Friday, July 15, 2022

Daffodil, Crow...and a Poem Grows

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Elisabeth at Unexpected Intersections for Roundup.

You're invited to read my brand new post over at Highlights blog on How to Revise Poetry: 20 Questions to Ask. Hope you find it useful!

I've got my head down this week, closing in on a revision of a BIG historical novel, so my mind is full of the puzzle pieces that must fit together just so...

No wonder I wanted to write something short for this week's ArtSpeak: Animals poem.

 Well. You know how challenging the short form can be, right? And with my brain a bowl full of mush, I've had difficulty deciding which effort is the best I decided to include ALL my efforts here today. :)

Maybe this gives you a bit of a picture of the poetic pathways in my brain, the imaginative leaps, the way I like to play with sounds and images...I think this kind of sharing can be useful for any poet studying the craft—how do we get from idea to poem? For better or for worse, here's this week's path.

Please let me know which version you prefer! (I formatted the last one, since that's where I stopped.) Thanks so much for reading. 

Here's the art I selected:

untitled by Sohrab Sepehri 
(who was also a poet!)


Hope is a crow
finding a daffodil
in the snow

snow-dusted daffodil
smiles at a passing crow—
hello! hello!

eager daffodil
throws off blanket of snow—
hello crow

daffodil lifts head
from pillow of snow—
hello crow

crow doesn't know
to call it daffodil—
another sudden sun

what we call
crow calls hope

Daffodil in Love

She throws off
blanket of snow—
hello crow

trembling daffodil
throws off blanket of snow
hello crow

crow is first
to notice daffodil rising
from snow

crow is first
to notice new sun
climbing out of snow

crow is first
to notice daffodil rising—
snow queen

crow is first
to notice bold bloom
breaking free of snow

crow is first to notice
yellow petals burning
through late winter snow

crow folds its wings
before yellow snow queen—
hello spring


  1. Thanks for this glimpse into your creative process! I do love to see behind the creative curtain ... It's hard to pick a favorite - I think it's a tie between the last (formatted one) - it tells a story in just a few lines - and the first one, because I love anything with hope in it :-).

    Best of luck on your deadlines!

  2. LOL....mush? yah. right. I think it's sharp from it's sharpening. Love this image and all the wonderful short stanzas you can squeeze from it. That yellow against that dark much there! Best of luck to you on revisions. I know you can do it! And, I look forward to whatever new is coming from you. I volunteer to beta read!

  3. Wow, that's a hard choice! I like #4, so quiet, so beautiful. But I have a bunch more favorites too. Well done, Irene, and congrats on the new manuscript!

  4. You had me at #4, Irene. In my present state of "mush" (teaching English at a language camp this week and next) a poem that includes a pillow is a brilliant. :)

  5. Good luck with all of your current endeavors, my friend! Thanks for sharing all of these, and Sohrab Sepehri's lyrical art. I'm rather taken with #5's "sudden sun." :0)

  6. I like your final poem, "Yellow snow queen—And the lovely art too! Good luck with your revisions… And upcoming Workshop, thanks for the revisions list and link!

  7. I loved #3 and #5, but what I love MOST is seeing all the shifts and changes -- what gets left behind and what stays. Thank you! Process posts are the best.

  8. Best of luck with your big revision! I am bookmarking your Highlights article to read this weekend! Love all of those "ow" sounds in your poem.

  9. I think my favorite is #14! So much fun!

  10. This is poetry as exploration and experimentation, Irene. I like it. My choice is number 5 as the crow suddenly discovers the blazing plant he doesn't know the name of. Number 12 with its alliteration also grabs my attention. All these short poems capturing the exact moment crow and daffodil cross paths have something to recommend them. Small moment in time frozen like a photographic image...

  11. Irene, I read this on Friday but then the little grandgirls came and I had to give my undivided attention to them for the weekend visit. I read through your article that is helpful and I will use it as a reference in my poetry session for virtual PD this year. I loved reading and reflecting on your process for creating a beautiful ArtSpeak poem. Colors against the snow and terse verse makes this poem special. I read everything about your retreat workshop and wish it could be for me someday. This fall is devoted to my husband's hip replacement surgery and healing.


Your thoughts?