Friday, February 29, 2008

The Apostrophe Poem

Here's my apostrophe poem, a first for me and fun to write. It still didn't give me the motivation to go for my run. Oh well! Maybe tomorrow?

To My Self-Motivation

Nowhere to be found
Have you slipped
Into sleeping
My enemy
My friend
Perhaps your message
Do something else
your body needs a rest
Instead of
The snow covered pavement.

Marianne H. Nielsen all rights reserved

Go to Miss Rumphius Effect: Monday Poetry Stretch to add your apostrophe poem.

Poetry Friday

Each Haiku--a moment--together--a story. ~~Marianne H. Nielsen

My first Poetry goes.

I have been reading a number of poetry books lately, anthologies, non-fiction rhyming picture books, stories in verse and themed poetry books. The one I want to mention today is Dogku by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Tim Bowers (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers).

It's a story in haiku verse and I think the author has done a great job. It's the kind of story kids will love, and the fact that it's written in verse won't even phase them. It's a timeless and ageless story about a lost dog who shows up at a family's back door. They take him in and then have to decide whether to keep him. The end even brought a tear to my eye. But then again, I am a bit of a sap when it comes to animal stories, whether they be happy or sad.

The story has seventeen haiku poems all of which show a moment in time. My favourite one is:

Nose out the window,
ears flapping, hair pushed straight back.
Adventures in smell.

The art work that goes along with this book is full-paged with no detail left out, done in oil paint on canvas.

What a great way to introduce young children to verse through haiku. Having a cute dog on the front cover helps too. Happy

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Poetry is not always words. ~Audrey Foris

I wanted to add to the above quote, which is so true, 'poetry is also in pictures'. And I know so because today is Thursday, and I love Thursdays! Why? Because it's a day where I absolutely know I will write a poem. It will be written from a picture and one of 15 words or less. Go over to Laura Salas' blog and participate. It's fun, and it's just for fun.

I have found I like to write poems from pictures. In fact, I find it quite easy to do so. Maybe it's because I'm not a very visual person inside my head, but when I see a photo I see all kinds of possibilities. I feel emotions from pictures and am able to put words to it.

When I have trouble writing a poem about something specific, I go looking for a photo whether in a book or on the internet. And that seems to get my juices flowing. For example, I wanted to write a poem about a trombone and I just couldn't come up with something that I felt good about. So I went in search through some of my books and found a great picture. It was a trombone that had been bent in half and thrown into a garbage can. Perfect, I thought, and off I went and wrote a poem lickety-split. Mind you it did take a bit--okay maybe alot--of revision. But that's what writing is about. Right?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Guys Lit

If you'd rather go to the football game than read a comic, that's fine. I'd rather do both. Rob Walton

I have two sons, both who like to read in their own way, and who enjoy their other interests along with book reading. It's just another one of their interests. Neither is a bookworm, as such, but it's something they do when they've been told to take a technoligical break or they feel they need to chill out. Reading calms boys, and boys don't always know when they need calming so, yes, I will tell them to read. Fortunately, they listen to me.

My eldest loves to read books, both fiction and non-fiction, related to World War II (I think he inherited this interest from his grandfather), he also likes the comic books like Garfield, Rin Tin Tin and Calvin and Hobbes.

Then there's my younger son, who likes to read anything from picture books to Harry Potter. He also reads from the front to the back (like most people) and from the back to the front (like not so many people!). But I say, whatever, at least he has a book in hand and he likes to do it. And who knows maybe he gets more out of a book by reading it backwards, or jumping from one chapter to the other, not necessarily in the ascending order.

I got on this topic of reading and boys because it seems to be a struggle for many boys to read. I don't think it's the ability to read that's hard but it's finding books of interest for boys that's not always so easy. And Colleen Mondor at Chasing Ray has allowed us to copy this blurb from her blog to contribute toward Guys Lit.

