October the Colorful Month!

The Nor’easter washed most of the colorful leaves off the trees. They mat on the sidewalk and street ready to catch any wind when they dry off. We are steaming towards the darkest time of the year and the best time to stay indoors and write. Next month is November, NaNoWriMo month. Prepare so that when the first arrives you will have thoughts in your head to start writing “The Great American Novel.”

Or write a poem every day to keep your metaphors going. Write a novel in verse like Vikram Seth did,  “The Golden Gate.”

Beginning December 3, 2014 I am offering a number of workshops on the pleasures of poetry at the Lunenburg, MA Library at 6pm. Older teens and adults are welcome-free of charge, but a commitment to the workshops is requested.

Call or visit the Library for more information.

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September is inching home.

September cannot decide whether it wants to be cool or warm. I’ll take warm – all the days that can be warm should be warm. How am I going to make it through winter? The writing will help. A poem a day perhaps? That’s certainly a challenge, but I’ll look at that when official winter arrives.

I’m reading Wislawa Szymborska poems. They could be real downers if you let them, full of dark thoughts about the void. When the days begin to shorten and the afternoons grow dim, its time to implant the joy of different seasons not the dark side of life.

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August the month that arrived too early

I’ve looked back at my posts and see that I’m missing more and more months of writing in this spot. I’ll blame my husband’s retirement. He’s pulled me in a web of different directions and I’m scrambling to keep up. Okay, Okay, I shouldn’t blame him, after all I’ve just returned from a vacation in Hawaii – well …. there was a hurricane (first one in twenty years) that touched down on the big island, and there was an earthquake, and cold, and searing heat — a great place for unexpected adventure, but I wouldn’t want to write there.  And the vacation at Lake Winnipesaukee that was an energetic time — five granddaughters leading us to paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming out beyond the comfort zone.  Not to mention house guests – ah – never a dull moment. I seem to recall my grandparents sitting on the porch having a relaxing time playing games with the smallest children – mmm – times have sped up.

Well any way I do have notes, and ramblings, and of course photos, to use as jumping off points for poems. Here’s a modified haiku I sent to the family while I was away: Caught in Hurricane / different experiences / expectations dashed.

Try a haiku today!

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OH NO! It’s July – what happened to June?

Books were read like the Book of Knowing and Worth by Paul Selig, the Indian Givers by Jack Weatherford and The Making of a Poet leading up to my second semester at Goddard College in Vermont. Workshops of and about poetry filled the ten days in Vermont and prepared me to spend the next few months reading fifteen books from Constantine Cavafy to James Arlington Wright.

Sunshine and warm days, summers best, washed over us, left us too soon.

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May — a sigh of sunshine

The sun is my magic pill. If it shines I feel like I’m young again, but without its rays I ache from toe to head. Today I can skip on the dandelioned grass and walk five miles. This is truly the best time of year with the fuzz still on the trees – no full grown leaves here. The forsythia bright yellow along with the daffodils and the finch—all under the warm sun.

The April, “Read a favorite poem event,” exceeded expectations in attendance and energetic good cheer. Thank you all for supporting the Louise Bogan Poets.

This Saturday, May 10, the Massachusetts State Poetry Society meets at the Lunenburg Library. Everyone is welcome to take an inside look at MSPS, this poetry group that has been meeting for more than five decades, though Saturday is the first time the group will be here in North Worcester County. The meeting runs from 11AM and closes at 2PM and includes a writing exercise, a potluck lunch, and a presentation by the Louise Bogan Poets. The writing exercise titled “In the Mood” is led by the MSPS President Jeanette Maes, a friendly and very able poet and leader. Hope to see you Saturday.

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April Already

Today the snow seeps back into the ground – a lovely situation. I saw the first two white crocus. They coordinate with the leftover lawn snow. Some years I see purple crocus in February, not this year – too cold. But now spring looks me in the eyes.

I’m writing a little, a lot, sometimes not—sticking with the Goddard Syllabus. There’s never a dull moment here. A pile of delicious books wait for any stray hours—haven’t found those hours yet—I might steal some, though.

The Louise Bogan Poets look to their April 14th, “Read a Favorite Poem Night.” All are welcome as usual. This is the fifth year for this April event at the Lunenburg, MA Library. Also we are quite excited about the MSPS quarterly meeting to be held here May 10. This first time event in North Central Massachusetts is usually held north of Boston. It’s open to the public. Please come.

Write a spring poem without saying spring or naming any flowers.

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2014, what happened to the last three months?

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s – all flew by without a hello from me. My head was down and I was neck-deep in living—loving family— playing with granddaughters—writing and being accepted in a creative writing program—cooking—cleaning—etc—etc.

