Thursday, May 30, 2024

Singing to myself

Your library is your portrait.
~Holbrook Jackson

First things first, did I cry with gratitude today when the verdict came in? Yes, I did. Am I celebrating right now? Yes, I am.

For Poetry Friday, a mentor poem: Eileen Cleary's "Self Portrait as Dog Breed Description."

Self Portrait as Dog Breed Description
by Eileen Cleary ​

Bred from Irish stock with others bled in.
Thin coat of sunlit hair
with red highlights, often redder
in summer. Scared of loud noises,
sensitive to house plants. Do not leave...

read the rest here (the fourth poem down)


My response:

Self-portrait as a bird who meows

Appears unassuming at first glance
but has hidden color. Prefers flying
close to the ground to out in the open,
will sit happily in the middle of a
tangle or thicket and sing. Returns
to the same feeders, season after
season. Has been known to chirp, whistle,
warble, carry on at any time of day.
Sounds like more than one bird.


Salt City Verse has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Janice!


Janice Scully said...

I'm celebrating too! Overjoyed! Love the juxtaposition of these two poems and the last line of your poem. Sometimes a little bird sounds surprisingly like a very big one.

TraceyKJ said...

Tabetha, those are gorgeous curly, peachy irises. I love both poems - such a fun concept to do a self-portrait in the likeness of an animal! A great mentor poem and a fantastic response poem. : )

Sally Murphy said...

I'm celebrating with you about the verdict. I love both the mentor text and what you did with it. An excellent exercise.

Linda B said...

What fun to read and reread the descriptions while imagining a different viewpoint, Tabatha. I love your title! Yes, both celebrating and more hopeful. I was working at the bookstore, and one of the volunteers said she's been saving champagne, and this is the day!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, those peach irises!!!
I love, love, love this fun self portrait twist!! I get more good poetry exercise ideas from you, I'll tell ya... - tanita🐞


Patricia Franz said...

Now I want to try this mentor texting form! Thank you for the inspiration, Tabatha. And YASSS!!! Celebrating!!

Irene Latham said...

Tabatha, I love your response poem. Beautiful singing you you you! xo

Denise Krebs said...

Tabatha, what a great poem and response. I wasn't paying good attention as I got started today, so I read the first (instead of the fourth) poem. It was a good one too. Then I guess I missed the "Self-Portrait" in the title and had to reread it with a whole new and lovely perspective. Your response poem is beautiful, and makes me want to try one. I love "Appears unassuming at first glance / but has hidden color." And the singing! Yes!

jama said...

Love everything about this post from the opening quote to both poems. LOVE "sounds like more than one bird."

Mary Lee said...

What fun -- both the mentor poem and your response -- but what I really loved was the poem I found scrolling to find your mentor. The one about teaching poetry to fourth graders. Such a brilliant teacher to make the most of a stumble into child humor. But that ending. Oof.

Karen Edmisten said...

Yes, celebration!
I love both the mentor text and your response. What fun this will be to play around with!

Marcie Flinchum Atkins said...

The title of this poem is just PERFECTION.

Michelle Kogan said...

I especially like your catbird poem, you’ve captured many of its behaviors and its special covert part body marking. It’s also one of the birds in my poetry and art bird book. Enjoyed the mentor poem too, thanks Tabatha!