Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
So, last Saturday, I looked at our Poetry Princess challenge list for this year and discovered we were sharing villanelles this week. On the theme of brevity or shortness. Which was funny, because a villanelle is a long poem to me. And scary, because I hadn’t given it any thought.
I started out thinking a lot about the brevity of life. How quickly it goes and how we must grab onto every moment and make the most of it. But…I think about that a lot. And when I poem about it, it always comes out preachy.
My next thought was of the photos that have been haunting me lately. They are a photo exhibit called “Where the Children Sleep,” by Marcus Wennman, of child refugees in Europe. One of my daughters feels drawn to work overseas with and minister to impoverished and unjustly treated people and is exploring her options, which is one reason I ended up looking at the photos. I am terribly undereducated about the refugee crisis, but when I saw these photos–a real punch in the gut. Addendum: The child below is named Sham, and he and his mother arrived at the Hungary border one day after the last train carrying refugees left, one single day after Hungary closed its border at that spot. Writing poems is my small method of dealing with the horror I’m reading about now. Here’s what I came up with.
In the poem above, I wanted to use enjambment to go more smoothly from one triplet to the next and to vary the feel of those last lines more. But something about the “iron gate” and “too late” just felt so final. I just couldn’t glide over them and shift their meaning a bit, even though I think the poem would have been more interesting if I had.
I shared another imagepoem using one of his photos as a starting point recently. I shared it on Instagram, which I’m trying out. So if you’re on Instagram, you can find me and that poem there.
Don’t forget to see what my Poetry Sisters have come up with this month!
Kelly (Some lovely advice for those feeling politically overwhelmed)
Liz (Feeling rushed? Settle into her poem)
Sara (Wordplay and wit galore)
Tanita (Thistles and politics–both wonderfully prickly)
Tricia (The relativity of time in a world of Trump)
Non-poetry demands are keeping Andi away this month, but she’ll return :>)
Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations.
Penny Parker Klostermann at A Penny and Her Jots has the Poetry Friday Roundup. Make sure to stop by and check out all the great links!