March 29, 2011

March 27, 2011

Happy Haiga Day!



© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Image by Katsushika Hokusai courtesy Visipix.com.

March 25, 2011

Poetry Friday--The Little Ships

Maybe you saw the news clips last weekend of the Japanese firemen who volunteered to direct water cannons at the critically overheated nuclear power plant reactors? They ceremoniously took an oath and got into their trucks, the reality being, many of them will suffer physical harm, and perhaps, a painful death, as a result of their actions.

With that in mind, I'd like to share this old poem written by Hilton Brown. It appears in several anthologies, and was originally published in Punch and reprinted in a weekly literary magazine, The Living Age, in 1916.
THE LITTLE SHIPS.

"The small steamer...struck a mine
yesterday and sank. The crew perished."
                                                                  Daily Paper.


Who to the deep in ships go down
      Great marvels do behold,
But comes the day when some must drown
      In the gray sea and cold.
For galleons lost great bells do toll,
      But now must we implore
God's ear for sunken Little Ships
      Who are not heard of more.

When ships of war put out to sea
      They go with guns and mail,
That so the chance may equal be
      Should foemen them assail;
But Little Ships men's errands run
      And are not clad for strife;
God's mercy then on Little Ships
      Who cannot fight for life.

To warm and cure, to clothe and feed
      They stoutly put to sea,
And since that men of them had need
      Made light of jeopardy;
Each in her hour her fate did meet
      Nor flinched nor made outcry;
God's love be with these Little Ships
      Who could not choose but die.

To friar and nun, and every one
      Who lives to save and tend,
Sisters were these whose work is done
      And cometh thus to end;
Full well they know what risk they ran
      But still were strong to give;
God's grace for all the Little Ships
      Who died that men might live.

Punch.

Normally a poem like this would strike me as a bit overwrought, but not this week.

Join Mary Lee at A Year of Reading for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

March 22, 2011

March 21, 2011

Miscellaneous Stuff

The Kidlit4Japan auction to benefit the victims of the earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan begins today. Check the page frequently over the next few weeks. I'll have signed copies of Littlebat's Halloween Story up for bid, and Apprentice Shop Books will have several books in the auction, also.

I want to mention that some of my haiku can be seen on the Turtle Light Press website. I entered their haiku chapbook competition last year, I didn't win, but TLP generously put up a bunch of losers' poems. (I say, "losers" with tongue firmly planted in cheek.) I'm in some pretty nice company! The winning chapbook, by Catherine J. S. Lee will be published next month.

Although it's a long way to cherry blossom time here in New Hampshire, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is right around the corner. It's one of my "bucket list" goals!

Here's a repeat haiga (first posted last year on a Poetry Friday):

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Image courtesy Library of Congress.

March 20, 2011

Happy Haiga Day!










© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Image courtesy Library of Congress.


I'm torn about using this for "Happy" Haiga Day. Although I think it can be read in several ways, I don't think any of them are particularly happy.

If you can't make out the text it says,

after this spring
who will bear the fruit
Sendai

March 18, 2011

Poetry Friday--Oh, to Live in Saint Paul

I love living in New Hampshire! I've been here since 1976 and I'm planning to stay here until I go to that big anthology in the sky. But, just for today I'd like to be from Saint Paul, MN. Why? Because Saint Paul is city that appreciates poetry. And, it allows its sidewalks to be adorned with poems. Isn't that great?

The 4th Annual Saint Paul Sidewalk Poetry Contest began on Tuesday and will run through April 17. Winners will have their poems cast in concrete, and, they win a cash prize. Wow! What a thrill that must be! It's almost enough to make me want to move there!

In the past three years, "31 poems have been impressed into 268 sidewalk sites citywide." I especially like this quote from the man who created the program, Marcus Young,
We think nowhere else in the world can the residents of a city publish their poems in a book the size of St. Paul. I encourage all St. Paulites to submit short poems and contribute compelling and beautiful thoughts to the everyday experience of walking our sidewalks.
Good luck to all you St. Paulite poets!

Here's a video that was produced for last year's contest:



So, if you lived in Saint Paul, which of your poems would you submit?

Here's a tanka that might work:
cat's body alert
to the sounds through
the open window
...after the rain
breathing it all in

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved
Head over to A Wrung Sponge for the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Andi has some nice haiku on there that would look very nice on a sidewalk!

March 15, 2011

March 13, 2011

Happy Haiga Day!


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Originally published on Lunch Break's "The Twelve Days of Christmas 2010-2011."

