January 22, 2016

Poetry Friday--"Nothing"

If you're a regular follower of the Poetry Friday Round-Up, you will know that Michelle Barnes features a poet each month and she asks each one to challenge her readers to write a poem. Michelle collects the poems, posts some during the month, and then gathers them all for what she calls a "wrap-up celebration" post.

January's challenge was provided by poet and artist, Douglas Florian: "My ditty challenge is to write a poem about nothing." Holy cows! For the longest time, nothing came to mind. I was stumped. But then, when I wasn't thinking about it, a line came into my head. I'm not even sure that line survived, but here's the result:


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

It's that time of year again. I'm forcing hyacinths. I've got three in bloom right now and their fragrance about knocks me over when I come in from the cold. I've written about hyacinths before here, here, and here.

I picked three bulbs to start, two with white tunics and one with a purple tunic. I assumed two would be white, and the other would be purple or pink. I have three white ones, albeit one does have a pink tinge, but, if I saw it without the other two, I probably would have labeled it white. This is one of the white ones:


This is the pink one (excuse the quality of the photos, my phone's camera doesn't seem to be as good as everyone tells me it's supposed to be!):


Of course, if I wait a day or two for it to fully bloom, it may pinken up.

I'm sure you've picked out the little takeoff on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "...poetry,--the best words in their best order."

The Round-Up this week is taking place at A Teaching Life. See you there!


26 comments:

  1. Fabulous poem! Love how those images build to a great finish. What pretty hyacinths, too :).

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    1. The hyacinths make me smile--every time.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your lovely, soothing poem, Diane. That last line says it all— a nice reminder to be grateful for what there is, even when the pickins are slim. The simple illustration suits it perfectly.

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  3. I am forcing paperwhites but have a new vase to attempt hyacinths!I like the line "cadent vibrations of a lap-bound cat." xoxo

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    1. I like that one, too. Especially the word "cadent." It's not often easy to find the absolute right word, but this one is close.

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  4. Nothing, but is a great form for a poem about nothing (and everything.) Think I'll steal it for my kiddos. Can I have your permission to post this for my students to respond to next week. This week I posted Irene's creed poem and had great responses. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  5. It's just wonderful how many are writing from Doug Florian's challenge. I'm enjoying them all, varied, but somewhat similar in that most show gratitude for something small. I just threw away my first blooming hyacinth. They are divine inside. I did remember that quote but you re-worded it beautifully, and I love the postcard line-always a delight to receive one!

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    1. Postcards are the forgotten tweets of the past. Simple and quick. And back in the days, they only cost a penny to send!

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  6. What a lovely poem. "Nothing but a lullaby remembered" is the line that speaks to me, as a child and as a parent. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Ha! I love that twist on Coleridge's quote! As always, a perfectly crafted poem, Diane.

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  8. I love the poem and the line, "nothing but everything." Your composition is so lovely that it makes me feel like writing a reflection on a postcard.

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  9. Isn't it funny how very inspiring "nothing" has been? I love the wispy things you've pulled out -- the scent and the purr.

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    1. The two things that appeal most to my senses!

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  10. I'm loving all the "Nothing" poems. Many seem to focus on how all of the "nothings" in our lives really do add up to something. Such an important reminder. And I love that you will have the sweet scent of white hyacinths on a snowy white weekend.

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    1. We lucked out and the snow missed us completely!

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  11. I'm really enjoying these "Nothing" poems, too, and it seems as though everyone is growing flowers!

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    1. Forcing hyacinths makes the winter bearable.

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  12. Again your poem is a verbal and visual delight!

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  13. Love your hyacinths and your poem on nothing.

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    1. Nothing was an interesting starting point.

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