Friday, April 8, 2011

Poetry, Poetry, Poetry Month!

I love April!

I'm out and about this week, presenting poetry workshops at Goodland Elementary School in Racine, Wisconsin, but I had to drop in for National Poetry Month!

Look for my poem "Construction Crew" and a recipe for Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Muffins in Jama Rattigan's Poetry Potluck series.

You can now bid for an autographed copy of Baby Says "Moo!" in the Kidlit4Japan auction to aid victims of the 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami. (Auction for this item ends Tuesday 4/12 at 3:00 p.m. EDT.)

And here's a poem about writing a poem for National Poetry Month.

Writing a Poem

Sometimes I work like a cobbler,
stitching together snippets and scraps.
I leave the paper on my desk,
hoping elves will finish the job.

Sometimes I need carpenter’s tools
to measure and cut precisely.
I lean over the page with rule and vise,
fitting words into parquet patterns.

Sometimes, in mathematician mode,
I formulate an equation,
relying on logic
to multiply symbols and images.

Sometimes I'm an archaeologist
digging below the poem's surface,
scraping rubble away with a toothbrush,
unearthing my own brittle bones.

And sometimes words sing to me,
flap in my face,
or whisper themselves in my ear.
Then I’m the birthday girl,
streamered, confettied,
grasping (Oh, thank you!) at gifts.

JoAnn Early Macken

10 comments:

jama said...

LOVE this poem, JoAnn! OH, to have some elves as helpers. Great last stanza -- such joy at the gift of words. Beautifully constructed!

Carmela Martino said...

I love the idea of coming at a poem from so many different perspectives: cobbler, carpenter, mathematician, archaeologist. This is one of my favorite lines:
>>fitting words into parquet patterns.<<
Thanks, JoAnn.

Author Amok said...

What a wonderful turn the last stanza takes. Poems that arrive singing *are* like birthday gifts!

booksdogsandfrogs said...

Lovely images! This would be fantastic to share with students working on poetry, to show all the different ways to create!
Sarah

April Halprin Wayland said...

WONDERFUL! How lovely to be on this writing ride with you, Jo Ann!

The Pen and Ink Blog said...

I love writing rhyme. (Notice I said rhyme, not poetry,) Much of my work is doggerel, but when it works, it sings to me, I have one published PB that rhymes (Growing Up Dreams) and I am shopping a second (The Undertoads)and I have a deal memo for another one that is more like a doggerel Haiku. The best moments are when they sing. So you poems shivered itself all over me. Thank you Joanne

Mary Lee said...

True! So True!!

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thanks, everyone, for your supportive comments! "Writing a Poem" has been on my computer in one form or another for at least seven years--I'm not sure when I wrote the first draft. Maybe if I had left a copy on my desk, the elves would have finished it sooner! When Poetry Month came around again, I finally decided to work on it some more. Of course, I'm still not sure it's finished!

Robyn Hood Black said...

I think all that "curing" time perfected it. Thanks so much for sharing. I love the shock of "unearthing my own brittle bones" - followed by the last joyous stanza. (If the elves ever do show up, can I borrow them?)

Esther Hershenhorn said...

I too love this poem, JoAnn!
I'm sharing it with my Young Writers, giving YOU credit, of course. :)
YOU and this poem came whispering, confetti-ing me up.
Thanks!