reverso

 

Triple happy: Happy Poem-in-Your Pocket Day (still) for early birds this Thursday evening, Happy (anticipated) Earth Day for our full-fledged get-together on Poetry Friday, and Blessed/Happy Passover!

Although I had planned on sharing more “Earthy,” natural Haiku poems this day, after two false starts, inspiration (unexpectedly) intervened….

But first, some background…

When I was in high school, we took a battery of standardized aptitude tests. On two of them (mechanical reasoning and spatial relationships), I scored in the 14th and 7th percentiles, respectively. (Yes! that would be the 14th and 7th percentiles from the bottom!)

I share this information as a prelude to explaining why trying to create a reverso poem literally hurts my brain–and why the first two attempts have been suspended–

No matter. A challenge is a challenge, and so in response to Michelle Barnes’ DMC challenge, a reverso poem is what I set out to accomplish! With this post, I hope it’s a no-frills, economy version reverso poem–after two false starts with other intended stories —that I have “finally” created.

(BTW, if it makes the four-line reverso more substantive, “Meow! Meow!” can be considered the first and last lines of the poem, extending the line count to six:).

dmc cats cradle for pf

Although my intention was to have the second line hyperlink to the song which inspired the reverso poem, once the photo-poem became a jpeg, the hyperlink no longer works.

For the allusion inherent in that line, please watch/listen: “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin.

This YouTube version starts with a word from the singer’s wife, who wrote the lyrics, and follows with a word from his son, whose birth inspired the musical rendition.

The video piqued my interest in Chapin’s wife because the opening words seem to be taken from the midst of an interview in which she described her connection with the song.

If you find yourself equally curious to know more about her relationship with this hallmark Chapin song, you might enjoy reading the fourteenth question asked by an interviewer: SongFacts interview .

Since (as I understand it from the time when the song first published), the “cat’s in the cradle”that Harry Chapin sang about refers to the child’s string game, I thought I’d conclude with an illustration, perhaps as a memory jogger to a childhood pastime that I suspect cannot compete with today’s totally different set of digital diversions.

cat cradle illustration (2)

 

BTW, I prefer to think of the physical cat in the physical cradle as pictured within the photo-poem–as a moral allegory; seeing the baby copy-cat, imitating his father’s behavior. That’s what I love about lyrics; like other kinds of poems, they are open to so many different kinds of visual and linguistic interpretations.

Because this song has been attributed with being the catalyst (no pun intended) that reversed many untoward familial relationships, highlighting it in a reverso poem seems an especially appropriate format.

Thank you for sharing your remembrances of the song and/or string games. (And, of course, I welcome criticisms and suggestions for improving the reverso. Thank you!)

 

 

echo (2)

Poetry Friday Tag

Today’s Poetry Friday (PF) hostess is Michelle Barnes at “Today’s Little Ditty.”

Yes! Today’s PF hostess is the same illustrious Ms. Barnes who generously hosts a monthly “Spotlight on” author interview, complemented by a monthly poetry challenge.

It is in response to Michelle Barnes’ April/Poetry Month Ditty of the Month Club (DMC) challenge, that I created two “echo-based” acrostic poems.

The first echo photo-poem  (a combo acrostic-haiku), posted last week.  In that first one, the echo was aural; this time the echo is visual…Here’s how the second poem evolved.

With “Poem in Your Pocket Day” (PIYPD) imminent (April 21st this year), my thoughts reverted to last year’s event and to a particular first grader who kept a copy of her favorite poem in her pocket well past PIYPD.

“I love my pocket poem,” she proudly announced in the library one day. “I know it by heart.”

Then pulling the copy of the poem from her pocket (for moral support, or back-up, I suppose), but without reading from it, she recited “by heart”:

“I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;

And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.”

(The remainder of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s My Shadow can be accessed here.)

That child’s high-spirited recitation has stuck in my mind, emerging as the inspiration-genesis for echo poem number two, in which the “echo” is a visual one.

My intent was to create a light-hearted poem, a la Stevenson’s, in which the echo, the shadow, was the child’s visual-projection playmate.

