This will be a month of double-dipping, as not only will I be sharing with you day 6 of ARTSPEAK!: Portraits, my National Poetry Month poem-a-day project, during which I am looking, listening with my spirit ear, and asking these subject to share with me their secrets -- but it's also Spiritual Journey Thurday! For this month's installment, we are all writing about spring or new life or Easter. Be sure to visit Violet at Violet Nesdoly blog for Roundup! You'll find my comments below!
But first: be sure to check out the Kat's line of our 2017 Progressive Poem over at Kat's Whiskers. I'll be posting my line tomorrow when I host Poetry Friday Roundup! Hee-haw!!
Here are the ARTSPEAK! Portraits poems so far:
5. "Warning" after the bull by Lee Jung Seob
4. "I am" after The White Cloud, Head Chief of the Iowas by George Catlin
3. "What If?" after Portrait of Camille Roulin by Vincent van Gogh
2. "The Lady Confesses" after Portrait of a Lady with Mask and Cherries by Benjamin Wilson
1. "Mona Lisa in Love" after Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
Today I have another woman for you. I was really drawn to this face. I actually worked on this poem with students at Oakwood University during a session titled "Poetry Meets Picasso." I love teaching about how to write art poems -- and these students were amazing and inspiring! Here is a pic of the students selecting postcards to write about:
|What a beautiful day! Thank you, Oakwood!|
And here is what my own (colorful!) woman had to say:
- after "Portrait of a Woman" by Alexei von Jawlensky
My checks grow
my ears sprout
a pine forest.
You can hike
the chocolate ridge
of my nose,
on a bed of violets.
Before you go,
in my red rowboat
Drop a hook
into my clear,
Never lose sight
- Irene Latham
Readers, I tried several approaches to this poem. I was thinking about a poem I read at Oakwood University: "What the Mirror Said" by Lucille Clifton, about the geography of a body, extending that to the geography of a face. And then i found "paint-by-number," and somewhere, likely lurking, was a line from a favorite Jackson Browne song "The Pretender" -- "my paint-by-number dreams." AND I was also thinking about Rilke's "Archaic Torso of Apollo," which ends with that unexpected command, "You must change your life." I knew I wanted to end with a command! So that's how THAT happened. :)
|If you don't have a copy of this|
book, and would like one,
irene (at) irenelatham (dot) com
I am giving away copies for NPM!
We Begin Again
Redwoods riseon all sides
as if born whole
and placed by a god
whose one decree
The seed cannot
know its own greatness,
as we can’t foresee
when it comes—
the seed transformed
to a giant
with foot-thick skin,
toward an ocean
it will never taste.
- Irene Latham
I wrote this poem after Paul and I visited Muir Woods, which I consider one of the most holy places I've ever visited. The conversations those trees were having! What a blessing just to walk and listen and BE -- all the while becoming something MORE than we were the moment before. May we all keep growing and reaching toward that ocean. xo