I want to tell the story of this poem.
Last night, at BookNation, the bookstore I'm now working with (yup, finally getting to sell books in an actual store again), we stayed open later for the monthly First Friday downtown. We decided to hold PoetryNation - an event to kick off the observance of National Poetry Month.
Sarah Long and I planned a reading, and some wordplay activities.
While I was setting up, my husband Paul was playing saxophone outside, something he has been doing on Friday afternoons when I'm working at the store.
It was very chilly - he's the hooded figure seen through the window in the picture below:
I was setting up, and decided to do one of the activities myself, to have some examples to show when we presented it to others. This poem was written as a Word-Ticket Post-It Note poem, a poem-generator activity I created based on the wonderful idea of Word Tickets, described in the book Poemcrazy
by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge:
Here's some Word Tickets. I have a huge bag of them, created years ago when I was going writing workshops with our homeschooling group. I've now had the delight of getting them out again to use in my workshops with Maple Center and at ArtReach.
I think that's a poem, certainly a very evocative pairing of words, right there...two random tickets I pulled out to make the picture.
To do Word Ticket Post It Note poems, I use my bag of Word Tickets, a bag of starter lines, Post-It Notes and a timer. You draw two words, a starter and have 5 minutes to write a poem on the Post-It. The results I've had every time I've used it with groups have been very gratifying.
When I wrote the poem above, here's what happened:
I drew the words "island" and "flirtatious" and the starter "I turned to my..."
Paul was playing on the sidewalk in front of the store, his back to me. I was writing in the window. I wrote:
I turned to my husband
feeling a bit silly,
a bit flirtatious,
and said, Come away with me,
to an island with mountains
white sand and bluest
sea...you can bring
It made me smile. Then I looked up out the window to see Paul was turned to me, playing 'Til There Was You' and our eyes met and there was this....Moment. Connection. Me with a silly smile about the poem, about him, his wonderful music, our eyes meeting.
More pictures from the set-up for the event:
This is this year's National Poetry Month poster from the Academy of American Poets
, along with a basket of dozens of quotations about poetry. We invited people to take three: one for themselves, another for a friend and one for a stranger.
Our sign-up table, with hand-outs and materials for our adaptation of the poetry game, Exquisite Corpse
. Our version involved Post-It Notes of course (I love me the Post-Its) - we invited people to write their nouns, verbs, adjectives on them and put them in the appropriate container. Later we pulled them at random and created our surreal group poems on a display board.
The Word Ticket Post-It Poem-Making Center.
Unfortunately, our event wasn't very well attended - the art galleries downtown had some major goings-on last night as well. However, we had fun and it was good experience in my fledging efforts to learn to facilitate writing workshops, etc.
If you'd like a copy of the handout I created which we will have available in the shop all month, here it is in pdf form:
I based it on material found at the Academy of American Poets website, 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month
. That is such a great site, do go there often - you will be rewarded with poetic riches!
Labels: Book Nation, NaPoWriMo, poem, poetry