Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
Sara’s daughter, Rebecca, who’s been joining us recently (yay!), posed our challenge this month: a pastoral. She wrote: Some inspiration from The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms: “The pastoral is central to poetry. In a simplified definition, it is that mode of poetry that sought to imitate and celebrate the virtues of rural life. […] By the end of the sixteenth century, and the start of the seventeenth, the pastoral convention had become one of the true intellectual engines of poetry. On the surface, it appeared to be about an ornamental and sometimes fictional view of the rural and bucolic life. But huge questions lurked below that clear surface. In the pastoral mode poets could experiment with these questions, some of which verged on a philosophical subversion of traditional religious themes in poetry. Was man made for nature or nature for man? Was the natural world to enter the poem as a realistic object or as a fictive projection of inner feelings? Would the natural world always enter the poem shadowed by the religious myths of the Garden of Eden and man’s fall?”
I was totally intimidated by this. I love nature poetry…not necessarily rural but wild, but I kind of struggled with this one. Still, a challenge is a challenge, so here’s what I ended up with. Not really a pastoral so much as a parody of a pastoral, but it’s all I’ve got.
Some of you might remember we moved from the suburbs to the city about a year ago. (This picture is taken from our front porch.) And there are SO many things I really do enjoy about it: living near the capitol building; living within a mile of my husband’s work; being much closer to many children’s literature events; easy access to concerts, museums, etc.; living in a more diverse city (though our previous townhome community was pretty diverse, too); and more. However, there is also some culture shock. City living is louder and more aggressive. Our street is generally pretty quiet, but sometimes there will be someone walking down the street screaming into her cell phone, having a fight with someone. We won’t go to any of the nearby fast food restaurants because there is a better than 20% chance there will be parents screaming at their kids, saying horrible things, or angry customers talking to the employees in really threatening ways. And in August, two shooting deaths (on the streets, in daylight) happened within a mile of our place. So…it’s an adjustment, for sure. This poem exaggerates the scariness because…poetic license!
Check out the rest of the pastoral poems–most of them actually pastoral:>)
Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations.
Cheriee at Library Matters has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week. Check it out, and learn about a new (to me, anyway) poet!