That was my intention…

However, what got projected was more than just the physical shadow. What got projected, as well, as the poem went on, was my deep-seated emotional shadows about having been a relatively playmate-deprived only child…And then, having found the sophisticated (un-childlike) shadow photo used in the photo-poem below, the poem took on an adult life-perspective of its own, with projected “playmate” becoming “companion.”

Here, then, in the context of the adult/”heavy” dawn photo, is the second “echo-inspired” (rather morose, actually) acrostic poem.

 

pf echo shadow chosen by cmkh (2)

 

Many thanks to Michelle for another invigorating DMC challenge.

And thank you, too, to the PF community for any comments, including suggestions for improvements, you might generously share in response to either/both echo photo-poems.

(My retrospective wonderings concerning this second echo-poem include these two: might/“should” I have capped the initial “c” in “companion,” and might/”should” I have referred to “my” darkness, rather than “the” darkness?)

_____________

BTW, I never was a shadow connoisseur as a child (hmmm….perhaps if I had been, I might have felt less lonely!), though I did enjoy creating shadow puppets before falling asleep now and then. Now, as an adult, I really do get a great kick out of seeing myself reflected in the shadow that my car, with me in the driver’s seat, casts–straight ahead of me–at a certain time of the day and year (when that is, I really can’t recall/tell you for sure, but I believe it is Metro NY Fall mornings).

Am wondering…Did you have a childhood shadow playmate/buddy?  (Such a childhood friend couldn’t really be classified as an invisible friend, could it? …And do shadow friends, do you think, match the gender of the shadow-maker? Or can the shadow-maker decide the echo-friend’s gender? …In that regard, I half-expected the first grader to change Stevenson’s “him/he” to “her/she.”)

To all those who take time to read this post:

May your shadows always be welcomed, cooling sunlight-respites, not unwelcomed, spiritually-deafening sunlight-blockers!

Anticipatory Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day for next Thursday!

echo (1)

Poetry Friday Tag

Today’s hostess is Laura at “Writing the World for Kids.”

 

In response to Michelle Barnes’  DMC for April/Poetry Month, I’ve created two “echo-based” acrostic poems.

The first echo photo-poem (a combo Haiku-acrostic), I do believe, was inspired by last week’s PF host, Amy VanDerwater’s reference to Wonderopolis and their posting of owl wonders.

It no doubt also helped the creative process that I am an inductive-approach teacher, whose family limits her to eight questions per day. Thus, by putting two questions in the mouth of my owl-subject, I rejoice in surreptitiously asking two extra questions every time I see this post!

Sorry to say, since the difference in color or feathers between male and female Barred Owls is nonexistent, and there was no other owl with whom to judge if the one pictured below is “fatter/heavier, fuller faced,” and ergo a female (sorry, ladies:), I couldn’t tell for sure if the Barred Owl featured in the photo is male or female.

Exercising poetic license, I opted to assume the owl was female rather male or neuter for these two reasons. In line two, “her” sounded much smoother than “its,” and the owl is vicariously me–though I’m more apt to ask what, where, when, why, how, and really, in keeping with my favorite inquiry words.

owl (2)

The second echo photo-acrostic poem will be the focus of next week’s PF post.

BTW, what is your favorite inquiry word?

Lovely Lady, Parasoled

Poetry Friday Tag

HAPPY POETRY MONTH! This week’s hostess is Amy at The Poem Farm

 

lovely lady final 1 (2)

What says you, dear PF community?  As Lovely Lady–or as poet–how are you inclined to respond to the question?

My knee-jerk reaction/musing in Shakespearean, Hamletian terms:  Alas, have you have come “[t]o sleep, perchance to dream–“?

Which, incidentally, makes no sense in terms of the happy looking fair maiden, although I do see what looks like a cross, which equals, in Shakepearean, Hamletian terms “a rub” in my fair-maiden-escapes-from-the-imprisoned-constraints-of-the art-gallery-to-enjoy-the-fresh-air-poem supposition  ….

