Friday, July 30, 2021

Writing in Summer (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure and visit Becky at Sloth Reads for Roundup.

This week for ArtSpeak: Four Seasons, I found myself writing about writing. This happens from time to time, I think because I need these words for myself. (I often feel like my poetry is me talking to/coaching myself!) Poetry in particular feels like a bridge to my subconscious mind. 

The art for this one is by Claude Monet. (In a recent inventory, I discovered that I have written the most ArtSpeak poems after work by van Gogh, and Monet takes second place.) I want to draw your attention to a lovely new picture book biography about Monet entitled MORNINGS WITH MONET by Barb Rosenstock, illus. by Mary GrandPre. I loved learning about Monet's boat studio! And like Monet, I adore creating art in the early morning hours. Beautiful!

Monet also said this: "Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love." - Claude Monet 

LOVE! And now, here's "Writing in Summer." Thank you so much for reading.

Writing in Summer

Not enough
to walk amid
waving wildflowers
and buzzy bees.
Keep going,
push into the wind.
Invite ocean's breath
to steal your hat
and collapse
that (safe) parasol.
Now is not the time
to whine about theft
or wet salt spray.
To discover your
best story,
you must dance
on the          edge.

- Irene Latham


  1. Oh, this post gets me...from love of Monet (a new PB biography? Yes, please) to creating in the early morning to pushing into the wind and losing that dang hat. I was just gathering some art for writing and I made sure to get Monet in the mix.

  2. Irene, your poem is beautiful and inviting. I "pushed into the wind" and welcomed "the salt spray" with you. I understand, "To discover your best story, you must dance on the edge." I love the Cliff Walk pa, and write what you wrote. I looked up Mornings with Monet. Seems like a beautiful collaboration of words and art. I noticed in the paintings that Monet "lived on the edge" capturing his art by living in it.
    Today, I "walked amid the waving wildflowers" and fluttering butterflies of my garden determined to photograph a monarch, who I have been writing about. Then, when I read your beautiful and relaxing post I thought, yes, I have to go to the ocean even if it's just for a few days, to "dance on the edge" of these other poems I've been writing from memories of the beach. Thank you sharing your poem, Monet, the picture book about Monet, and your inspiration.

    I finished reading Charles and your Dictionary for a Better World, WOW! Your book is amazing, inspiring, and so needed. Every elementary ed. teacher and child should have a copy of this book. I wish I had a class to read your book to. I will definitely carry it with me when I substitute teach hoping I have time to share it with kids and teachers. Such valuable lessons! Charles and your anecdotes make the book so easy for children to relate to-like you're right there explaining to them and your "Try it" is like you guys are there encouraging them! I hope Charles and you are having much success bringing this book into the hands of children, teachers, and parents. Congratulations! I also read Can I Touch Your Hair a long time ago and loved that book, too.

  3. "Invite ocean's breath to steal your hat" is a prize line. I do not usually dance on the edge as your poem invites me to do. It's too scary. I'm going with my daughter to the Gulf Coast and will be in charge of her toddler. I will be trying to keep him close and away from edges, as he tends toward the daring.

  4. Irene, I, too, love the line Margaret shared above. Sometimes, I feel like I dance on the edge but not on the edge of a cliff like the women in the art work. I do love Monet's art. They bring me back to times that seem so calm. I am creating a new gallery, Nurturing Your Summer Soul. Would I be able to showcase this image poem in my gallery or another if you have an intent for this one?


Your thoughts?