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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - "Wonder" - a Found Poem by a Young Poet

 

Last week I had the fun privilege of leading a found poem/mixed media workshop here in Beaufort, at Coastal Art Supply (Thanks, Jennifer!).  Among the folks around the table were three mother-daughter pairs.  How fun!

 

One of these included my friend Jill and her amazing teenager, Sierra, also a friend of mine.  I'm delighted that Sierra said I could share her work; she came up with such a lovely piece.  I gave participants a choice of two kinds of mid-century Edu-cards as their inspiration and "substrate" (surface to create on).  They could pick one about shells or one about butterflies, and then I supplied some vintage bookplates and postage stamps for cutting up and collaging, and bits of bling in the form of brass stampings. 

 

Seeing Sierra's creation here, you won't be suprised to learn she's quite creative and is a talented photographer.  What an eye! I love the way her color choices and composition make this found poem come to life, in a silvery, magical way.  

 

The words read:

 

 

           WONDER

 

grace        beauty                perfect

strange     

oriental

But, let's stop and think.  Maybe it is

a builder

for 

ideas

 

©Sierra W.

 

 

"Wonder" as "a builder for ideas" - that is just brilliant!

 

Would you like to see more? Click here for workshop highlights and more examples over at my artsyletters blog.  

 

My Authors Guild site here just migrated to new software Thursday.  I'm still figuring out, but it seems to be pretty smooth.  Migrate yourself on over to My Juicy Little Universe, where the ever-wonderful Heidi is going to help usher in Poetry Month, and this year's Progressive Poem! 

(PS - Once again, Jama is rounding up Kidlit National Poetry Month blog events over at Jama's Alphabet Soup!) 

[Fri. a.m. Note - I'm having a little challenge trying to respond to comments from my end... it's only semi-working, but I've emailed the Cavalry, so they should help me straighten out. Thanks! EVENING UPDATE - Apologies if you had trouble trying to leave comments as well.  The AG Cavalry did come to the rescue, and they got it fixed during the day Friday.]

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Poetry Friday - Look What I Found - the Poems You Left!


Hello from the sunny Southern coast!

It's Spring, you know, though I'm afraid many of you are eyeing snow that has perhaps worn out its welcome this year. So I brought you some azaleas.

Last week I made a found poem celebrating spring from an antique magazine passage about a different kind of spring. In an inspired moment, I asked if anyone else would like to give it a go - with that passage, or another one from the fashion section.

Some of you brave souls answered the call!

I'll re-post both passages here again, so you won't have to click hither and yon and back.

The first describes a "submarine spring" in CASSELL’S FAMILY MAGAZINE, Illustrated, Cassell and Company, Limited – London, Paris & Melbourne, featuring all the monthly issues from 1890. It's an article from a section called, “THE GATHERER: AN ILLUSTRATED RECORD OF INVENTION, DISCOVERY, LITERATURE, AND SCIENCE.”

It explains:

A submarine spring forms the water supply of the
inhabitants of Bahrein Island, in the Gulf of Persia.
The climate is very hot, no rain falls, and the people
draw their fresh water from the sea-bottom by
means of divers, who fill it into goatskins. Owing to
the force of the spring, the diver uses a drag weight
to keep him down, and after having filled the skin,
he slips the drag and is floated to the surface.


And look what some of you folks came up with!


Spring
floats


©Brenda Davis Harsham. All rights reserved.

Thanks, Brenda! That one makes my haiku look wordy. (Find a few more words from Brenda here).


Next up, Kay Jernigan McGriff!


water supply forms
inhabitants of hot climate
no rain falls


©Kay Jernigan McGriff

Thanks, Kay - your poem makes me worry about those folks!


Michelle Kogan came up with something entirely different:


spring Island goats
draw from fresh
rainwater.


©Michelle Kogan. All rights reserved.

Thank you, Michelle. I'm certainly happy those goats found something to drink. I love goats!


Linda Mitchell (who has a found poem post today!) and and Matt Forrest Esenwine took the fashion bait and found a poem in the feature, WHAT TO WEAR IN APRIL. First, here's the article excerpt:


The long cloak savors of spring; it opens at the
neck and trims with close feather bands, instead
of fur. It is composed of ribbed silk and embroidered
velvet, the velvet is cut as a Bolero jacket, elongated
into panel sides over which fall the long pointed
sleeves, embroidered on the outside of the arm, and
edged like the jacket with ball fringe in character
with the hat. It is a mantle that completely covers
the dress. The muff matches the hat, and I notice
women are wearing them well on to summer, partially
because they are so infinitesimal. The floral muffs
are often carried by bridesmaids; they are made of
satin and covered with flowers so that little but of
the foundation is seen. They let the odour of the
flower be easily enjoyed by the holder, and are more
to be desired than bouquets because they have a
raison d’être.


From Linda:


Feather bands
Compose a
Bolero Ball


©Linda Mitchell. All rights reserved.

Oh - I want to go to the Bolero Ball, don't you? Thank you, Linda!


And appreciations, Matt, for offering these lovely images and little story in yours:


Spring opens,
edged with character;
summer bridesmaids' flowers,
little bouquets'
raison d’être.


©Matt Forrest Esenwine. All rights reserved.


Isn't it delightful to see the variety that can be mined from the same passages? Many thanks again to these poets for playing along! I'll catch up on Poetry Friday later; today I'm leading a found poem/mixed media workshop downtown. It'll be a full room, and I can't wait to see what folks conjure up!

But you go on over and start enjoying the Roundup at Writing the World for Kids, where the amazing Laura is gathering all the goodness this week.
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Poetry Friday - Submarine Spring: Join in the Found Poem Fun!


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

While searching for a spring poem that might cheer those of you digging out of another Nor’easter, I came across something in an 1890 book I had to investigate. The book is a bound volume of CASSELL’S FAMILY MAGAZINE, Illustrated, Cassell and Company, Limited – London, Paris & Melbourne, featuring all the monthly issues from 1890. “Submarine Spring” in the contents caught my eye. Well, it wasn’t a poem – turned out it was a little article from a section called, “THE GATHERER: AN ILLUSTRATED RECORD OF INVENTION, DISCOVERY, LITERATURE, AND SCIENCE.”


It explains:

A submarine spring forms the water supply of the
inhabitants of Bahrein Island, in the Gulf of Persia.
The climate is very hot, no rain falls, and the people
draw their fresh water from the sea-bottom by
means of divers, who fill it into goatskins. Owing to
the force of the spring, the diver uses a drag weight
to keep him down, and after having filled the skin,
he slips the drag and is floated to the surface.



Hmmm. Well, no worries – you can always FIND poetry if you’re looking. Linda Mitchell tagged me on Facebook this week with a micro found poem she created after reading my monoku post last week. Plus, next Friday I’m leading my found poem/mixed media workshop here in Beaufort, so I’m getting ready for that. I couldn’t help myself…


Submarine Spring

spring forms
rain falls,
fresh from the sea-bottom
after having
floated to the surface



poem found by Robyn Hood Black


I am hoping that spring will float to the surface SOON for all you Northerners! Now, the actual visual presentation of this is on the sloppy side, as you can see, and wouldn’t make the artsyletters cut, but I hope you enjoyed.

Don't you want to have a go?

If you’d like, in your comments, leave a found poem either from that same passage OR the one below by next Monday (March 19), and I’ll assume I have your permission to share in next week’s post. You might want to do a blackout-type poem like mine here - where you are constrained by the order of the printed words on the page - OR, you might give yourself more breathing room and create a poem only from words in the passage, but in any order you choose. (These are the kinds of poems I wrote for Georgia Heard's THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK, the first time I had work in an anthology.) Any takers? (If you have any issues leaving a comment, you can email your poem through my contact page.)


Because we all need to be ready for National Poetry Month, here’s an excerpt from the Fashion Section,
WHAT TO WEAR IN APRIL. Have fun!


