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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April 27, 2013

April, National Poetry Month, is drawing to a close but doesn’t want to. Poetry events continue to multiply. Last week the Louise Bogan Poets presented a marvelous diverse group of readers to share their favorite poems. The crowd was upbeat and interested in the LB Poets’ future events. Mass Poetry Festival will open next week and present workshops, readings, and discussions through the weekend. Sunday at 11AM at the gift shop Sophia’s in Salem MA look for Cathryn Keefe-Ohare, Lee Freedman, Sarah Vickery and LB Poet, MaryEllen Letarte, discussing how to form a poetry group and how to keep it lively while effectively offering critique in a friendly manner.

See you there.



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