Poetry Friday logo by Linda Mitchell

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

This month, we Poetry Princesses played with the exquisite corpse form. Through a series of direct messages, we created a “poem” of original lines alternated with some of Linda Mitchell’s wonderful clunkers. The idea was we’d each take what we wanted from it as a jumping off point for a new poem.

Tanita: They say the mind is garden-like, with thoughts as sprouting seeds
CLUNKER: but I’m left holding cuttings I’m not sure where to plant
Sara: Weedy-thick, the prickly buds of odd logic bloom:
CLUNKER: You don’t cry anymore, but you sing all the words.
Liz: Each line in a different language as the light shifts,
CLUNKER: trees turned so orange the road looked blue.
Mary Lee: Words tangle, colors muddy in the palette.
CLUNKER: I am no longer winsome to the sun.
CLUNKER: a whole sun’s rise to share
Tricia: there goes the one that got away
CLUNKER: found a bit of sunflower
Laura: and plucked every petal (by the way, he loves me)
Kelly: and then I remembered
CLUNKER: that’s what you wrote about the green beans
Tanita: Stockpile, then, that snap and sass to sweeten your September.

I missed our live write last weekend as I completely flaked out! As I sat down on Monday to write something, I wondered, How do you bring order to a bunch of unrelated lines, plants, thoughts?

I started out picking a few images I liked:

The odd logic of language.
The blue trees of dawn.
The sunflower picked bare.

And then I quickly discarded that because I had no idea where to go. So my next first draft is below. It doesn’t feel fresh enough…I wish I could’ve come up with a more imaginative idea, but this was one of those days when I was just happy to call it done!

That Day in July

Make sure to check out what others came up with! And if you wrote along with us, please share yours too!

Mary Lee

Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

  • Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten is on sale this month for the Kindle edition for $2.49, and the hardcover is only $7.99. Check it out!
  • Here’s what I read for the Sealey Challenge this week. Yikes. Getting harder to keep up, but I’m scraping by! If you want to see the poems/bits I shared, you can find my posts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. I decided a couple of days ago that for this final week, I’m just going to pick a few favorite picture books off my shelves. That feels like what I can manage right now. I’m going to think about poets who influenced me as I started writing poetry and poets who are still teaching me today in some way. Many of those I’ve already shared in the Sealey this month, but there are plenty more to choose from! 
    • Patrick Lewis is so skilled. He writes every kind of poem: light verse, free verse, serious, historical…he writes it all, brilliantly. I reread EVERYTHING IS A POEM today for #theSealeyChallenge. Favorite sections: Mother Nature & Reading, of course.
    • THE LOST WORDS, by Robert MacFarlane & Jackie Morris, is a lush wildness of poetry to get lost in. I rarely spend $50 on a #picturebook–never regretted this one. Takes #acrostics to a new sophisticated level, & each word gets 3 gorgeous spreads.
    • My reading this morning was the Robert Hass section in POETS LAUREATE ANTHOLOGY. I like some of what he has to say about poetry–don’t actually enjoy his poems that much, though. Oh well, there’s poetry for everyone!
    • I revisited FLICKER FLASH, by Joan Bransfield Graham and Nancy Davis. These concrete poems remind me why I love short poems and how much can be said in so few words. These are beautiful and by turns scientific, clever, and funny too. #theSealeyChallenge
    • Rita Dove in the POETS LAUREATE ANTHOLOGY was up to bat today for #theSealeyChallenge. These small moments of images and emotions were my favorite bits.
    • I sailed through PIRATES, by David L. Harrison & Dan Burr, for #theSealeyChallenge. How I adored this book when it came out (& still). David’s use of both refrains and character voices is masterful.
    • Final week of #theSealeyChallenge, I’m rereading favorites by poets w/particular gifts I learn from. Today, WITH MY HANDS: POEMS ABOUT MAKING THINGS, by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Amy has many gifts, but infusing heart & empowerment into every kids’ poem is the one that inspires me.

Wonderful Linda Baie at Teacher Dance has the Poetry Friday Roundup today!




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