Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Swap Poems

If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that--
~Frances Hodgson Burnett

What makes the Poem Swaps really special to me is how much I like the people I'm swapping with *happy sigh*

But before I share poems that I have received from my swapping buddies this summer, I'd like to point you to a couple of recent poetry-related articles (and I'm including a video at the bottom):

* Reading poetry written by jihadists could shed new light on extremism
* How a poem helped save a suicidal teen’s life



Small Summer Sonnet
for Tabatha Yeatts

Cicada buzzing,
rhythm of summer.
Heat of wings rising,
vibrating drummer.
Soft silence lazing
as sunsets linger.
Slow misty hazing.
Firefly lights glimmer.
A bird’s sound phrasing
songs we remember.
Harsh storms surprising
wary child swimmer.
dragonfly wonder.

by Margaret Simon



We watched dragonflies
twirl and dance
among the reeds at the pond,
their bodies light and airy.
No shutter could snap fast enough
to capture their beauty
so we just stood there— watching,
So it is with these passing days
our own bodies heavy with grief or pain,
we can stand for a moment,
watch fleeting dragonflies,
and know hope is in their wings.

--Margaret Simon, August 2014



Here's the bonus video I mentioned:

Scratch-Off Poems with Mary Ruefle and Agustina Woodgate from Tobias Rodriguez-Wynwood on Vimeo.

"Scratch-Off Poems" is a project from O, Miami 2014 co-created by artist Agustina Woodgate and poet Mary Ruefle. Woodgate made two scratch-off lottery ticket designs that incorporated an original poem commissioned from Mary Ruefle. During April 2014, 2500 of the tickets were distributed around Miami-Dade County via local businesses and events.

How it worked: Using a penny or a fingernail, participants scratched off the missing pieces in the words of the poem. If those words matched the words at the top of the ticket, s/he won an O, Miami t-shirt with a poem sewn inside. 1 out of 100 tickets was a winner.

Margaret is the Poetry Friday host today.


Irene Latham said...

Wow, what gorgeous work from your swap buddies! I especially love the hope in Margaret's dragonflies, Linda's humans holding their breath and the "simply because" in Diane's series (that art, too! gorgeous!). Thank you for being the Swap Queen, Tabatha. So special. xo

Diane Mayr said...

Thanks for sharing my sequence today, Tabatha! And that O, Miami video is a hoot. The scratch poem idea could easily be adapted by making one's own scratch cards for friends or a class of kids. You can find directions in a number of places, here's one.

Margaret Simon said...

I love how Irene dubbed you the Swap Queen. Thank you again for all you do to keep us organized and connecting. Thanks for sharing my poems today. That summer sonnet is growing on me. Ha.

Linda B said...

I've read and enjoyed every bit, Tabatha. You always share important things. The poems by Margaret and Diane are special, in theme and intent I think; to examine different things in words reminds us of their importance. I read both articles, know well about the challenges of middle school, and in my teaching was honest with parents about care for their children. In the poetry from Jihadists, I connected with what someone posted yesterday on FB, that some libraries are trying to remove books with Islam stories, and I noted this: "the only way to tackle something if is you understand it." Teens want so much to "be" someone, and I can see that glorious poetry in a group that is inviting them into the "glory" of martyrdom must be enticing. Thanks for starting my own poetry Friday today so richly!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Oh, I like those people you've been swapping with, too!

Linda's lovely words and image, with that bold red; Margaret's summertime immersion (the dragonflies is my favorite - "so we just stood there" -; and I didn't need to look for the credit to know who sent the haiku sequence and perfect painting to go with it. (Love Diane's "July night," especially.)

Thanks for hosting and sharing the Swap, even though I didn't have it quite together enough to participate this time. But I enjoy seeing its fruits!

Carol Varsalona said...

Tabitha, as the Poem Swap Queen, I compliment you for the wonderful summer activity that provided me with interesting creative moments. Your offerings today are full of inspiration and the power of creation. Linda's line "humans held their breath," speaks loudly of the inspiration of nature. Margaret's summer sonnet is filled with the spirit of summer and kudos to her for being able to write the sonnet with such flow (I finally had to give up on the form when trying to write one for Keri). Diane's visual is filled with passion and poise. I like her white shoes' haiku. Your short video on scratch off poems is impressionable. Thanks for sharing.

Karen Edmisten said...

Wow, beautiful pieces today -- thanks, Tabatha.

Mary Lee said...

Thank you for the Frances Hodgson Burnett quote (that's you!) and for your organization of these swaps. I was sad at first that I didn't get to take part, but the way this summer has turned out, it was all for the best. I can watch from the wings and enjoy others' gifts. And look forward to winter!

I made the quote into this, so I can enjoy it (and remember it) again and again:

Doraine said...

Wonderful! I have enjoyed reading through swap poems today. One of these days I'm going to manage to join the fun.

Tabatha said...

Thanks for visiting, everyone! I love what you did with the quote, Mary Lee!