To Fly into a Bright Sky

74707-poetry-friday-logoAmy Ludwig VanDerwater is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at her fabulous blog, The Poem Farm. She has invited everyone to participate this week in a celebration of the life of Lee Bennett Hopkins. I’ve chosen to do so by writing a poem inspired by a line from an LBH poem.

To Fly into a Bright Sky

To fly into a bright sky
is to focus on the light
of the surrounding stars
rather than the darkness between.
To see ourselves as stalwart contenders,
rather than walking wounded.
To linger in laughter,
rather than wallow in tears.
To focus on what remains,
rather than on what was lost.

To fly into a bright sky
is to choose the light,
to chart a path,
to soar.

Molly Hogan ©2019
inspired by the line “to fly into a bright sky” from Lee Bennett Hopkins’s “Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life”

Image result for been to yesterdays poems of a life

I never had the opportunity to meet Lee Bennett Hopkins. After reading so many of the tributes and anecdotes shared recently, I find myself wishing even more that I had. Thankfully his poetry lives on.

 

33 thoughts on “To Fly into a Bright Sky

  1. margaretsmn says:

    I feel, like you do, that I’ve missed out on this bright light. Your poem speaks to the focus we’ve taken this week in my classes on courage. Meaningful instructions inspired by LBH, to fly into a bright sky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I loved the quote about courage that you shared, Margaret, and am planning on sharing it with my incoming students. I’ve been thinking a lot about courage lately and how it’s not always obvious, but when we move forward, it’s always there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. haitiruth says:

    “To see ourselves as stalwart contenders,
    rather than walking wounded.”

    (My favorite part.)

    Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. amyludwigvanderwater says:

    Yes. It is a choice. Sometimes so hard, but with beautiful words such as these, somehow more possible. Last week I reread BEEN TO YESTERDAYS, sitting by a creek, thinking about Lee. His line opened a world of wisdom which you give here to us. I, too, am trying to focus on light rather than darkness. Thank you. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lindabaie says:

    He chose that path of light and inspired us all, as you wrote so wonderfully in your poem. I would wish everyone had the chance to read Lee’s poems and be guided by them. Thanks, Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You chose a beautiful line to take further, Molly. At this point, I think it’s fair to say Lee’s light is blooming into fireworks. At least that’s what it feels like with all of these wonderful tributes!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “To focus on what remains,
    rather than on what was lost.”
    I need to print this out as a reminder every day.. light not darkness, contender not wounded. Thanks for this lovely poem, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. cvarsalona says:

    To fly into a bright sky
    is to choose the light,
    to chart a path,
    to soar.
    This is a stanza that should be in every classroom. Teachers should always point students into the light and let their voices soar. Love this idea, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Linda Mitchell says:

    What a gorgeous line (and title) to take from Lee. I never met him either. I also wish that I had. But, I somehow, know he’s fine with this line taken from him and made yours. “rather than the darkness between” is really lovely. Well done, Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Molly, you might not have personally met Lee, but I feel like your beautiful poem jives with what I consider his sensibilities… just lovely, and powerful, and simple – like so much of Lee’s own writing. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. maryleehahn says:

    This is what I hate about coming late to the roundup…everyone has already said what I would have! So…ditto all of the above!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      lol, Mary Lee, I often find myself thinking that same thing. I want to comment with an arrow pointing up and write, “What they said!” “Ditto” is definitely more efficient!

      Like

  11. Amy Wheeler says:

    What a beautiful tribute, Molly❤️And a poem that has so many interpretations and applications 😊beautifully written…especially my favorite alliterative line “ to linger in laughter”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. cweichel says:

    I too have never met Lee, and feel the loss even greater as I read all the posts today. Your poem strikes a deep chord with me today as I mourn the passing of a friend who loved to write poetry and stories. I hope you do not mind if I share it with others on her facebook page. I think it will bring solace to all of us.
    I went in search of Been to Yesterdays from my library, but alas they do not have a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’m so sorry that it took me so long to respond! It’s been a crazy week. I am also so sorry to read about your friend. You are more than welcome to share this poem with others and I sincerely hope that it does bring some solace to those who are grieving. Thinking of you!

      Like

  13. Thank you for this beautiful poem, Molly. As others have said, these lines are a perfect tribute to Lee:
    To fly into a bright sky
    is to choose the light,
    to chart a path,
    to soar.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Your poem offers beauty and wisdom to live life. There is so much we can choose–laughter and light and courage–to chart our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We all need “To linger in laughter, and focus on what remains”…thanks for reminding us of this, Molly. Now, let’s soar into that bright sky!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I like the way the rather floaty flight into a bright sky eventually leads to “stalwart contenders.” We need the ephemeral ideals as well as the backbone to follow through, and I think Lee had both!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. mbhmaine says:

    Thanks, Heidi! I’m so glad you had the chance to meet him!

    Like

  18. laurashovan222 says:

    “The light of the surrounding stars” — I feel like this line reflects Lee’s light, his influence on so many children’s poets, myself included.

    Like

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