Friday, November 1, 2013

Lost and Found

We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.
~Kurt Vonnegut


Invention, creation -- these topics continue to wander into my thoughts. First up, a concrete found poem by Diane Mayr about inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Thanks for letting me share your poem, Diane!


A.G.B. trivia: Did you know that Bell was one of the founders of the National Geographic Society?

Now for a poem about Geppetto of Pinocchio fame:

Geppetto in the Whale
by Tabatha Yeatts

I awake, my head in my arms,
  and draw in the wet air. Still alive.
Beyond my tangled cocoon,
  sounds collide and crash --
the endless pounding of his
       heart,
rivers of blood roaring past.

I stand, pressing my callused palms
  against the vast wall --
and feel the vibrations
  of his
       breath:
the entrance, the exit, a circle of wind.

My fingers run
  across his smooth, slippery sides;
fingers which have pried
  shapes from wood, daubed on eyes
and prayed for sight,
  trying to craft
      this
undulating pulse of life.

Listening to the whale's ferocious orchestra,
  I believe if I were granted wood,
I could devise a puppet right there,
  in the dark. I could clothe it
with my own jacket,
  fill it with story,
give it
       life
with my own two hands.

**********

The Poetry Friday round-up is at TeacherDance.

18 comments:

Diane Mayr said...

Thanks for featuring my poem today! "Geppetto in the Whale" is outstanding. Visceral and thought-provoking at the same time. The breathing--I can feel it, too.

Author Amok said...

Tabatha, great post! I love the opening quote (<3 Vonnegut). Diane's combination of image and concrete poem are wonderful.

Here are my favorite lines from your poem:
fingers which have pried
shapes from wood, daubed on eyes
and prayed for sight,
trying to craft
this
undulating pulse of life

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Lucky day to be treated to TWO such brilliant poems! Diane's mastery of visual expression; and yours, Tabatha... the richness of your language brings your poem to life like an epiphany! Oh my. I must close my comment here to prevent further gushing.

Tricia said...

Love your poem! I can feel what it's like to be inside that whale. My favorite lines are:
and feel the vibrations
of his
breath:
the entrance, the exit, a circle of wind.

Thanks for sharing!

jama said...

Wow, what treasures you're sharing today. Diane's concrete poem is too cool and yours is unique and indeed thought-provoking. Like the last stanza especially, the whale's "ferocious orchestra," "fill it with story, give it life with my own two hands." Sigh.

Buffy Silverman said...

You had me at "rivers of blood roaring past" and kept the wonder right through the final stanza--love it!

Ruth said...

Wow! I feel like I'm inside that whale! Amazing job!

Bridget Magee said...

Two terrific poems today, Tabatha! Diane channeling Bell and you bringing Geppetto's experience to life - amazing!

LInda Baie said...

Diane's work in the visual is wonderful to see, and your poem about Geppetto, whose talent is in the 'feel', and you showed us beautifully what it might be like to 'feel' inside a whale. Wonderful thought along with the execution, Tabatha. Thank you!

Violet N. said...

What wonderful, imaginative poems. In Diane's I like the way she's split the words so that the kite string starts with the words "aerial navigation..." Clever!

In your poem I love how Gepetto's positive spirit comes through, even when he's in that "coccoon."

Can't poetry take one to the most unexpected places!

Mary Lee said...

Wow. That Geppetto poem is like being a teacher...trying to appreciate whatever moment we're in and make something beautiful in the midst of it all!

Carol said...

Tabatha,
Love, love, love the Vonnegut quote.
For me, your last stanza speaks so loudly about our need to create and tell our stories, whatever our circumstances. Gorgeous!

Wondering if I'm allowed to say, "When I read this poem, I really wonder where it came from and how it came to be?" A completely unexpected topic. Poetry really is waiting everywhere.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Not one but TWO wonderful poems in today's post! And the Vonnegut quote was just what I needed to lift my spirits after a difficult week.

Tabatha said...

Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement, and thank you, Diane, for joining me! Carol, you are totally allowed to ask. The first draft of this poem was the result of a summer poem swap prompt (from 2012). Maybe this poem could be included with my poems inspired by the book The Dictionary of Imaginary Places? I do get inspiration everywhere.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

My favorite lines:
Listening to the whale's ferocious orchestra,
I believe if I were granted wood,
I could devise a puppet right there,
in the dark. I could clothe it
with my own jacket...

What I also like is this other, dis-engineering view of invention, where Gepetto dreams of giving life, not voice or flight.

Why do I think that Pinocchio ended up in the whale and not Gepetto?--or is that part of the imagination of this poem?

BJ Lee said...

Interesting poems today, Tabatha. Loved them both. Your whale poem is so visceral, I felt like I was in the belly of the whale. Jonah must have felt like this too!

Tabatha said...

Heidi, Pinocchio *does* end up in the whale, when he is trying to find Geppetto (who is already in the whale).

Becky Shillington said...

Great poem, Tabatha! Thanks for sharing!