Friday, March 23, 2012

Goodbye Songs, Goodbye JoAnn, Hello, Poetry Friday and a Poetry Prompt!

Howdy Campers--and happy Poetry Friday!

Thanks to wonderful Mary Lee and Franki 
of A Year of Reading for hosting today!
This round, each Teaching Author (so far Carmela and Mary Ann) will be sharing one of our favorite posts by blogmate JoAnn Early Macken, now on our Blog Advisory Board (or BAB).  Just kidding.  We don't actually have a BAB, although maybe we should. We're saying goodbye to JoAnn who is so busy teaching, writing and running Wisconsin's SCBWI chapter, she can scarcely breathe.

JoAnn's poetry and photos sing.  Though we had hoped to talk about different posts from JoAnn's tenure, I was so struck by her poetry in the same post Mary Ann chose, I have to share JoAnn's photo and poem, "Landscape with Dog Nose":
Landscape with Dog Nose by JoAnn Early Macken

I wanted to capture the crisp horizon,
gradations of shades,
mountainous clouds,
but she insisted on
stepping into the shot.
Well, why not?
She’s always part of the picture.
photo and poem (c) 2012 JoAnn Early Macken, all rights reserved 

I'll miss blogmate JoAnn's unique view of the natural world, her kindness, her beautific smile, her poetry...and so much more.

If you missed her post with this poem, you'll find it here. Because it's an old post, you won't be able to comment on it, so share your thoughts below, or email them to the TeachingAuthors via this link.

We love you, JA!

When I think of goodbyes, folk songs flood my brain.  The first one that came to me as a tribute to JoAnn was Woody Guthrie's Deportee, which is a terrific and important song, but doesn't exactly hit the right emotional notes to send our JoAnn off to her next chapter.  I'm here to allay your fears: her leaving did NOT involve a firey plane crash.

Next, Tom Paxton's Last Thing on my Mind came to me--but again, his chorus just doesn't quite express our relationship with JoAnn:

Chorus from Tom Paxton's Last Thing on my Mind:
Are you goin' away with no word of farewell?
Will there be not a trace left behind?
I could have loved you better, didn't mean to be unkind;
Oh, you know that was the last thing on my mind.

The next one that popped up was Woody's children's song, Why Oh Why.  Just like three obstacles in a story, the third one's the charm--the perfect song!

Chorus from Woody Guthrie's Why Oh Why:

Why, oh why, oh why oh, why?
Why, oh why, oh why?
Because because because because
Goodbye goodbye goodbye

Okay...I know this looks--well, simple.  But you've gotta hear Woody sing it:

And here's another silly g'bye poem.  I wrote this one as my family ended a fairy tale vacation in Fiji:

(bula = hello; vi naka = thank you; sota tallee = see you later)
by April Halprin Wayland  .

Bula, bula
and vinaka
Fiji rula:
no more clocka
everybody laughing, jolly
ask your name and make-a talka
leaving soon—so sota tallee!
poem (c) 2012 April Halprin Wayland, all rights reserved  

Writing Workout: Goodbye Poems

1) Get quiet.  Think about a recent goodbye.  Maybe a news event will inspire you, like Woody Guthrie's Deportees. Maybe it's deeply personal, like Tom Paxton's Last Thing on my Mind.  Perhaps it's silly like Woody's Why oh Why...or my Goodbye to Fiji.
2) Write it!
3) Share it!

P.S: Although I'm no longer in the running in the March Madness Poetry Tournament, I'm having a blast reading and voting as the new poems come in.  Come read along!


GatheringBooks said...

What a beautiful tribute indeed. Love the songs, poetry and photos. Best of luck JoAnn!

Author Amok said...

Good morning, April. Thanks for sharing JoAnn's poem. My dog is also my constant companion, always in the picture. It's great to see the photo that inspired the poem, too!

Linda B said...

I've collected goodbye poems for a long time, and your post just adds to my pile. I'm sorry that your group is saying goodbye to a friend and colleague. It seems it's never easy. I enjoyed the songs too and the way you were trying to find just the right one, just as we do when writing. Thank you for your lovely post of goodbyes!

jama said...

Oh,sad to hear I won't be finding JoAnn here anymore. Thanks for this great send-off, April. You are a first rate troubador! Love your Fiji poem and JoAnn's Dog Nose poem :).

Carmela Martino said...

>>Blog Advisory Board (or BAB)<<
What a fun idea, April. Maybe we SHOULD have one!

Joyce Ray said...

Best of luck to JoAnn. I'll miss her here. Thanks for the goodbye songs, April, and I love your Figi poem.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you all for your good wishes. April, thanks for the Woody Guthrie song and your Fiji vacation poem--I loved hearing the laughter in them both. I will gladly serve on the Blog Advisory Board!