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Showing posts from November, 2012

Poetry as Action

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Burma Poetry Protest (Photo credit: englishpen)
Over the past month, I have been writing poems to prompts on Poetic Asides.  I realized half way through the month, that some of the poems were speaking of things that I have been holding deep inside.  I guess you could say they are my protest poems.

Funny, it wasn't until I read them back that I realized I had several that really hit on issues in education that have been bothering me for a long time.  This, of course, is the beauty of poetry! 

Poetry is a means to teach, to heal, to romance, to instruct, to relate and to protest.  In fact, some of the greatest poems are poems of protest - some made into songs or some immortalized in great documents.

For example: 

Declaration of Independence 
by Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826] 

We hold these truths to be self-evident: 
that all men are created equal, 
that they are endowed by their Creator 
with certain inalienable rights; 
that among these are life, liberty 
and the pursuit of happiness. 

We Shall …

End in Sight

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My "corner office" where all the creating happens!
Wow!  Can't believe there is less than a week to the Poem a Day Challenge.  I have managed to keep the poems flowing, in spite of grading papers, preparing finals and enjoying my new grandchild.

As I indicated in an earlier post, I am trying to keep with the theme of teaching English as a second language. This has not always been as easy as it might seem, especially if you are writing to prompts, which I have been doing.  However, I am pleased with what I have been inspired to create.

The following are a couple of favorite poems.  Enjoy!

(The prompt for these poems was to write a letter poem and a recipe poem - you can see the challenge, I am sure! All poems © 2012 LMN)

DEAR TEACHER

Thank you for teaching
me to think
about the words that
I learn
so that I can
use them
like money
at the store of Life.

LITERACY DU JOUR

Begin with a student eager to learn;
add in a teacher with resources galore;
sprinkle with lessons for which they yearn
to …

A Mother's Memoir - Madeline Sharples

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Today, I have the honor of an interview with a woman, whom I admire greatly, Madeline Sharples. In the face of unspeakable tragedy, Madeline has found a way to help others. Her gift to the world is the ability to expess herself in ways that touch the hearts and minds of others. 

Madeline's new book, Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother's Memoir of Living with Her Son's Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide charts the near-destruction of one middle-class family, whose son committed suicide after a seven-year struggle with bipolar disorder. Madeline, an author, poet and web journalist, goes deep into her own well of grief to describe her anger, frustration and guilt. She describes many attempts -- some successful, some not -- to have her son committed to hospital and to keep him on his medication. The book also charts her and her family's redemption, how she considered suicide herself, and ultimately, her decision live and take care of herself as a woman, wife, moth…

Poetry in Motion

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There are some things in life that are pure poetry - without the words.  Holding my wee grandson, who was born 5 weeks early was one such moment.  

As I greeting this tiny little miracle, the first child of my youngest daughter, he smiled.  He continued to smile as I sang to him.  Needless to say, I was in heaven!

In celebration, a wee poem (haiku):

Like the winter winds
that blow early in the fall,
the wee boy arrives

Namasté!

Poem-A-Day Challenge

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DSC03082 - full moon (Photo credit: RaeAllen)
The muse is working overtime during this Poem-a-Day challenge!  I have not only written one poem for the last two days, but other poems have come as well! 

The "matches" prompt sent the following poem late last night.

LITTLE MATCH GIRL

She had fanned the flames - 
with each strike - some warmth 
took the chill from her soul 

She had fanned the flames, 
holding the light close, 
believing that it could last 

She had fanned the flames - 
until one last match 
burned itself out with a sigh 

She had fanned the flames - 
but this love had died, 
long ago, in the cold of night 

© 2012 LMRN 

Today, the prompt was one of my favorite topics to write about - the full moon!  You can read my first attempt written early this morning on the Poetic Asides site.  Here is the poem that came to me as I drove to teach class this afternoon.

MOON FESTIVAL

You ask, with sentences that skip and jump like a rock thrown across the still pond, how we celebrate the Moon Festiv…

Poetry, Prompts and Promises

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Words Cloud 02/01-08/02 2009 (Photo credit: GRwitters)
Words! - They have the power to do amazing things.

Today is the first day of the month, which means it is the beginning of the Poem-a-Day challenge hosted by Robert Lee Brewer at Poetic Asides.  In addition, it is the first day of the fundraiser for the Center for New Americans - 30 Poems in November.  Therefore, today is the beginning of a month-long celebration of words!

What a wonderful combination - poetry to promote literacy - prompts from a great literary magazine - the promise of funding by people who believe in the importance of both literacy and art!

One thing that is different this time round, is that instead of Robert Lee Brewer giving the prompts, he has invited the poets who take the challenge to share prompts with each other.  He will post the prompt each day in November.  Today's prompt was from writer, Mariya Koleva.  What a wonderful way to begin this challenge - a great prompt and an introduction to another write…