    The long cloak savors of spring; it opens at the
neck and trims with close feather bands, instead
of fur. It is composed of ribbed silk and embroidered
velvet, the velvet is cut as a Bolero jacket, elongated
into panel sides over which fall the long pointed
sleeves, embroidered on the outside of the arm, and
edged like the jacket with ball fringe in character
with the hat. It is a mantle that completely covers
the dress. The muff matches the hat, and I notice
women are wearing them well on to summer, partially
because they are so infinitesimal. The floral muffs
are often carried by bridesmaids; they are made of
satin and covered with flowers so that little but of
the foundation is seen. They let the odour of the
flower be easily enjoyed by the holder, and are more
to be desired than bouquets because they have a
raison d’être.


If poetry is your raison d’être, head over to Teacher Dance, where the very lovely Linda is celebrating Spring and always finding poetic magic.
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Poetry Friday - Little Bits & Leftovers (Found Poetry Ornaments)


Happy Post-Thankgsgiving!

I hope you and yours had a warm and wonderful holiday together. As some face empty chairs at the table, or empty pockets, and as we often cringe to turn on the news, shared times of celebration are to be especially savored.

As are leftovers! Today I have some little bits to share which don't add calories. In recent years, I've been able to find great little gold frames to use for found poem ornaments for my Etsy shop, but they are elusive. This year I found some silver(ish) photo frames made the same way, but they're a bit rough around the edges. They are lightweight - aluminum? - and they have scritches and scratches, particularly at the tops.

No matter - I had to conjure up a few ornaments with them anyway. Two regular sized ones; two tiny ones, for now. (I finished listing these while traveling, and one listing got swallowed up in some cyber black hole on Etsy. I'll get it posted later Friday after I'm back.[Update - fixed now!])

I used vintage stamps for the images on one side of these, and found poems/phrases clipped from GOLDEN DAYS For Boys and Girls, Vol. XVIII -- No. 6, December 26, 1896, (and one from January 22, 1898) [Philadelphia: James Elverson, Publisher] on the others.

The first is my wish for this season:

kind,
indulgent
Christmas Eve
People
everywhere.


It has a postage stamp with a classic painting of the nativity on the back. I'm not sure of its country of origin.

The second, from an article about making Christmas gifts:

you have made
beauty
perfectly
like
old gold and
scarlet


with a beautiful Australian Christmas nativity stamp on the reverse side, printed in a gorgeous red (on my handpainted verdigris background).

The third, a small one and the one temporarily lost on Etsy, has a Canadian Christmas stamp on the back - a jolly Santa! - and the following:

buried up
drifted
what fun it was
all bundled up



The fourth, also small, is perhaps my favorite. And I do hope you'll forgive/indulge me. The stamp side features a four-cent US postage stamp from 1977 which reads, "A Public That Reads - A Root of Democracy" (backed by the handpainted verdigris).

Here's the found text:

heathenish
Christmas
liberal


For this one, a quote by G K. Chesterton (1874-1936) floated in my mind: "Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly."

I've made lots of new magnets this year with letters and vintage literary stamps (new Emily D!), and I posted a bit of a magnet how-to on my artsyletters site. I also featured that Chesterton quote in my new artsyletters letter newsletter, and there's a sign-up button on the right at artsyletters.com. Seasonal only - I won't have my act together to conjure one up more often than four times a year! ;0) Here are links to my Etsy shop magnet section and ornament section. (Free shipping on orders of $25 & up this Black Friday through Cyber Monday!) ;0)

Whatever shape your own leftovers take - culinary or literary - I hope you have a relaxing and peaceful weekend before the whirlwind of December! Continue the poetic celebrating over at Carol's Corner, where Carol is Rounding Up and sharing Carole Boston Weatherford's SCHOMBURG: THE MAN WHO BUILT A LIBRARY.
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Poetry Friday - The Poems I Swapped this Summer


Thank Goodness it’s Poetry Friday – after quite a week.

I hope you and yours are safe and sound. We made it through Irma’s visit to the Lowcountry, though Monday here was wild and woolly. (Our house is on high ground. Unfortunately, some downtown businesses flooded, and there was so much damage to our local state park beach, Hunting Island, that after just barely opening after Hurricane Matthew’s devastation last October, it’s now closed for the rest of the year because of Irma’s destruction.)

