Tip #3: Post It [Poetry Tips for Teachers]

Happy Poetry Friday!

I’m hanging out with the wild Poetry 7 again! This month we wrote raccontinos–say what? I’d never even heard of them! (Make sure to go to Tricia’s post, where she explains the form a bit.) Anyway, I was in Scotland and Ireland this past month (wow), and I wrote my poem in Ireland. No pressure or literary history to live up to there, right?

So, first, I came up with my topic: the beauty of Ireland and the difficulty of capturing it in a poem. Then I came up with my sentence that would create the end words of the first line in each couplet: Write poem in sea ink on stone sheets. Then I cast about for a set of rhyming words to be the end line in the couplets’ second lines. Finally, I brainstormed a ton of things I loved about Ireland and tried to work as many of them into the poem as I could. This was all followed by several revisions (this is draft 5 that I’m sharing), mostly written as Randy drove our car on teeny-tiny roads where the speed limit was 100 or 120 kph, and the locals drove faster than the speed limit. Poetry was an excellent distraction!

This was a fun poetic form to try! Thanks, Tricia, for foisting it on us suggesting it. :>)

Now, I need to work in a tip for teachers here, too, for presenting poetry in their classrooms, as part of my monthlong Poetry Tips for Teachers series.

Tip #3: Post It!

Present the poem visually?project it, write it on a pad or whiteboard, put it on a bulletin board, etc. This is extra helpful for poetic forms with a visual element to them, like acrostics or–ahem–raccontinos.

The Challenge of Ireland

 

Shoot! I meant to change “ale-darkened” to “ale-dark.” Crumb.

Now, if you’d like to see what all the Poetry 7 have done (and you know you do), follow these links (links will be added as everyone’s raccontinos go up)!

Tricia (“Dear Poet, Be Advised”)

Sara (“At the Fulcrum of the Day”)

Kelly (“First Flowers”)

Liz (Untitled–I see what you did there, Liz;>)

Andi (“Family Secrets”)

Tanita (“speak softly. it’s a jungle out there.”

 

Next up will be pantoums, and here are our previous collaborations:

Mar 2015: Sestinas (Lord have mercy)

Feb 2015: Villanelles on hidden things

Jan 2015: Triolets on beginnings (And I posted an extra one here.)

Pre-2015: Villanelles, a crown sonnet, rondeau redoubles, and pantoums

 

Finally, for more Poetry Friday fun, visit Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s Poem Farm, where she’ll have the Poetry Friday Roundup!

60 Responses

  1. Every time I read this, Laura, another of your haunting images of Ireland stands out to me. This time it was “glacier-scraped”… I want to go!! I also love how your concluding line pairs with your “story line”: we can only embrace the small stories that come to us…and write them, in sea ink on stone sheets. Just freaking lovely.

    1. Thank you, Sara–there was so much about Ireland that was indeed haunting. The geology of it was amazing!

  2. Every time I read this, Laura, another of your haunting images of Ireland stands out to me. This time it was “glacier-scraped”… I want to go!! I also love how your concluding line pairs with your “story line”: we can only embrace the small stories that come to us…and write them, in sea ink on stone sheets. Just freaking lovely.

    1. Thank you, Sara–there was so much about Ireland that was indeed haunting. The geology of it was amazing!

  3. There is so much magic in this rich imagery, Laura. I love reading your poem aloud, thinking about the places you have been, the “small story that’s all you can make…” And what a form! Wow! Happy Poetry Friday! xo, a.

  4. There is so much magic in this rich imagery, Laura. I love reading your poem aloud, thinking about the places you have been, the “small story that’s all you can make…” And what a form! Wow! Happy Poetry Friday! xo, a.

  5. I read Tricia’s this morning, have loved Helen Frost’s poems in Room 214, and now this beauty straight from Ireland, Laura! My imagination runs wild with “Touch ancient etched rock from a time before ink.” I love that you included so much of Ireland’s lore in your poem.

    1. Thank you, Linda! We visited some ancient stone homes called beehive huts that were *thousands* of years old. There was also a big slate engraved with a cross on it from early Christian farmers (so not nearly as old as the beehive buildings). It was cool to imagine how old that etching was, even though it probably wasn’t truly from a time before ink. I had a blast listing things I was fascinated with or thought were beautiful in Ireland (mullioned windows, roundabouts, tin whistles, winding roads, etc.) and working as many of them as possible into the poem.

  6. I read Tricia’s this morning, have loved Helen Frost’s poems in Room 214, and now this beauty straight from Ireland, Laura! My imagination runs wild with “Touch ancient etched rock from a time before ink.” I love that you included so much of Ireland’s lore in your poem.

