May 25, 2017

Poetry Friday--2017 Mass Poetry Festival Review, Part 2

Today's review consists of a writing exercise that was made available to all at the 2017 Mass Poetry Festival, and, some photos.

Many of the festival's events were held at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), and in the atrium area near the cafeteria, something different is featured each year. In the past there has been a typewriter orchestra performance, reading of "bad poetry" contest winning poems, chalk drawing and other crafty ideas. This year, Montserrat College of Art set up a flower vendor's cart with free paper flowers (the stem was a pencil). It was both a writing prompt and a souvenir of the festival.

How clever is this?

The instructions are:
Write a poem that begins: After the rain it all looked different. Make sure your poem contains specific details about the landscape, the glistening, the spring flowers, and perhaps the mood of the speaker.

Here is my poem. You will notice it is all about the mood of the speaker! After avoiding several cars plowing through puddles, I was slightly jaded about the rain. No stinkin' glistening flowers for me! (And maybe I was a little influenced by current events?)


After the rain
it all looked different.
Now the drivers
deliberately drove their
cars through puddles.
Pedestrians splashed
became the goal in a game
that requires minimal
skill but maximum

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Since Salem is such a walkable city, and I did a fair amount of walking, I thought I'd also share a few photos that have nothing to do with the festival, but simply show the city's unexpected delights found between the raindrops.

Glamor shots for wannabe witches.

Shop window display.

My favorite find! Note his shark bicycle helmet!

Don't even think about pouring your stale beer down this street drain!

The PEM is undergoing construction of an addition, so the museum is advertising current and upcoming exhibitions on Jersey barriers in front of the site. The horror movie posters exhibit looks like fun, but if you want to see it, you'd better go in August. When September comes along, Salem turns into tourist-central and parking is at a minimum at least until mid-November.

A little passive aggressive, don't you think?

This photo was taken last year, but I imagine the scene is still the same, although I didn't pass this particular building on my recent visit.

It rained on and off all festival weekend, yet somehow, I managed to miss "Raining Poetry." You'll have to read about it here.

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche will be hosting the Round-Up this week. I believe school is out now for Margaret, I hope she has a great summer! (And you, too!)


  1. I almost took a trip down for that. Now I wish I had. Those flower prompts/souvenirs were fun! Too bad about the rain - seems like we are getting plenty this spring!

    1. Make sure you come down next year! Spend the weekend in Salem--even without the poetry, there's plenty to keep you occupied.

  2. Looks like plenty of fun. Your poem is a delightful change from glistening flowers. :-)

    1. We've had too much glistening this spring! Wet shoes all the time is not fun.

  3. I must steal that paper flower idea! And I agree, leave the glistening landscape to Hallmark. I think your spring poem is perfect the way it is!

    1. The paper flowers were such a pleasant surprise. I imagine you can use them for any number of activities.

  4. Thanks for sharing the photos -- glad there were some wonderful discoveries between the raindrops. Love that flower pencil idea! Glad you were able to channel your mood into a poem. :)

  5. Fun festival and love your 'moody' poem. "maximum malevolence" - yes, current event fall under this umbrella, too. (see what I did there?) =)

  6. Love the rain poem! I've been on both sides, though when I'm driving I do feel bad if I splash pedestrians!

  7. I've been to Salem with my students and we loved the town. Yes, very walkable. Thanks for the pictures, love the building mural, so clever. And love the poem prompt cart, cute. Your poem is the grouchy speaker, probably just the tone for what happened.

  8. I love the presentation of the writing prompt, clever indeed. And your response to it. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  9. I'm going to have to check this out next year. Sounds like fun! We are PEM members and I love finding reasons to make the trip up to Salem, about 45 minutes minutes away. -- Christie @

  10. What a rich and fun festival this looks like, thanks for sharing it with us. That cart full of pinwheel prompts is inspiration itself! The splashing cars remind me of little kids that like to splash in puddles, but have gone a bit to far–food for thought for your responsive poem!

  11. What a fantastic post! I'm catching up after a long weekend away.....but I'm so glad I caught this. I love the prompt and the poem that came from it. Deliberately driving through puddles, indeed! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience.