Friday, December 7, 2012

Quilt Map & Spark 18!

acrylic, some pencil, and collage on board. 8" x 8"
by Amy Souza

Click the arrow to hear me read this poem to you.

Students - Once again, I have had the fun of participating in SPARK, brainchild of Amy Souza.  In this round, Spark 18, I happened to be paired up (again, yay!) with artist Amy Souza herself.  Ten days ago, she sent me a digital file with the above painting, and it was my job to write a poem (it could have been anything) inspired by her piece.  Now, on day 10, I am allowed to share it!   Many other Spark participants (82 this round) are also sharing their collaborations and will be posting the to the Spark website throughout the week.

Spark is a refreshing and invigorating community event here on the Internet, because it presses a writer or an artist to go in a new direction than he or she might have otherwise.  When I first looked at this painting, I fell in love with the colors...then I found a chameleon.  Later, I saw a quilt.  Then, one morning the rhyme patches/matches took hold in my head and Amy's image combined with my wordplay brought "Quilt Map" to life.

Here are the words I chose very carefully for this poem:  stitches, swatches, matching, patches, snuggle, batches, stacks, watch, sew, grow, map, flannel, patterns, lap, wore, tore, seas, snatches, quilted, land.  Do you notice anything special about any of them?  

Oh, how I adore shopping at the word store...where everything is free!

This poem is written in quatrains, except for the last stanza which I wanted to stretch out a little bit.  If you listen to me reading it, you will hear how the last two lines have a bit more of a pause in there...because those lines are the most important part.

This time of year always makes me think of making things: cookies, decorations, dinners for many, gifts! What do you like to make?  Have you ever written about something you made?  Have you ever made a poem as a gift?  Trust me - people like it.

You can see that her very vibrant work made me think of a quilt!

You can see all of my past SPARK collaborations here, and on Monday in this space, look for Amy Souza's artwork inspired by my poem, "Wherever You Are -."

If you have not yet visited Sharing Our Notebooks to read about Mary Lee Hahn's notebooks, she's still there with a a wonderful post and a giveaway too.

Robyn is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Read, Write, Howl!  Stop on by her place to learn the poetry news in the Kidlitosphere today.  You can also visit Robyn at her very cool etsy shop, artsyletters.

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  1. Very beautiful, very cool! I was a quilter once upon a time and still have stocks and stacks of fabric--just this weekend I was contemplating a-swatch-a-day crazy quilt using all those meaningful clothes I've saved. The idea of quilt as history has been around, but the idea of quilt as MAP feels fresh to me.

    I too participated in SPARK again, but I must have lost track of the dates--my piece is done but I haven't swapped with my photographer partner yet!

  2. Dear Amy,
    We like your poem so much. We enjoy reading The Poetry Farm on Poetry Friday. Today's poem inspired us to try to write some poetry based on artwork.

    Mrs. Johnson's 4th grade
    Hilliard, OH

  3. My goodness, that's beautiful. You captured every aspect of quilting from a very Amy POV. You are a unique voice and I just love coming here.

  4. What a wonderful initiative! My PF post this week is all about a book that synthesises poetry and art... You poem has touched a nerve with me as I've always loved the idea of making a patchwork "map" quilt, and only this last week I sighed over disposing of some of my boys' worn-out clothes, knowing that to keep them would just be wishful thinking!

  5. Great poem, Amy! I can see why you divided the last line. Thanks for sharing your Spark!

  6. Nice, Amy! Beautiful concrete imagery, yet metaphorical as well.

  7. Very nice, Amy! It took me back to the days when my Grandmother would hold quilting parties - so homey, so wonderful. I miss those long ago days.

  8. Lovely! The idea of a map is perfect.

  9. I love your poem response, Amy, and the colors in Amy Souza's piece. I definitely see the map - South America stands out to me. Love "flannel patterns on her lap" and "stitches snatches of my past."

  10. As always, there's so much to love in one of your posts, one doesn't know where to start!

    The collage is beautiful, as is your poem - took me right to my grandmother's house decades ago. (And, like Heidi, to the stash I've collected over the years, though I've only made a couple of small quilts.)

    Re.: "Oh, how I adore shopping at the word store...where everything is free!" Wonderful and true; less hazardous than the art supply store or the fabric shop!
    (Thanks for the artsyletters shout-out!)

  11. I've missed a few of your wonderful poems lately so I'll be sure to go back & catch up, but I'm so happy I didn't miss this poem, & the collage by Amy Souza. It is just beautiful. My leaning toward art is always vibrant multi-colors. And Amy, your poem is just gorgeous too, especially that next to last stanza, "And jeans I ran in yesterday/have turned to seas of faded blue". Just right!

  12. Oh, another wonderful poem with which to shop the word store with my sixth graders, Amy. I will be blogging later today about the fun we'd had with Indian Summer, and the wonderful poetry it inspired.

  13. What a fun poem. So many lines and words to like, much less the overall theme of quilting, something my own mom does well and often!

    A sampler of my favorites...
    "stitches swatches"
    "matching patches"

    for their music;

    "turning clothes into a map.
    I try to read where I have been
    in flannel patterns on her lap."

    for its depth and truth!!


  14. I felt so many great little moments in this piece. I love the togetherness and warmth that this poem offers. The project is very cool. I will go check out the link.

  15. Your word choices (at the word store!! so fun!!) were so PERFECT! I could imagine you doing a little happy dance as this poem fell into place. LOVE it.

  16. Oh, what a gorgeous poem! I love the sounds of the words ("stitches swatches/matching patches"), the internal rhyme, and the vivid imagery.

  17. Hi Amy,
    Late to the party again. Love this poem and post on quilting. Our third graders always go to a local musuem that has a juried Quilt Show every year in Dec. I am sending this on to the teachers to share and I know they will love it as much as I did. Do you know The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco? I am betting you do. She has been our author three times in the last 20 years. So many fabulous books about quilting and poetry books connected to quilting. Your poem connects to the heart of things so poignantly!! Also The Canada Geese Quilt author, Natalie Kinsey Warnock....she brings her grandmother's amazing quilts with her! Thanks, Amy.