Just to update you on the idea that several of us have been bouncing around for a web site recommending books to teenage boys. We are working on the design and putting together a big list of daily posters. But first the name:
Guys Lit Wire!!
All credit for that one
goes to Sarah (who will likely also want to mention some help from Tanita). I was banging my head hard against the wall on this and Sarah came through big time. So kudos to her limitless creativity which will be big time on display on the site. Wait until you see the header she is working on for the main page - it is some kind of awesome.
We are planning to go live by June 1st and update every Monday - Friday with a different daily poster. We hope to have 21 folks on board dedicated to posting at least once a month. This way we get tons of new content from lots of different points of view, which is what I really wanted. We will likely run multiple daily posts as the site evolves but readers will be able to count for sure on at least one new post every weekday and that is what we will build a lot of the site's readership on.
There will be book recommendations, author interviews, literary commentary, a rant or two (I'm sure) and lots of other good stuff. The goal is to cover a ton of different types of books from across the literary spectrum so we can become a good resource to actual teenagers as well as anyone seeking to find books for teen boys. (And if the girls want to visit we are happy to have them, but boys are our target audience.)
Right now everything is moving forward quite nicely but we do still need some folks to commit to posting. If any of you would like to participate in Guys Lit Wire (or recommend someone) then please let me know. We are especially looking for guys so we can keep our group balanced (and because guys know a thing or two about what guys like to read... :) Please send me an email if you can help. (colleenatchasingraydotcom)

So, for those of us in a position to make a difference, let's do it, one step at a time.

To everyone a great day!


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Exploring My Own Amazement...

Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement.
~Christopher Fry

That’s me, exploring my own amazement as I continue to have loads of fun with Laura Salas’ poetry course, unlearning and learning.

Let me explain the unlearning part. This past Thursday was about writing rhyming poems and the importance of metering, which I thought I knew. HA! Well I may have known something about metering but it wasn’t what I have now been taught. I have developed the utmost respect for poets who can write rhyming poetry right.

I used to think I was pretty good at writing rhymes. I should have figured out I wasn’t when many of my rhyming poems were not selling! Anyway, now I have learned the right way and massive confusion has set in. Counting all those little beats and feet has put my brain into reverse. Which is okay cause now there’s lots of room to learn. Scanning a poem takes practice and for me lots of time. I’m a musical person (I play the piano) and I used to think I was a natural at writing rhythmic rhyming poetry, not any more. At least not the perfect way. And not for now. As I explore my own amazement I’m sure to come up with some rhyming poetry sometime in the future!

It has been kindly explained to me that because I am a good reader I can make a poem sound like the metering is bang on. So that’s a good thing. I can read well! Yeh!

This learning poetry is tough, but thank goodness it’s fun. Even though I’m not as good as I thought I was, I’m still having fun writing it. In fact, I would say I’m having more fun writing poetry because I have learned many new things to bring into my work.

I wonder what will happen when I find out all my previously written Haiku is wrong and have to relearn that too?

So overall, it’s a good thing I found out I’m not as good as I thought. Because I have only one way to go, and that is up. So watch out…Here I come as I continue to explore my own amazement.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!

Wow! I can't believe I'm blogging. Computer slow-poke me has finally figured it out and here I am. Sweet!

Poetry, for me, is magical, all forms of it. Some days it just seems to pour from me like water from a spout. Then, there's days where it feels like someone has shoved something into the spout and nothing comes out.

Last Monday I began an online poetry class with Laura Purdie Salas and I am loving it. If she offers any more I highly reommend it for the intermediate poets. She also has a beginners online course and one on writing non-fiction. I am writing poetry daily and learning to use new techniques and well as apply familiar ones.

Yesterday in class we wrote poems using metaphors and similes and it was recommended we participate in the challenge at The Miss Rumphius Effect. So here goes...

A Leak

Drip! Drip! Drip!
Teardrops from the ceiling
Drip! Drip! Drip!
The beat of the metronome
Drip! Drip! Drip!
The twang of the metal bowl
Drip! Drip! Drip!
Music to the plumber!

by Marianne H. Nielsen, all rights reserved