response: "That sounds mysterious...")

4:53 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That photograph is just gorgeous. Autumn in a frame, it looks. And your Sara never ceases to impress me.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Isn't she a wonder? Her poems are so good!
Tell me what it means to write from a place of personal rhythm.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are no moments greater when your children grow something beautiful out of what you have taught them! I do not homeschool currently (but have in the past) - but I want to try this with my two youngest - they would love it!.

There's a link to a poem I wrote for an on-line publication at my blog. I'd love for you to come by!

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Lyla Lindquist said...

The beads of dew caught me.

Play on.

8:05 PM  

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