Friday, August 27, 2021

Poetry Friday: Deeper Wisdom Poems

August's poetry challenge is so simple that it beckons you to come play: Write a poem in the style of Jane Yolen's What the Bear Knows.  

If you click on the link, you'll see that Jane's poem is direct and profound. It features short lines that rhyme, every other one. Lovely. 

Alternatively, Joyce Sidman offers us another model for this kind of poem. In hers, she asks: What Does the _______ Know? before each of two stanzas, answering the question in three rhyming lines. She calls these Deeper Wisdom poems.  

I decided to try both models, and opted out of rhyme for the first one. Each is based on my experience last weekend helping a refugee family who had fled with nothing but each other. Our group offered them what we had brought by U-Haul, SUV, and small cars: a sturdy brown couch, Disney-themed sheets for the three girls, a first-aid kit, trash cans, a laptop, kitchen chairs, a roasting pan, Tupperware, cell phones, a tool kit, and much more. One woman brought a child-sized umbrella, which the littlest girl popped over her head immediately, making us all smile. Another woman brought orange roses. And why not?

What do orange roses know?
     Not everything needs assembly. 
     Roses aren't just for lovers.
     A bloom is a seed, shared. 

What do orange roses know? 
     Saying tangerine makes you smile. 
     A stem is sturdiest near the thorns.
     Flames of friendship start small.
                    ---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved) 

My own daughter, long ago, with her umbrella

What the Umbrella Knows 

You can’t stop the rain.
Open gifts now.
Nothing falls in vain.
The world needs little yellow ducks,
brave in a hurricane.
                ---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

If you have interest in sponsoring a family,  Lutheran Family Services offers support, as well as many other organizations. 

My sister poets are having fun with this form, too:


P.S. If you'd like to play along for September's challenge, here it is:  

Choose a poem by someone in the Poetry Friday universe and write a tanka in response or inspired by or in conversation with that poem.  Kelly offers a great introduction to the tanka here. 

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Elizabeth at Unexpected Intersections.