Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's a Pronoun Christmas

LL & Andrea feet

It often happens this way. I sit down to read, relax. Something catches my attention and a poem is born (forged?).

Last night I flipped through Ordinary Genius and saw this little suggestion:

"start with a pronoun, then give us the noun it refers to"

The author, Kim Addonizio, gave an example of a poem by Galway Kinnell that said, "What do they sing, the last birds." I had been wanting another Christmas poem, and it made me smile to think of making one this way. Okay, sort of...

Ms. Addonizio Advises Me
on a Christmas Poem

She said to give us a pronoun,
but I gave two. How could I
give any less
when facing a day like Christmas;
even Noah knew
to take two camels
(where would the wise men otherwise be?),
two donkeys
(Mary needed one to bring the child to birth
and the child, when grown, needed its foal
to take him to old Jerusalem,
where turtledove pairs
would no longer do,
so he freed them to fly to the trees,
and would join them soon
on a hand-hewn limb,
frail nest
between two thieves—
a him and a he,
two pronouns without proper
nouns to claim them.
They might as well have been
a you,
a me.)

LL & Andrea hands

Thanks to Andrea, of The Flourishing Mother, for inviting me to sit by her at the Christmas Brunch where Christy Tennant of IAM spoke. Yes, Andrea, I still do hands and feet. Thanks for the precious photos of yours. :)

And this is the beautiful Christy Tennant...

Christy Tennant

This poem is in honor of TheHighCalling's Christmas in Verse project.



Blogger Maureen said...

What a delightful poem!

9:54 AM  
Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

Breathtaking. I'm so sharing this at my blog. Love. It.

9:55 AM  
Blogger SimplyDarlene said...

You make giving birth look so easy...and sound so good!


10:13 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

When facing a poem like this I enjoyed reading it not one but two (actually three) times in a row. So full.

10:34 AM  
Blogger e.o.w. said...

Love your use of pronouns! For me, what comes to mind is:

"...he stands along - by my help."

(L.L. if you have a chance, please vote for Amazing Hear Farm's project for the Intelligent Use of Water Award. We need lots of help!)

11:42 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Things said...

love how you ended it...really clever (and true!) :)

3:48 PM  
Anonymous kingfisher said...

Your mind certainly works in mysterious ways, to devolve the "two" theme from your first sentence or two. And the way your mind moved from event to event! I really enjoyed reading this.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Jenne' R. Andrews said...

lovely-- such clarity, and beautiful imagery. I took this pronoun challenge...xxxj

4:35 PM  
Blogger Megan Willome said...

I think this is my favorite of your poems!

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

The I between him and he, you and me.


7:11 PM  
Anonymous Maureen said...

You inspired me to write my own pronoun poem, which I'll post on Tuesday. I've titled it "With the Berryville Monks on Christmas Eve".

7:15 PM  
Blogger Louise said...

Love it! My favourite are poems that take the Bible and throw us so familiar images or stories in a new light to surprise us out of our familiarity and back into appreciation. Yours does this brilliantly. Linking Noah to the Christmas story through the animals does it exactly. Then to throw the sacrifical system and the cross into the mix is genius. And to successfully circle back to pronouns at the end - take a bow!

2:41 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

A wonderful poem, LL.
My pronoun would be "Man's" and the noun(s) it refers to would be "Ignorance" and "Want."

11:28 AM  
Blogger S. Etole said...

This has a special rhythm and heart to it ...

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, this is wonderful. I somehow missed it before. Truly a delight to read.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

That is lovely! Thanks for posting it! Merry Christmas. O come let us Adore HIM.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

What a very clever way to start a poem, and what a wonderful verse to round out your two pronouns.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Janis Van Keuren said...

I am amazed at the beauty you create in poetry. So gifted!

Wishing you blessings this Christmas,

11:43 PM  

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