Thursday, September 1, 2016

Poetry Friday - Celebrating A Poem

Poetry Friday, beginning September! Thanks Penny Klostermann for hosting at A Penny and her Jots!



          I guess it's almost time to change my Poetry Friday "flowers".  Happy September!

          School has started nearly everywhere although I know some of you begin after this holiday weekend. All through the years for school and because I liked them, I've collected some poems about poetry. This time I'm sharing with you a long poem that I hope you will enjoy, and understand that it's not only about poetry, but about teaching. Best wishes to everyone who's beginning a year with children (young or old) or have children in school. 

         I Read a Tight-Fisted Poem Once by Nancy Woods


                from Room For Me and a Mountain Lion), compiled by Nancy Larrick

I touched the nothingness of air once and felt nothing.
I touched it again and felt a breeze.
I filled my lungs with air and smelled nothing.
I filled my body and soul with it and smelled the violets.
I read a tight-fisted poem once and realized nothing.
I read it again and was surprised to see it burst into blossom
and reveal its inner palm.
       You can read the rest of the poem here, in an older literature book, on Google. Please ignore the questions at the end! Olden times!



40 comments:

  1. What an interesting poem! So true that we need to look more carefully, breathe more deeply. So many things are tight-fisted, at first.

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    1. Until we look again, you're right, Tabatha. The poem shares that deeper look, and it's why I loved sharing it today & with my students.

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  2. To be a forest would be the best science lesson ever. A poem to try to live up to.

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    1. It does connect to science too, doesn't it? Lovely thought, Brenda.

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  3. Nice poem. We live a fast-paced life and miss so much if we don't slow down enough to notice. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Thanks, Penny, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  4. Poems, like everything else around us, deserve a slower look, listen, smell, touch, taste in order to be truly appreciated.

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    1. Thanks, Ramona. This time of year always makes me slow down to "see" what's happening in the change of seasons. Slowly it arrives & we sometimes do miss the little things.

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  5. So perfect for poetry and teaching. They take the same patience and reserve. Thank you for this Linda.

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    1. You're welcome, Julieanne, it's a favorite.

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  6. After I retired from college teaching, Linda, I looked back at my lectures about writing strategies, and I realized that almost every single one was about slowing down, about wandering, about seeing, about staying in uncertainty and just taking things in, about slowing down the cerebral part of you and letting the sensory part of you take over. Thanks for the reminder of how important slowing down and getting a second look is! Hope the school year proves to be one of growth for everyone.

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    1. I love hearing about your lectures, Julie, wishing this for everyone. I do wonder about those who walk by my house with a dog or a baby, a toddler even, but they are looking down at their phones, missing the rest of the world. Thanks!

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  7. A poem's inner palm... isn't that a wonderful image! It makes the gift of a poem all the more special knowing that it is given from a place of vulnerability. Thank you for sharing this today, Linda!

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    1. I'm happy you enjoyed it, Michelle. I love what it does to us reading it, often wanting to read it more than once, and then looking out.

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  8. Perfect poem for this time of year, Linda! I love the line:
    "To move slowly and become
    what you look at"
    This is what I strive to do...thank you for sharing this. =)

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    1. I know that you show your special POV often, Bridget, which does come from a watchful eye. Thanks!

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  9. "they will wonder when their problem child is going to change and begin to learn something useful"... I always liked looking for that child in the classroom. They had so much to offer!

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    1. Yes, they did, & they do require a search. Thanks, Donna.

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  10. I've read a few tight-fisted poems in my time. I like the ones that open those palms gently. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Dori, fun to consider others we might discover.

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  11. Ain't it the truth--sometimes I find myself skimming through a poem (and life) without seeing the inner palm. What a terrific poem to start the school year!

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    1. Thanks, Buffy, I guess there are times we need to hurry, and just need to remember to slow down sometimes.

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  12. I have been a forest. I am the ocean.
    I am a snow covered mountain top.
    I am a field of buttercups, a dry desert tumbleweed.
    There is so much life to experience.

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    1. Oh marvelous, Joy, and I know you've been those things, and now new ones in your new home.

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  13. Huh! I wonder if we call this meta-poetry....poetry that thinks about poetry? I never considered this before. Jane Yolen opens and closes each month of poetry with a poem about writing.
    This is why I love Poetry Friday. It's thinking and learning that absolutely feeds my soul. I may have to try some meta-poetry. I'm now intrigued.
    Thanks for this great post and the old poem in the old book.

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    1. Good name for it, Linda, "meta-poetry". There are many that are wonderful, and Jane's challenge at Today's Little Ditty is to write about writing or books. Poetry Friday fills me up every week, too. Thanks!

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  14. Linda, if we read and do not look deeply into the text then we will walk away with nothing. But if we dig dipper we might be surprised as the poet says: I read it again and was surprised to see it burst into blossom and reveal its inner palm. I was amazed to see that Basho's haiku and information about him appear in an old literature book. How splendid!

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    1. I looked at that book too. It has good pieces in it! Thanks Carol!

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  15. I have that anthology in my classroom! I'll have to look at it again!

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    1. Wow, that's terrific! I imagine it's very enjoyable. Thanks Ruth!

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  16. Linda, this reminds me of a conversation I had with another poet about how we read/respond to poems. I was making the comment about not understanding/being confused in a poem... and the poet suggested maybe I wasn't the right reader for the poem, which took me aback at first! But isn't it true? We bring our own expectations to a poem, and a poem that might once have felt inaccessible to us can become a favorite later on -- or may be perfect for someone else who is ready for it (and is the right reader). I am going to look for an example of this in my own poetic life and let you know. :) Thank you, Linda, as ever. xo

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    1. I think you may be right, & perhaps this poem addresses that, among other ideas. I should have said I also loved it because it opened my students' minds to how a poem can mean something different to each, which touches on what you are saying. Thank you, Irene!

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  17. I like the term "tight-fisted." It has so many possible meanings. And is an unexpected term to be paired with a poem.

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    1. Yes, me, too, Diane. The poem as I said is a good one to examine more than once. Thanks!

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  18. Great message about slowing down and looking beyond the surface.

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  19. I love all the connections to life in this one. Certainly some great points to make with young readers and writers.

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    1. Yes, I loved the sharing with my students! Thanks, Kiesha!

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    2. So much to take away from this poem! One bit that grabbed me: "Do you see what it really is or do you see what you want it to be?" That question could be asked so much in life! Thanks for sharing this little gem (questions and all--actually I enjoyed those too).

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    3. Thanks Violet, it is a favorite, and I was happy to see the questions, although there is much more than they ask I think. Did you see that Ruth has it in her classroom?

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Having a conversation is a good thing!