Tuesday, April 1, 2014

National Poetry Month 1 of 30: Violin

April is National Poetry Month.  Again this year, inspired by Mary Lee Hahn, I'm going to join other poetry bloggers (view links in sidebar) taking the challenge to share poetry each day during the month of April.  For thirty days my hope is to write a new poem each day.  The first two years I took this challenge I wrote any poem that found me.  This year, however, I've decided to try to write a poem about an object each day.  

My purpose is threefold:
  1. To provide poem mentors for my students.
  2. To move myself away from my love of nature poems to try writing about something different.
  3. To improve my photo taking on my phone.
If you've read Billy Collins' poem, The Lanyard, you may have noticed the way he took an object to tell a much more meaningful story of his relationship with his mother.  My hope is to find the deeper significance in the things around me.

This violin 
now rests 
in my basement,
in a closet,
on top 
of boxes,
where it sits 

I've never 
to play,
I couldn't 
let the violin 

The violin
used to hang, years ago,
in my grandfather's basement,
above the cement floor,
near his work bench,
close to the tools 
which occupied 
his hands.

He often told 
the story of years of lessons:
the required discipline,
the endless practice, 
his voice told me he didn't love this time,
but it was still somehow significant
in ways he didn't understand then,
but perhaps had come to understand, 
as is often the case,
in the years that followed.  
Though its strings are missing,
it still plays music.
It whispers lyrics
of stories from long ago
of days with

© Cathy L. Mere, 2014


  1. Lovely...and filled with love. I'm amused that we both jumped out of the gate with shape poems!

  2. Couldn't wait to get online this morning to see what you and Mary Lee had done! Love your first object poem, I especially love hearing you read it yourself. Funny, we had a huge conversation this weekend about my dad's trumpet. No one has ever played it, but we couldn't bear to just give it away.

  3. This is beautiful, Cathy, and I hope you tuck the poem in with the violin. These stories are precious...and your reading is beautiful. "The Lanyard" makes me weep! What a perfect inspiration to begin your inspiring month.

  4. I love Amy's idea of tucking it in with the violin. How amazing that you were able to shape it like the instrument. I really like this idea and will try it out sometime this month! I especially love the closing line:
    It whispers lyrics
    of stories from long ago
    of days with

  5. Holy Cow. I can't believe you're taking on 2 month-long writing challenges in a row! I'm ready to collapse at the end of March... I'm in awe that you're going to go for another month!

    Your poem told a beautiful story in a beautiful way. :-)

  6. Grandpa would be proud of you... I noticed you didn't say anything about my playing of it, lol.... LY!!!

  7. I love this poem - I can 'see' so much. Beautiful! Can I try this idea? I love it.

  8. Mind if I use this as a mentor poem for my own students? Love it!

  9. It's a beautiful beginning to your month, Cathy. Holding the objects as parts of poetry will create a beautiful book.

  10. So beautiful in all ways. I am so impressed. A great mentor piece for me and my students.

  11. I loved hearing you read your poem. Wow!
    Grandparents are so precious. Wonderful poem.

  12. So beautiful! I loved your idea of writing about objects so you can find their story. I also loved hearing you read the poem, too.


Poetry Month: The Last Poem 30 of 30

For the month of April, I'll be writing poetry each day in celebration of National Poetry Month.  I've decided not choose a theme, n...