Thursday, March 8, 2012

Poetry Friday Plus Two Writing Teachers Challenge #9 Means Writing!


     The March Slice of Life Challenge at the Two Writing Teachers blog - Thanks Stacey and Ruth.  Poetry Friday is hosted today by Myra, Fats and Iphigene at the Gathering Books blog.  That means wonderful things to read everywhere!


I posted a poem about saying goodbye last Tuesday, The Lonesome Swing, and in that introduction I mentioned a personal project I’m working on about different ways of looking at children (mine, others, and grandchildren, too) growing up.  I’ve trying to write a series of poems at different stages in a life, essentially saying goodbye each time.  The poems so far are rather nostalgic; I hope to put them together in a book with pictures of my grandchildren (10 ½, almost 3, 7 months) at the particular stage I am describing in the poem.  Part of this comes from my talks with my own children, watching my daughter be pregnant last year, the children growing and changing so fast.  Another part is that I love telling stories through poetry, and I love poems of goodbye, so I thought this would be a good way to combine both passions.  Someday I hope to put it all together in a book for my grandchildren.  As we often say, it’s nice to have a goal and an audience to write for.

Real feedback is welcome.  I appreciate it.  Here is the first one:



(1)
I’ve lived with you now
nine months-
heaven time.
I know you rolling,
kicking and shoving,
not always gently
but reminding:
“I’m here, I’m here.”
Even asleep
I feel the weight of you,
the song of your whisper,
humming “Here, here.”
Now it’s time
to seek you,
meet you,
greet you.
I’m not at all ready
to say goodbye to
you and me,
to have it be
you
and
me.


42 comments:

  1. What a remarkable project -- how very cool! This poem gave me a glimpse into an experience I've never had (pregnancy). It tugs at me and makes me realize the feelings of bonding that can happen prior to birth. I can't wait to read more of your poems.
    Ruth

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  2. Such an amazing project. Pregnancy was always tough on me - physically and mentally. I always wanted them "out". I was convinced something would go wrong and no one would know. That being said, I remember watching them move and my stomach stretch and grow. I love that you wrote about it and think saving it to compile will be such a special gift.

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  3. Linda,
    Like you, I am a fan of poetry. For some reason, I find writing poetry easier than writing narrative and longer prose. Your idea for your book will be a wonderful keepsake for your family. Today's poem brought fond memories of waiting on each one of my children to arrive. There is that pull between wanting to meet them and wanting to keep them close. You so eloquently captured it here.

    I loved this:
    I know you rolling,
    kicking and shoving,
    not always gently
    but reminding

    Thanks, Linda.
    Cathy

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  4. Linda, this poem is just perfect. I have goosebumps and tears strolling down my cheeks. Don't change a thing. Your words really struck a chord -- the exact feelings I had during my pregnancy with my twins, especially towards the end . . . I struggled with "not ready to say goodbye to you and me, to have it be you and me." I knew they were safe with me, in me. Selfishly that connection was my special bond with the girls, but all knowing that Daddy wanted to bond too! Thank you for your words and I SO look forward to more! What a beautiful, special project - what an amazing gift!

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  5. What a beautiful project for your grandchildren. You touched my heart. I look forward to reading more.

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  6. What a beautiful tribute to your children and their children. I have not really thought about the "saying goodbye" to stages of growing and changing, but we do.

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  7. This is a very sweet and touching poem Linda. I can't say I've had the pleasure of living through it, but perhaps someday soon.

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  8. I like the "good-bye" aspect of the poems. Good way to get it "wrapped up" so to speak. I am doing a similar project...just a little more random as I collect poetry I've written about family, my children and grandchildren. So I'll be especially on the lookout for yours, of course! I always love reading what you've written. This one is a wonderful remembrance of the feelings evoked at that stage of life. Beautifully done!

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  9. Oh! Today must be birth story Monday! :-)
    I do really love the way you end the poem and the sense of saying good-bye to one season of relationship as we move to another in the way you've arranged the words.

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  10. I love the idea of this whole project . My first thought (before reading the poem) was that I wouldn't connect with it because you wrote it so personally, and for a specific project. But I was wrong! You have absolutely captured this moment in time with it's physical feelings and emotional feelings. This isn't just a book for your children and grandchildren. Share it! And let me know where I can purchase it.

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  11. Linda, What a great gift for your grandkids! I was at a Creative Memories Party (Albums & Photos) last night. They are doing so much traditionally scrapbooking and digitally. Roxie a lady I teach with had a book she had put together with a family fishing trip and wedding story of her daughter. I'm sure there are other companies but I loved the ideas.

    I think putting together a book of your poems with your family pictures would be priceless.

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  12. This is beautiful. It really captures that longing to hang onto the intimacy between mother and child that will never be the same again. Nice work, and an inspiring project.

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  13. Great job, Linda. I love the last line,
    "I’m not at all ready
    to say goodbye to
    you and me,
    to have it be
    you
    and
    me."
    It captures that feelings that many mothers have--for 9 months it's been only the two of them and all of a sudden, there are more people involved.

    Your grandkids are lucky!

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  14. Linda, this poem slays me! Lovely, and what a great project. I have been meaning to write a poem about the gift of goodbye -- thinking of how goodbyes are what allow us new beginnings. Might be something to address in your project! Thanks for sharing.

