Friday, January 14, 2022

Courage Has Four Feet (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure and visit Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading for Roundup.

Today's ArtSpeak: Animals poem is inspired by one of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings. I so appreciate his desire for accuracy, and how his studies and drawings were an essential part of the process. 

I think we writers do our own versions of this as we research and draft and cut and try again! 

In fact, the Private Eye method (which I've shared about many times and continue to practice!) is equally as concerned with finding the right words as it is about drawing in exquisite detail what you see in the jeweler's loupe. It's such a great practice for writers... if you haven't tried it, I hope you will!

And here's a quote to consider...although please don't use it as an excuse to stay in research mode some point, one must simply WRITE the thing! (Ahem. Writing these words as much for myself as anyone!)

"For verily, great love springs from great knowledge of the beloved object, and if you little know it, you will be able to love it only a little or not at all." - Leonardo da Vinci

And now, my poem! Thank you so much for reading.

Courage Has Four Feet

sometimes it wakes

a bear summoned
by snowmelt

it shuffles
into a greening wood
thunder in its throat
lightning it its eyes

beneath each
wobbly step

- Irene Latham


  1. What a wonderful image of a bear called from hibernation by the first signs of spring. Thanks for sharing this today!

  2. I wobbly (two)step forth, often awakened by hunger. Hmm, the bear within. Thanks for sharing Leo's art and your words, Irene. :)

  3. You always teach me something worthwhile. I love how your poems are so tight, so seemingly effortless, though I know they are not. This is a post to treasure and save. Thanks, Irene.

  4. "Heartstorm" is a wonderful word for this bear and for us to hear.

  5. oooooh! Heartstorm...that hunger that wakes. Wowee!

  6. Perhaps we might try hibernating and be moved awake like bear by
    hunger" and
    Such nice sounds in these word, and hope ahead for us. Something I learned a long time ago in Art School, by a mentor artist, spending time with a subject only helps describe it more, thanks Irene! ^_^

  7. I love imagining that 'heart storm', Irene. A marvelous Da Vinci exhibit was here a few years ago, fabulous to see all his ideas. Thanks for the reminder about Private Eye!

  8. Indeed, sometimes courage does wake slowly. And sometimes it even roars, thunder in its throat, lightning in its eye. I'll take another dose of bear, please! I think 2022 will need it.🐻

  9. Here's to all the wobbly steps we take as we awaken our courage! (Great metaphor; great poem!)

  10. Yes! I agree with Mary Lee. Thank you for sharing the daVinci quote--I will be thinking about that for a long time.

  11. What a wonderful courage bear!

  12. Thanks for the reminder about the Private Eye and the loupe--I'd forgotten I used that in 2nd grade some. You'll be able to stretch that "___ has [animal part]" form a long way!

  13. Your writing, your teaching never ceases to open my heart, Irene.

  14. Gorgeous poem, Irene.The word combinations are so vivid.

  15. Oh, I love this poem and those tentative wobbly steps back into the larger world.


Your thoughts?