Wednesday, July 20, 2016

poetry day!

Hey all y'all! It's the BigTime Blogging Challenge. I'm writing every day in July to celebrate my blog's three year anniversary! Join me - write your post, link it up with mine, leave some love for blogging friends in the form of comments!

It's poetry day and I'm so late! Friends, I love writing, but I'm tired. So apologies for not getting this posted until now, but I am here!

I ordered this book for the blog post today:

I didn't finish it, and I don't love it, but I found a few things I like. It's the first time I've read (tried to) an anthology of poems all by the same author, so maybe that's why it was a little more difficult. I guess I'm used to reading poetry, but a lot of different poems by different authors. Anyways, just some reflection there, but here's some of ideas I was inspired by.

a song in the front yard

I've stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back.
Where it's rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose.

I want to go in the back yard now
And maybe down the alley, 
To where the charity children play.
I want a good time today.

They do some wonderful things. 
They have some wonderful fun.
My mother sneers, but I say it's fine
How they don't have to go in at quarter to nine.
My mother, she tells me that Johnnie Mae
Will grow up to be a bad woman.
That George'll be taken to Jail soon or late
(On account of last winter he sold our back gate.)

But I say it's fine. Honest, I do.
And I'd like to be a bad woman, too,
And wear the brave stockings of night-black lace
And strut down the streets with paint on my face.

There's so much in this poem. Seems like the mother wants to protect her little girl from unbecoming experiences, have her stay in the front yard, with it's beauty and away from experiences that could lead her in the wrong direction. I love the comparisons to the front yard, the back yard, alleys. I've always hated alleys, especially at night, especially after dark in the city where there's too many people and not enough space. So I understand the mother's preoccupation with all of that the alley would bring (both figurative and literally), but everyone is curious, so I get why the little one wants to have some adventure too.

love note
I: Surely

Surely you stay my certain own, you stay
My you. All honest, lofty as a cloud.
Surely I could come home now and find you high,
As mine as you ever were; should not be awed.
Surely your word would pop as insolent
As always: "Why, of course I love you, dear."
Your gaze, surely, unguazed as I could want.
Your touches, that never were careful, that they were.
Surely - But I am very off from that.
From surely. From indeed. From the decent arrow
That was my clean naiveté and my faith.
This morning men deliver wounds and death.
They will deliver death and wounds tomorrow.
And I doubt all. You. Or a violet.

Okay so I don't even understand all of this, but I wanted to share it because I could see myself mentoring my own poem from the Surely that she used repeatedly - mostly in the same spot, and then not. I love how her words (unguazed, lofty as a cloud, insolent) create images (had to use some most definitely on some of these, good lesson as I think about using poetry with kids.) I totally don't get the last part about the violet. Maybe there was more reference to that in other poems that I may have skipped? anyone have an idea? Totally confuses me!

Beverly Hills, Chicago

"and the people live till they have white hair"
-E. M. Price

The dry brown coughing beneath their feet.
(Only a while, for the handyman is on his way)
These people walk their golden gardens.
We say ourselves fortunate to be driving by today.

That we may look at them, in their gardens where

The summer ripeness rots. But not raggedly.
Even the leaves fall down in lovlier patterns here.
And the refuse, the refuse is a neat brilliancy.

When they flow sweetly into their houses
With softness and slowness touched by that everlasting gold,
We know what they go to. To tea. But that does not mean
They will throw some little black dots into some water and add
     sugar and the juice of the cheapest lemons that are sold....

I love Chicago. Like love, so much. But I know there are two - mine, here on the North side, mostly safe, and another Chicago, in neighborhoods on the South and West sides that are underfunded, that are without hope and opportunity, and with a lot of crime.

What's above is just an excerpt from this poem, but it really had me thinking about two Chicagos, and wishing it was just one world class city where everyone on all sides could enjoy golden gardens and safety on their neighborhood blocks.

and the poem you've probably read, one that I remembered when I got to the page...

We Real Cool

The pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Pretty sure I heard of this first via Young Chicago Authors and/or Louder Than a Bomb. Obviously it's dark, but I love what she has done with the line breaks and alliteration and rhymes. Check her out on You Tube talking about this poem, which she also says she's most famous for.

Did you read any poetry this month? Share it and your thoughts!
(Or anything else you'd like!)


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