Welcome to Poetry Month 2018 at No Water River!
Please take a moment to peruse the how-to below, and then dive in! Happy writing — and thank you for helping to build our collection(s)!
Remember: The Community Collections are open indefinitely, so you can visit each post at your leisure to add your poem!
has devoted her writing talents to telling the stories of courageous girls and women who have made historical contributions to science and art. Please welcome award-winning verse novelist …
This poem shows a silkworm weaving a cocoon, while Maria Merian watches and wonders what will happen next. Scientists, artists, and poets must look closely, but also imagine change. For your poem, watch an animal or plant (in life, memory, or on youtube). Describe what you see, hear, smell, or feel, then end your poem with a few lines about how that life may or did change. Does the beginning of your poem hint at the ending?
COMMUNITY COLLECTION 12: OBSERVATION
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Out of Reach
If time hadn’t passed you’d be stealing,
but you’re hampered by age
and your legs won’t engage.
Dog, I wonder how that’s left you feeling.
© 2018 Colleen Murphy
backed it out again
Who was here?
A VERY PRIVATE LIFE
in an incubator.
Wait and watch and…
three weeks later…
PECK, PECK, SCRATCH!
Baby chicks will
PEEP, PEEP, HATCH!
© 2018 Dianne Moritz
THE PROMISE OF SPRING
to pale pink peeking through
to full blossom splendor,
our pink camellia,
laden with buds and blossoms
tucked amid rain-sprinkled
brilliant green leaves,
speaks of April’s showers and
shouts the promise of spring.
© Ramona Behnke 2018
Behold the burdock plant
aka the “field thistle”
which locks onto its target,
a brambly missile,
hooking wholeheartedly into its victim
such that burdock balls
grasp one’s socks
and grip one’s trousers
and cling to the ears of one’s faithful pet schnauzer.
However, if you are the questioning kind,
a scientist perhaps
or better yet, an engineer and inventor
named George de Mestral
hunting with your dog in the weedy Swiss Alps,
you might notice, at home
while plucking the blasted balls from your clothes
and from your dog
that burdock, under a microscope,
reveals its secret—tenacious hooks
lying somewhere between thread stitches and glue
on the usefulness scale.
You might say, “Eureka!”
You might call it
© 2018 Heather Kinser
Jeannine Atkins writes mostly about strong girls and women. Her historical verse includes Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science, Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis (both Atheneum) and Borrowed Names: Poems about Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie and Their Daughters (Holt). She teaches writing in the MFA program at Simmons at the Carle.
Discover more about the author and her books at www.JeannineAtkins.com.
FINDING WONDERS: THREE GIRLS WHO CHANGED SCIENCE
Finding Wonders celebrates three girls born in three different centuries who went on to do groundbreaking work. Most of the poems show Maria Sibylla Merian, Mary Anning, and Maria Mitchell at about thirteen years old, when their commitment to studying plants and animals, fossils, and the night sky deepened. The final poems in each series present the highlights of their extraordinary careers.
Maria Merian, Mary Anning, and Maria Mitchell all had fathers who encouraged their curiosity about the natural world. They also all lived during a time when science was developing, and was more interwoven with art, literature, and religion than it tends to be now. While an emphasis on looking long and hard remains, those doing science in earlier centuries often depended on what an unaided human eye could see, and the arts, which help sharpen vision, were a common part of a naturalist’s education. Religion and science were sometimes at odds, but many, including these three girls, found ways to unite them. They also found beauty and mystery in poetry, which both Mary Anning and Maria Mitchell included in their daybooks.
Paying close attention, discovering, making mistakes, and being disappointed or astonished, all three scientists explored what was hidden: the origins of caterpillars and moths, the world’s history as written in stone, and what can be seen in the sky only with telescopes. (from the author’s website)
STONE MIRRORS: THE SCULPTURE AND SILENCE OF EDMONIA LEWIS
Edmonia Lewis studies faces for truth or lies, checks classrooms for safety or traps. She’s sixteen, the daughter of an Ojibwe woman and a free man of color who crossed the country’s border for safety before the war between North and South.
The nation is still divided when Edmonia leaves Oberlin under a cloud of accusation. Can she escape sharp words about poison, pearls, and stolen paints?
She aims a chisel, swings a mallet, sculpts the brave, the good, a queen and a young woman like herself, splitting stone to become whole.
Her marble statues now stand in museums, but much of the artist’s story was lost. Jeannine Atkins fills silences and folds facts into imagination to create a glimpse of what might have been. (from the author’s website)
BORROWED NAMES: POEMS ABOUT LAURA INGALLS WILDER, MADAM C.J. WALKER, MARIE CURIE, AND THEIR DAUGHTERS
(in the author’s words): In Borrowed Names, I wanted to show not only the difficult paths toward achievement and celebration, but ordinary moments, too: turning points that most of us face, such as leaving or returning home, and themes of anger, forgiveness, longing, judgment, ambition, faith, and disappointment. I looked through biographies for scenes and objects that pulled me closer: the green felt of a handmade writing desk, a hard bar of laundry soap, miniature jade elephants, and green butterfly nets. When facts failed to answer questions, I let in imagination to coax out what seemed hidden behind surfaces. I hoped each poem could stand alone, but also together suggest the shapes of lives and the connections among the different daughters and mothers. And I hope those who read about these girls and women may recognize parts of themselves, too. (from author’s website)
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CALENDAR OF POETS ~ APRIL 2018
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“Circles” and prompts copyright © by Jeannine Atkins
Copyright on community collection poems held by authors indicated. All rights reserved.
Other post content © 2018 Renée M. LaTulippe or as indicated. All rights reserved.
Bubbles photo by Anthony via Pexels (no attribution required)