Friday, December 02, 2016

Poetry Seven Write Ekphrastic Poems (One Last Time for 2016)

And so, another year of writing poetry with my fabulous sisters comes to an end. This year we alternated poetic forms with ekphrastic poems. This time around Andi shared photos taken at the Glencairn Museum Cloister. This is the photo I chose.
Photograph © Andi Sibley

I've never written a love poem before, as I'm not really the romantic type, but I am sentimental. Here's where this image took me.

22 Years and Counting ...

You sit in the ram
I’ll sit in the ewe
together in quiet
we’ll relish the view

The peace of the valley
buried in snow
the twinkling lights
of the houses below

Up here on the hill
with the now setting sun
we sit in our chairs
as the day is undone

Communing together
we don’t say a word
but we don’t need to speak
for our hearts to be heard

With fingertips touching
we speak with our eyes
the fact that you love me
is still a surprise

You are my comfort
my home and my song
in the map of my heart
it's with you I belong

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Bridget Magee at wee words for wee ones. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Poetry Stretch - Six Words

Don't fret, this isn't a sestina! Today I have a different six-word poetry challenge.

In the book I Am Writing a Poem About . . . A Game of Poetry, Myra Cohn Livingston writes about three of the assignments she gave to students in her master class in poetry at UCLA. The third assignment Livingston gave was to write a poem that included six assigned words. Here is a description from the book's introduction.
About the last assignment--a six-word-based poem--there was some debate. Everyone agreed that holefriendcandleoceanbucket, and snake presented possibilities, but a few preferred the word scarecrow to bucket, so a choice was given. Holefriendcandleocean, and snake were mandatory, but one could choose either bucket or scarecrow as the sixth word.
Now, that is a challenge! Let's follow Livingston's directions and write a poem that contains the five words holefriendcandleoceanand snake, as well as either bucket or scarecrow as the sixth word. I hope you'll join me in writing this week. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Monday Poetry Stretch - Terzanelle

I'm a day late this holiday week, but I'm here and glad you are as well.

So, what do you get when you cross a terza rima and a villanelle? The answer is a poetic form called a terzanelle. A terzanelle uses the villanelle’s form of five triplets and a quatrain with the interlocking rhyme scheme of the terza rima.

Here is the line pattern and rhyme scheme.

1 a1
2 b1
3 a2

4 b2
5 c1
6 repeat line 2

7 c2
8 d1
9 repeat line 5

10 d2
11 e1
12 repeat line 8

13 e2
14 f1
15 repeat line 11

16 f2
17 repeat line 1
18 repeat line 14
19 repeat line 3


You can read more about the terzanelle at Form and Formlessness.

I hope you'll join me this week in writing a terzanelle. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Poetry Stretch - Diminishing Rhyme

The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach, contains a number of prompts and writing exercises, including this one entitled Emotion/Motion/Ocean/Shun. Here's what Susan Mitchell writes:
If you read the title of this exercise aloud, you will hear a quadruple rhyme. But if you examine the words themselves, you will notice that there is something special about this rhyme scheme. The sound shun is contained in ocean, the sounds of both shun and ocean in motion, and shunocean and motion can all be folded into emotion. Such a rhyme scheme, which incidentally was favored by the seventeenth-century poet George Herbert, is called diminishing rhyme because the rhyme words get smaller as you move from emotion to shun. But I prefer the term nesting rhymes because the words nest one inside the other like Russian wooden dolls.
Here is an example of this form from the George Herbert poem "Paradise".
I bless Thee, Lord, because I grow
Among the trees, which in a row
To Thee both fruit and order ow 
Read the poem in its entirety
So, that's it. Your challenge is to write a poem that uses diminishing rhyme. Won't you join us? Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Monday Poetry Stretch - Macaronic Verse

