Sunday, March 29, 2015

Poetry Pantry #245

Poppy's Photographs from Crete
(and one from Canada)
-Serene Aquamarine-

Agios Nikolaos, Crete.

Ombros Gialos, Crete.

Agios Nikolaos, Crete

Plaka, Crete

Lake Simcoe, Ontario Canada

Greetings, Poets! We have finally entered spring, and I must say I am not unhappy to leave the season of winter behind.  Spring is always such an optimistic season, I think, as things begin to green up again.

Today we have Poppy to thank for more wonderful pictures.  She chose the theme of "serene aquamarine" this week.

Be sure to check out "I Wish I'd Written This" this week. Rosemary is a bit under the weather so Sherry did the feature.   She shared the poem "Being a Person" by William Stafford & included some details about his life as well.  (Scroll back one article.)Get well, Rosemary.

Susan, for this week's Midweek Motif, will have us write about "cherry blossoms." Do you see them in your area?

I am still looking for photographs from your part of the world.  Let me know if you have some!

Share a poem with us below by linking it using Mr.Linky, and visit others who also link.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 27, 2015

I Wish I'd Written This

Being a Person                                                                                                         

Be a person here. Stand by the river, invoke
the owls. Invoke winter, then spring.
Let any season that wants to come here make its own 

call. After that sound goes away, wait.

A slow bubble rises through the earth
and begins to include sky, stars, all space,
even the outracing, expanding thought.
Come back and hear the little sound again.

Suddenly this dream you are having matches
everyone's dream, and the result is the world.
If a different call came there wouldn't be any
world, or you, or the river, or the owls calling.

How you stand here is important. How you
listen for the next things to happen. How you breathe.

              - William Stafford

You can see why I wish I had written this. Sigh. Rosemary is a bit under the weather, today, my friends, so  I am bringing this poet to you, who wrote so wonderfully (and prolifically) during his lifetime. Stafford lived from 1914 until 1993, but he got a bit of a late start as a published poet. He was 46 years old when his first major collection of poetry was published.  Traveling Through the Dark (whose title poem is one of his best-known) won the 1963 National Book Award for Poetry. Not a bad start! During his lifetime, his body of work totaled some 22,000 poems. 

Stafford observed a quiet daily routine of writing. His work focused on the ordinary events of daily life. He died of a heart attack on August 28, 1993, having just written the lines:

'You don't have to
prove anything,' my mother said.
'Just be ready
for what God sends.'

Wow. Stafford was born in Kansas, and received his BA from the University of Kansas in 1937.

He was a pacifist as well as a poet. When drafted in 1942, he declared himself a conscientious objector, and performed alternative service in forestry and soil conservation (for $2.50 a month!) from 1942 until 1946, in Arkansas, California and Illinois. While in California, he met and married Dorothy Hope Franz, and they had four children, including one child who died, two artists, and the poet and essayist Kim Stafford.

He received his MA from the University of Kansas in 1947. His Masters' thesis, the prose memoir Down In My Heart: Peace Witness in Wartime, was published in 1948.

William Stafford was appointed 20th Century Consultant to the Library of Congress in 1970, a position now known as Poet Laureate. He taught, during his lifetime, at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon, Manchester College in Indiana, San Jose State, California, then returned to Lewis and Clark.

Not only do I wish I had written this poem, but his dedication to his craft inspires me to work harder on my own. 

Feel better, Rosemary! For any errors or oversights in my presentation of this material, I humbly apologize.

source: Wikipedia
Poems and photos used in ‘I Wish I’d Written This’ remain the property of the copyright holders 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Captivity

“We are determined to answer evil with GOOD, slavery with FREEDOM, 
rape with hope!  We are against slavery, rape, beheading, torture, 
violations of human rights, corruption and misuse of religion!” 
― Widad Akrawi

“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.” 
― Frederick Douglass

“The caged eagle become a metaphor for all forms of isolation, 
the ultimate in imprisonment. A zoo is prison.” 
― Nadine GordimerGet a Life

Midweek Motif  ~ Captivity

The United Nations uses March 25th to observe two separate International Days for victims of slavery and other forms of captivity.  Follow the links to read more about the United Nations' resolutions:

YOUR CHALLENGE:  Describe a captivity in a poem using imagery and narrative story ~ OR, simply use captivity as a motif.

my own photo in Père Lachaise Cemetery

Excerpt from  To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth

by Phillis Wheatley1753 - 1784 

. . . . .
Should you, my lord, while you peruse my song,
Wonder from whence my love of Freedom sprung,
Whence flow these wishes for the common good,
By feeling hearts alone best understood,
I, young in life, by seeming cruel fate
Was snatch’d from Afric’s fancy’d happy seat:
What pangs excruciating must molest,
What sorrows labour in my parent’s breast?
Steel’d was that soul and by no misery mov’d
That from a father seiz’d his babe belov’d:
Such, such my case.  And can I then but pray
Others may never feel tyrannic sway?
. . . .   (Read the rest HERE at Poetry.ORG.)
The Captive Dove 
byAnne Bronte 
Poor restless dove, I pity thee; 
And when I hear thy plaintive moan, 
I mourn for thy captivity, 
And in thy woes forget mine own. 

To see thee stand prepared to fly,
 And flap those useless wings of thine, 
And gaze into the distant sky, 
Would melt a harder heart than mine. 

In vain ­ in vain! Thou canst not rise: 
Thy prison roof confines thee there;
 Its slender wires delude thine eyes, 
And quench thy longings with despair.
. . . . 
(Read the rest HERE at Poetry Soup.)

For those who are new to Poets United: 
  • Post your Captivity poem on your site, and then link it here.
  • Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
  • If you use a picture include its link.  
  • Please leave a comment here and 
    visit and comment on our poems.
(Our next Midweek Motif is "cherry blossoms.")

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