Friday, February 26, 2021

Poetry Friday: Fact Nestlings

Last week, when I hosted Poetry Friday, many of you helped me create a list poem called "Facts are Poems." (You can see my explanation, and read the poem, here.)  

This week, I printed out the poem and spent some time collecting words from it. This was a fun process, and I liked the way the words started to seem like ingredients for a recipe once I had them in various lists that were unrelated to their original context (all the verbs, all the adjectives, all the words starting with one particular letter, etc.). 



Then I made some nestlings. If you haven't read Irene Latham's book This Poem is a Nest yet, you really should. This idea of nestlings comes from that book, where Irene wrote a long poem about a nest and then found new poems, or nestlings, in it.  (I reviewed the book and tried my first nestlings here.)



Poems power peaceful planet





Pandemic Blues

miserably lonely permanently


find shelter


In Love


Skin buzzing

Surface shimmer

Life List








Carolina Wrens

Memo from Extra-Terrestrial General to the Troops

Colonize the planet,

the solar system,

gently, silently.

I have a birthday this week, and I am celebrating a pretty long life that's left me with a lot of source material to write about. Doing these nestlings reminded me of that fact as I sifted through the source material of the words of my nest poem and compared it in my mind to sifting through the years of ideas I've been granted. 

When I turned 50, I started a writing project I called my QWP (Quinquagenarian Writing Project). Starting in July of the previous year, I set myself a goal of writing 50 pieces before my birthday. Since then, I start a new folder each year and work on seeing how many pieces I can amass before the next year's birthday. When I look back over last year's collection, from my birthday before the pandemic had hit us here on this island right up until this week, I feel happy. I'm not proud of every moment of the past year, every way I reacted to difficult times, but I am proud that I created. There are a lot of short pieces in the mix; there are many poems I wrote for other people; there are some whiny emotional writings; there's an inordinate amount about birds. I made stuff. In spite of everything, that stuff piled up. 

Now it's time to open a new folder and write some more. Happy birthday to me! 

Karen Edmisten has the roundup today. She's asking what new products were introduced the year we were born. For me it's the lava lamp! She's sharing a poem where Billy Collins reflects on the fact that he's as old as Cheerios. It looks as though there's a lot of bounty there already, so head on over! 


Linda B said...

I love that you collected those words from last week for your nestlings, Ruth. "FridayPoems power peaceful planet" is a favorite. They certainly help me to be peaceful! And I love your ability to collect each year's creations. It must be special to look back & read. Happy Birthday! My post this week celebrates all of you who do have a birthday as Pisces!

KatApel - said...

Oh, Ruth. 'I'm not proud of every moment of the past year, every way I reacted to difficult times...' That's me.🙋🏼‍♀️ But like you, I created. Sometimes I looked back and felt like the year (and I!) disappeared into the abyss - but actually, it was my most productive year to date. And I have much to be grateful for. Hoping your birthday week is wonderful! And that you have time to trawl through those folders you are creating, and collate a collection.

author amok said...

Hi, Ruth. Kudos to you for accomplishing so much with your poetry project. (That's exactly how the February poetry community started for me!) I love the final nestling you offer here, with its call to gentleness.

Mary Lee said...

How clever of you to use our collaborative poem as a nest! Your nestlings are fabulous.

Happy Birthday, and happy writing!

Kay said...

Happy birthday! And congratulations on all the creating. I enjoyed coming back to read the poem of facts last week, and then to discover your nestlings from it this week was a delight.

Karen Edmisten said...

Happy birthday, dear Ruth!
How I love the idea of your QWP. Yes, you made stuff! And the poem that you pulled together last week was the best. Life is a poem, and poetry is life, and facts are fertile ground for it all.

Hope your birthday is, in fact, fabulous. :)

Tabatha said...

Congrats on doing so much making, in spite of everything! 🥂 And happy birthday 🎉

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Happy early birthday, Ruth! Very creative little nestlings you found - quite the enjoyable, brain-stretching exercise, isn't it?? Happy birthday!

jan godown annino said...

Happy Birthday Bounce continuing into March, dear Ruth.
You have created a wealthy of writing with your luminous living.

You know I loved your collected poem from the other week.
And now it occurs with these mentor poems, we all (or just me) could follow your example. Which is Irene Lathamn's [This Poem is a Nest] example that inspires you.

So much goodness, all around.


michelle kogan said...

What a wonderful post Ruth! I loved hearing about your writing and the folders, and I looked up that fun word quinquagenarian, unfortunately, or fortunately however you look at it, I passed into the other side of being a quinquagenarian a year ago–can't imagine how that happened… And I'll have to look up a butcherbird too, thanks for all!