Wednesday, April 11, 2012

11 of 30: Great Blue Heron



I had so much fun writing a nonfiction poem last night I decided to try it again tonight.  This time I tried to use the research facts I found about the heron on a previous post.  When I read poems that really take my breath away, I notice they have strong words.  They capture images, feelings, and truths I hadn't noticed until reading them.  I know choosing words for my poems is something I really need to improve.  Georgia Heard in Writing Toward Home reminds us, "The true meaning of the word revision is this:  to see again."  She continues, "I need to see again to make sure those words reflect precisely what my eyes and heart see. (p. 121)"  Today I tried to re-see this poem and included my first draft at the end of this post.   


Ohio Department of Natural Resources


Great Blue Heron
Patiently you stand erect
at the water's shallow edge
outstretched slender legs
concealed from view
solitary
reclusive
quiescent.

You watch for
for the slightest movement
a quiver of water
a splash near the shore
fish
amphibian
reptile.

Your silence entraps the foolish
making the mistake to come near
to your statuesque form
appearing blue-gray
graceful
majestic
regal.

Great 
blue
heron,
motionless
waterside
predator.


© Cathy L. Mere, 2012



First Draft
There you stand 
At the water's shallow edge
Your long skinny legs
Hidden from my view
Solitary
Quiet
Waiting patiently
For the slightest sign of
Fish
Amphibian
Reptile
Making the mistake to come near
To your statuesque form
You hunt without moving
Truly a game of patience
Your blue-gray color 
Is transformed by the sun
To show black, brown, white feathers

4 comments:

  1. Love the idea of showing that first draft. How interesting to see what you kept & what you revised. They are very beautiful aren't they?

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    Replies
    1. Linda,
      This actually created a little debate here at the house. Everyone once in awhile -- ok, often -- I ask my English teacher husband to read through these. When I left the first draft he thought I should take it off (and he was probably right). Interestingly, however, it was because there were lines in the first draft he liked better than the final. He felt like as a reader he just wanted to read through and determine whether I had made the correct changes. I did have to let a few good lines go for the sake of the poem. I find that happens more often than I would have thought.

      Delete
  2. Cathy,
    I love your writing. Your word choice is perfect. I can really picture the statuesque bird as I read your poem. I especially liked the shape/structure of your poem. The shape reminds me of this fascinating bird.
    Val

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Valerie,
      I love that you noticed the shape. It wasn't quite as obvious as I'd hoped due to the structure of the poem. Thank you for the kind words.

      Cathy

      Delete

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