Favorite Poem: “We Real Cool”

“We Real Cool”

by Gwendolyn Brooks

THE POOL PLAYERS. 
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Daily Response: This is a great poem to teach, since it is short and easy to understand. Plus, the poem offers examples of alliteration, symbolism, enjambment, and rhythm. Poetry can be complex and turn off students completely–or it can convey a simple message like in this poem. Did you like poetry in school–or did you find it too complex?

Poet: Sara Pounds

Sara Pounds lives in Florida. I met her when she was in the sixth grade; I was her language arts teacher. I am so proud of her writing and wanted to share a poem that she posted on Facebook recently.

I feel an uncertainty about this path-

I also don’t know how long it will last-

Pages of books that are kept under the sheets-

It speaks volumes and speaks to me-

The pictures in frames tell of other days-

Oh I long for the ways it turned out-

I swear I don’t know how it got this way-

But as I look up the sky depleted me-

The soul is dark and gray but aren’t they the same-

Eyes of night and the mourning was bright-

It wakes me up to say-

come on in and enjoy it again-

Hearts are broken but I’m just here to mend-

It speaks volumes and it speaks to me-

Tells of a story of you and me-

Oh love we know not what we do-

should we say we’re sorry or are we just misunderstood-

Stay or leave oh the choices are so weak-

It grows within me-

The trust that once destroyed me-

It speaks volumes and speaks to me-

I feel an uncertainty about the past-

I also don’t know how long it will last-

The memories that seems to consume me-

It speaks volumes and it seems to speak to me-

Daily Response:

Sara’s repetitive verse, “It speaks volumes and it speaks to me,” reminds me of why we write poetry in the first place. If you were going to sit down and write a poem, what would be the topic? What emotion or idea “speaks” to you?

 

Poet: Veronica Hosking

Veronica Hosking is a poet and poetry editor for Mamazina www.mamazina.com. She lives in Avondale, Arizona with her husband and two daughters. Check out her poem, “Seven Years,” in the anthology, From the Heart. Read more of Hosking’s poetry at http://hosking.gather.com and www.authorsden.com/veronicahosking.

 

“White Birch”

by Veronica Hosking

White Birch standing tall
Stretching limbs above my reach
Holding dreams aloft.

 

Daily Response:

A haiku is a short poem of three lines with a total of 17 syllables. Traditionally, haikus were written about a simple theme like nature. Write your own haiku and post as a comment.

Here are the rules for a haiku:

1st line = 5 syllables

2nd line = 7 sylllables

3rd line = 5 syllables

Poet: John Beck

John Beck was born in Titusville, PA in 1938 and moved with his family (at age 3 1/2) to Sturgeon Bay, WI, where he resides today. He had a passing interest in poetry in school but focused on training for a profession as a physician. After a 2 1/2 year tour of active duty in the US Navy as a Flight Surgeon and Naval Parachutist he returned to Sturgeon Bay and practiced family medicine with his father until Parkinson’s disease forced his father’s retirement. Now semi-retired as physician electronic health record advisor with part time clinical practice, John has found time to do some writing. Through the Gather social network he has been experimenting with new poetry forms as well as writing some short prose. Read more of John’s poetry at: http://lapapa.gather.com/

 

FUNGI~Terza Rima

I walk the trails and wonder at the sight
Of multicolored fungi peeping through
Decaying leaves.  Those morsels deer delight
 
In nibbling.  I perhaps am tempted too
But caution rules and I just pass them by
And leave their spores and hyphae to renew
 
Mysterious potentials in the ground
Which through the seasons hidden dormant lie
Until ideal warmth and moisture’s found
 
So mushrooms can emerge and so belie
The death and disappearance of their source.
Yet what I see today must surely die.

Daily Response: “I walk the trails and wonder at the sight” opens John’s poem. Think of a time when you took a nature walk. Where we you, and what did you see?

Poet: Michelle

Bio

Michelle lives in the northeastern part of the United States and teaches English at the high school level. She wishes to be a full-time writer. Until then, you can follow Michelle’s latest posts on her Gather page.  

 

“Poems of Mud”

A poem can be
light and airy
or an uncontrolled flame
Flow like streaming water
or float in a blue cloud

But my poems
come from the earth
deep, rich, sensual soil
substantial and firm
newly tilled
full of nutrients
layered life unfolding

I take my hands
dig deeply and smell
without reservation
the warmth of
words, alive
brought to the surface
after having been buried
down in the womb
of the Mother

The ground element
keeps me rooted
cloaks me in wet mud
Rock my companion
Moss my bed
Trees my liberation

 

 

Daily Response:

Michelle writes, “But my poems come from the earth…” Think metaphorically and describe the birthplace / inspiration for your poetry. Today is a fill-in-the blank response, beginning with “My poems come from ________…” You may elaborate and turn the line into a few more verses, a stanza, or even a full poem.  

