PF: Zentangle Poem

In the midst of classroom unpacking chaos, between bouts of frantic worry and frenzied optimism, a page from a book appeared on my classroom floor. I picked it up. Hmmmm. Where had that come from? After reading through it, I was pretty sure it had come from a copy of “The Phantom Tollbooth” (which, I’m embarrassed to say, I’ve never read though it’s now in my towering TBR pile.) I did know enough to recognize the character names: the Humbug and Milo. Knowing I didn’t have a copy of that book in my classroom, I figured that at some past point, I’d probably rescued a few pages from a discarded copy and intended it for some blackout poetry. I tucked the stray page in my bag.

Days later, at home, that page tumbled out of my bag with a mess of other papers. Always willing to indulge in a bit of procrastination, I decided to try a blackout poem. Once I found the poem, I transformed it into a Zentangle–a first for me. The resulting poem surprised me a bit. I will say that regardless of how this poem sounds, I really am looking forward to being with my new class. My worries are based in a wider world.

Graceful sky
Sunlight leafslid
dropped luminous
clear and close

Ahead and soon
serious difficulties
continual crashing
wild dashing


a breath

We’re lost.

Β©Molly Hogan

This week’s poetry Friday is hosted by Elisabeth at Unexpected Intersections.

34 thoughts on “PF: Zentangle Poem

  1. Sara Domingo says:

    I love this so much, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Liz Garton Scanlon says:

    Whoa, this is amazing — to look at and read! Sunlight leafslid — divine!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tabatha says:

    The Phantom Tollbooth was one of my favorite books as a kid…it doesn’t surprise me that some pages might appear out of nowhere, beckoning you to try something new πŸ™‚ I like the combo of the crashing lostness and those dark trees.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you took time to be creative, and also prompted me to think about Phantom Tollbooth. Now I have to reread it. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. margaretsmn says:

    Ooo, “we’re lost” is such an intriguing end. I love how you were inspired to try zentangle. Your drawing is just right for the text you chose. I hope you will play more with this and maybe even try it with your kiddos this year. It’s fun and creative, and somewhat carefree.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. tee+d says:

    Oh, wow – this is really a nice one! I didn’t have time to copy from a storybook I liked when we did Zentangles, but this reminds me how much potential they have! I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lindabaie says:

    This week it feels as if your poem was meant to be, Molly. Perhaps ‘lost in the woods’ is what the week has been? Your rendering is lovely, though. That book is a favorite; remember to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Really beautiful, Molly. I didn’t read Phantom Tollbooth until adulthood, and it made me really wish I’d encountered it as a child. Wishing you a lovely start to the year in your new teaching space! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. katswhiskers says:

    I love that zentangles take us places that we don’t expect to go. This is such a different voice for you – and the zentangle did that. Perfectly matched to artwork, too. Yay for procrastination. Sad for worry. I will be praying for you, friend.πŸ’“

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Linda Mitchell says:

    I’d say that The Phantom Tollbooth was calling to you! I love your description of how the page followed you until you found the poem inside the words and turned it into a zentangle. Bravo! The universe bends toward creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Elisabeth says:

    It’s like that page kept jumping in front of you, willing you to turn it into. a poem! This is beautiful. I love the ending – stopping instead of panicking when the realization of being lost hits.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Susan T. says:

    That is a great zentangle! The illustrations go really well with the words you selected. I think you should submit it somewhere!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Janet F. says:

    I am always so surprised and often pleased at what a found poem can be…’s a fun way to do a poem and then to add the Zentangle art, well, that adds to the fun. Nice, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes. Yes, yes. I like the way your blacking-out + zentangling creates a scene, a very appropriate scene for the mood of the poem. Very clever as well as gut-revealing emotion.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. bmagee10 says:

    Wow, this is an amazing, Molly, and speaks to so much right now. That page wanted to be a poem! Happy new (school) year! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Michelle Kogan says:

    I love your poem Molly and the spooky art you created too! It reminds me of Daniel Handler and Halloween. Lovely sounds in your poem and I also like “leafslid.” Hope you get to read “The Phantom Tollbooth” it’s a favorite of mine. There’s also a movie of it, it’s wonderful, thanks for all!


  17. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, I am still making my rounds but read your post much earlier. I do love blackout poetry and the zentangle doodling makes it a much richer experience. The artwork and the pairing of these words takes me right to the last line: continual crashing
    wild dashing
    We’re lost.


  18. maryleehahn says:

    How fabulous that the page of text sort of fell at your feet, begging for a poem.

    I just recently read The Phantom Tollbooth. If I previously read it, enough details had evaporated to make it like-new.


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