Friday, April 30, 2021

Poetry Friday: In the style of "Innocence..."

My Poetry Sisters and I are working on writing poems in the style of another poet whose work we love. It's a fun challenge to take a serious look at the structure and elements of something lovely to try and figure out what makes it so. We chose to look at and work from Linda Hogan's poem "Innocence', found here at the Poetry Foundation.

After studying it and talking it over, we noticed the three stanzas focus on discovery, wonder, and growth. The lines of each stanza are 10, 6, and 4. It's a nice progression, don't you think?

I chose to stay with nature, and since I have a pink geranium in my office soaking up the sun, I went back to an experience I had visiting a cemetery and finding geraniums in the trash pile.


Hope

There is nothing more hopeful
than the cast-off geraniums
tossed in the cemetery trash
whose dry roots hold on stubbornly
to the slimmest jolt
of living juice.
Could be the grounds keeper's job
is to keep things tidy by
solemnly sweeping up spent blooms.

Once I dragged out a partially green shoot
from the twisted, wilting pile and
surreptitiously stuck it in my jacket
as I was leaving a funeral,
wondering if one grief
carries over to another

or if one more chance
at life... any life at all
testifies to hope
enough to keep us going.

    - Andromeda Jazmon

Take a look at the poems my Poetry Sisters have written: (Kelly and Laura are taking a break)


and then stop by the Friday Poetry roundup at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme.

Enjoy!

15 comments:

  1. This is a perfect poem, Andi -- from that 'jolt of living juice' (!!!) to the everlasting hope at the end. Gorgeous, all.

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  2. Oh, the humor and the truth of

    "surreptitiously stuck it in my jacket
    as I was leaving a funeral,
    wondering if one grief
    carries over to another"

    LOVE

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  3. Well done with your response to the challenge! I love the thougthfulness of wondering what becomes of our chances at life and hope...thanks for sharing!

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  4. Oh -- Andi. wondering if one grief/carries over to another... Oh, that hits the right tone entirely. Lovely.

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  5. Ah the hope in that final stanza--lovely!

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  6. The questions of life and death...small and big in such a happy, bright plant. Love it.

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  7. It's hard to say goodbye to anything, at least to me. This is beautifully done, an act that would be good for kids to see, to know about. One small step that shows care means a lot.

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  8. Andi, this is my favorite kind of narrative poem, starting out with an ordinary person setting a scene and then tumbling quickly into a much deeper, resonant question/meaning. I think this is extraordinary.

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  9. "Hope enough to keep us going." That's what we need.

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  10. Lots of hope at the closing of your poem. Geraniums are pretty tough plants and I love your stubborn depiction of them here:
    "whose dry roots hold on stubbornly
    to the slimmest jolt
    of living juice."
    And you take along one of the shoots in your pocket, and ponder on recycling of grief, and cycling on of life as you close— beautiful, thanks Andi!

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  11. Coincidentally I've just decided that this is the direction my daily draft will be taking in May (maybe longer): to investigate what makes a poem, as you say, lovely, and how. Y'all chose a good one, and your discovery stanza is especially beautiful.
    "hold on stubbornly
    to the slimmest jolt
    of living juice."

    We do, don't we?

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  12. I love your description of geraniums in the first stanza and your thinking about the groundskeeper's job. However, this is what really packed a punch for me.

    "wondering if one grief
    carries over to another

    or if one more chance
    at life... any life at all
    testifies to hope
    enough to keep us going."

    This ending is beautiful and heartbreaking. Lovely poem dear Andi.

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  13. wondering if one grief
    carries over to another
    What a tender poem filled with emotions and wonderings!

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  14. Thank you for this nice sharing. Great post.

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  15. This is lovely! Capturing both grief and hope in the face of grief, no matter how thin that hope may feel in the moment.

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