Lu has asked those involved with the Poetry Project to take a moment to reflect back on the project so far. Except for the times when I have been just to frazzled to remember to read poetry, the project has had me reading more poetry, introduced me to poets that were new to me, and to poetry I might not have been all that comfortable with. I appreciate the time and energy that Lu and Kelly have put into this, and am glad to have found others who enjoy reading and discussing this varied and amazing use of language.
So here, for Winter, from one of my favorite poets, is a poem about snow:
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Once with my scarf knotted over my mouth
I lumbered into a storm of snow up the long hill
and did not know where I was going except to the top of it.
In those days we went out like that.
Even children went out like that.
Someone was crying hard at home again,
raging blizzard of sobs.
I dragged the sled by its rope,
which we normally did not do
when snow was coming down so hard,
pulling my brother whom I called by our secret name
as if we could be other people under the skin.
The snow bit into my face, prickling the rim
of the head where the hair starts coming out.
And it was a big one. It would come down and down
for days. People would dig their cars out like potatoes.
How are you doing back there? I shouted,
and he said Fine, I’m doing fine,
in the sunniest voice he could muster
and I think I should love him more today
for having used it.
At the top we turned and he slid down,
steering himself with the rope gripped in
his mittened hands. I stumbled behind
sinking deeply, shouting Ho! Look at him go!
as if we were having a good time.
Alone on the hill. That was the deepest
I ever went into the snow. Now I think of it
when I stare at paper or into silences
between human beings. The drifting
accumulation. A father goes months
without speaking to his son.
How there can be a place
so cold any movement saves you.
Ho! You bang your hands together,
stomp your feet. The father could die!
The son! Before the weather changes.
Thanks to Vasilly , I’ve learned about the Poetry Project revamp organized by Lu at Regular Rumination and Kelly at The Written World. The event is a year-long project and originally had folks posting at the end of the month. Now participants can write about poetry, poets and poetry events any time they want. If you are stuck for an idea there are monthly prompts and there will be a Mr. Linky post up on the first Wednesday of the month.
For the revamp Kelly and Lu have asked participants to answer a few questions:
Why do you want to join for the Poetry Project? I enjoy poetry, love to read it, love to listen to it and have on occsion attempted to write it. I have always been hesitant writing about poetry so I feel this project is a , good way to start.
Do you have a favorite poet? I have many favorites and am adding more to my list all the time. Naomi Shihab Nye, Joy Harjo, Mary Oliver, William Stafford, W.S. Merwin, John Haines, Richard Hugo, Linda Bierds , Louise Gluck, Bridget Pegeen Kelly, Adrianne Rich, Thomas McGrath, Marianne Boruch are just some names from my poetry bookshelf.
Hopefully this will go longer than a year. Do you have any suggestions for themes? Others have mentioned some great themes but I would add poetry in translation and possibly regional poetry.
What are your experiences with poetry in the past? Have they been positive or negative? I have heard many poets read their work and have read different kinds of poetry. My experiences have been wonderful.
Tell us about a poem or poet that has had a profound effect on you. If you can’t think of a poem, how about a song? Or a line from a story? There is a poem by William Stafford that I have returned to again and again…
THE WAY IT IS – William Stafford
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
What frustrates you about poetry or the way we talk about poetry? I have often found poetry “criticism” very elitist and distancing. I would like us to write and talk about poetry the way we write and talk about other forms of writing, fiction and non-fiction, the way we share our thoughts through book blogs.
Tell us something about yourself that has nothing to do with poetry! I love gardening…