With almost all of our family in Florida and North Georgia, we were glued to The Weather Channel and the cell phones. Evacuation here was not mandatory, and any friends and family we were originally planning to escape to ended up in Irma’s path! Most have power back now, though not all, and we are grateful for no injuries or serious property damage for our folks. Thoughts and prayers for so many who cannot say that this week, and for those in the Caribbean whose lives have been altered beyond recognition, and for those in Texas still reeling from Harvey.

Hurricane Season continues, but the calendar tells me we’re almost to fall. Today I’m sharing peeks of the three Summer Poem Swap poems I sent out. I’ve been so distracted this summer, I don’t think I took any pictures of the last two matted or framed! Pretend they're finished in the pictures. ;0)

For Joy Acey, I made a found poem taken from a wonderful vintage book she had given me a while back for my artistic pillaging, MARVELS OF ANIMAL LIFE by Charles Frederick Holder (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1885).


light givers,

like

moon

ripples of molten silver

appear

to

romancers of the pen in

words



I topped off the text with acrylic washes and a pearlized button, metal heart, pen nib, and watch face with patina – all vintage.

For Tabatha – Founding Mother of and Inspiration for our wonderful Poem Swaps (!) – I found myself wanting to do something with her “Poetry Monster” from a while back, after playing around with some old typewriter levers and feeling like they were some kind of fanciful creatures disguised in metal.

So on an actual 1909 map of Maryland that I clipped from an old atlas, I arranged elements from her blog, making a kind of found poem from a page posted three years ago:


Subscribe To
Wider Thoughts

Tabatha

your

Poetry
Art
Music

give us

life



(I took my ‘signature’name from that page too, from the comments!)

For fun, I arranged my fanciful creature – a magical horse? Dragon? – so that its head would arc right over Tabatha’s home town on the map.

Finally, for Amy , a haiku that came to me as spring began to fold itself into summer, while we were visiting family in Georgia. We happened upon a nest of robins in a hanging basket just outside my in-laws’ back door, about the time the babies were ready to go. Amy was in my heart as I thought of her sending her firstborn off to college.


approaching solstice
fledgling at the edge
of the nest



[Poems ©Robyn Hood Black.]


I matted the poem and sent it along. For an extra gift, in light of all the kitties Amy and her family have adopted and fostered and found homes for, I sent a new gift pack from my Etsy shop – for Cat Lovers! It includes a pack of my yin/yang – cats-on-a-rug note cards, a pewter bookmark with cats carousing from end to end, to which I’ve dangled another pewter cat charm (which is itself dangling a wee little mousie by its tail), and a magnet featuring a vintage cats US postage stamp.

A little poignant for me this week, as our beautiful Lance who photo-bombed my post a couple of weeks ago got some news that none of us wanted from the vet. He is acting okay for now, but he has cancer. He has had a good, long life and we will give him all the TLC and tuna he wants as we enter this bittersweet season with him.

Many thanks again to Tabatha for dreaming up and organizing the Summer (& Winter) Poem Swaps, and to all in this special community. If you missed any of the treasures I received from Joy, Margaret, or Michelle Kogan, just scroll back to recent summer posts!

Our magnificent Michelle Heidenrich Barnes has today’s Roundup at Today’s Little Ditty, and I’m thankful she and others in our Florida Poetry Family made it through the hurricane as well.  Read More 
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Poetry Friday - More Micro Found Poem Ornaments!


Happy Thanksgiving Weekend/poetry Friday!

I hope you and yours have enjoyed good company and good food. Warmest thoughts for those with an empty chair at the table this year.

I made a fun discovery while cleaning up my studio recently - I found a few more of those miniature frames I made "found poem ornaments" from two years ago (with a how-to) . Who knew these extra frames were hiding in the supply closet? (Or stashed in a box under a table...?) Those little ornaments sold right away, so I figured I'd better conjure these into shape for this year.

As before, I put a tiny print of my "Writer Mouse" drawing on one side, and a found poem/phrase on the other. Below are the highlighted texts. They were all clipped directly from GOLDEN DAYS For Boys and Girls, Vol. XVIII -- No. 6, December 26, 1896, Philadelphia: James Elverson, Publisher.