So…Curious if what appears to be a cross was, in fact, intended to be a cross, I set out to research the painting–which I had no original intention of doing. Without knowing Hungarian, here is all I have been able to learn. The oil painting is titled “Sitting [not praying] Woman with Violet Parasol,” and was painted in 1909 by Hungarian artist János Vaszary, whose works included those with “social messages” and whose later paintings reflected his Catholic religious expressions.  Period.

The landscape doesn’t look like a cemetery; World War I is not yet under way. I’m at a loss for a “social message.”

“Armed” with this information, my response now reads: “Are you here to pray, to commune with God?”

That’s it for me. And so, more plaintively than curiously, I repeat:

What says you, dear PF community?  As Lovely Lady–or as poet–how are you inclined to respond to the question?

_________________________________________________

Phase 1 Reflections: The commentary that appeared above this line constitutes the original post composed the weekend of February 27th, a post that I decided to “hold” until I could do more research.

Phase 2 Reflections: The commentary that follows constitutes afterthoughts, composed the weekend of March 19th, when I was ready–after Easter–to let the post go live.

Not content with not knowing more about the meaning of the painting,  I have been reaching out via email to libraries and art museums here and in Hungary. Although disappointed that I have not yet learned anything about the painting, I have made peace with that lack of knowledge and understanding, and! I have even formulated my own insight about the presence of the cross.

Here’s what I think. The artist included the simple wooden cross, resting peacefully (at first almost unseen) against the leg of the woman, engaged in a peaceful conscious repose to remind us that conscious of it or not, our crosses always are with us, and that further, they are not inconsistent or out-of-place, even in the midst of beauty and peacefulness. In fact, there are many Gospel passages that call for us to carry our crosses with joy.

That’s it. I’m at peace with this painting, even without expert input.

What do you think?

________________________________________________

Phase 3 Reflections: …Just when I had come to peace with not hearing, surprise! March 22nd, and I heard!…The commentary that follows constitutes the surprising revelation, received by email that sheds light on the painting.

Here, from the Senior Museologist-Art Historian, Hungarian National Gallery, is the answer to my query about the interpretation of the painting, including my wondering about the meaning of the cross. Ready? (One last chance to give your own interpretation before finding out…)

“The painting was made at Tata ( a small town which is at 60 km distance from Budapest), where János Vaszary had a studio and where he would spend the summers. The small town’s lake and its natural enviroment [sic] was often subject of the paintings he made there. This impressionist painting depicts his wife on a wooden folding chair, which is not an actual cross, so the picture has no religious meaning. I send you attached some English data on artist.”

No..no! It can’t be true…Just when I had it all figured out…no cross? Let’s look again…

lovely lady final 1 (2)

Amazing, isn’t it? (Unless you knew all along; unless you cleverly figured out that which totally escaped me about the “cross” being a chair.  I do admit having wondered how the lady remained seated like that, but I imagined her seated on something natural to the environs, like a large rock (boulder) or a tree stump.)

Thanks to the English-language attachments, which included the artist’s chronology, I can tell you the name of the woman: “Mary,” called “Mimi,” and that she and the artist were married four years before this painting was created.

Finally, in a weird sort of irony, going back to my cross wondering, the artist was buried in Tata, scene of this painting, a death, I am sure that was a manifestation of the cross in the life of his beloved wife, who lived three years longer than her husband.

For me, then, the timing of the email revelation was perfect vis a vis the message I had derived on my own just three days earlier. Life lesson: it’s good to know that what looks like or seems to be a cross necessarily isn’t! And yet, when the “real” crosses come, it’s good to naturally integrate them with the fabric of life, still finding beauty, peace, joy, serenity etc. not in spite of the cross, but right along with it!

Your turn:) Please share your observations and thoughts! ..Thank you!

p.s. When I commented on Irene’s post last week, I realized, in retrospect, that perhaps the title of her site (Live Your Poem) had influenced the premise for this poem; perhaps, subliminally, that is where I got the idea that the parasoled woman could be alive in a poem in a way she never could be alive when she was entrapped on canvas. 

Thank you, Irene! Yes! At the start of Poetry Month, let’s make a commitment to live our poems–all year round.

