I’ve had a fairly busy summer–working on more books for Lerner, a couple of Click articles, and some other small writing gigs. Often when I have work-for-hire assignments, poetry flies out the window. But this summer I’ve managed to write some poetry too. Liz Steinglass and I exchanged daily poems in July (which allowed us both to complete drafts of collections we started during our exchange in April.) My critique group held it’s annual retreat, which is always a productive and inspiring time. AND I participated in Tabatha’s Summer Poetry Swap! The main reason I signed up for the swap is for the deadlines–I wish I could say I always write every day, but without some kind of accountability I lose focus.
The summer swap has a wonderful added benefit: my mailbox fills with poetry! I shared a couple of earlier swap poems here. Today I’m posting the final three poems I received.
I could have used Tabatha Yeatts‘ inspiration when I was struggling to write my final March Madness poem about gargoyles! Tabatha’s laughing, splashing, open-mouthed gargoyle has so much spunk and attitude–and I appreciated that she wrote a “Things To Do” poem, as I had played with that form recently on my blog.
I guess I’ve earned a reputation as a dragonfly lover, because Irene Latham sent me my second dragonfly poem of the swap. I was also happy to recognize that Nikki Grimes’ challenge on Today’s Little Ditty inspired Irene’s iridescent, helicoptering dragonfly.
Linda Baie’s “Blowing Out the Summer Candles” was not the final poem I received in the swap. But it is full of the bounty and sweetness of summer’s end, and the perfect poem to close my post with:
Thanks to all my summer swappers! Be sure to visit Sylvia at Poetry for Children to share this week’s Poetry Friday harvest.
I’m participating in the summer poetry swap again this year, organized by Tabatha Yeatts. Most of my mail is of the junk variety, so it’s a treat to open an envelope and find poetry! My first swapper was Diane Mayr, whose random noodling is a poetry delight. Diane took her inspiration from the dragonfly on my blog.
One of the things I enjoy about the swap is seeing the different approaches that poets take–I love that Diane’s poem combines science and art, and goes from historic to realistic to fantastic. Imagining a dragonfly making off with the occasional small child definitely appeals to my strange sense of humor!
When I received Diane’s poem I realized that I had better get moving on my first swap poem, which was meant to go to Diane. I thought I might write a dragonfly poem in return. But then I remembered that I had recently photographed a newly-emerged damselfly, complete with the damsel’s nymphal skin. And since Diane wrote about damsels and nymphs, I was set. Here’s the mask poem I wrote to go with the photo:
For the second swap, Tabatha gave an optional prompt of writing a small sonnet. According to Tabatha, a small sonnet has seven couplets, with an AB or BA rhyme scheme. Each line is 5 syllables, with the first line rhyming with the title. PLUS at least one line has 5 monosyllabic words, and at least one line is one 5 syllable word. Talk about a challenge! The poem I sent to Carol Varsalona did not have a 5 syllable word, but I think I managed to follow the rest of the form’s rules. And I got to include a dragonfly! The photo that inspired the poem was taken with my left hand because my right hand was otherwise occupied:
The poem that Keri Collins Lewis sent me for the second swap made me blush–it was about me! I’m pretty sure no one has ever written a poem with moi as the subject before, and it is unlikely to happen again, so I will treasure this one.
©Keri Collins Lewis
I’ve got more poetry swap treasures to share, but I’ll save them for another week. Tabatha has all this week’s poetry friday offerings at The Opposite of Indifference.