It's been sort of a poetic week around here. Tuesday I added my line to the Progressive Poem, and Sunday was my blog birthday. Seventeen years old, my little corner of the Internet. I looked up the appropriate gift for a seventeenth anniversary, and it's furniture. So below you'll find two poems with chairs in them. The first one came to my mind immediately and the second one showed up on the Poetry Foundation when I went looking for another chair.
This is my second time hosting Poetry Friday from Uganda, and the last time I had poems about tables. Today I'm inviting you to pull up a chair and sit a while. My porch is quite small, but some people can sit there, and the rest can cram into my tiny living room. Come to think of it, you might want to bring a chair with you, maybe one of those camp chairs people keep in the trunk of the car, just in case. My husband will whip us up something to eat, I bet.
Just a word about the time zone: we're seven hours ahead of Eastern time here, so keep that in mind when it may seem as though I'm taking a while. I might be asleep! Just sit quietly, there in your chair, and I'll be up soon. Leave your comment and I will round up the old fashioned way, as fast as I can. I've enabled comment moderation, so you won't see your comment right away.
The Patience of Ordinary Things
by Pat Schneider
It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they're supposed to be.
I've been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things...
by Jeffrey Harrison
To make a chair an angel would want to sit on
is an intimidating proposition,
even though a jewel-encrusted throne
or wingback armchair with cloud-soft cushions
is not called for, only a simple rocker.
Besides, most of the work is done: I bought a kit.
But I still may not be equal to the task.
Will I be patient enough? Or will I splinter,
in haste and frustration, some crucial element?
Will I be able to make the chair a form
of worship, as the Shakers did, even though
I'll only be fitting pre-made parts together?
If I fail at this it's even worse
than if I'd tried to make a chair from scratch
and failed. Afraid to begin, I avoid the box
where it's learned against the bookshelf for a week.
In Uganda, I think the most commonly used sentence is: "You are welcome." Everybody says it, even the security guard who's searching your car. You are welcome, friends! I'm so glad to have you here! And I'm looking forward to a whole bunch of great poetry! (And it's also Poem in Your Pocket Day on Poetry Friday this week - tell us if you've got a poem in your pocket!)
It's Friday morning in Uganda, and I just woke to an inbox full of links! Happy day!
Anastasia's in with a haiku asking a question to which I'd really like an answer.
Michelle has a poem in her pocket today, and it's a beaut! She even has instructions on a good way to fold your pocket poem. Plus, she's written a poem in imitation of Pablo Neruda, and since that's the Poetry Sisters' challenge for this week, I'm sure it's the first of many! Looking forward to reading them all!
Ramona's written a poem called "Adoration," and it's illustrated with a bounty of gorgeous spring photos. Ahhhh, lovely!
Laura has been having a busy NPM, but she's in with a poem about Smaug (shiver!) and a challenge.
Janice is sharing a haiku and a video of the moment that inspired it. It's a breath of spring!
Linda sent a lovely surprise! I had been regretting that today's roundup didn't have any feathers in it, since Feather is my OLW. I decided that I'd leave it that way, but now a Feather Letter has arrived from a friend! I had never heard of these, and I love the idea and Linda's gift. Thanks so much, Linda!
If spring is here, summer must be on its way! Tabitha has news about this year's Summer Poem Swaps! I won't be participating this year due to distance (it takes approximately three months for a letter from the US to get here), but I have loved this experience in the past. Tabitha also has a Denise Levertov poem about a broken sandal, plus a great story about what happened when Levertov took a risk as a child and sent her poems to a famous poet.
Laura has a post full of riches, too. She's shared a link to a conversation on teaching poetry (sounds so good!), plus a read alike to go along with her new book, Welcome to Monsterville.
Once again I'm very sad to find that somehow my network won't let me visit Jone. But I hope you won't have the same problem! She has an interview with a poet who's just published a book of haiku about trees. I would love to read both the post and the book! (Edit: Jone thoughtfully sent me pdfs of her post, and it's definitely one you shouldn't miss!)
I finished posting everything that was in my inbox when I woke, and I was just about to go eat breakfast and watch some birds on the porch, but two more came in while I was posting, so here they are before I go!
Mary Lee's nailed the Neruda challenge, and she's even got birds! Welcome, Mary Lee!
And Karen's appreciating pencils today! Pencils are indeed wonderful, and Karen's going to use hers tomorrow to write the second last line of the Progressive Poem.
