Thursday, July 24, 2014

Poetry Friday: The Poem That Got Away

Has this ever happened to you?  Last night, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I got an idea for a poem. It felt perfect for the collection I'm working on.  Now, I know I should have gotten up and jotted it down, but it had been a long day at summer school and I was exhausted.  Besides, I could remember it until morning, right?    Wrong!  This morning, I overslept, jumped out of bed, got dressed and dashed out the door. Driving to work, I tried and tried to recall that little poem, but it was long gone!

As I was thinking of what I'd like to share today, I came across my copy of the beautiful anthology Inner Chimes: Poems on Poetry selected by Bobbye S. Goldstein. I've owned this book for almost twenty years and return to it often for encouragement and inspiration. The poems express the joys and frustrations of making poems and speak to writers of all ages. It's an excellent resource for writing teachers.




The poem I'm sharing is by Felice Holman. I love this poem, and I really needed to read it again today.  If you write poetry, it might just become one of your favorites too!


The Poem That Got Away

There I was and in it came
Through the fogbank of my brain
From the fastness of my soul
Shining like a glowing coal
The nearly perfect poem!

Oh, it may have needed just
An alteration here or there--
A little tuck, a little seam
to be exactly what I meant--
The really perfect poem!

     I'll write it later on, I said,
     The idea's clear and so's my head.
     This pen I have is nearly dry.
     What I'll do now is finish this pie,
     Then on to the perfect poem!
   
Read the rest of the poem here.

Be sure to drop by Poetry for Children for today's Poetry Friday party where the multi-talented Sylvia Vardell  and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books) have a very exciting announcement that you won't want to miss!


Thanks for stopping by!

26 comments:

  1. That always happens to me, Linda. Just as I'm drifting off to sleep, I get an idea and I always think I'll remember it in the morning and I never do. Never! Thank's for sharing Inner Chimes! Love that title. I'm making a note NOW to get it!

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    1. It's so frustrating. I know better than to wait, but somehow I talk myself into believing I'll remember. It's good to know I'm not the only one! : )

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  2. Linda
    I did go down the rabbit hole to the rest of the poem, what you selected from Bobbye Goldstein is so intriguing. I luv the line about the kitchen sink (following your good link...)
    Always a push-pull for writers. Experience life (making pie as she mentions) or go get those words down. Now!
    Something equally stellar, though different will flow to your day for the one you share that got away.
    And, luv how this title (& great illus. from Jane Breskin Zalbin) is a 20-year-old shelf pal of yours. Happy weekend!

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    1. I do love having books I've collected over the years at my fingertips so I can reread them from time to time. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I'm not sure which is more frustrating: what you and Felice Holman describe or, when I do write down my ideas, I come back to them later and say what did I see in that?

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    1. Yes, I know THAT feeling too! : )

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  4. INNER CHIMES is indeed a lovely volume. Bobbye S. Goldstein was a dear friend of mine; the book, in part, is dedicated to me. Bobbye died last year. She was a strong advocate of poetry. She is missed.

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    1. Lee, I read the dedication again as I was preparing this post. Over the years you have mentored and inspired many. This lovely book is just one example.
      I'm so sorry to hear Bobbye passed away. What a treasure she left us in Inner Chimes.

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  5. This has happened to me too many times to count. Felice Holman's captured this experience perfectly. Thank you for sharing. = )

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    1. I wish I could say I learned my lesson, Bridget, but... : )

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  6. This happened to me just this week! Felice Holman describes the experience perfectly! Thank you so much for sharing this today, Linda, and for including Inner Chimes. It sounds like a book I need to get!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by! : )

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  7. Thanks for the introduction to Inner Chimes, Linda. Hoping your elusive poem comes back to you...

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  8. I've been having some issues lately with pain from typing--so, with my longtime "potato chips problems," my version of Holman's pen/pie lines would be: "writing wrist hanging down at my hips / and I want to finish this bag of chips"... Procrastination is so much fun--thanks for this post, Linda!

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    1. Yes, procrastination is fun! Chips sound really good about now, I was going to do some housework, but there is a fresh bag of chips calling to me from the pantry! : )

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  9. "Inner Chimes" is an intriguing title -- makes me want to read the poem that inspired it. Thanks for letting us know about this book, Linda. (Sorry about your poem! That has happened to me before in the shower, too, or while I am driving.)

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    1. The title comes from a poem by the great Eve Merriam called
      "Inside a Poem." I found it on the web: http://poetry20041.tripod.com/inside_a_poem.html
      Thanks, Tabatha!

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  10. It happens more than I'd like. I've taken to calling myself and leaving messages if I don't have a pen handy! Why do the best ideas come while I'm driving!!!???

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    1. Yes, it happens to me when I'm driving too. A poem sneaks up on me just when I need to be paying attention to the road! Thanks for stopping by, Keri.

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  11. Sorry about the poem, but thank you for reminding me about one of my favorite books of poetry!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary Lee!

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  12. I even have a NiteNote light-up pad/pen on my bedside table, and sometimes I'm STILL too tired to jot the idea down. I try to reassured myself, "If it was meant to be, the poem will come back." But really, it pisses me off (excuse my French). (And idea while driving is no problem--I just use voice memo on my phone or my mini-recorder.) Thanks for sharing, Linda--maybe the idea will come back when you least expect it!

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    1. Laura- I like the idea of the mini-recorder for the car, but it hasn't worked out for me. I bought one a few years ago, and it kept getting buried in my purse. Because I drive in a lot of traffic, it was too hard to dig it out. So I tried keeping it in the cup holder, and it kept falling out. I'm such a nervous driver, I can't seem to manipulate anything else. Sigh! The good news is that the idea for the poem did come back to me. Now I just need to remember what I wanted to say about it! : )

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  13. Hi, Linda. It's happened to me, too. Now, if I have an idea for a poem while I'm out walking the dog, I leave myself a voice mail message. I like that the thing pulling the poet out of writing is pie-baking.

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  14. I can SO relate to this, Linda. I love "The Poem That Got Away"--thanks so much for sharing it!

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