The first two were found in "A Perilous Sleigh-Ride" by A. E. Conard:


sleds
await
families


jolly
taken altogether,
Our crew


And the third came from "Frankincense and Myrrh" by Mary N. Prescott:


little children
see Santa Claus
a comfort
in the world


(More pictures of these in my Etsy shop..) Update: Click on "Sold" items number on the left-hand side to see the listing pictures - at least two of them!

Wishing you and your jolly crew comfort and fun during these holidays and beyond. More poetry is just waiting to be discovered at Carol's Corner, where thoughtful Carol has our Roundup this week!
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Poetry Friday: Micro Found Poetry for the Holidays... Kid-Friendly Project!

©Robyn Hood Black

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

One of the top items on my "Thankful" list is our Poetry Friday community - old hats, new faces, the spontaneous community of what must the world's most wonderful folks. Thank you for your friendship and your ever-inspiring posts.

My post today is about wee things. Just when I think I can't downsize any more....

Here I was this week in my studio, trying to concoct a few Christmas ornaments to make available in my Etsy shop this weekend. I've searched high and low for any kind of ornament frames similar to the great ones I found last year for the miniature version of my "Writer Mouse" print. But, alas, no luck.

So I've been experimenting with some smaller vintage ones that I found online. I hand-cropped my wee literary mousie and put it in the front of some gold-tone tiny frame ornaments I snatched up. These are only about 2 inches by 1 1/2 inch. The back had its own clear plastic covering for an image as well. What to do?

Eureka! I've also been playing around with my beloved old books this week, planning mixed media/found poem/collage pieces now that I'm on the mend. Why not conjure up wee little holiday found poems from these very old texts to share? A tiny piece of history to hang on the tree! [My first children's poems published in a book were in Georgia Heard's THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK (Roaring Brook), and I've been addicted ever since. Kids love creating found poems, too - more on that in a sec.]

Here are the highlighted texts, in case they are difficult to read in the pictures:

********************

      merry making
telling of stories

carries us back


********************

reindeer
     travel upwards


********************

practice
under the mistletoe


********************



[From LITTLE FOLKS - A Magazine for the Very Young, London, Paris & New York, Cassell & Company, LTD., bound collections from 1877 and 1884.]

Not really sure you'd call these poetry, maybe micro found poems? (If that's a thing, I couldn't find it online, though you can read plenty about "found poems" and "micropoetry.")

Now, Teachers - and Parents about to have kids home over the next break - students seem less intimidated about "writing poetry" if they have something in front of them as inspiration instead of a blank page. I kid you not, I've even seen "cool" eighth grade boys eager to come to the front of the room and share a found poem they created together during a workshop. [That is a beautiful thing!]

Maybe you could try an ornament activity like this as a fun little project? Students would not need to cut up 100-year-old books, of course. They could start with a die-cut blank cardstock circle, or cut their own "base" in a shape they like, and punch a hole in the top for a piece of ribbon. Are there any kid-friendly magazines or other text goldmines in the recycling pile? All the poet-artists need now are some scissors, glue, and imagination! One option for them (or you) is to simply cut out some words from within the text and glue these onto their cardstock base.

If you'd like to try the "highlighted" effect I show above, the top of a sticky note (the sticky part) is your best friend. (I borrowed this technique from the terrific Seth Apter.) Just cut a text-high strip to cover the words you want featured. Paint over the rest of the text (a light "wash" - acrylic or watercolor paint thinned with water - works great, to let some of the other words peek through just a bit). Before the paint is completely dry, gently lift away the sticky note strip(s). Tweezers might help here.

When the found-poem ornament is dry, a coat of acrylic gloss will give it a sheen and add some protection. That's not necessary, though, if supplies are limited or you've got very young artist/poets!

***All you talented teachers, poets, artists, parents - please add your two cents' in the comments if you've got thoughts to share on this project!***

For poetry of all shapes and sizes, and a thoughtful post from our host today, please visit Carol's Corner.

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