Tag Archives: National Poetry Month

You Take My Hand


It is April. National Poetry Month. And though I love poetry all the year round, I am always wishing I wrote more of it come April. It gives me a chance to exercise concision in my word choice. The following poem is a villanelle, which is a structured poem that tightens those rules even further.

Quoting straight from poets.org:

The highly structured villanelle is a nineteen-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The form is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem’s two concluding lines.

Did you catch all that? No? Maybe you’ll recognize the pattern below, or from a rather famous poem most know, Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas. (You can find the full text of that piece here, though I believe my favorite villanelle is by Sylvia Plath, called Mad Girl’s Love Song.) Continue reading You Take My Hand


The Elephant in the Room

I am not sure how to credit this photo.  All clicks led to dead ends. But I think it is perfect.
I am not sure how to credit this photo. All clicks led to dead ends. But I think it is perfect.

Ah, April. Does it mean spring to you? In my neck of the woods it means a weekly you-should-expect-this-by-now sloppy snowstorm. Just last night it was falling fat and fast and even though my heart sunk a little when it started, once I put on my music and started writing I found myself smiling each time I looked out the window.

April is National Poetry Month. I don’t write poetry as often as I once did, but I like to try in April to add some to my writing time.

Billy Collins writes in the poem “Monday” of poets, standing at their windows

“because it is their job for which

they get paid nothing each Friday afternoon.”

I stood at my window plenty last night. I may as well post a poem and get paid nothing for it today. This is a poem about distraction, how I tend to look right through a moment to something else that’s on my mind, and how, really, I don’t mind it one bit. Continue reading The Elephant in the Room

What the Cold Can Do

*Glaciers on Mt. McKinley*

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? In honor of that, I decided to challenge myself to revise and polish a poem I actually wrote on top of my notes as I worked on my novel one magical day when my love of language woke with a jump and took over my growing self-discipline. (And when I say “on top of my notes,” I mean it. Brainstorming my upcoming chapter, I was inspired to put down my markers, pick up a pencil, and write right over what I had just been writing. Sometimes its fun being a crazy creative.)

I wondered where I would find much ice or snow to photograph to go with my post, as spring is making her way into Vermont with a spongy squish. Instead, I reached way back to a flight I took over Mt. McKinley in 1999. It was in a little Cessna with two other people, and it was unforgettable. If you’re nice, I may even throw in a funny “who is that lady” picture of me from all those years ago. Continue reading What the Cold Can Do