Thursday, March 20, 2014

21/31 A Poem Connection & March Madness-not the basketball kind

          21/31 Slice - Poetry Friday, too!  There are still many people writing for the March Challenge at Two Writing Teachers - go visit!

          PLUS! It's Poetry Friday and Julie Larios of The Drift Record is hosting today. Thanks Julie!





        I grew up visiting relatives on farms--one set of grandparents, an aunt and uncle. Good memories live from that time. During this Slice of Life Challenge, I  have started to find and read regularly Holly Mueller's posts at Reading, Teaching, Learning. She has been recording some memories of growing up on a farm, and I've enjoyed them. Yesterday she wrote about rising in the dark with her dad in the cold, cold winters and helping to milk the cows, breaking the ice in the buckets. 
         All of us have been yearning for spring and warmer temperatures, yet Holly talks about loving the cold and the snow, yes, even after this past particularly hard winter. Because of her writing yesterday, I remember rising with my own grandfather, in the dark, so we could go milk the cows. I didn't do it every morning, but this was my two-week summer visit, and I had begged to go. He woke me, gave me a biscuit with jam, and a warm, milk-drenched cup of tea. Out we went, and that might make another story.



         Today, while looking for a poem to share, I found this poem from Joyce Sutphen, and connected to this early morning memory once again. I knew this would be the poem to share.

                   Breakfast
                          Joyce Sutphen

My father taught me how to eat breakfast
those mornings when it was my turn to help
him milk the cows. I loved rising up from

the darkness and coming quietly down
the stairs while the others were still sleeping.


                  the rest is here.



photo credit: w4nd3rl0st (InspiredinDesMoines) via photopin cc

        I also have entered the craziness of the March Madness Poetry Competition. Voting is still open if you'd like to read some wonderful poems and vote. Ed DiCaria has spent a lot of time spreading the joy of poetry. Many Poetry Friday bloggers and some Slicers are in on the this fast action, including my competition, Heidi Mordhorst. How could I be so unlucky! You'll love the poems, very creative. (BYW- my word is 'slurred')

62 comments:

  1. So simple, yet so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this, Linda. So many memories have been shared this month. How lucky we are to be part of this thoughtful, caring community!

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    1. It is certainly a pleasure, isn't it, Catherine! Thank you!

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  2. Oh, I loved your poem for MM14. Thanks for sharing about you grandfather.

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    1. Thanks Jone, I'm glad you enjoyed both. I have lots of memories of my grandparents, lucky to have them.

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  3. Linda, I'm so glad you gave us the link. I had been meaning to wander over and got there in time to vote. I started reading "Breakfast" and thought, I've heard this poem before, then clicked for the rest of it. No wonder - it was a poem from Writer's Almanac. I love the daily serving of poetry that I enjoy there. Hoping to join the fun this summer for Poetry Friday. For now, I'll continue to lurk.

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    1. You have a good memory & it's from a while ago, Ramona. It is a good place to find poetry I agree. I hope you do join in!

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  4. I love to hear about people's memories with their grandparents!

    Like you, I was also sorry to see that you were paired with Heidi -- what a tough vote! I couldn't figure out a winner. You're both winners to me!

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    1. Thanks very much, Tabatha, and yes, it would have been much easier to be paired with a stranger.

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  5. "Breakfast" is new to me. We weren't farmers, but my dad and I were the early birds in our family and we often shared a bowl of cereal. I loved this quiet poem. Thanks. This weekend I will try to get over and read some of the March Madness poems.

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    1. Nice to hear about your dad and you sharing breakfast together. If you want to vote, the voting ends this afternoon, Carol. But whatever you do, you should read some of the poems, so many good ones!

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  6. Linda, I love this post for several reasons. I love the way you promote others...another blog, a competing poet, a poem about your memory. And in the midst you share a piece of yourself-- a memory from your childhood. You are very generous and your memories are poignant. Thank you.

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    1. You're so welcome, Deborah. I actually have such a habit of looking for connections, talked so much about doing so with students. I appreciate your compliment!

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  7. Love the poem you shared...I remember getting up early with my dad to take care of the animals, too, except we didn't eat til the animals had eaten!

