National Poetry Month

As many of my readers already know, my love for poetry came by way of my Momma, who often times recited and sometimes read poems to me from the time I was very little. It was her passion that lit the flame for my passion. It was a gift we shared right up until her recent death.

April is National Poetry Month. When I first learned this, several years ago, I thought it was so appropriate. Momma's birthday was April 21. This year, the celebration of Poetry Month will be even more bittersweet.

Throughout the month, I will be posting poems, resources, interviews and links for parents and teachers to use. If just one person finds something beautiful, profound, inspiring, healing or delightful in the post this month, I will have honored Momma is a way that is more than meaningful.

So, without further delay, let us start the P-A-R-T-Y!!!

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Several years ago while studying for my graduate degree, I created a wiki for poetry - specifically, international poetry. ("A wiki is a collection of Web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites. The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia is one of the best-known wikis." Resource: Wikipedia.com)

The creation of this wiki had a very specific purpose. It was to become a tool for classroom teachers in elementary and middle schools. It would allow them to access, from the classroom computer, poetry from around the world, often times in both English and the language of origin. Additionally, it gave teachers links to biographies of international poets.

The reason behind this, was that I found that while elementary and middle school classroom teachers were tasked with offering students international poetry, especially if they had international students in their classrooms, there were little to no resources. Ask any teacher, and they will attest to the fact that finding classroom resources can be daunting at best.

Click here to access PoetryEd Wiki . It is my hope that reader's, teachers and poets will make contributions to the pages. Directions on how to do all this are found on the Front Page.

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The following poem was written by me to celebrate both Momma and myself as women as well as give my daughters a positive view of the female body.

BODY-IMAGE
Momma

Isn’t tall and skinny

With blonde hair swaying

Or make-up perfectly painted

Designer clothed


Momma
Is soft and cuddly

Gray curls cupping her chin

Laugh lines and wrinkles
Clothing her face


Me

I was a carpenter’s dream

Surfer’s delight

Flat as a board

Twiggy


Until four babies later


Now
The roundness of my body

Delights me

Ruben-esque

Goddess-like


I
Find comfort
In the curves
Pleasures radiate in

Their softness


Like Momma, I am a real woman

By Linda Rhinehart Neas © 2005

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Comments

Miruh said…
Hello Linda,

Looking forward to the poetry fest on your blog this month. I love the beauty of words that speaks to our hearts, that moves us to feel and see through the soul of the poet.

Thanks for your offering here, Body Image. All real women can relate to these words; to cherish the bodies we have, to love ourselves just as we are!
Linda said…
Greetings, Miruh!

Thank you for your kind words.

Yes, the beauty of words is such a blessing, especially in times of stress and upheaval.

I think poetry helps remind us of who we really are.
Anonymous said…
Linda, you really do have a way with words. I love Body Image ,its a reminder of how we are today IS the perfect us.
love ,Mare

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