Friday, March 8, 2013

The Writer: Slice of Life 8 of 31


Thanks Stacey and Ruth:  Two Writing Teachers
#slice2013  8 of 31

Poetry Friday is hosted by Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.  Stop by to follow links to more poetry.  





The Writer

The writer
remembers
people who shaped her life
moments from long ago
lessons learned
along the way.

The writer
collects
artifacts of her world
leaving a trail
to help her to find
meaning.

The writer
listens
capturing 
snippets of conversation at a nearby table
the gentle sound of the night
the bird chorus at sunrise.

The writer
watches
studying
the moon resting on the tree's long arms
the heron waiting to pounce
the rain bouncing off pavement.

The writer
reads
noting
lines that take her breath away
words that jump from the page
phrases of language. 

The writer
takes in the world
all the stories
all the sounds
all the words
and breathes new life
in the ordinary.

The writer
records
writes
scratches
rewrites
rethinks 
to make us notice
if only for a second
all that is before us.

The writer
holds the stories tightly
shaping them with her heart,
until the page speaks,
the story unfolds,
the world is changed.

© Cathy L. Mere

A few weeks ago I attended the Dublin Literacy Conference and listened to Louise Borden.  I was fascinated by her life as a writer.  The stories she told of collecting artifacts, researching topics, and planning stories really captured my attention.  I was awed by the writing process she shared, but also a little envious of the time she is able to chase an idea.  Listening to Louise, in combination with talking with participants of this challenge, inspired today's poem.  




36 comments:

  1. Cathy, your poem eloquently captures the essence of the 'writerly' life. It presents as a celebration of the influences upon the writer. The shape of the line breaks, the effective use of repetition and the strong visual imagery the poem evokes adds to the power of the words.

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  2. Wow! This is beautiful Cathy! I love the repetition of "the writer..." I'm going to share this with my students this morning for Poetry Friday. It's perfect to share with them especially as they are participating in the Slice of Life Challenge.

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    1. I would love for you to share it with your class. I'm impressed that they have taken on such a touch challenge. I can't wait to hear their thoughts at the end of the event.

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  3. I love the repetition too...magical poem.

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  4. Cathy, You remind me here of the importance of slowing down and how many things we can hold and look at when we are not rushing. Don't you feel like that is one of the great gifts of writing...the slowing down enough to do all of these things? Being present. Thank you so much for this. Happy Poetry Friday! xo, a.

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  5. Sounds like an inspiring conference! Some of my favorite lines from your poem are:
    The writer
    watches
    studying
    the moon resting on the tree's long arms
    the heron waiting to pounce
    the rain bouncing off pavement.

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  6. Lovely poem, Cathy. Tabatha's favorite lines are mine too :).

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  7. All the stanzas speak the truth as only a writer can, but it is the final stanza that touches me most. I am so glad you were inspired by Louise Borden. I feel lucky to be able to read these words.

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  8. Wonderful poem, Cathy. I love the lines:
    "the writer
    listens
    capturing
    snippets of conversation at a nearby table"
    I do that all the time! Thanks for sharing today. =)

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  9. Cathy, I could just ditto what everyone else has said. You are more than a gifted writer and each day I can't wait to read your blog. I showed your "Did You See Her?" post to my husband and he posted it on his Facebook. It even brought a tear to his eye. Yes, Cathy, you are just what this poem describes: A Writer.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jackie. Your comment means a lot. I had to smile that your husband posted "Did You See Her?" to his Facebook page. I'm glad he liked it. If he isn't careful, he'll be joining this crazy fun challenge too. :o)

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  10. That was beautiful, Cathy. I like so many of the descriptions of what a writer does. Reading it to students, I think it would help them to take note of what it takes to be a writer, besides just knowing words!

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  11. Gorgeous...I read "Did You See Her?" to my classes yesterday, they loved it as well. And this is just too beautiful for words...I love
    "to make us notice
    if only for a second
    all that is before us."
    That is some days my goal...to just make someone take notice, but in a quiet and kind way.
    Bravo,
    Trish

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    Replies
    1. You always make me notice something I had really taken pause long enough to consider.

