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November 30, 2012

Poetry Friday--Ekphrastic Tanka

Atlas Poetica: A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka is a site that contains English language tanka (5-lined Japanese-style poems) relating to physical locations around the world. Atlas Poetica periodically publishes special topical collections of 25 tanka. The most recent of these is Ekphrastic Tanka, edited by Patricia Prime. "Ekphrastic" refers to art about art, in this case tanka about works of painting and sculpture.

Take some time to explore the 25 tanka selected, making sure to click on the links to the inspiration pieces. Be warned, though, not all the links worked on Saturday. Others didn't take you near enough to the art you're looking for. I found links that work for the ones that were either broken or cumbersome:

#2 "Minoan Fisherman at Akrotiri, Greece"

#3 "Sculpture in the grounds of the Australian National Gallery, Canberra," I couldn't find a link, since I wasn't sure what the work is that was referred to in the poem. I assume it is the one titled "Pear," but there is no image on the National Gallery's site.

#4 "The First Abstract"

#18 A direct link to "Wild Waters."

#20 "Lane in Normandy"

My favorite tanka of the collection, #23 by Carole MacRury, has a good link to "Women with a Pink" by Rembrandt van Rijn.

I enjoy reading and writing ekphrastic poetry, and I thought about submitting a tanka when the call came for submissions. Alas, time got away from me and I missed the deadline, but, here is one I would have sent (I have placed the poem directly on the work--it eliminates all the clicking!):

Inspired by "The Peasant Dance" (1568) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Tanka © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Click on the image to get a larger view.

[Note: I have a tanka in the Atlas Poetica collection, 25 Tanka for Children (and Educators).]

Check out the rest of this week's poetry offerings. Amy at The Poem Farm is playing host.

Image courtesy ibiblio [WebMuseum].

November 27, 2012

November 25, 2012

November 23, 2012

Poetry Friday--A Rant

As each year goes by, I become less tolerant of the American obsession with shopping. I try hard to stay away from shopping (destination shopping, recreational shopping, bargain hunting), but it's an ingrained habit.

This fall has brought me to the conclusion that the habit must be broken. Who needs Christmas music in late October? Who needs to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day instead of spending quality time with the family. Who needs more stuff?

Small local businesses are being pushed out by large corporate interests. The corporation is invading our lives for the sole purpose of making money--not for the improvement of humanity. It's basically brainwashing us into thinking we have to buy, buy, buy to love, or to be loved.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

If we must buy this weekend, then think about buying locally, at what used to be known as "mom and pop" stores. Wait until tomorrow to do it and participate in Small Business Saturday™. (I have some reservations about promoting a day that American Express has trademarked, but it has the support of the U.S. Small Business Administration.) Today, make soup with the turkey carcass. Make a list of things you're thankful for and forgot to express yesterday. And read poetry! Start off at Mary Lee's A Year of Reading!

November 20, 2012

Haiku Sticky #176

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Entry in last week's 15 Words challenge on Laura Salas's blog.

November 16, 2012

Poetry Friday--"The Garden Seat"

Here, today, is a poem by Thomas Hardy, whom you may not know was a poet as well as a novelist:
The Garden Seat

Its former green is blue and thin,
And its once firm legs sink in and in;
Soon it will break down unaware,
Soon it will break down unaware.

At night when reddest flowers are black
Those who once sat thereon come back;
Quite a row of them sitting there,
Quite a row of them sitting there.

With them the seat does not break down,
Nor winter freeze them, nor floods drown,
For they are as light as upper air,
They are as light as upper air!

Found in Garden Poems, selected and edited by John Hollander, part of the "Everyman's Library Pocket Poets" series.
I suppose it would be more fitting for Halloween, but I think "The Garden Seat" is more about memory than ghosts. November is certainly a time for thinking back and holding onto what has past. What do you think?

This week the Poetry Friday Round-Up is found at Anastasia Suen's Booktalking.

