Friday, March 18, 2016

Poetry Friday -- My National Poetry Month Project

When Mom and I were sorting through a drawer full of old pictures last December, I was struck by the forgotten faces and the unknown stories that were captured on film. This April, I'll bring 30 of the photos back to life through poetry.


My eyes
will always twinkle,
even when 
they become surrounded
by wrinkles.

I will read thousands of pages,
see sunsets and rainbows,
witness a long lifetime of history.

My smile
will always turn down at the corners
just like
my grandmother's did.

I will smile at my husband's dear face,
my children's accomplishments,
my friends' news,
my cats' playfulness.

My hands
will always be busy,

I will hold these photos
one more time,
amazed at my big life,

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016

Robyn has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Life on the Deckle Edge.


  1. Love it. What a great idea for a poetry project. Will add your info to my PM Kidlitosphere Roundup!

  2. Yes - What a GREAT project, Mary Lee! And an amazing treasure you'll be leaving to your own future generations. Cheering you on and looking forward to reading the rest... :0) [I predict Diane's going to LOVE this, too!]

  3. I love this. What an amazing project. I'm going to my mom's tomorrow. Maybe I can find a few photos to write about too.

  4. Lovely! Happy Friday!

  5. What a sweet picture! Love the smile and the little fingers. "My big life" -- yes.

  6. Not just a great idea for Poetry Month, but simply for self-reflection's sake. Very nice, Mary Lee.

  7. Lovely poem, Mary Lee--and a terrific idea for a project! Looking forward to reading more.

  8. Beautiful poem, ML. "Amazed at my big life" is so poignant when paired with the photo of the child.

    Glad that you are doing this project. I am very curious to see how you will choose to write about the photos.

  9. What a beautiful poem and idea Mary Lee. I have many of those old pictures too, but many of them are labeled with names, but we still are unsure who that connects to.

  10. This is such a great idea, Mary Lee! I love the wealth of memories your poem suggests, and that smile. So sweet.

  11. Beautiful poem, Mary Lee! Steve said just what I wanted to about your last two lines. Looking forward to discovering next month's stories and connections!

  12. Mary Lee,
    I love this poem and I love your plan. Shhh! I'm going to ask you to keep this one quiet so my mom doesn't find out about it. If she read your post she'd certainly think I should do this with the a few boxes of photos she has been trying to get me to tackle which have been living in her basement. I have to admit, it's a little tempting.


  13. There is so much wealth around. Here on the internet: in the blogs and on FB etc. There can be such wisdom. I love your project, your creativity always and your poetry, Mary Lee. This so speaks to me. There are volumes of incredible ideas for poetry month and I am continually amazed at what treasure it brings to me. This world of teachers, poets, poetry, blogging, living. Terrific ideas and I may do the same thing on my own. Thank you, Mary Lee.

  14. Thank you so much for your deeply emotional poem, which reminded me so much of what I learned about myself and my parents after their deaths when I looked at albums I wished I had appreciated when they were still alive to flesh out the back stories. Your poetry project, no doubt, is an eternal gift to your family, as well as to yourself. (It's even a ministry, really!) Thank you for drawing is into that gift, too! "I'll bring 30 of the photos back to life through poetry." Your words reminded me of what one of my most favorite authors (Henri Nouwen) said about "remembering." In a very poor paraphrase...Re-member-ing is a powerful way of bringing people back to life, reconstituting them, in away, by infusing memory-life into all their body members. ...Sorry, that explanation doesn't do Nouwen's original justice...Hope it makes somewhat sense despite my intrusion. God bless you! Hope you'll share more of your photo-memory poems. What a life-giving project!

  15. Mary Lee, what a wonderful big poem of little moments. A life is a patchwork of moments in time. Your project sounds ambitious and momentous.

  16. Mary Lee, you have made the power project a very special and important family one. As I can see from these comments everyone agrees and some will try to resurrect their own family photos. For years, I have been saying that I will organize the stacks of photos I have saved. I look forward to your poetry.

  17. Looking forward to watching/reading this project as it unfolds, Mary Lee. Your poem captures the essence of the child in the photo's essence. =)

  18. This. Is. Exquisite. The poem, the picture, the idea. I wish I had thought of it myself and can't wait to read...maybe one day I'll do this project too. Thank you for sharing your family and your words. xx


We welcome your contribution to the conversation!