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    1. This was just a 'snack', then caring for the animals as you said, then back for the big meal. Sometimes I wish I could go back to taste my grandmother's food! Thanks Matt!

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  8. I love that biscuit and jam, the warm milk-drenched cup of tea and the barn. I do hope you'll go on. Such early mornings are a kind of magic. As are barns. I was just reading Carolyn Heilbrun on "unmet friends," with her favorite being Maxine Kumin who changed her life though their paths never crossed. She loved the way she shaped a life around poetry and farming.

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    1. Thanks Jeannine, for loving those tiny details, and for the direction to Carolyn Heilbrun. I will look!

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  9. Love your poem on MM! Good luck! What a brave thing to do. Fingers crossed. I also am loving Holly's posts. I am using them as models for my students. She is inspiring. Rising up from the darkness...

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    1. Thanks, Margaret, it is fun to take the plunge of MM, but a little scary, too. I like the doing to see if I can craft something relatively fast, but if I don't win, especially this time, I know that Heidi's poem is wonderful competition! The memoir pieces from Holly have been such a joy to read!

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  10. I have two hungry animals that always must be taken care of before coffee. They're cats, but I bet they're noisier than a barnful of cows! I look forward to following your MM progress!

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    1. I remember the meowing (or yowling) in the am, Diane. You're right, the cows made much less fuss. Thanks for the MM support!

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  11. You have a gift for making connections, then having that perfect poem or quote to enhance it. You amaze me with the richness of your life, and the amazing part is we only see a slice. I quite enjoyed your poem! Best of luck to you, voting is close.

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    1. Thanks for checking out the poems, Elsie, I appreciate it! And thanks for the comment, so happy you liked this poem. Isn't it great!

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  12. Holly's posts have been wonderful to read, Linda - a slice of a very different life from mine. I love this poem - there's a peaceful stillness, the way one would like to begin the day.

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    1. Happy that you are enjoying her posts too, Tara. They certainly take me to another time! And glad you liked this poem too-I was so pleased to find it!

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  13. I love the positive perspective on all this cold and snow. Acceptance is the way to go! I love the poem you shared.

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    1. Thanks Maureen, easy for me to say because we haven't had the same winter storms you all have had, but Holly says she's loved it!

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  14. Breakfast is a wonderful poem. I wonder if kids these days find similarly simple joys. It seems more often than not, the first thing they do after waking up is turn on some sort of technology that involves staring at a screen. Your MM poem is wonderful-- so fun and well written too. As I've said to Heidi... and Matt... and Buffy, it's so frustrating when two of my favorites are matched up in the first round! I sorely wish such calamities could be avoided in future and that we could enjoy ALL of your poetry for much longer in this tournament.

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    1. I know, it's tough to be competing with someone I admire, too. Still fun! Thanks Michelle! And so glad you like "Breakfast". I do, too!

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  15. Your post is making me thinking that the SOLSC could be referred to as March Madness as well!

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    1. Yes, there are certainly connections, Stacey. I wish I had more time to read more-200 + is a lot of reading! Good thing they're always wonderful to read!

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  16. It's amazing how the brain lights up when someone's writing brings a memory to life. No barns or cows in my past, but nevertheless I can enjoy the words of those who share the memories, Holly's and yours and the poem. I also enjoyed reading the MM poems.

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    1. I still remember your memory pieces from last summer, Terje-special times then! Happy you enjoyed all of this, & the MM Poems too!

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  17. Have visited a farm but never stayed over. Never had the joy of early morning - milking cows. Did keep 20 chickens for awhile - never again! lol
    Lovely post and poem.

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    1. Thanks Beverley. Wow-20 chickens! I am impressed. My friend who lives on a farm now has chickens, ducks, geese & turkeys (which are scary). She was so worried this winter when the cold spells hit-had to do some extra care. It's hard work keeping animals on a farm! But there are treasured moments too, as the poem shows.