 

It’s Good Friday’s Amazing Love

Poetry Friday Tag

Heidi is this week’s hostess at My Juicy Little Universe

 

good friday (2)

 

March 25th is Good Friday, and thanks to Texas Christian songwriter-musician Billy James Foote there is a beautiful song, apropos for Good Friday, titled: “Amazing Love” (a.k.a. “You Are My King”) that has inspired this Good Friday/Poetry Friday reflection.

Amazing love
How can it be
That You my King
Would die for me

The “Amazing Love” lyrics featured in this post’s photo-poem are my favorite verses. They’re my favorite for a number of reasons. First, I love that the cited lines speak of God’s unconditional love for each human being, demonstrated by Jesus’ willing death by crucifixion on Good Friday.

In that connection, I also love that the lyrics refer to Jesus as “my King.” Ironically, whereas in human sociopolitical terms, the subjects typically are expected to die for the king, in God’s plan, the amazing love is that the King dies for each and every one of His subjects–without exception. He died for you and me. Amazing Love, indeed!

Amazing love
How can it be
That You my King
Would die for me

For all the words of the song, projected as the lyrics are sung by Lyndsey Wallace, please click  here.

(If you are moved by the song’s content, you might wish to enjoy a video version that has moving spiritual background visuals, with lyrics sung by Chris Tomlin.)

FYI: In addition to Chris Tomlin’s vocal, the song has been recorded by artists such as Australia’s  Newsboys and Hillsong. Internationally,”Amazing Love” has been translated into other languages including Dutch, German, Korean, Spanish, and Swedish.

As someone who loves music, photography, and poetry, I am very grateful to be able to marry into a Good Friday photo-poem Billy James Foote’s beautiful lyrics with the public domain image of Christ, the Crucified King.

Amazing love
How can it be
That You my King
Would die for me

…If you are celebrating holy days between now and our next Poetry Friday, may you and your family enjoy every blessing, filled with God’s Amazing Infinite Unconditional Love for you and everyone you love!  God bless you!

 

Lucky to have noses!

Poetry Friday Tag

Robyn is this week’s hostess at Life of the Deckle Edge

In response to Michelle and Amy’s “Ditty of the Month” challenge, my everyday school object, often overlooked–as well as looked through: children’s eyeglasses, paired with their biological holder-uppers: noses.

While runny noses can be the bane of many a preschool and elementary teacher’s existence, noses, do, after all, serve a very useful educational purpose (besides facilitating breathing), which this poem proposes.

Having seen so many preschool and elementary children struggling to learn when they clearly need–but don’t yet have–eyeglasses–and then having seen so many children “fight” against wearing those  well-needed glasses (“losing” them; “forgetting” them; even “accidentally” breaking them), my St. Patrick’s Day offering is a lucky celebration of noses and the wearin’ of the seein’ (against a green border, to be sure–not because green is the color of money, but because it is the color of shamrock/Irish luck, and what could be luckier, I suppose, than a nose to uphold see-through gold: eyeglasses!).

glasses (3)

BTW, if it didn’t look so weird, I was wanting to spell succeed with a tip of the cap to eyeglasses: suc-see-d.  (Query: Visuals aside..For a poem purportedly for little grade school children, would the suc-see-d  be too cutesy/beyond them?)

Whether you are lucky or not to wear glasses, hope your St. Patrick’s Day is/was filled with an amazing array of sights, sounds, and smells! God bless you!

More Snow Wondering

Poetry Friday Tag

Irene is this week’s hostess at Live Your Poem

 

Last week,  as explained in that post,  after realizing that what I heard on a newscast as “snow wonder” actually was “no wonder,” I committed to using “wonder,” as in “It’s snow/no wonder” in a photo-poem. Although I couldn’t make that work last week (ultimately opting to substitute “surprise,” for “wonder”), I committed to trying again this week.

Thanks to an inspirational image of snow-covered pine trees, here, after numerous experiments, is my offering of a “It’s snow/no wonder” in a photo-poem:)

 

PF snow wonder pine (2)

 

That’s it. That’s my best shot.

What’s your snow/no wondering?

God bless you. Thanks for sharing!