Friday, October 09, 2015

Poetry Friday -- Rereading Frost

Rereading Frost 
by Linda Pastan

Sometimes I think all the best poems
have been written already,
and no one has time to read them,
so why try to write more?

At other times though,
I remember how one flower
in a meadow already full of flowers
somehow adds to the general fireworks effect

as you get to the top of a hill
in Colorado, say, in high summer
and just look down at all that brimming color.

(read the rest of the poem here)

That first true, right? But the best part of writing is working through the "Why bother?", keeping my eyes open and my pencil ready, and receiving amazing gifts from the universe and my imagination. Ah, writing!

Laura has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Writing the World for Kids, and -- make a note of this -- on October 30, the roundup will be at Jone's place, Check It Out, instead of here at A Year of Reading.


  1. Mary Lee, the insights we receive from the universe when we bother to closely look provide us with much fodder to write and continue this journey. Pencils ready as you say. I look forward to a finding fall poem coming my way from your observations.

  2. Love that the poem has that reference to Colorado, & the wildflowers are most wonderful. Guess I should think about a poem for them, right? Thanks for the inspiration, Mary Lee.

  3. Wonderful poem, and so, so true. Reminds me of that saying about only the best birds singing.

  4. Mary Lee,
    Thank you for this post. I had a bout of this "why write more poems" a few weeks ago. I went several days without writing a poem. Finally I came to the decision that I write because it makes me happy and I gave myself a swift kick in the pants. It is good to know others feel the way I do and to see how they use poetry to express their feelings.

  5. What Joy said. :) Poetry is its own reward... it's only when we start to approach it with all these expectations (for publication, etc.) that it disappoints! SO... just write for the sake of writing and for all the ways it brings meaning to life! That's where the joy is. xo

  6. What a great poem! I never feel that way about writing, though--at least not longer than momentarily. When I was a kid, I inhaled books. And of course, I loved books that I loved. But the sheer volume of books, each like that flower in a meadow full of flowers, was part of the appeal. Books were like air, and if each didn't have a standout feature, say something entirely new, I was OK with that. I just wanted to devour books. So to put poems/books out there in the world for kids to be able to devour, float on, rely on, stand on in mountainous piles...I'm happy to do my little part:>) Even if my bloom might not be any better than the millions of blooms already out there...

  7. Well, that's what writing is all about - it's all been said, and perhaps said better than you could ever hope to, but there is still the need for your voice to be heard. And so we continue trying...

  8. We do keep telling the same stories over and over again and I'm so glad that we do! Each perspective sheds some new light or at least a different shade of light.

  9. Ugh! I wrote a rather longish comment only to have it disappear when blogger made log in again. Let me just say, I liked the Pastan poem. I like Frost for the care he put into his rhyme. And, I'm glad not to have to work as hard as he did! I can sit back and read
    "how someone else has been acquainted
    with the night already, and perfectly."

  10. Mary Lee,
    I have thought this a million times...all the best poems are already written. To add to this, it seems poets have already chosen all the best words and arranged them in the absolute best way. I think you need to keep your pencil handy because you have a gift for finding words that say things in a new way.


  11. Anonymous10:36 PM

    Yes, the first stanza (!!) ... but loving the fields of flowers, too!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. (The comment box & don't seem to be in synch this moment...)

    Mary Lee, Your voice is unique & I'm so glad you are writing all things, including poetry. I appreciate your sharing this new to me poem. Also, it feels like so much of what we write, me especially at times, is unintended for the light of day. I do love Frost & this makes me want to pull down a collection of his curated for young readers, IN THE CLEARING.
    Appreciations for you.

  14. Saved your poem and shared it with my English major daughter. She liked it!
    I am like Laura about not really putting pressure on myself to compete. The more, the merrier!

  15. Yes, they're all worth reading! That's my struggle each week with Poetry Friday. I usually carry my reading into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and sometimes even Thursday. Though part of me feels I need to learn the discipline of drawing a line under it after Sunday, and moving on to other things... like my own writing, which I NEVER do enough of.


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