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  12. Re-reading...did you hear the birds this morning too? They were loud enough at our house this morning to draw us outside to see what was going on! Beautiful imagery!

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  13. Touching. The writer remembers...the writer takes in the world...You really have to take in the world if you want to write about it. Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem!

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  14. Really lovely, Cathy. I love that you included that you were inspired to write this after hearing Louise Borden. We never know where the seed for something wonderful will be. Thank you for sharing!
    Catherine

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  15. My favorite lines . . .

    The writer
    reads
    noting
    lines that take her breath away
    words that jump from the page
    phrases of language.

    The reading and writing connection is profound! How many of us participating in this Slice of Life Challenge are linguistically intelligent? Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem!

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    Replies
    1. You make such an excellent point. There is something about that connection between reading and writing. When I read Mem Fox's book Reading Magic (It could have been Radical Reflections), Mem made the point that reading aloud is essential because it puts the sounds of language into the hearts and ears of children so they can bring them back to the page. I know my writing is largely influence by my reading. I'm quite certain I should spend more time reading.

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  16. Beautiful words, Cathy! I'm also envious of Louise's adventures! And thankful she uses her gift to share them with her readers!!

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  17. My favorite stanza is your last. I know what it feels like to wait for that page to speak, the heaviness of holding stories tightly..that anticipation. It's wonderful. Like waiting to open a present....thanks for this.

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    Replies
    1. Angela,
      You have so perfectly captured that moment in your comment. I know sometimes when I return to reread a finished piece, I'm surprised by what I find there.

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  18. WOW! What amazing words Cathy. . . .YOU inspire ME - with your writing and with your work with students and teachers. The first three lines of your poem send strong echoes through my writing path: soon after Dublin, I learned that a friend from Budapest - who had known Raoul Wallenberg during 1944-45 - passed away on Feb. 27 - the birthday of Florence P. Heide, a mentor of mine for many years. Florence is no longer living, nor is my Hungarian friend Gabor, but we all carry our encouragers and friends with us. Those who shape our lives. . .are the lights on our road, yes?

    Thank you for your lines of truth about a writer's life. You do indeed "take in the world". And the last three lines are some that I will remember each day at my desk.

    Thank you again. . .looking forward to a future reunion!

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    1. Louise,
      Thank you for stopping by to comment. It made me smile. I so agree with your words above, "we all carry our encouragers and friends with us. Those who shape our lives. . .are the lights on our road, yes?". Yes!

      Thank you once again for sharing your process with us at Dublin Lit. I find it fascinating to hear how writers and other artists craft their work. It is always a great reminder to me as I step into my classroom to give my students the space and opportunity they need to create.

      Cathy

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  19. So much to love in this poem. The moon resting on the tree's arms...Wow! Beautiful, beautiful piece of writing.

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  20. Cathy, this is breathtaking writing! My favorite stanza -

    "The writer
    takes in the world
    all the stories
    all the sounds
    all the words
    and breathes new life
    in the ordinary."

    Please, may I share this poem with my students? Would it be okay if I give them a copy for their writer's notebooks? We'll be sure to keep your name on it.

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome to use the poem with your students. I would be honored.

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  21. While we're on the subject of inspirations from the Dublin Lit Conference, your poem reminds me of the quote Ralph shared:

    "We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." --Ray Bradbury

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  22. I loved your poem about writers. May I share it on TWT? Please shoot me an email & lmk if that'd be okay. (stacey [at] staceyshubitz [dot] com}

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    Replies
    1. I would be honored, Stacey. I have sent you a reply.

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  23. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments about this poem. I am truly touched. It was fun to write.

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  24. Wow... I can't even begin to list all the things I love about this poem. I'm so glad Stacey shared it today so we could all see it! I think I will hang this up in my classroom next year. Just wonderful!!!

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