In celebrating my blogiversary yesterday (10 years!), I went back and looked at all the poetry stretches we've done since I started posting them in August of 2007. It's been more than two years we wrote poems in the form of macaronic verse, so it seems like a good time to revisit the form. The Handbook of Poetic Forms defines macaronic verse in this fashion.
Macaronic verse is a peculiar, rare and often comic form of poetry that sometimes borders on nonsense. It is a mixture of two (or more) languages in a poem, in which the poet usually subjects one language to the grammatical laws of another to make people laugh.
Poetry Base describes macaronic verse this way.
The definition is a poem in a mixture of two languages, one of them preferably Latin. Usually the mixture of languages is a bit absurd. The word of one language may be terminated with common endings in the other.
So, your challenge for this week is to write a poem that uses more than one language. I hope you will join me this week in writing macaronic verse. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Ten Years Old! A Blogiversary Retrospective

Today I am celebrating 10 years in the blogosphere, and more specifically, the Kidlitosphere. It's been an amazing ride. I've found a community here that humbles, inspires, educates, and supports me in ways I never would have imagined when I started this journey. 

To celebrate the big day, I've decided to share some of my favorite posts, memories, and personal experiences that have grown out the real, live human connections I've made in this digital world. So, here we go!

*****
When I started this blog, my son had just started kindergarten. He's now a sophomore in high school.
 
I'll admit to being a bit embarrassed about my early posts. I'm not really sure what I wanted to blog to be. I knew I wanted it to be about teaching and books and math and science and .... probably too many things in the beginning. What's interesting about reading those early posts is that some of the ideas and issues that I grappled with then, I continue to grapple with. For example, in an early post I wrote this after my first parent-teacher conference sitting on the parent side of the desk.
My biggest concern was in fact, his teacher's concern. I have a kid who hates to make mistakes, puts too much pressure on himself to get everything right, and just wants to be downright perfect.
...
I was thrilled with the fantastic report I received from William's teacher, but found myself wondering on the drive home, how do I fix this? How do I teach him it's okay to make mistakes, that everyone does, and that this is really what learning is all about? I'm not sure, but when I find out, I'll let you know.
Fast forward ten years. This week in class we focused on math talks and the "productive struggle" that's so important in math. And we talked about mistakes ... how we need to value them and how we can't fear them as kids do the hard work of learning something new.

In those first few posts I wrote about teaching, planning, historical fiction, "busy" children's books, and more. What led me down the rabbit hole, and opened up a new world on the blog was my post on January 1, 2007 highlighting the Cybils shortlist. That year, 482 books were nominated to produce a list of 45 finalists. This one post led me to the kidlitosphere, and it ultimately helped me find my tribe. My "tribe" consists of authors, teachers, librarians, poets, and a whole host of folks I never would have met were it not for this blog. My blogroll would be hundreds of links today if I actually listed every one on this blog. Now I can follow many of these folks on Twitter.

If I'd been thinking ahead, or much more creative, I would have turned this into a lengthy celebration and started weeks in advance, sharing some of the more interesting bits and bobs along the way. Ten years is a long time to do one thing. Heck, people today often don't hold a job that long! The blog has definitely morphed a bit, but it's still a place I love to hang out. Here are some of the highlights from my first year of blogging.

*****
January 7, 2007
I entered Lisa Yee's Bodacious Book Title Contest. The rules were:
1. Think of a title from a children's/middle grade/young adult book.
2. Change the FIRST LETTER of ONE of the words to make it into a whole new title.
3. Then add a sentence describing the new book.

Here's one of my entries. It seems appropriate to share so close to election day.
Original Title: Duck for President
New Title: Puck for President
Summary: Upon escaping from the pages of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Puck finds himself in a land ruled by a ridiculous republican leader and, convinced he can do better, decides to run for President.

January 26, 2007
I participated in Poetry Friday for the first time! I didn't know to link up with others at that point, but I was finding a place to share and slowly finding my way into a community that I still participate in.

January 29, 2007
I posted my first thematic book list and Mary Lee Hahn of A Year of Reading stopped by to recommend a book. I'm so glad she did, and I'm so glad we're still talking about books and poetry together.