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  18. Gosh, I'm so thrilled that you mentioned me in your post today, Linda!! I agree with many of the commenters that you are wonderful at making connections. This SOLSC has been powerful for me. I've loved the writing, comments, and connections that are being made. Everyone is so talented and kind. It's been amazing. I don't want it to end. I especially love the last line in the poem you shared: "Simple—that's how we started up the day. " Thank you again, for all the support you give me in your comments and for YOUR writing as well. I'm going to be sad when March ends!

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    1. You're very welcome, Holly. I've enjoyed reading your memoir pieces very much, and when I found that poem, I knew what my post would be today. Best wishes on continuing all your writing. It doesn't have to stop in March, really!

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  19. My mother in law would love this as she grew up on a farm in Iowa. I'll send it to her! Thank you.

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    1. You're welcome, Diane. I hope she enjoys it!

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  20. I also grew up visiting the farms of my aunts and uncles. Many fond memories come back of swinging on the rope from the hay mow, and driving the tractor into the side of the barn once. Thanks to Holly via you for bringing back those memories!

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    1. It was lots of fun, wasn't it, Karen? I learned to drive with an old jeep of my uncle's. Thanks!

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  21. I'm a simple person and I love simple things so I loved the poem Breakfast. So much can be said in simple ways.

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    1. Happy you liked the poem, Leigh Anne. It is beautiful, isn't it? Thanks!

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  22. What a lovely post -- the poem is perfect and I enjoyed hearing about your own memories of visiting farms and milking the cows with your grandfather. Farm life is so foreign to me; I probably tend to idealize it when it must be a lot of hard work. But oh, the rewards! :)

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    1. I think we all idealize it, Jama, & I only experienced it as a visitor, helping some, but never the day in day out real work it takes. Happy you enjoyed this little bit! Thank you!

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  23. I love the warm feeling this poem gives even though it's cold outside. Being connected to people, traditions and memories warms us to the core! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome, Latisha. Glad you were warmed! It's cold here too, snow coming!

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  24. What a beautiful recollection, dearest Linda. I don't have this kind of experience, but I remember visiting my mother's hometown in the province as a very young child and seeing the water buffaloes (called carabaos in rural Philippines) in the green fields in the early morning. That was quite peaceful. Enjoy being an authlete and best of luck to you and Heidi!

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    1. Thanks Myra, I love hearing about your memory too. Those kinds of animals generally are slow moving, aren't they? Thanks for the wishes, but my time as an authlete is over, I lost by not much, which feels good, & Heidi wrote a good poem, which also feels good!

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  25. Yes, simple and lovely. Her father reminds me of my father. I love the subtle difference between rising and rising up.

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    1. And in so few words, a beauty of a picture in my mind. Thank you, LIz!

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  26. Love the poem that you shared, Linda. Also agree that the thoughts about being on the farm could turn into another story or two. What wonderful memories!

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    1. Thanks Melanie. I've written some pieces about the farm, just never shared them on the blog. Maybe sometime?

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  27. This spring I've started imagining chickens and beehives in my back yard. These are the first yearning for a "farm life" I think I've ever had. I love your vivid description of your personal farm experiences and agree that the poem is perfectly fitting.

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    1. I've written a lot about the farm times, Susan, just never shared them on the blog. Sarah keeps talking about a chicken or two also. They would love to be on a farm, but... Visits to Ruth Ann might be our only outing!

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  28. A simple poem, but it evokes such a nice mood and for you a wonderful reminiscence of your time with Grandpa. Lovely!

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    1. Happy that you enjoyed it, Iza. As I've said often in the comments, I love this poem!

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  29. Your post made me think about all those times visiting MY "cousins" on the farm...

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    1. Much fun, wasn't it, Mary Lee? So many times to remember! Glad I piqued some memories in you, too!

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  30. Beautiful picture, lovely sky, and wonderful poem. Thanks for the reminder about March Madness. I love following the fun.

    Cathy

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    1. Thanks Cathy, Happy you enjoyed them all!

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  31. This is beautiful, Linda. Though I'm not an early riser and have never milked a cow, I love this intimate moment of father and daughter. Those memories are so special.

    And both yours and Heidi's poems deserved lots of votes!

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    1. Thanks for all, Dori. I appreciate it. So glad you like the poem, me, too!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!