Thursday, April 19, 2012

R is for RESTORE

R is for RESTORE
Photo by Amy LV

Mark - My Science Guy
Photo by Amy LV

I knew right away what this poem would be about!  Due to the great planning of my sister-in-law, last week our family had the chance to visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History while we were in Massachusetts.  We saw gorgeous rocks and minerals, stuffed animals of all types, fascinating exhibits about ancient peoples, intricate weavings, and much more.  But what captured our hearts most were the museum art restorers working behind glass to clean an ancient Alaskan canoe.  With itty bitty sponges, they cleaned each bit of leather.  One woman told us about how such canoes were built, and her face simply shined.  I asked what she'd studied in college, and she said, "Chemistry and art history."  For a moment, I imagined myself having followed another path.

Students - This poem is a special form.  It is called a triolet.  You will notice that lines 1, 4, and 7 are the same, as are lines 2 and 8.  If you look carefully, you will also notice that the rhyme scheme is: abaaabab.

I recently wrote a two stanza triolet for the recent March Madness poetry tournament over at Think Kid, Think.  You can read it here if you want to see how our dog, Sage, really lives.

I have mentioned this before when speaking about forms of poetry, but if you missed it, and if you want to learn more about forms, don't miss Paul Janeczko's A KICK IN THE HEAD: AN EVERYDAY GUIDE TO POETIC FORMS.  I used Alice Schertle's The Cow's Complaint as my mentor for today's poem.  When writing in a specific form, it helps so much to have a poem stuck in your head, to light the pathway for your own words.

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In case you are new to The Poem Farm, this month I am walking, letter-by-letter, through the dictionary, (closed-eyed) pointing to a letter each day, and writing from it. You can read poems A-R by checking the sidebar, and you visit Lisa Vihos and read her accompanying daily haiku at Lisa's Poem of the Week. You can also follow Christophe's haiku with each daily word in the comments for that post.

If you have not yet taken a peek into Laura Shovan's notebook to see the evolution of her poem, April, please go and read her post at my other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks.  There is a giveaway on that post for her beautiful chapbook, MOUNTAIN, LOG, SALT, AND STONE.  Names will be drawn this evening!

Tomorrow is Poetry Friday!  Please come back to hear from Sylvia Vardell of Poetry for Children speak about  (and give away a copy of) her new book THE POETRY TEACHER'S BOOK OF LISTS!

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  1. Great triolet, Amy. Thanks for today's word and today's poem. Here's what I got:


    The trees tell me this:
    sunlight and water do well
    to restore a soul.

  2. I really like the line "we restore its storied history"! Thanks for sharing this moment with us.

  3. Amy,

    I am so impressed with what you've done so far this month. I don't think I'd be up to the challenge. I like both of your triolets. A couple of years ago, my daughter's dog Jack inspired me to write a poem titled "Dirty Dog." I found the triolet to be the perfect form for the subject matter--just as it was for "A Farm Dog's Work."

  4. R is for restore

    My soul is restored
    Reflected in still waters 
    It waits and listens

  5. Amy, the triolet is great. It reminds me of something my mom taught me. "Writing poetry without a form or rules is like playing tennis without a net." The rules you impose force you to wrestle creativly with all the possibilities and pulls out wonderful solutions you yourself were unaware of until pushed. Lisa has shown me this with her villanelles, a form I have yet to master.

  6. Once again, I just look forward to these haiku! Thank you for restoring me along this journey, new haiku friends. I am wishing we could all go to lunch after this event! Christophe - how very lucky for you that you learned about poetry from your mom.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Elaine and Tabatha. They mean a lot to me.