PF: My Home

This month Catherine Flynn posed the challenge for our group: “Copy a mentor poem (or other text) word for word, then replace [that poet’s] language with your own.” She was inspired by an article that she’d read in the NYT entitled, “How E.L. Doctorrow Taught an Aspiring Writer to Hear the Sounds of Fiction. I decided to try this with a wonderful poem by Renée Watson: “This Body II.”

This Body II

My body is
perfect and
imperfect and
Black and
girl and
big and
thick hair and
short legs and
scraped knee and
healed scar and
click for the rest of the poem here

Here’s my poem. I struggled with the ending two lines and ultimately deviated from Watson’s original form. I’d still be fiddling if it weren’t Friday already.

My Home

My house is
inviting and
imperfect and
red and
old and
big and
slightly crooked and
terribly cluttered and
horsehair plaster and
cobweb corners and
walls sheltering and
laughter that echoes and
generations that whisper and
doors to step through and
windows that frame and
my parent’s loveseat and
my in-law’s chair and
my grandparent’s buffet and

my house is coalescence
my house is my home.

©Molly Hogan

If you’d like to see what some others have done with this prompt, check out their blogs at the following links:

Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Jone MacCulloch at her blog.

29 thoughts on “PF: My Home

  1. Molly, hi! I’m flying through your fascinating poem house of language! Intrigued by “horsehair plaster” & warmed by the heart-tug of pass-along furniture pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. margaretsmn says:

    I’m stealing this one! I tried to do one after this very poem about my body and it was so negative that I wouldn’t dare post it. But the turn to the house is masterful. I can see your house and how its old creaky floors welcome you and yours daily.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Having seen your home and celebrated there years ago, I appreciate the images that your poem creates for me. Classic Maine home that’s all about the love and the family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jama says:

    Am really enjoying all the responses to this challenge. Wonderful to read about your house. Great choice of mentor poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kay Mcgriff says:

    I am enjoying the responses to this challenge. Your house sounds so warm and inviting and welcoming.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. haitiruth says:

    I love the sound of your house! Ruth,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lindabaie says:

    I love Renee’s poem & how you mastered it with your own “home”, Molly. I have some of that ‘pass-along’ furniture, too, as does my daughter, my son, and on. Stories are everywhere in your home, I imagine. You’ve grabbed me with the wonderful thought of them with your poem!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Linda. I really enjoyed the process of writing this poem, but found choosing a mentor a bit of a challenge. I was so relieved when I finally found Renee’s poem and figured out a way to work with it.


  8. Wonderful, Molly. I especially love when you turn from describing it to renaming it:
    horsehair plaster and
    cobweb corners and
    walls sheltering and
    laughter that echoes and

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sally Murphy says:

    This is wonderful Molly. Very clever.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well done, Molly! I love how you zoom in from the general (red, old, big) to the specific. Those “cobwebbed corners,” echoing laughter, and family furniture are what make a house a home.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Fran Haley says:

    I love your imperfect house, Molly. Especially this:
    cobweb corners and
    walls sheltering and
    laughter that echoes and
    generations that whisper

    I often wonder what stories the old walls have absorbed, and what they could tell, of people and times past. Somewhere in them we are still children with our grandparents, or with our own young children. Your words give me a pang in the heart – but a sweet one. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. laurashovan222 says:

    Thanks for sharing this poem in the February group, Molly. What a great choice to use for this assignment! These details jumped out at me: “horsehair plaster and cobweb corners.”


  13. bmagee10 says:

    So cool, Molly. I love the thought of “laughter that echoes”. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. When you think about it, a house IS like a body, if we and all our furnishings are like cells and structures, organs and the music of our organs filling the body, red and coalescing. I like what you’ve done with the place!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Gail Aldous says:

    Molly, Renee Watson’s poetry is spectacular. Have you read her books, yet? I’m looking forward to reading them. Wow, you have nailed it here! No pun intended. Your home sounds warm, inviting, and full of love. I’m picturing hard wood floors in it. The middle of your poem sings to me.”slightly crooked and/terribly cluttered and/horsehair plaster and/walls sheltering and/laughter that echoes and/generations that whisper.” Beautiful! I have enjoyed reading every Swagger’s poems. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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