    1. Thank you, Linda! We visited some ancient stone homes called beehive huts that were *thousands* of years old. There was also a big slate engraved with a cross on it from early Christian farmers (so not nearly as old as the beehive buildings). It was cool to imagine how old that etching was, even though it probably wasn’t truly from a time before ink. I had a blast listing things I was fascinated with or thought were beautiful in Ireland (mullioned windows, roundabouts, tin whistles, winding roads, etc.) and working as many of them as possible into the poem.

  7. I just LOVE your story of how you wrote this poem, especially the image of you scribbling away while Randy drove those wild, green roads. This poem is just so lovely! I want to live in it and write in sea ink on stone sheets forever.

    1. That’s how I felt about Ireland:>) I would have loved a week (month, year) to just sit in the wild there and write…

  8. I just LOVE your story of how you wrote this poem, especially the image of you scribbling away while Randy drove those wild, green roads. This poem is just so lovely! I want to live in it and write in sea ink on stone sheets forever.

    1. That’s how I felt about Ireland:>) I would have loved a week (month, year) to just sit in the wild there and write…

  9. I honestly think this was easiest for you — it just seemed to spool out of you. I’m envious and I think this one lends itself to classroom use, which is probably why it came to you so quickly! And I’m still just delighting in slinking selkies and the mullioned moon. Beautiful.

    1. I don’t know that I would say easy! But I had a blast with the challenge of it. Thank you, Tanita:>)

  10. I honestly think this was easiest for you — it just seemed to spool out of you. I’m envious and I think this one lends itself to classroom use, which is probably why it came to you so quickly! And I’m still just delighting in slinking selkies and the mullioned moon. Beautiful.

    1. I don’t know that I would say easy! But I had a blast with the challenge of it. Thank you, Tanita:>)

  11. I love the poetry Laura. I think you did a fantastic job. It reads like more than a first draft. I plan to try my hand at a raccontino. But, alas, you’ve gone and done it; I am longing to see Ireland again. I even pulled our my tin whistle and Tommy Sands audio tape (showing my age).
    The words you used in your poem are playing over and over in my brain: sheep; knits; emerald (and the other 39 shads of green), etc.

    1. Thanks, Martha! (This wasn’t my first draft. I tinkered with it a number of times while Randy drove:>) It can still use some more work, though.) I pulled my tin whistle out, too–the one I got after loving the soundtrack of, I think, Waking Ned Devine years ago. I may have to mess around with it some more! I love that you mentioned specific words, because that was my framework–what concrete things found in Ireland could I work into my poem, even if I used them in a different way, like knits. Whee–so excited you noticed!

      1. Driving those narrow roads with Gaelic information was a trip in itself. We decided that I would keep the US frame of mind and that would let me know when hubby was driving on the wrong side. He did all of the driving. We were there in 1989 and only when we arrived in Dublin were we advised of security concerns and that was the end of our trip. Not sure about security issues now. I would hope they would still be somewhat safe.

        1. So funny–I’m working on a poetry collection titled Out of My (American) Mind :>) The whole island is considered safe–well, you know, no particular travel concerns. But those roads! Not safe for anyone–whew. Randy did all the driving, too. He aged several years that week.

  12. I love the poetry Laura. I think you did a fantastic job. It reads like more than a first draft. I plan to try my hand at a raccontino. But, alas, you’ve gone and done it; I am longing to see Ireland again. I even pulled our my tin whistle and Tommy Sands audio tape (showing my age).
    The words you used in your poem are playing over and over in my brain: sheep; knits; emerald (and the other 39 shads of green), etc.

    1. Thanks, Martha! (This wasn’t my first draft. I tinkered with it a number of times while Randy drove:>) It can still use some more work, though.) I pulled my tin whistle out, too–the one I got after loving the soundtrack of, I think, Waking Ned Devine years ago. I may have to mess around with it some more! I love that you mentioned specific words, because that was my framework–what concrete things found in Ireland could I work into my poem, even if I used them in a different way, like knits. Whee–so excited you noticed!

      1. Driving those narrow roads with Gaelic information was a trip in itself. We decided that I would keep the US frame of mind and that would let me know when hubby was driving on the wrong side. He did all of the driving. We were there in 1989 and only when we arrived in Dublin were we advised of security concerns and that was the end of our trip. Not sure about security issues now. I would hope they would still be somewhat safe.

        1. So funny–I’m working on a poetry collection titled Out of My (American) Mind :>) The whole island is considered safe–well, you know, no particular travel concerns. But those roads! Not safe for anyone–whew. Randy did all the driving, too. He aged several years that week.

  13. Love your idea of setting things up visually, and love your poem (but you already know that). The Yeats influence is evident in the best of all possible ways!

  14. Love your idea of setting things up visually, and love your poem (but you already know that). The Yeats influence is evident in the best of all possible ways!

  15. Laura, there is so much in this I love. I was in Ireland in 2013 and your words pulled me right in and back to Dublin, Dalkey, Barrettstown Castle and Glendalough. the enchanting beauty of Ireland reflected in words.

