The Poetry Friday Roundup is Here!

74707-poetry-friday-logoWelcome to this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup! I was so excited to be hosting this week for  many reasons, but not least because I knew immediately what to title this blog post. Phew!

Titles are so important, but they give me so much trouble.  Far too often I hem and haw, and then finally choose a title simply to have it done. On rare occasions, a title comes to me immediately, but I can’t stress enough how rare that is. Usually, it’s a difficult process and results in a title that, at best, feels adequate. At worst, the process makes me circle round and round, tear my hair out, agonize loudly and at length, and question my writing skills. It’s an ugly process. Sigh.

A few weeks ago, not long after yet another title tussle, a Poetry Foundation Poem of the Day post popped up in my Inbox. The poem for that day was titled, “Lost in the Milky Way.” That’s a great title, I thought. Suddenly, it occurred to me that I could use the title like a found line. Inspired by that title, I could write a poem, and then I could even compare it to the one the poet wrote. The hard part was not looking at the original poem until mine was written. The wonderful, freeing part was knowing that I already had a title for my poem!

Now, I thought that I was very clever. I’d already written most of this post and had my plan in place. Then, I read Margaret Simon’s PF post two weeks ago. Rats! Apparently, my idea was not as innovative as I had thought! lol She noted that Austin Kleon shares the title-stealing idea in “Steal Like An Artist” and then went on to share a beautiful poem of her own based on a title stolen from a painting. Oh, well. I decided to go with my plan anyway. Maybe I’m stubborn, maybe I’d already invested too much energy, or maybe I just couldn’t face having to create a title!

At any rate, here’s my poem, based on a stolen title:

Lost in the Milky Way

To lose oneself in the Milky Way
first one must find it.

“Is that it?” I asked
that first night, so long ago.
“That smudgy streak?”

“That’s our galaxy!”
Your words tumbled out,
intense and eager.
“Made of millions–no, billions
of stars
            and planets
                               and solar systems!
It’s a barred spiral of light!”

You spouted facts and figures,
gesturing with one hand
while the other held mine.
My head swirled
with light years and
numbers with zero
                                 after zero
                                                 after zero.

Standing beside you now,
gazing into space,
my hand slips into yours.
I ground myself
in this one moment
in space and time,
while you continue to sing
your love song to the universe,
lost in the Milky Way.

Molly Hogan ©2019

Once my poem was written, I was eager to go back to the Poetry Foundation e-mail and check out the original poem with the inspiring title. The first thing that startled me was the poet’s name, which hadn’t been visible in the e-mail title. Linda Hogan! Go figure! (Thanks, Linda, for a great title! )Then, I read her poem.

Lost in the Milky Way

Some of us are like trees that grow with a spiral grain
as if prepared for the path of  the spirit’s journey
to the world of all souls.
It is not an easy path.
A dog stands at the opening constellation
past the great helping hand.
….. (click the title to read the whole poem.)
I’ve read this poem over and over again. It’s rich and layered and pretty wonderful. Very different from my poem. Isn’t it fascinating how the same title can lead in totally different directions?
So, if you’re interested in playing along, here are a few recent titles (with links to the original poems) that might be fun to play with–Please note, I haven’t read any of these poems, so I don’t know what you’ll find when you click on the links. I simply found the titles evocative.
Dear Echo
Also, next week Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wandering is hosting the Roundup. She’s thrown out an optional poetry theme of trees. Maybe you can steal a title to go along with that!
Lee  Bennett Hopkins

Photograph by Charles J Egita Photo

Note: I have just read the terribly sad news that Lee Bennett Hopkins died today. On the home page of his blog, he says: “Give children poetry. It is one of the best gifts you can give them…a gift to last a lifetime.” Thank you so much, Lee, for sharing your poetic gifts with all of us. You will be missed.
Image result for
Please click below to add your link for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup.

Update: I apologize if I’ve been late approving any posts, or have missed approving any, and for not getting around to read and comment on posts. I’ve been unexpectedly caught up in a medical emergency. Thanks for understanding, and I will do the best I can when I can.

46 thoughts on “The Poetry Friday Roundup is Here!

  1. Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful poems today, Molly. My head is swirling too—it’s been a tough week—but reading these poems helped.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I love how you turn something challenging into a beautiful poem! I hope you start with titles more often. And, you know I’ll play! I’m taking the titles and giving them so thought. Thanks so much for hosting this week. What a wild week and day to host considering Lee’s passing. There’s so much more good in the world because of him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. maryleehahn says:

    I like yours MUCH better!

    Thanks for hosting the roundup this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your beautiful found poem, Molly. Thank you for sharing it and for hosting this week’s round up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Enjoyed reading your beautiful words, Molly – and the story behind them, and the nod to the borrowing that all creatives do from one another.
    Of course, my eyes keep filling with tears – you picked the perfect poem to honor Lee. A gift he left for us. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      He definitely enriched the world with so many gifts. What a beautiful legacy. (By the way, for some reason your comments have been going to my SPAM folder. I apologize for not noticing earlier. I just caught it and hopefully approved all of them.)