Next week will mark 8 years ago that the U.S. invaded Iraq and although we are now officially out, we will maintain a presence there--a very costly presence--for many years to come.

Over the years during which I marched, I heard "Get a job!" thrown at us on more than one occasion. Get a job? I have a job! But, I believe it should be everyone's job to eliminate war. I never yelled back, "Get a conscience," but maybe I should have.

Peace.

March 11, 2011

Poetry Friday--Digital Poetry

Last Saturday, I attended the New Hampshire Writers' Project "Writers Day 2011." It was a day of workshops with a keynote by Pulitizer Prize-winning novelist Paul Harding (Tinkers). I had a fabulous time.

One of the workshops I attended was "Pioneering Poetry in Pictures: Elements of Digital Poetry" by Mary Ann Sullivan. Here's the description:
"One can foresee the day when phonographs and cinema will be the only recording technique, and poets will revel in a liberty hitherto unknown" (Apollinaire, 1917). In a speech he gave in Paris in 1917, Guillaume Apollinaire predicted that the writing of poetry would shift from the tangible printed page to a new audiovisual medium. In this poetry workshop, using the poet Apollinaire as a springboard, we will observe seven types of digital poetry: kinetic, video, interactive, programmed, audio, code, and hypertext. We will explore how traditional poetic techniques such as metaphor, symbolism, tone, meter, and juxtaposition can be used in this engaging new poetic form. You will plan an adaptation of one of your poems to digital media and discuss the challenges that emerge from your plan.
If it seems all a bit overwhelming, believe me, it was! But, that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. I did, and I learned quite a bit, although most of it is beyond my abilities! I thought I was stretching my limits by dabbling in illustrated poems. Ha! That's child's play compared to some of what is being done. It was good to see that there is more than one way to approach poetry.

Ms. Sullivan provided us with a number of examples. Ones that she created can be found here.

There are more digital poems on this BBC page. Make sure you look at the hypertext poem here.

I found a bunch of animated poems at Vimeo. Here's one:

We Fly from Adlai Moss on Vimeo.


There's so much more out there--have fun!

Check in with Liz in Ink for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

March 8, 2011

March 6, 2011

March 4, 2011

Poetry Friday--Harry Behn

Many years ago when I first became interested in haiku, I came across a book by Harry Behn called Cricket Songs: Japanese Haiku. I thought about the book the other day and went looking for it again. In my search I found mention of another Behn title, Chrysalis: Concerning Children and Poetry. It sounded interesting, so I put in an interlibrary loan request for it since it is out of print (published in 1968). Only one library in NH still had it listed in our state system! I received the book last week and started right in on it. It is a series of short essays on Behn's life, children, and poetry. I absolutely love it! Behn came from another time--a time when poets and poetry still had a presence in American life. Every other paragraph has a quotable line or two, this one is my favorite:
Keyed up as we are by the incessant din of causes, we have lost composure and the ability to think our own thoughts. With everyone consigned to one side or the other, we are confused and wooed by hate on one side and fear on the other. It becomes harder to know what is just or honest. Perhaps we need what normal children seem not to have lost--a faintly amused view of what is.
It's as if Behn could see what America would be like in 2011--"confused and wooed by hate on one side and fear on the other." That's it in a nutshell. Just look at what's happening in Wisconsin.

Here's a poem by Behn called "Lost":
I shall remember chuffs the train
Almost too far away to be heard,
    Chuffing into darkness descending,
    Puffing into distance unending,
Into silence barely stirred.

The train bell rings across the night,
Deep under stillness rings the bell,
    A lonely, silvery, faraway ringing
    Deep in a starry wilderness, bringing
Sounds of a dripping winter well.

No voice was ever more lost or lonely
Than the engine's echoing call
    Chuffing on and on and still
    Puffing farther away until
There is no sound, no sound at all.
Stop by The Small Nouns and catch up on the Poetry Friday goings-on in the blogosphere.

March 2, 2011

What We Leave Behind

"I can't have everybody painting on the walls of the school."

The quote above is by a Pennsylvania high school principal, Raymond McFall, who is planning on renovating a classroom where students have left their mark over the years.

A Wall Street Journal article by Jeffrey Zaslow, "Erasing Signatures From History," tells of the classroom wall and of other walls, some decades old, where people have written their names. It is a thought provoking piece and should generate some interesting discussion. Is it more important to spiff up a classroom or to preserve a moment in time?



Photo of a wall in Austria taken by ugod

March 1, 2011