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  15. Very nice, Linda -- I especially like the ending. Beautiful photo, too.

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  16. Linda, you have captured this "moment in time" perfectly. My pregnancies happened a long time ago and I don't remember how I felt, but before my daughter delivered the twins, she told me that she didn't want the pregnancy to end. It is necessary to say good-bye in order to move on to the next phase. Thank you for sharing and I'm hoping we will be able to read another good-bye poem.

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  17. Linda,
    Lovely poem. How great! "heaven time" threw me at first, but on consideration I like it a lot.
    I recently read a poem by a student about the birthday poems she receives from her Grandmother poet. Do you write birthday poems for your grandkids?
    thanks for sharing this poem and your important project. Write on!

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  18. Linda, that you for sharing that poem. I really like the lines, "Even asleep/ I feel the weight of you" -- I remember that feeling so clearly from my own pregnancies.
    That book would be such a wonderful legacy to your daughter and your grandchildren.

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  19. Terrific idea...my husband is trying something similar, using the pictures we are getting once a month from Costa Rica. I loved the one you shared today. I'm going to share with a friend that is having a baby soon and my daughter also. Thank you!

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  20. Let me pay you the biggest compliment I possibly can. I'm printing off this poem and putting it in Isabelle's baby book. I love it. Thank you for capturing exactly what I felt on the day she was born.

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  21. Love this idea! I have poems spread here and there about my son... one day I'd always thought I'd collect them. What a great memory you're putting together!

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  22. "You and me" phrases are precious. You'll be leaving a multi-faceted legacy to your children and grandchildren.

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  23. Well, everyone has said anything I could hope to add, but I love the idea behind this project. It must force you to focus on each child, each grandchild,each sliver of childhood you wish to capture in just the right words. Your family will treasure this project, Linda!

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  24. What a beautiful poem! I would love to tell you my favorite part but I can't narrow it down. Your family is lucky to have you and your writing!

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  25. Wow...you so captured a feeling I had when I was pregnant with my daughter. Knowing it would be my last pregnancy and knowing that I would not experience the "you and me" again, but that we would be singular. Love how you separated those words to show such feeling, loneliness...beautiful.

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  26. Linda - this is beautiful! I love the idea of writing down these stories and poems.

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  27. I love what happens when you change "you and me" to
    "you
    and
    me."

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  28. It sounds like it is both a good bye and a hello book - nice way to talk about transitions with children - part of life and life giving.

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  29. What a lovely project for you, for your children and your grandchildren too. I loved the poem - so tender, and I could easily relate to the feeling of 'knowing' that child even before it was born. I hope you share some of the other poetry that you write for this project.

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  30. A really neat idea! Like some others, I LOVE the ending, where your structure shows the change from "you and me" to "you..... and me". I'm mostly afraid I won't like being pregnant, but your poem makes it sound nice! :-)

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  31. So, so beautiful! I especially love the last lines! Not to mention that beautiful baby!

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  32. Linda- not only is your poem beautifully written, it is an act of love that your family will cherish. The ending was especially touching.

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  33. This poem left me breathless. Because of where I am personally, but mostly because of how stunning that ending is. The sentiment is beautiful, but the craft is what stole my breath tonight. I am so glad I read this.

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  34. Such a lovey tribute. Grandchildren are such an inspiration for poetry. This will be a wonderful famiy project.

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  35. This is a gorgeous piece, Linda! You have a fine ear for rhythm/cadence and sound patterns, and your line breaks are spot on (creating meaning in the end, but very effective throughout). The result is a well-crafted and shaped piece that makes the content that much more moving through word choices, sound, and rhythm. Brilliant piece! Bravo! :)

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  36. How precious. I love this part...

    I’m not at all ready
    to say goodbye to
    you and me,
    to have it be
    you
    and
    me.

    I may just print this out and put it in my poetry notebook.

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  37. Perfect ending! One of our first grade teacher's water broke at school on Friday (she was not, thankfully, with her students) and I know she must be feeling exactly this emotion!

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  38. What a lovely idea for a book...and a very beautiful poem that you have shared! I remember well that mixed feeling of melancholy and happy anticipation, as my pregnancies came to an end and our days "in the real world, together" awaited. I have these feelings throughout life's changes...thank goodness for the release of a journal! Thank you for sharing this poem...it has truly sent me down memory lane...

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  39. Linda, ditto, ditto, ditto what everyone has said! And yes, that ending slayed me. I hope you send it to the wider world once you're finished--that you offer it to a publisher or whatever feels the best way to say g'bye to these poems.

    It's funny, I, too, at first thought I wouldn't connect when you described it. I thought it would be too sad a topic pour moi. But every molecule is a celebration. It's about being present. It's about acceptance.

    Thank you for sharing!

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  40. This is exquisite...I, too, was moved deeply throughout and then again at the end. I so remember the feeling of being one, and then suddenly the world getting so much bigger for my baby. "Heaven time."

    I have a collection of goodbye poems, but some feel too sad. You capture perfectly the love in now. What a gift for your family. a.

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  41. Beautiful. The picture is precious; your words mirror that preciousness.

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  42. I loved your you and me
    And
    You
    And
    Me
    Lines
    Knowing that this together bond is coming to an end...only just beginning! So rich with your words...
    You have painted a beautiful picture here!
    May I put this poem in Natalie's baby album?

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