    This and the rest of P7’s poems are so well done. I really enjoy reading them and learn so much from doing so.

    John

    1. Thank you so much, John. Hearing from people who’ve actually been to Ireland and felt a connection here makes me really happy. We weren’t any of the places you mentioned (except overnight in Dublin). I’d love to go back someday and explore more of the country and Northern Ireland. Thanks for reading our poems!

  16. Laura, there is so much in this I love. I was in Ireland in 2013 and your words pulled me right in and back to Dublin, Dalkey, Barrettstown Castle and Glendalough. the enchanting beauty of Ireland reflected in words.

    This and the rest of P7’s poems are so well done. I really enjoy reading them and learn so much from doing so.

    John

    1. Thank you so much, John. Hearing from people who’ve actually been to Ireland and felt a connection here makes me really happy. We weren’t any of the places you mentioned (except overnight in Dublin). I’d love to go back someday and explore more of the country and Northern Ireland. Thanks for reading our poems!

  17. Thanks for a little bit of a taste of Ireland! Sounds like you had a fun trip, but how you could write poetry while Randy drove is beyond me!

    1. It was much better than looking at oncoming cars on those tiny roads! Our pace was pretty hectic for the two weeks in Scotland and Ireland. Really my only down time was when we were in the car in Ireland. Otherwise, just the end of the day, but by then I was zonked and could only zone out and read…

  18. Thanks for a little bit of a taste of Ireland! Sounds like you had a fun trip, but how you could write poetry while Randy drove is beyond me!

    1. It was much better than looking at oncoming cars on those tiny roads! Our pace was pretty hectic for the two weeks in Scotland and Ireland. Really my only down time was when we were in the car in Ireland. Otherwise, just the end of the day, but by then I was zonked and could only zone out and read…

  19. (I think this is my first time posting here, though I have been lurking for a while, enjoying your poetry! :)) Gorgeous poem. The alliteration is pure magic—loved “mullioned moons” and “ruin-rimmed” especially. I lived in Ireland for a short, short (two month) period, and the “land to enchant or to make your heart break” is so fitting. So lovely.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Jennifer, and for the kind words. I’m an alliteration fanatic–sometimes I overdo it just a tad :>) but I do love it. How lucky to have lived in Ireland for a couple of months. I would love to do that! Really absorb it so that I’m more than just a tourist (though being a tourist was thoroughly enjoyable).

  20. (I think this is my first time posting here, though I have been lurking for a while, enjoying your poetry! :)) Gorgeous poem. The alliteration is pure magic—loved “mullioned moons” and “ruin-rimmed” especially. I lived in Ireland for a short, short (two month) period, and the “land to enchant or to make your heart break” is so fitting. So lovely.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Jennifer, and for the kind words. I’m an alliteration fanatic–sometimes I overdo it just a tad :>) but I do love it. How lucky to have lived in Ireland for a couple of months. I would love to do that! Really absorb it so that I’m more than just a tourist (though being a tourist was thoroughly enjoyable).

  21. Success! IMHO, you’ve captured Ireland ? its haunting, yet enchanting character, and all of its wild and crumbling, emerald-laden beauty. Have you seen the movie, THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH? If not, you absolutely MUST, Laura. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

    1. I have not, Michelle. I think I started to watch it once, and the sound was messed up, or it was so quiet that I couldn’t hear it. Something like that. I do need to watch it. Thanks for the kind words!

  22. Success! IMHO, you’ve captured Ireland ? its haunting, yet enchanting character, and all of its wild and crumbling, emerald-laden beauty. Have you seen the movie, THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH? If not, you absolutely MUST, Laura. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

    1. I have not, Michelle. I think I started to watch it once, and the sound was messed up, or it was so quiet that I couldn’t hear it. Something like that. I do need to watch it. Thanks for the kind words!

  23. This is such a lovely reflection of Ireland, Laura! I can see those “ruin-rimmed lakes” shining beneath a “mullioned moon.” Although I’ve never traveled there myself, many family members have, and your poem has echoes of all their photos and stories. Glad you had such a wonderful trip!

  24. This is such a lovely reflection of Ireland, Laura! I can see those “ruin-rimmed lakes” shining beneath a “mullioned moon.” Although I’ve never traveled there myself, many family members have, and your poem has echoes of all their photos and stories. Glad you had such a wonderful trip!

  25. I love how poet friends just roll up their sleeves and challenge themselves to write as many lines as they can for Poetry Month! Love all the challenges you shared here, and that vision of “gold linen sheets.”

  26. I love how poet friends just roll up their sleeves and challenge themselves to write as many lines as they can for Poetry Month! Love all the challenges you shared here, and that vision of “gold linen sheets.”

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