Friday, April 05, 2013

Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations.5

Wikimedia Commons Photo by The National Park Service

Along with pictures, there are sound files on Wikimedia Commons. I can't figure out how to download and embed them here, so you 'll have to click on this link to listen to wolves howling.

The photo above is of an eleven-member wolf pack in winter, in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, taken by the National Park Service.

I won't share my process for this poem. It was wordy and officious and moralistic. At some point, I told myself to live up to my reputation for writing sparsely.



US AND THEM

divide
plow
whack
pave
build 
mine
pollute

wild
howl
pack
brave
single
file
commute

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2013


Kevin (Kevin's Meandering Mind) left this beauty in the comments:

I ride the back of the pack -
my paws wobbly along the edge of the path,
as I raise up my voice
to harmonize and synchronize
and synthesize the tones of the leaders,
our echoing songs shifting among the hills
as winter arrives, and I vow, once again,
to survive.

©Kevin Hodgson, 2013

Listen to Kevin read his poem with the sound of the wolves in the background on Vocaroo.


Carol (Carol's Corner) takes the idea of the wolf pack to the playground at recess:

"Middle School Recess Duty"

Full-coated
eighth grade
he wolves
point noses skyward
and howl passion
at shapely
she wolf
beauties
preening themselves
in the sun
by the jungle gym

while sixth and seventh grade wolves
crawl on their bellies
whimpering
acquiescence.

(c) Carol Wilcox


If you have a minute, go back to yesterday's post and check out the poems Carol and Kevin wrote based on the image of the sculpture "Le Silence."

All of the posts so far can be found here. At some point I'm going to have to write a post or an article for Choice Literacy about how this project has already impacted my classroom.



The theme of my 2013 National Poetry Month Project is 

"Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations." 

Each day in April, I will feature media from the Wikimedia Commons ("a database of 16,565,065 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute") along with bits and pieces of my brainstorming and both unfinished and finished poems.

I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!

You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.



Robyn has the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Life on the Deckle Edge.

22 comments:

  1. I ride the back of the pack -
    my paws wobbly along the edge of the path,
    as I raise up my voice
    to harmonize and synchronize
    and synthesize the tones of the leaders,
    our echoing songs shifting among the hills
    as winter arrives, and I vow, once again,
    to survive.

    (And my podcast of the poem, using the wolf songs as the background. http://vocaroo.com/i/s1QJaWZ6PAkR )

    -Kevin


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    Replies
    1. I wish links were automatically live links in Blogger. Oh well. You will have to cut and paste the link into your browser..
      Kevin

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    2. Kevin,
      Just went and listened to your poem. So very cool how you layered your voice over the wolves' voices. And I loved hearing how the person who wrote the poem would read it. You make me want to try Vocaroo. Thanks!

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    3. Kevin, I'll make sure it's a live link when I move it up into the post. VERY cool how you have the sounds behind your poem.

      Delete
  2. As always, I'm amazed by your versatility (we have moved this week from bee-eating birds, to fire-breathing circus performers, to the sculpture of ancient somewhere, and now you are writing about wolves. Love the way the words in your poem fit together and feel in my mouth.

    Already wrote a book review about Destiny Rewritten, a middle grade novel in which poetry features prominently, and I'm supposed to filling out a form for work right now, but I'm bound and determined to pull off this poem a day thing for the month of April. Here's a quick contribution for today.

    "Middle School Recess Duty"

    Full-coated
    eighth grade
    he wolves
    point noses skyward
    and howl passion
    at shapely
    she wolf
    beauties
    preening themselves
    in the sun
    by the jungle gym

    while sixth and seventh grade wolves
    crawl on their bellies
    whimpering
    acquiescence.

    (C) Carol Wilcox



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOVE your take on the wolves, Carol! LOVELOVELOVE it!

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  3. Crystal clear as the snow in your photograph, Mary Lee. So much power in so few words. This is a favorite of mine. I can't wait to read what you say about this whole project. xo, a.

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  4. Oh! That single file commute! Well done, Mary Lee.

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  5. My class studied the wolf issue around Yellowstone & beyond.
    "They" report that one has finally entered Colorado. People are alarmed. I suspect if you sent your poem to the Yellowstone groups/rangers/national park service, someone will love it & perhaps publish in a bulletin, etc. It says exactly what is needed to say.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for suggesting this, Linda! I'll do just that and see what comes of it!

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  6. I love the way you embedded the fact (that wolves walk single file) in your poem. This is a great example of nonfiction research being put together with poetry. I saw the photo you posted but I still didn't believe it; do wolves really walk in single file? I googled "wolves walk single file" and this photo popped up (25 wolves walking single file): http://lmtribune.com/blogs/scrawl_of_the_wild/article_19e6b246-1550-11e1-aef1-001a4bcf6878.html. Fascinating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very cool! Thanks for sharing the answer to your question. Did you notice in the caption to the picture who was leading that "massive pack of 25 timber wolves"? THE ALPHA FEMALE! (you go, girl!)

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    2. The Alpha Female-- makes perfect sense to me. And it totally fits with what I see happen every day on the playground. , where the eighth grade boys go to very great lengths to impress the eighth grade girls. Also, please know I did not mean to minimize those gorgeous animals walking like that or having their habitat taken by humans! Looking at the picture again this afternoon I feel kind of badly that I took it so lightly!

      This picture/poem makes me think of one of Jodi Piccoult's book, it came out a year or so ago. I think it's called LONE WOLF. It's a novel, but the main character is a scientist who spends his life studying wolves. There is tons and tons and tons of really interesting nonfiction information embedded in the book. I really enjoyed the book because of that.

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  7. Mary Lee,

    Of course I love this poem - it's about wolves AND it's so spare and rich. Well done.

    (Carol, I enjoyed your poem as well - having taught both eighth grade and sixth grade many moons ago, lots of boys in both!) :0)

    Awwrrooooooooooooo...

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  8. Perfect example of less being more - MUCH more. Well done, Mary Lee!

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  9. That is "deep simplicity" at its finest. You definitely lived up to your reputation - just lovely!

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  10. All the wolves are great, but I have to confess a partiality for those middle school wolves. That rings true with my experiences on recess duty...

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  11. I am thoroughly enjoying your Common Inspiration--Uncommon Creations, Mary Lee. What a wonderful idea. I won't be ready for April to end!

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  12. I love the single file commute matched by the single file poem of course.

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  13. Oh MaryLee, your poems always make me catch my breath. Sparse and beautiful!

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  14. Mary Lee--I love the parallelism of the first several words in each stanza--and such a clever rhyme. You packed a lot in here!

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