7:20, and I'm at my desk in the back of my classroom. I got eleven species this morning during breakfast, and then some parrots while I was heading out to work. I always think a bird checklist is a kind of poem, so maybe I'll share it later, but right now I have to update with the three posts that came in since Karen's.
Lou shared a post on the right to read. I'm with you, Lou, being grateful for the chance to get to learn to read, and the opportunity to read whatever I want. And she also wrote a lovely triolet called "You."
Linda is plaintively asking, "Is it spring yet?" She's also generously sharing the poetry postcards she's received this month!
Denise has written a powerful poem about gun violence, and she's also sharing a Carl Sandburg poem on the same topic.
Well, I just got done teaching. The sixth graders and I were wrestling with that age-old question, where is the cat? (See photo.) Now the question is, where am I? I got evicted from my classroom for a math lesson (maths as we call it here), and evicted from my normal work spot in the library because they're getting ready for a poetry and music event this evening, so I've found a corner in the dining room and lugged my grading here to spend my free period.
But before I start my grading, I need to share Bridget's link that came in while I was teaching. She's got a poem in her pocket, and she shares the poem - and the pocket! - with us.
Karin has today's line for the Progressive Poem! Only two more lines after today!
Catherine is continuing her hope alphabet, and today T is for Hope. And T is also for Taproots. Lovely, Catherine!
Molly has been thinking about Shel Silverstein and idioms, and she's got a limerick to share that came from those musings.
Rose's NPM didn't go quite the way she had planned, but she did end up making some progress on a writing project. She shares some poems from her work in progress.
Margaret says, "My students, when they hear the word poetry, breathe a sigh of relief and joy. I am lucky they are young and haven’t been stained by the bee that says poetry is hard." I always love it when she shares her students' work!
Irene's in with a wonderful interview with Zaro Weil, a French poet, as well as one of her poems. She also has an original poem based on a painting. It leaves me singing a "blue-sky kind of tune"!
Carol has a whole lovely collection of spring poems for us! Head on over to enjoy the bounty.
Amy is continuing her NPM project. She's been writing hourly poems in the voice of an old barn. Today's is 11 PM, and the barn is remembering moments from the past. So vivid and beautiful!
Heidi is Neruding (she invented that verb and I like it!). Writing in the style of Pablo Neruda, she's produced an "Ode to Resistance." My favorite line is "disturbing the path/ of the ants/ on their way/ to the honey." What a perfect image!
Liz is Neruding too, plus she has a haiku for us. Her Neruda poem asks the great man a whole bunch of questions (like "Is exile a way to be lost?/ Is exile a way to lose yourself?"), and I sure wish he were still around to answer them!
I always like to share a Tiel Aisha Ansari poem whenever I host. Here's one she posted in February called "Sleep." I can't decide which of the metaphors I like best!
And now that I'm done teaching and meeting with students and posting all the links that have come in so far, here are the birds I saw at breakfast and while leaving for work this morning. I think their names alone are a poem:
Northern Gray-headed Sparrow
Patricia has written a yarn (Y is for Yarn) about Huck and Gila and their encounter in the desert. Check out Patricia's NPM project: 30 poems in 30 days with 30 forms!
Sarah has a giveaway today of the book My Paati's Saris, by Jyoti Rajan Gopal. Head over and leave a comment to be eligible to win.
JoAnn's sharing pictures and a poem about milkweed. Like others in the roundup, JoAnn has been doing an NPM project with a daily poem! Way to go!
There's more Neruding from Tanita, who wrote a sonnet to her upper arms. What a fabulous topic, and I think I'm going to be reading this poem to my upper arms. Wow!
Susan has a bird haiku, and it's not just a generic bird, but a Louisiana Waterthrush. Inspired by Susan's poem, I went to eBird and listened to its sound.
I just got home from our evening poetry and music event at school, and now that I've rounded up the rest of this evening's links, I'm pretty tired. It's been sixteen hours since my alarm woke me, so I'm going to close down for the night, but don't worry -- you can keep sending links, and I'll post them in the morning!
Good Saturday morning! I slept in (it's 8:30 now), but here I am to add more links!
Tricia has an "Ode to a Basket of Trinkets" in the style of Neruda. I've really enjoyed all the Neruding!
Matt's joining in on Poetry Saturday. He's at a conference and hasn't been able to post, but he has an interview with Ryan Van Cleave about his new book The Witness Trees.