The Progressive Poem 2017 Is Here!

April 26, 2017 18 Comments by Renee M. LaTulippe

Happy Poetry Month!

For those who don’t know what the Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem is, it is a yearly event conceived and hosted by poet Irene Latham. Each day, the poem travels to a different blog, and the blogger adds his or her line. You never know where the poem will end up, but it’s always a fascinating experience. At the end of the month, Irene polishes the poem and adds a title and — ta-da! — we have a collective poem written by thirty poets!

I will admit that I am still suffering heavily from baby brain, which has made it difficult for me to fully wrap my head around this fantastical poem as I’ve watched it wend its way to No Water River. Yesterday, however, Robyn was kind enough to poetsplain her understanding of the poem, so I’m going with what she said (with preemptive apologies to Matt just in case). Hats off also to Ruth for so eloquently articulating the challenge of the Progressive Poem and for putting into perspective that each of us has control over only one-thirtieth of the whole. Y’all are so smart!

Anyhoo, so we have an imaginative, storytelling kid on a stage, and I can relate to that. In the first stanza s/he is very confident about her/his skills, but once on stage s/he has a moment of self-doubt (I can relate to that too!), and s/he falls back on a monologue that s/he already knows will wow the crowd. S/He’s picked up steam; s/he’s in full performance mode now, sashaying around, taking the stage, lost in her/his own story (that may be called “Dragonworld”).

And this seems like a story/poem that could go on for a long time, but somehow it has to circle back, doesn’t it? And it feels like Robyn has begun that process by bringing the kid out of her/his performance-euphoria and back into the consciousness of her/his own effect on the crowd (and also back to land). So I’m going to stay on that track by contributing to the denouement in some theatrical way. Hope no one gets a nosebleed from the fast descent!

I’m fidget, friction, ragged edges–
I sprout stories that frazzle-dazzle,
stories of castles, of fires that crackle
with dragonwords that smoke and sizzle.

But edges sometimes need sandpaper,
like swords need stone and clouds need vapour.
So I shimmy out of my spurs and armour
facing the day as my fickle, freckled self.

I thread the crowd, wear freedom in my smile,
and warm to the coals of conversation.
Enticed to the stage by strands of story,
I skip up the stairs in anticipation.

Flip around, face the crowd, and freeze!
Shiver me. Look who’s here. Must I disappear?
By hook or by crook, I deserve a second look!
I cheer. Please, have no fear. Find the book.

But wait! I’ll share the lines I know by heart.
Mythicalhowls, fierytones slip from my lip
Blue scales flash, claws rip, the prophecy begins
Dragonworld weaves webs that grip. I take a trip…

“Anchors aweigh!” Steadfast at helm on clipper ship,
a topsail schooner, with sails unfurled, speeds away
As, true-hearted dragon pirate, I sashay
with my wise parrot, Robyn, through the spray.

“Land Ho!” (“Land Ho!”) We’ve hooked the whole crowd.
So it’s true what they say: the play IS the thing  

And now I hand the poem over to fellow thespian Matt Forrest Esenwine (and Charles too!), who can deal with the punctuation and rhyme scheme as he sees fit.

                                       FOLLOW ALONG!
This is where the poem has been and where it’s going still…

April
1 Heidi at my juicy little universe
2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Diane at Random Noodling
6 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
9 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Penny at a penny and her jots
11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
14 Jan at Bookseedstudio
15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
19 Pat at Writer on a Horse
20 BJ at Blue Window
21 Donna at Mainely Write
22 Jone at Jone Ruch MacCulloch
23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
29 Charles at Poetry Time
30 Laura at Writing the World for Kids

 

AW, SHUCKS!
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18 Comments

  1. Marilyn Garcia
    3 months ago

    Love, love, love. This looks like so much mind-bending fun! I can’t wait to read the finished product.

    Reply

  2. Irene Latham
    3 months ago

    Oh, Renee, you make me smile and smile! What a perfect line for YOU! And for the poem. And yes to the “y’all are so smart” line! When I read the analysis everyone provides, I’m like, WOW. Totally in awe. Thank you, as ever! xo

    Reply

  3. Linda Baie
    3 months ago

    I see him bowing with a big grin, Renee. You’ve readied him beautifully to some closure, a good thing since there’s only four lines left.

    Reply

  4. Ramona
    3 months ago

    He??? No!!! She’s definitely a she. Maybe it will be left so we can make of him/her what we will. Love how your line points us toward the ending.

    Reply

    • Renee M. LaTulippe
      3 months ago

      You’re right! She could definitely be a she!!! I’ve edited to reflect this possibility. 😀

      Reply

  5. Robyn Hood Black
    3 months ago

    Well done, my dear, beautiful, baby-brained friend – and,
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You’ve given the poem and all of us readers the gift, though, with this line Matt can solidly swing from. But who knows what direction he’ll take us from here? :0)

    Reply

  6. Buffy Silverman
    3 months ago

    Such a perfect Renee line! Yes, each of us only has one-thirtieth control, but I love that you’ve put yourself into your line.

    Reply

  7. Liz
    3 months ago

    What a perfect line for you to add!

    Reply

  8. Ruth
    3 months ago

    Nice job!

    Reply

  9. Penny Parker Klostermann
    3 months ago

    Of course you came through with a line that is fitting and moves the poem toward the 30th of April where it has to end with some sort of satisfaction. Well done!
    And Happy Birthday to you!

    Reply

  10. B.J. Lee
    3 months ago

    Ha! A perfect Renee line! I was wondering how this poem could possibly wrap up in so few days – it’s all been a play since she stepped on the stage! I’m glad you told us that! 😀 and yes, Irene, I’m finding everyone’s analyses fascinating! Happy Happy Birthday, Renee!

    Reply

  11. Matt Forrest Esenwine
    3 months ago

    Nice way to begin our closing of the curtain, Renee! I’m kicking around some ideas as to where to go with this!

    Reply

  12. Michelle Kogan
    3 months ago

    Your line has much food for thought, let’s see where it lands . . .

    Reply

  13. Elaine Kiely Kearns
    3 months ago

    I love this so much! Your line is intriguing, Renee, I can’t wait to see where it ends up…

    Reply

  14. Brenda Harsham
    3 months ago

    I love that you’ve brought clarity to it being a play and started to get in the head of the child, boy or girl.

    Reply

  15. Patricia Nozell
    3 months ago

    What a delightful group effort & love how it combines your loves of poetry & theatre – Renée. I look forward to reading the completed poem in a few days.

    Reply

  16. Heidi Mordhorst
    3 months ago

    Yes, let’s reflect a little even as the adrenaline continues to pump through our character’s edgy little system! I’m here late to appreciate your contribution to our ProgPoem, and at this point I begin to see, as Buffy says and probably others have noticed, how individual each poet’s contribution is, how revealing of our character and world view, not just our poetic preferences.

    I’m thinking how fun it would be to go through and find what we know about each other in our lines, like reading palms or feeling auras….

    Reply

  17. jan/bookseedstudio
    3 months ago

    Ciao! & Cheers for birthday time! (Which I’ve picked up from Robyn’s comment.)

    Cheers for this anchoring us back to reality & opening up a wonderful opportunity for Matt. Who I’m running off to read exactly now.

    Brava! for your lovely summation of the best quotes about this month’s construction.

    And extra Brava! for you there with your sweet, creative, lively
    brood.

    xox

    Reply

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