Photo © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

November 13, 2012

Haiku Sticky #175

In memory of a good old dog; © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

November 11, 2012

November 9, 2012

Poetry Friday--We Done Good!

Windham, NH, 8/18/12 rally, © Diane Mayr

I must admit that Tuesday night, I was elated. And oh, so, proud. Record turnouts. Scads of women elected across the country (remind me to tell you about New Hampshire). Barack Obama and Joe Biden returned to Washington to complete the job they began in the dark days of four years ago. I was filled, once again, with hope. Duh, I probably should have written a poem! Instead, I found this one that I wrote on the eve of the Inauguration in January 2009. I think it'll do:
The Better Angels of Our Nature

They're coming in--
wings outspread
flapping, flapping
slowing themselves,
touching down,
making us aware
as they land
that they are only
here in recognition
of a new us.

After eight
long years,
our chest
and shoulder muscles
have been strengthened.
Our hearts beat
at unnatural rates.
We can feel
the lift as we allow
the angels to take us
under their wings
to teach us
how to fly.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
The people have spoken, the special interest money doesn't seem to have made as much a difference as individuals talking to each other--reaching out with well-reasoned arguments for voting. We voted. We made a difference.

Yesterday, Laura Salas held her 15 Words or Less challenge and I couldn't resist turning it into a comment on my how I see America this week (although greatly wrapped in metaphor). Click here to see the inspiration photo that Laura gave us.
November 7, 2012

In the front row
for the opening
chord of a tie-dye
Let it begin!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.
When I looked for a photo of a real tie-dye Fender Stratocaster, one of the sites I visited had a customer reviews section. The guitar was labeled as "sex on strings." I thought that might make a great final line, but, 1. Laura has some younger poets posting on her site now, and 2. I didn't want to leave anyone with the impression that I'm hot on the POTUS (if they made the connection between the poem and the election), so I left the final line as is.

About New Hampshire: on Tuesday, we elected a woman for governor, and two women as U.S. representatives (we're small, we only have two). They join the two incumbent women senators. No other state can match us! I'm happy to draw your attention also, to the other places around the country where women are beginning to win the "war."

Hurry over to Think Kid, Think! for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

November 6, 2012

November 2, 2012

Poetry Friday--Decisions

I had to make a momentous decision last weekend. My first grandchild, Julian, was born nine days early. I was forced to decide what it was I wanted my grandchild to call me. I had been thinking about this for a long time. Even before I learned of the pregnancy. I knew I didn't want to be grandma, nor a granny, nor a gram. I have Polish, but also some Austrian, Scots, and Irish roots. It felt pretentious to use Babçi (Polish for grandmother), since I don't speak Polish, nor do I follow many Polish traditions. But, on the other hand, since my paternal grandmother was Babçi it would be nice to pass on some personal connections to the "old country." I decided to go with Babçi (pronounced Bahb-chee) or Babka (another Polish word for grandmother and also a coffee cake). I kind of like Babka--what's not to like about coffee cake?--but, Babçi slips off my tongue more easily. For now, it's Babçi, if Julian ends up calling me something else (like Crazy Cat Lady?), then it may be up for discussion again.

I went looking for a poem about decision-making and I found this one:
The Decision
by Jane Hirshfield

There is a moment before a shape
hardens, a color sets.
Before the fixative or heat of   kiln.
The letter might still be taken
from the mailbox.
The hand held back by the elbow,
the word kept between the larynx pulse
and the amplifying drum-skin of the room’s air.
The thorax of an ant is not as narrow.
The green coat on old copper weighs more.
Yet something slips through it--
looks around,
sets out in the new direction, for other lands.
Not into exile, not into hope. Simply changed.
As a sandy track-rut changes when called a Silk Road:
it cannot be after turned back from.

from Come, Thief: Poems
It's not hard deciding to head over to Mainely Write--the Poetry Friday Round-Up is in full swing!