Poem for Kathrine Switzer

For National Poetry Month, I’ve been writing a poem a day and keeping them hidden on my computer. But I finally feel like sharing one.

Yesterday, Kathrine Switzer ran the Boston Marathon again, fifty years after becoming the first woman to finish it officially. Bobbi Gibb had run it unofficially the year before. This inspired my poetic efforts yesterday.

Poem for Kathrine Switzer, April 17, 2017

What did they think would happen,
fifty years ago, if a woman ran?
Would we all be deprived of the cake
she should have been baking instead?
Would the race be sullied,
the stain forever ringing its collar?
Or worst of all –
the boys would have to share,
not only that day but all the days to come?
Well, worse came to worst
and she ran again in Boston today
with thousands of women on the course
while somewhere, surely,
some man baked a cake,
the downfall of civilization complete.

**
— Someone asked, so I’m adding this. You can share this. Feel free to copy and paste, even, but I would like a credit. Ida Bettis Fogle, author. Thanks.

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Credit: Kinchan1

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Peonies – a Sonnet

 

So far, I’ve missed only two days in my quest to write a poem per day in April. I decided to try my hand at a sonnet. Here’s the result:

Peonies

They seem quite tentative at first, their stems
So slight, peek out for a looksee, an inch
Or two as if unsure whether their gems
Are something they want to share or pinch
Back for themselves alone. Each day they stretch
Forward, looking stronger, more confident,
Till their intent appears to be to fetch
The sky, and they raise tight fists, defiant.
Guarded against the ant and butterfly
They keep their blooms constrained, bound close.
Soon their inhibitions will burst; unshy
They will compete with the lily and rose.
Vibrant, voluptuous blossoms will flare,
Then bow down with beauty too heavy to bear.

Poem: After-Evening

For my own private celebration of National Poetry Month, I’m attempting to write one poem each day. I won’t publish them all here, but today I feel moved. I will count this as the poem for April 2, even though I didn’t finish it until a couple of minutes past midnight.

Remember, I just finished this, so don’t be too harsh.

 

After-Evening

The after-evening time, when partnered with
Completed to dos or even postponed to dos,
Contains the most prized moments of my day.

The store of chores has closed shop for the night
And I have tucked in my precious duties
With hope they will sleep through until morning.

I take out my favorite diversions and dreams
From the suitcase in the back of my mind,
Slip into them. The fit is exquisite.

 

 

Poem of the Day, April 5

So far, I’m meeting my goal of writing a poem a day. Okay, I haven’t put any words down yet today, but they’re percolating. I’ll have them written before bed.

Here’s yesterday’s poem.  It’ll likely be rewritten a few times.

 

Geography by Disaster

Fukushima, Chernobyl
Geography learned by disaster
I look at an atlas
When people die
When buildings collapse
When leaders shoot their citizens
In the streets
When the fallout might land here

In tonight’s news I’d like to hear
About a place where today
Tulips bloomed
Fish swam in clean water
Families hiked
Women and men went to jobs
While children learned math
And have this continuation
Of life be amazement enough
To capture my attention

 

National Poetry Month

I’m happy to see another National Poetry Month roll around. I have been neglecting my writing, and especially my poetry for a while now. We’ve had an unusual amount of snow this year, resulting in many days out of school for my kids and lots of time spent on stuff like shoveling and sledding. I can’t say I regret the sledding, even if it was in lieu of writing. Also, I’ve been working more hours on my day job.

But now: National Poetry Month. Having an officially named month gives me a kick to do something. Ignoring those who say April is for Script Frenzy, my goal is a poem a day. I managed it last year. So far, I’m on track for this year, having written an actual sonnet today.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes about poetry:  “I was reading the dictionary.  I thought it was a poem about everything.” – Steven Wright

Writing Poetry

I’ve always liked poetry. For years, I’ve made a habit of reading at least one poem every day. I do skip a day now and then, but not often.

My writing has focused more on poetry than prose, as well, until about two years ago. Over the past couple of years I’ve been focused on a novel and have been struck with many ideas for short stories, and the poetry has fallen off quite a bit.

But, with the novel more or less finished, I took the arrival of April – National Poetry Month – to get back myself back into the poetic mode. I’ve been writing a poem every day. It’s been good for me. I get a lot out writing in general, but I’m rediscovering the value of writing poetry specifically.

~Edith Södergran said “I don’t create poetry, I create myself, for me my poems are a way to me. ”  For me, this rings true. Even when I compose a bad poem, I often develop new insights in the process. For instance, this month I’ve realized one reason why I still pray sometimes, even though I’m agnostic; it helps me focus on what’s important to me. I guess I could say the same for poetry. I came to this new knowledge of myself because I started writing a poem about prayer.

Writing a poem, too, makes me really look at, listen to, and experience the world in a conscious way. For me, then, poetry is a path of mindfulness, and a way to keep myself connected to the universe.

I’m glad I made the decision to reconnect with my poetic muse. It’s an enriching relationship.