      Like

  6. cvarsalona says:

    What a great line, Molly. “It’s a barred spiral of light!” Each writer has his/her own style and so I say “great job” with your poem. I have been immersed in so much confusion today that I did not hear about the death of Lee. There is such sadness when a wonderful, inspiring person passes on. His legacy remains. I remember Lee when I was a young reading teacher. Meeting him at a reading conference was such an amazing experience for me. I could listen to him for hours.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lindabaie says:

    It has been a week of sadness all the way through, but you’ve written a beautiful memory, Molly, that made me smile at its intimacy, both of you looking up, awestruck. The other poem is interesting, a bit ‘other-worldly’ maybe. I think you should continue to think you’re clever! Thanks for hosting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can identify with your poem because I used to gaze at the stars all the time as a child (and still do!)…nicely done, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’m overwhelmed by space and stars and those crazy numbers and concepts of space and time. This actually wasn’t autobiographical, although my husband is fascinated by all those concepts that make my head spin.

      Like

  9. […] and the uber-talented Molly Hogan is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, Nix the Comfort Zone. Perhaps you’ll join us? Molly’s sharing a sweet poem she wrote using a found title. […]

    Like

  10. […] I am glad to be joining Poetry Friday yet again this week with another female poet whom I consider to be perfect for our #WomenReadWomen2019 theme. Thank you to Nix the Comfort Zone for hosting this week. […]

    Like

  11. Thank you so much for sharing Lee Bennett Hopkins’ words here as well. Such a staggering loss for the kidlit community.
    Thank you for hosting and for sharing your lovely poem! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. […] be sure to visit my friend and critique group partner, Molly Hogan, at Nix the Comfort Zone for the Poetry Friday […]

    Like

  13. […] poetry every week. I invite you to join this awesome community. This week, our host is Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone. Check out her post about stealing like an artist and the milky way–and see what other poets […]

    Like

  14. Susan Bruck says:

    I love your milky way poem (and Linda Hogan’s, too). Such a lovely image of love and traveling together. I especially like the first line: “To lose oneself in the milky way first one must find it.”
    Also, thanks for sharing the sad news of Lee Bennett Hopkins death-and his inspiring poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I like your dreamy poem about the milky way–a long time ago I was in Maine and saw/felt the milky way–two very different views entirely. Thanks also for sharing Lee’s timely “good-bye” poem–he was one of my favorites and always will be. Thanks for hosting Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. […] Poetry Friday round-up is with Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone. […]

    Like

  17. margaretsmn says:

    I love what you did with your poem, a love song to your husband that is based on true love. I think the title stealing idea, original or not, is a fun one to try. Thanks for sharing more titles to steal. So sad to lose a giant in the children’s poetry world. I’ve read many posts on Facebook, and I’m sure there are many waiting here. I don’t think his legacy will be lost in the poetry community.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. […] more poetry (and I’m guessing many more tributes to Lee), don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Molly at Nix the Comfort […]

    Like

  19. Molly, thank you for sharing your title woes — you are not alone in that! I love the enthusiasm in your Milky Way poem… and also the words from LBH. Thank you. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      It may be selfish, but it’s nice to know that there are others who struggle with titles as well. I keep hoping that I’ll get better at it over time, but I’m not seeing much change!

      Like

  20. Thank you for hosting today, Molly. I wouldn’t worry too much about stealing Linda Hogan’s title. After all, as Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” “Lost in the Milky Way” is a great phrase, so full of
    possibility. Your lovely poem captures that possibility. Thank you, too, for sharing Lee’s wise words. Such a loss for our community.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Beautiful post, Molly. The title-stealing idea has been around forever, and it’s so lovely to play with. I love your zero after zero after zero and the way you broke and placed those lines. Thanks, also, for sharing Lee’s poem–such a loss:>(

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Molly, thank you for hosting, and for all the effort you have put in to do that job in a difficult week. I adore your poem–so concrete, so grounded and yet soaring into something so unknowable, so metaphysical. I also prefer yours to Linda’s, although that has beautiful mystery too. Thanks for the stealable titles! Don’t you think “Dear Echo” and “A Poem for Pulse” are good tree-worthy titles?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. amyludwigvanderwater says:

    Your poem is so beautiful, Molly. It makes me think about my husband and all he teaches me about the world. And “title tussle” – that’s IT! Thank you for hosting today. I love when our collective subconscious works together…there is a magic here. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Amy. I’ve actually really appreciated your posts and comments about how to find titles for poems. Sadly, with all those wonderful ideas, I still have those tussles!

      Like

  24. Kay Mcgriff says:

    I love both of these beautiful poems. Yours, especially, speaks to me and brings me back to the time I first saw the Milky Way. It took my breath away, and I wish I could find a dark enough spot to gaze upon it and wonder more often. I can relate to your title tussles, too. Thanks for hosting today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’ve rarely seen the Milky Way but I just read an article that Maine is one of the few areas that still has dark enough skies for good star gazing. I should take advantage of that more.

      Like

  25. […] the  Poetry Friday Roundup with Molly at Nix the Comfort […]

    Like

  26. Tara Smith says:

    What Mary Lee said, because she’s right :)!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. macrush53 says:

    Two poems, same title, each different both stellar. I love the title challenge. I have a difficult time with titles as well. The spiral of light…it’s where we will find Lee now. I love that poem of his. Here’s to a better week.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. […] week, my friend Molly Hogan wrote about stealing the title of a poem to write her own poem. This idea was intriguing to me and […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s