Friday, April 2, 2021

For Poets, Divers and Revisers

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Mary Lee at A Year of Reading for a special First Friday of National Poetry Month Roundup.

I kind of can't believe it's April! Which means next month it's May... and Writer's Loft is hosting me for a webinar entitled Diving into the Wreck: How to Revise Poetry

(In case you can't read that small print, here's what it says: Most of us have draft-y poems that we're certain contain some bit of treasure, but it's still at least partly buried in the muck. This interactive poetry revision webinar with award-winning author/editor Irene Latham provides a perfect opportunity to plunder what's there, shine it up, and showcase the hidden jewels. The first part of the webinar will provide general revision tactics that teach you how to dig deeper into your poems and bring beauty to the surface. The second half will be modeled after a "first pages" session for fiction writers; participants will submit one page of their poems in advance and Irene will choose a few to critique during the webinar.)

Please sign up to learn revision strategies that I use every day... and I'll also be using attendees' poems to demonstrate on-the-spot how to use these techniques! It's going to be invigorating, as any rescue dive should be. :) Here's a Facebook event link, too.

And... because it's National Poetry Month, and I live in a small house already stacked with books, I'll be giving away poetry books each Friday! Today's offering: the beautiful verse novel LAND OF THE CRANES by Aida Salazar.

Simply leave a comment, and our cat Maggie will choose a winner on Sunday. Good luck!

This week's ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS continues our romp into spring... and it's a piece from Portland Art Museum. Thank you for reading!

Spring Forward

If you bend with the river
between stands of bamboo

if you let yourself trickle


you'll land in a cradle
of mountains and sky,

where clouds
billow a bracing lullaby.

Let your thoughts quiver!

Dreams will unfurl
if you bend with the river.

- Irene Latham


  1. Oh, I love that painting and the idea of being cradled in mountains and sky. And, bending with the river sounds like yoga in a wonderful way. Lovely! A revision workshop sounds tempting. I will check it out.

  2. I love the flow of the poem into cradle, lullaby, dreams, and waking! I'm also fascinated by the illustration. A Van Gogh-ization of an oriental scene -- great example of using a "mentor text" but making your art your own!

  3. "Dreams will unfurl/if you bend with the river"--such an evocative line! The revision workshop looks excellent; thank you for sharing.

    1. Elisabeth, Maggie selected YOU as the winner of THE LAND OF CRANES! Please email me irene (at) irenelatham (dot) com with your mailing address. Thank you!

  4. "trickle/flow/meander/move" — I bend with your beautiful poem, Irene. :)

  5. There is so much to love about this gorgeous post, Irene. The soft colors and edges in Hongtu's painting pulls you in, then your words echo the movement of the water and clouds and wrap you in their wisdom: "Dreams will unfurl/if you bend with the river."

  6. I like the idea of those special things happening "If you. . .", Irene. It's a lovely response to that gorgeous picture. Of course it reminds me of my own Colorado Rockies. Happy April!

  7. I like how this poem meanders down its own path - rather like water, streaming this way and that. It's lovely.

  8. I love that ending and the unfurling dreams. Your workshop sounds great!

  9. Lovely meandering poem that circles round to where it started, and gorgeous art too! Looking forward to your workshop, it fits my tight teaching schedule and budget, thanks.

  10. There is such peace in this poem - quivering thoughts and unfurling dreams. Lovely!

  11. Here's to letting ourselves trickle, flow, meander, move! Thanks for the dreamy poem.

  12. 'Let your thoughts quiver' indeed. What a lovely poem. Thanks for sharing.

  13. A cradle of mountains and sky--magical! Thanks, Irene!

  14. So much to love - cradles, a lullaby, and meandering. Definitely some of my favorite words and the counsel to bend with the river.

  15. Beautiful poem to go with that gorgeous painting!

  16. Oh such a lovely poem and you know I am excited about your class! Bend with the river and your dreams will unfurl....wonderful. The painting is captivating and your poem does help ideas of spring awake! Janet Clare F.

  17. "Bend with the river..." - what a beautiful image! Thanks you, Irene!

  18. Dreams will unfurl
    if you bend with the river.


  19. I like the path your poem gives the ending extra power. xoxo

  20. These lines:
    Let your thoughts quiver!"
    remind me of Auguste Rodin's advice:
    "The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live." It's a beauty of a poem, Irene.


Your thoughts?