Friday, October 02, 2015

Poetry Friday -- Beyond Thrilled

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry
edited by J. Patrick Lewis
National Geographic, October, 2015

I am beyond thrilled to have a poem in this gorgeous book! To have my words share covers with some of my favorite poems of all times, and to be included with so many of my favorite poets (some whose words-on-page I know, but some whose handshake-hug-or smile I know)! And to be able to page through this book savoring the pictures as much as the! Thank you, Mr. JPL, for this opportunity, this gift.

My poem is in the ocean section, and to write it, I did exactly what Pat encourages in his forward:
"You needn't leave your chair to write a poem about the wilder shores of creation. A book is your ticket to ride; a photograph is rapid transit to the brain. What kind of poem would you  write if all you had in front of you was an image...?"
I've never been to the Great Blue Hole off the coast of Belize, so I went there through pictures and research. I gazed into its depths and wondered (both with questions and awe). When I finally wrote, I let the Great Blue Hole speak, giving its tribute to the water that created it one drop at a time with the eternal power of erosion.

Flickr Creative Commons photo by Eric Pheterson

I Owe it All to Water

Back in the ice age,
I became a cave.
In my hollow heart, I meditated
on my maker.

Water’s three little atoms have such power:
dripping steadily,
grinding microscopically,
sculpting artistically.

(or so it seemed)
the oceans rose, my ceiling fell, and I was completely
submerged. Filled to the brim. Literally.

Now I am a deep, indigo blue. A circular
sapphire in a turquoise sea: singular.
Breathtakingly spectacular.
And I owe it all to water.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

Heidi has the Poetry Friday roundup today at My Juicy Little Universe.


  1. I would like to know this Great Blue Hole
    who speaks -
    "In my hollow heart, I meditated
    on my maker."
    I love how this book opens all of us up to new places, finding treasures around the planet that we never knew existed. xo

  2. This is a fantastic poem. I am going to share it with my GT students today who pore over my huge non-fiction books looking for interesting scientific things. Your poetry really is genius.

  3. Congratulations! I'm definitely going to purchase this book and will use your poem as a mentor text for my students. I love the idea of researching and immersing yourself in a scientific phenomenon and then writing poetry about it. Yours is beautiful!

  4. Anonymous7:11 AM

    Spectacular, indeed! This is beautiful, Mary Lee. I'm so happy your poem in part of this gorgeous book. Congratulations!

  5. " - A circular sapphire in a turquoise sea, singular." The senses are drenched in these lovely descriptions; I think you had me at the hollow heart meditating on its maker. THAT line just took me places. Thanks for sharing this, Cuz, and congrats on your place in the book!

  6. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Congratulations! Wonderful poem!

  7. Wow, so happy for you. Congratulations! What a fabulous poem. Never knew about the Great Blue Hole. Love circular sapphire in a turquoise sea, how you created an interesting persona while imparting information. Brava!

  8. The Great Blue Hole - totally new to me. Isn't it fun to keep learning about our wonderful world? This is a gorgeous book of poetry. Congrats on being one of the featured poets!

  9. OH, my. That hole is spectacular in an unreal, SF kind of way! I would've been intimidated to write a poem that evoked it, but YOU. You wrote a gorgeous, perfectly paced wonder of a poem. I'm so thrilled for you, and for the readers of this book, who will delight in this. xo

  10. Congratulations!! What a beautiful poem celebrating a jewel of loveliness.

  11. Such deep indigo blue beauty! Congratulations on having your wonderful poem included in a wonderful book.

  12. Congratulations. You're poem is amazing. Love the title repeated as the final line-perfection!

  13. Congratulations! Great Blue Hole is new to me, too. Such a striking topic to delve into -- wonderful!

  14. I've never heard of this, and now I'm really looking forward to the book, Mary Lee. I love that you gave special lines to each of those atoms. Beautiful poem, & congratulations too for being in that wonderful book.

  15. Congrats on having such a splendid poem making friends between the covers of this gorgeous book! I'd love to see the Great Blue Hole in person!

  16. That's terrific! This is a really cool topic. Can't wait to find this book.

  17. Anonymous7:28 PM

    That's exciting news, Mary. Congratulations! No wonder you are beyond thrilled.

  18. This is AWESOME -- congratulations. I was just talking to students about the power of water -- how it seems so soft but can really make change. I wish I'd read them this!

  19. Congratulations! This is wonderful news and a wonderful poem. I look forward to reading the whole book.

  20. Your place in this gorgeous anthology is well-deserved, Mary Lee! I love how this, "In my hollow heart, I meditated/on my maker" becomes this "the oceans rose, my ceiling fell, and I was completely/submerged. Filled to the brim." Thoughtful, wondrous.

  21. Oh, glory! Many congratulations, ML. This is a genius line, everything happening all at once and lengthily, at long last:
    "the oceans rose, my ceiling fell, and I was completely"

    Dang I'm spending a lot of money on books today ; )

  22. Holy wow, what a poem and what a collection. Congratulations, Mary Lee! Much deserved. =)

  23. Congratulations, Mary Lee. Your poem deserves inclusion in a book of nature. Great Blue Hole is such an intriguing concept. Imagine being a sea bird flying over it!

  24. Beautiful - and Congratulations!! It looks like a gorgeous book.

  25. Gorgeous poem, Mary Lee. The line about the power of three little atoms has me awe-struck. Congrats on being part of this book!


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