March 5, 2007
I wrote my first fib and walked through my writing/revising process. And Greg Pincus of GottaBook stopped by! (You're shocked, right?)

April 9, 2007
I wrote my first book review and was thrilled to find the author stopped by. This has happened a lot over the years, and it still makes me giddy. And that book I reviewed then is still in my teaching library and gets regular use.

May 15 - June 4, 2007
I traveled to Taiwan, China, and Tibet with a group of faculty members and blogged about my adventures. Here's a link to my summary post about what I learned.

July 16, 2007
I wrote about the book Ten Little Rabbits and the difficulty in evaluating books about other cultures. Debbie Reese of American Indians in Children's Literature stopped by and my education began. I still read her blog and am inspired by her tireless work.

August 6, 2007
I posted my very first poetry stretch. The form was the bouts-rĂ­mes. It's called the Monday Poetry Stretch now. I don't republish the poems in a new post any longer, just hope folks will drop into the comments to read the great things people share.

September 28, 2007
John Green came to campus as part of a lecture series. (This was just one year after An Abundance of Katherines was published.) I'd been following the Vlog Brothers since he was awarded a Printz honor in January, so meeting him was great fun.

October 6, 2007
I attended the very first Kidlit conference in Chicago and met all these amazing people.

October 15, 2007
The kidlit community came together in an event called Blogging for a Cure, spearheaded by Jules and Eisha of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. More than 60 bloggers worked to highlight an amazing group of illustrators who created snowflakes in support of Robert's Snow 2007. I may have even bid on and won a few ...
And that, my friends, is just a recap of one year of blogging! I've written numerous thematic lists since then, continue to host poetry stretches, participate in Poetry Friday, still speculate on the nature of diversity in children's books, write about poetry in many varied forms, and post original poetry supported by my amazing poetry sisters. I've experienced the highest highs and some of the lowest lows with this community. I'm so very grateful to have you. Thank you for reading, commenting, and stopping in to share my little corner of the internet. I love seeing you here.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Poetry Seven Write Terza Rima

As this year of writing together winds down, the Poetry Seven gang is tackling our final form, the terza rima. The Teachers and Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms (Padgett, 2000) defines terza rima in this fashion.
Terza rima is a tumbling, interlocking rhyme scheme that was invented by the thirteenth-century Italian poet Dante for the creation of his long poem, The Divine Comedy.

Terza rima (an Italian phrase meaning "third rhyme") consists of a series of three-line stanzas (tercets) with the rhyme scheme aba bcb cdc ded and so on. It can go on as long as the poet wishes. At the end of the poem an extra line is often added to complete the structure: yzy z.
You can read more on this form at Poets.org.

So, with a form to guide us, we decided to write about something uplifting, grateful, or hopeful. I'm not sure I managed to meet the theme head on this time, but rather think I've struck a close tangent. It's been hard to feel hope during this protracted election cycle, but I'm trying mightily to stay positive.

Here's the first draft which I wrote last night. Yes, at this point in the semester I'm working on everything at the last minute (much like my students, I imagine). It shows, but I'm glad to be here with my sisters once again.

Untitled Terza Rima
(With apologies to Langston Hughes)

Our world feels broken, bruised beyond repair
such bluster, noise, and chaos fill each day
but hope must be our choice and not despair

As clouds around us swell in black and gray
the news reminds us things could be much worse
so we must persevere, must not delay

to treasure all we have, this earth diverse
to meet each heart with gratitude and trust
to turn this global meltdown in reverse

to show more kindness, fight for what is just
to raise up those who've long been trod upon
to douse hate's sparks before we all combust

Acknowledge this will be a marathon
that change requires strength that’s undeterred
that only faith and love will move us on

to realize at last those dreams deferred

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.


You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below. Sending hugs to Andi who's not sharing a poem today, but always with us in spirit.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by one of my poetry sisters, Laura Purdie Salas. Happy poetry Friday friends!

P.S. - I'm celebrating a BIG blogiversary on Sunday, so I hope you'll stop by to join me for some virtual cake and a few fond memories.