Friday, October 5, 2007

Poetry Friday: One thing leads to another

I started with this quote:
"Poetry has never been written with the intention of making young people irritated, bored, anxious or humiliated, and yet the consequence of the test and exam system often does just that." -Michael Rosen in The Guardian

...and I followed it to the entire article: Michael Rosen's suggestions for a poetry-friendly classroom

...which reminded me of these oft-quoted lines from a Billy Collins poem:

"But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it."

(Full text here: Introduction to Poetry)
...and then I found this at his website:

...instructions on how to read poems on your iPod. (Yes, that's read, not listen.) You can store up to 1000 poems!

I think "young people" (and old) might have fun with this. And I don't think it would be torturing the poems too much. What do you think? Anybody tried this?

...but there's more. I Googled "poem in my pocket" to find some low-tech ways of carrying poems around, which led me to an alternate universe:

Poetry Thursday

It looks like this blogging project ended in August, but the archives are stuffed with good ideas and great links. Check out their "(completely and totally optional) ideas" category for inspirations like these: "the one with all the rules, Part II" where the players leave an original line of poetry in the comment section and the other players choose one and write a poem from it! Cool, huh?

So, in the spirit of one thing leads to another: leave a line of an original poem in the comments here, and if you wish, take one away to play with. (If you do write a poem using one of the lines for a future Poetry Friday, it would be nice to link back to the person whose line inspired it.)

I'll start you off with a line that I love, but have never been able to use in a poem:

She had the knack of folding paper so that it reflected light...

Poetry Friday is hosted this week by whimsy.


  1. Thanks for these great links, Sara. Love the Michael Rosen article, and all the goodies at the Poetry Thursday site!
    Here's my original first line: "This poem is eating you . . ."

  2. "There is a picture of us
    as children
    (without any sorrow)"

    I stumbled upon that beginning of an original poem last night, and it stood out, 'cause I don't really write poetry but had attempted that about, oh, five years ago.

    I love this post with all these great links. And I love that line from your poem, Sara, which you can't find a home for. LOVE it. A lot. If you ever finish it, I'd love to see it.

    Can't wait to meet Sara tomorrow, whom I feel like I've known for about ten years -- instead of less than one.

  3. Firstly, I am cursing you because my brainradio immediately grabbed hold of The Fixx song, "One thing leads to another". And it won't. let. go.

    Secondly, great links. I am stoked about the possibility of downloading poems to my iPod. That's wicked cool.

    Thirdly, a line:
    "Brown is the new black," she said.

  4. Phewww. Love this little brain race you went on.

    Here's a line for you all from a poem that's been just sitting there for years now. Have at it:

    As if it were crude or flawed

  5. "Zeno and friends went out to play,"

    This is in honor of our rooster, not new or newly a rooster but newly recognized (by us) as a rooster. My son said that "Zeno and Friends" sounds like a good title for a picture book.

    Lots of good links here, Sara. Thank you.

  6. This is actually a line from a prose poem that turned into a story (which, really, is still a prose poem) that I'm still not happy with, but here goes:

    Three Uncles went to Vietnam,

  7. Good idea!

    He moves with studied elegance
    and practiced, conscious style

    (I've had that one in my mind ever since watching my nephew glide into a room one evening with one eye on his reflection in the mirror...)

  8. I just landed in Chicago and look what was waiting for me! All these great lines of poetry just begging to be taken out for a walk and a slice of deep dish. :0

    You guys are awesome. I can't wait to play with these, and to see how you play with them too...

  9. What a great post (I so look forward to stopping by here every week) and so many links ... I'll be back ....

  10. I have never been able to get further than:

    Today is a shirt
    That does not fit.

    Maybe for good reason, I don't know!

  11. Terrific Rosen article! I've printed it out to share bits with teachers I know.

    Here's my line:

    "Surrender to the river"


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