Poem Sketching

unnamedThe first week back after break is always a haul. Every day my alarm seems to go off earlier and earlier, but Friday seems to move progressively farther away. It’s a phenomenon that defies understanding.

Last week, when free time was abundant, I started fooling around with word group poems. Margaret Simon’s post inspired me so much that I purchased the Sandford Lyne book she mentioned. I haven’t read it all yet, but I’ve really enjoyed looking through his word combinations and toying around with them in my notebook. Lyne calls this “poem sketching.” It’s been the perfect activity to keep me writing on these bleary-eyed mornings.

Here’s one word group that took me in an unexpected direction:

flowers
memories
lonely
jar

I have few memories of flowers,
but one sister says,
“Remember how much she loved daisies?”
and another recalls planting marigolds with her
at the edges of the vegetable patch

Lonely amidst such remembrances
I surround myself with gardens and
fill the house with cut blossoms
tucked into the mason jars
my mother once filled with jams

©Molly Hogan, 2019

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Linda Baie at her wonderful blog, Teacher Dance. She’s sharing a fabulous spring poem that sprouted from a rich bed of anagrams.

28 thoughts on “Poem Sketching

  1. Beth says:

    Love this and happy tears while reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jcareyreads says:

    Your poem was small but mighty. It told so many stories all at once. I had to reread it several times. It’s beautiful. Thanks intrigued by this idea of poem sketching.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks! I’m so glad you liked it.I debated about titling this or making it less ambiguous, but decided to roll with it. I’m loving the poem sketching– What a great low-stress way to dip into writing!

      Like

  3. katswhiskers says:

    A beautiful poem, Molly. I’m amazed at how the taste sense inspired by that last line (last word) gives even greater resonance and connection to the rest of the poem. Food in poetry is powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amanda Potts says:

    Mmm… this is beautiful. So evocative and tinged with melancholy. The sounds of these lines, “fill the house with cut blossoms/ tucked into the mason jars/ my mother once filled with jams” really struck me. I just love this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lindabaie says:

    Memories both enliven and betray us, I think. When talking with my brother and cousins, we remember such different things. Your poem, brief, and so powerful in its simple lines, this and this, but wait, this! I too noticed the jams, back to her and the cooking you remember. The word grouping idea is very interesting. And love your words “sprouting from a rich bed. . .” Thanks, Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’ve been thinking a lot about memories and forgetting recently. There’s such an interesting relationship there, and as you say, we all have different memories. It’s fascinating. Thanks again for hosting this week. I really loved your anagram poem.

      Like

  6. Your poem is beautiful Molly, and I love how it closes,
    “tucked into the mason jars
    my mother once filled with jams”
    these two lines give it such tenderness, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Poem sketching sounds like a freeing way to get those poetic juices flowing. Your poem is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Kimberly. Poem sketching is a great entry into writing! Check out Margaret’s post–she has a copied page with some word groups on it. That’s what started me off.

      Like

  8. margaretsmn says:

    This makes my heart sing; one, to know that a post I wrote resonated with you, and two, how the memory of Sandy Lyne’s work is sewn into your poem. You have no way of knowing that Sandy was a friend, too, and he died in 2007. He would have loved your poem as he used poetry to express deepest and surprising emotions. The surprise of the jams at the end of the poem cannot be crafted; it comes from a spiritual knowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Molly, it’s wonderful before you hold up identifying the she until the last night. I suspected it was your mom, but that lovely anonymity makes the reader feel the pillow and apply it to their own life, too. I love Lynne’s book and approach and have played with it in my own poetry group and also with students.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Linda Mitchell says:

    I agree with Laura….not knowing the “who” until the end makes the story of the poem more poignant. How lovely. And, what a gift to your sisters. I love the question, “remember how she loved daises?” That line is like a laser. I need to try this exercise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I know if you try it, you’ll create something wonderful, Linda. I admire how you’re always up for a challenge, I’d love to see what you do with this one!

      Like

  11. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, I enjoyed the prep work you did to craft such a touching family poem. Lonely amidst such remembrances-that is a beautiful line because it rings with truth!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. jama says:

    Lovely, poignant poem, Molly. Love the line about the daisies . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Jama. It wasn’t that long ago that my sister referenced my mom loving daisies and I felt so sad that I hadn’t know that–or didn’t remember it.

      Like

  13. davencarlson says:

    Capturing loss and love resurfacing simultaneously due to a fleeting image or passing comment. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve only read one post and I’m already in love with your poetic soul and your stream of consciousness writing. So beautiful. Thank you for putting your authentic self out there for us to celebrate. If you get a chance I would love it if you checked my blog out, I feel that it would resonate with you! Looking forward to reading more!💕

    Like

  15. I just love poem sketching. I’ve always referred to them as poetry scribbles, but sketching sounds much more dignified! Your poem is magnificently crafted with these unlikely word comrades. I have a mason jar filled with daffodils sitting in front of me as I type. One has not opened yet and is looking lonely. Interesting how these four words might have set us down different, yet related paths. Fascinating! — Christie

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Poem doodles, maybe? I’ve been reading a bit more of his book and he includes all sorts of interesting exercises. One that I can’t wait to try is to pick a group of words and then from that one group of words, write three distinct poems. He suggests first writing a poem that is strongly “positive”, then one that is “negative” and then a third that is either neutral or contains both “positive” and “negative.” Such fun!

      Liked by 1 person

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