 

Poet: Kimberly Blackadar

“The Blank Page”

From eerie emptiness
To birthed possibilities,
The blank page transforms
With each symphonic tap.
Slow. Slower.
Quick, quicker,
Then slow again.
The rhythm of thoughts
Dance to an exotic tempo
In the mind’s venerable song,
Filled with beats of imagination
Causing even the composer
To listen curiously,
Closely–
As the final word marches
With thunderous strokes
Across a littered plain
Of open interpretation.

Daily Response: Poety is not my native genre, so this poem captures how I feel when I write in verse. When you stare at the blank page of a notebook or the blank screen of a computer, what usually comes to your mind? A poem? A short story? A freewrite? The first chapter of a novel? An article? A letter? Or nothing? So…if you were given the opportunity to write anything, what form would you choose? Or would you just leave the page blank?

Poetry in the Bible: 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

This is post #3 of 30 and part of a contest to win one of two autographed copies of Nothing but Trouble after Midnight. The two individuals with the highest number of comments (one a day for 30 days) will win a book. Good luck!

Post #1

Post #2

1 Corinthians. 13:4-13

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
And now faith, hope, and love abide, but the greatest of these is love.

 

DAILY RESPONSE: These verses, commonly read at wedding ceremonies, define  love. Love is poetry’s most common theme. Consider your definition of love. Jot it down; then turn it into a few lines of simple verse. Yes, that’s a poem. Please post it in the comments below.

Favorite Poem: “Touched by an Angel”

“Touched by An Angel”

by Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

YOUR TURN: In the comment section below, please post the name of one of your favorite poets / poem.

No Fooling: A Whole Month of Poetry

Happy April Fool’s Day!

April is National Poetry Month, and just like last year, I am turning my blog over to poetry. I’m not kidding you, but this teen fiction author will be posting nothing but poetry on this blog for the next 30 days. But!–this year I have a challenge for you…

 

THE CHALLENGE (A.K.A. The Contest)

From now until April 30th at 12:00 (EST), I will be giving away two autographed copies of Nothing but Trouble after Midnight to the individuals who leave the most daily comments. Your comments will be answers to the “Daily Response.” Sometimes I will ask you a simple question about poetry, usually matters of opinion, and every once in a while, I will challenge you to try your hand at a poem. (Find today’s “Daily Response” at the bottom of this post.)

Contest Guidelines:

  • Leave only one comment on each blog post, and therefore, with thirty days in April, there will be a maximum of thirty entries per person. (In case of a tie, the person who commented first wins.)
  • Leave a comment with your name. If you want to comment under a pseudonym, then email me at kimberlyblackadar@yahoo.com. That way I can contact you if you win.

 

POETRY CONTESTS 

If you are looking for more poetry challenges for the month of April, here are some great options around the web:

Mindful Poetry

Poem-A-Day

 

Weekly Format:

Saturday: Favorite Poem

Sunday: Poetry from the Bible

Monday – Friday: Featured Poets

This Week:

April Post
1 No Fooling: A Month of Poetry
2 Favorite Poem: “Touched by an Angel”
3 Poetry in the Bible: 1 Corinthians 13:4-13
4 Poet: Kimberly Blackadar
5 Poet: Michelle
6 Poet: John Beck
7 Poet: Veronica Hosking
8 Poet: Sara Pounds

 

 DAILY RESPONSE: When was the last time you wrote a poem? (Submit your answer in the comment section below!)

Book Review: Evan’s Castle

Evan’s Castle by Tracy Fabre is my answer to the following question: What is the best book you’ve read lately? From the ashes of a dead-end relationship, this romance novel chronicles a new chapter in Rachel Kane’s life. With rich characterization and witty dialogue, Fabre offers the heat of a contemporary romance with the depth of classic fiction.

With every memorable romance, its greatness lies in the allure of the male protagonist. Fabre’s male lead, Evan Callahan, is brilliantly sexy. A research scientist who keeps busy with his work, Evan softens with each page of the novel. Rachel Kane, his newly hired assistant, has that effect on him. She is strong, able to match his wit, and not afraid to speak her mind. The romance ignites but encounters a series of challenges. Yet unlike many romances, the plot, fresh and unexpected, keeps the reader fully engaged in the story. Moreover, Fabre does not rely on stereotypes, yet creates strong characters with complex personalities—even her minor characters leave a lasting impression on the reader.

The authentic dialogue drew me to Tracy’s book, and after reading the excerpts on her website, I purchased the novel.

Evan was laughing. “I was a wonder, wasn’t I?”
 “But tell me something I don’t know. Tell me something you wouldn’t tell an interviewer.”
 “Ah,” he said, still amused. “I’m not sure what you’re looking for.”
 “Something to explain… you.”

The believable dialogue, coupled with the strong characterization, sets Tracy Fabre apart from other writers in the romance genre.

Without hesitation, I highly recommend this novel. Evan’s Castle is a great introduction to her works, and I look forward to reading the rest of Fabre’s novels.