I’m still here working on poems and now I’ve added critical analysis, which I’m practicing. The idea is I annotate poems to learn and scrutinize a poem deeply to be able to improve my craft of writing poems. So I’ve been writing and reading critically which is very time-consuming and very stimulating.

This snowy and frigid month of February take out a pen and look closely at a favorite poem. See the line breaks, the verse lengths, the punctuation, the theme, the coherence, the images, the setting and then write a poem based on inspiration from that poem you analyzed.

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October – the most colorful month in New England

Hello dear readers,

Where ever I walk or drive these days gives me a smile. The trees are giving me their last show of the year before becoming dormant for the winter. When I was a school girl I loved drawing the leafless trees of winter (probably because they looked more realistic than my scribble of spring and summer trees) but I loved looking at the autumn trees — they reminded me of my box of crayons. And every fall I still ohh and aah over the reds and yellows and multicolored leaves that float down from the many trees on this street where I live. Write a poem with some reference to a season and enjoy this beautiful fall.

The most recent issue of Verse Wisconsin (112) has two poems of mine but they didn’t get my revisions or weren’t able to print them so here is one of the poems printed the way I wrote it: (sort of – my version was actually round.)

Buttons Buttons.

Mom cut them snip snip,

green, brown, and white popped

into an old tin. She had graduated from

fashion school, ingenuity and thrift the main

courses. Our corduroys outlasted the shirts she

tore into pieces. The           long strips Dad used

to stake his tomatoes. Mom avoided the yard, gnats

and horseflies  bit, left pink welts on her young skin.

The corn stalks grew tall, she did not see their green

thick stems or the tassels          gold silk in the wind.

She cooked corn chowder. We helped wipe tables

and scrub sinks with clean rags. She carefully

bought white shirts for Dad. Doll clothes

and puppets made with clean rags and

lots of buttons are stitched by

my five granddaughters.

Buttons Buttons.

You get the picture — write a poem in form in honor of the new season.  This button poem is my example. Usually experimenting with lines and words is repeated before you reach the exact form that you want.

 

 

 

 

 

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September 19, 2013

I didn’t take notes from Biddeford, South Berwick,  Ogunquit,  Portland, Waterville, or York  – all great Maine day trips I enjoyed this summer but I cannot help recall the Portland and the Colby Art Museums always offering something new and fascinating. The fabulous beaches  of York and Ogunquit are the best to go walking, exploring, and even swimming, though the Atlantic Ocean doesn’t often cooperate. The sea’s bone-chilling cold temperatures are fine for the children, but I would rather hunt for shells and interesting flotsam and jetsam rather than bear the cold. If I tire of sand  I’ll walk the Marginal Way for it never grows stale.

This summer suited us just fine, but now, the impending autumn carries other delights: an abundance of fruits and vegetables, cool nights and bright days. The fruit this year is amazing – I’ve already baked a half-dozen pies and a few quarts of sauce from the apples in my back yard. Our old twisted tree has never been sprayed so the fruit is dotted with spots and worm holes, but they are easily cut away and there are many more apples to pick.

September is the best travel month as almost anywhere in the USA is lovely.  I expect good weather so I’ll be off to Seattle, and while I’m there I’ll invite my friends from the Pacific side to take a run to the East for the burnt orange horizons of fall. Then October’s chill will begin to prepare me for the hibernation of November, the writing and reading time I enjoy that dark month. Don’t forget November is National Novel Writing Month. Well with that… your assignment this month is to make a list of all the reasons you love the seasons in New England. A page for each season and then make each page into a poem.

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Last Day of June—What happened to May?

Poetry, of course beginning with the Mass. Poetry Festival. I had the opportunity to talk about the Louse Bogan Poets and took full advantage at Sophia’s, a lovely little gift shop in Salem Mass. The audience was pleased to hear bout our verse-o-matic which is being filled again with poems as I write. It will return to the Lunenburg Library until we choose another friendly venue.

During May I also took an online poetry class with Fred Marchant. It was a good perk-me-up and get-to-it push for writing daily. The other poets reminded me that critiquing others’ poetry improves my own. And so went May.

Visiting friends and family is part of all my months. And June was particularly dense with enjoying old friends and family from three generations. I traveled to Maryland to see grandchildren and children and continued on to see a brother in NC and a sister in SC and along the way saw my father’s brother.  Seeing my dear Uncle reminded me of my father and his growing up on a farm that eeked out just enough for thrifty living. My thoughts are percolating to create a poem about the last member of my father’s family.

So in that way June disappeared but I did squeeze in a trip to Provincetown to workshop with Daisy Fried. Our small group revised old poems. It was wonderful to be a small group and receive a great deal of personal attention from our very talented poet and editor, Daisy.

Tomorrow – July!

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