Wings Wide Open

 

Ruth Ayres recently encouraged me to think about what it means to live with arms wide open.  Even though I’m an introvert at heart, I love to take quiet risks.  I was born curious and that curiosity hasn’t subsided in my sixth decade of living.  I guess that’s why I also love teaching.  I am always looking for the new — looking to learn.

Last week, I found a new poetry form.  I never had heard of it before.  A new children’s poetry book, Nine:  A Book of Nonet Poems written by Irene Latham and illustrated by Amy Huntington, will be published in June. Nonets are poems with 9 lines and 45 syllables. Nonets can go in descending or ascending order (9-1 or 1-9 lines).  

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Nine+a+book+of+nonet+poems&i=instant-video&ref=nb_sb_noss

Line 1: 9 syllables                                                                                                                                  Line 2: 8 syllables                                                                                                                            Line 3: 7 syllables                                                                                                                            Line 4: 6 syllables                                                                                                                            Line 5: 5 syllables                                                                                                                            Line 6: 4 syllables                                                                                                                            Line 7: 3 syllables                                                                                                                            Line 8: 2 syllables                                                                                                                                Line 9: 1 syllable

I decided to have a go at writing nonets. I actually like the challenge of having to stay within a form.  It is somehow comforting to have parameters, boundaries – a garden border, a frame for my thoughts.

Nine Song Birds

In my yard, under the great green pine,

The songbirds gather in the shade

Pecking and chirping along:

Robin, jays, chickadees

With one joyous voice,

While woodpecker

Keeps the beat:

Rhythm – – –

Rhyme.

 

 

Buds

Buds

Blossom

Purple, white,

The crocus first,

In row upon row,

Then Yellow daffodils,

Golden guardians stand watch.

Sunshine in the form of flowers,

Long awaited spring returns and blooms.

As I continued to reflect on the idea of “arms wide open,” it made me think of the poem by Emily Dickinson, “Hope is a Thing with Feathers.”  I had repeated that poem over and over again when my mother was gravely ill six years ago. On a crisp, blue early November day when she was cremated, I walked out into the cemetery and suddenly a flock of Canadian geese took flight.  They honked and flapped, creating a “V” as they lifted into the air. I smiled and took in this as a final good-bye from my mother whose name was Vivian.  She was a teacher too and an artist.  It was Vivian who taught me to live life with arms wide open.

7 thoughts on “Wings Wide Open

  1. Thank you, Ruth! I’m turning around in my mind – “recipes are like poetry” – trying to think of another blog post idea! Your prompts give me great food for thought (pun intended) and inspiration to keep writing.

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  2. I have never heard of the nonet poem form either. Spring is bursting out through your two poems. I may have to play with that form someday. Canadian geese in formation is awesome to watch. What a timely formation for you.

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  3. Wow. I love your words today! It is a delight to learn about nonets, and the transition to remembering your mother was lovely. I will remember that V you saw the day she was cremated. What comfort.

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  4. Thank you, Anne. I write and I forget people are reading what I’ve written. The nonets were a lovely surprise to me, as were those geese. And every they fly overhead I smile up at the them, because I know my mom is watching over me!

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  5. I love the nonet – it is a structure that allows you to expand gradually on a theme and yet achieve great verbal economy. Yours are superb! Thank you also for appreciating my comment on the Wandering Ambivert blog! I am an amateur poet too – please check out my work if you feel so inclined!

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    1. Thank you Satyen, for your kind words. Your poem Migrant has such powerful images, Dirge – made me cry. And I loved these lines from So Can I – Hunted by hungry predators, often before it’s born, The bird still sings its magical tune. You have such a strong voice. I have begun to follow you.

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