Friday, September 16, 2016

Poetry Friday -- Everyday Miracle: A Septercet

Everyday Miracle

Watching caterpillars morph
from worm into chrysalis
never grows old. Starting small

(teeny-tiny, truth be told)
they adopt a growth mindset --
after egg, it's grow, grow, grow.

They change caterpillar clothes
as they thicken and lengthen.
Then comes the ultimate change --

undigested food is purged,
silk belt is spun, anchoring
caterpillar, who lets go

and leans into the process.
Unseen to observing eyes,
parts that were caterpillar

shuffle, shift, reorganize.
What once began as all crawl
will become fluttering flight.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016

The Ditty of the Month challenge at Today's Little Ditty, issued by Madam Jane Yolen, was to write a septercet, a form she invented in which each verse (as many verses as you want) needs to have three lines, each with seven syllables. It can be rhymed or not. The challenge was also (I just realized) to make your septercet feature reading and/or writing. Oops. Maybe mine is about reading the natural world.

Michelle hosts the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Today's Little Ditty.


  1. I like what you've done here, Mary Lee!
    What once began as all crawl Nice turn of phrase!

  2. A miracle, indeed! I especially like the changing caterpillar clothes. Nice! xo

  3. Reading the natural world... :) Nice recovery, Mary Lee. And well done on completing the challenge this month with such a fine septercet! My favorite line is this one: "after egg, it's grow, grow, grow." Isn't that the truth? My youngest just surpassed me in height. Sigh.

  4. So lovely! Especially the final five lines. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Very nice, Mary Lee! I'm with Michelle. My favorite line is that "grow, grow, grow."

  6. Nice -- especially like changing the caterpillar clothes and the final stanza. :)

  7. There is nothing so fascinating to me than the idea of a caterpillar changing into a butterfly! Beautiful! So much of living life is like the caterpillar who "lets go and leans into the process".

  8. I like those last two lines, too, as though we are all in this process together. Metamorphosis is always fascinating.

  9. Those last two words...and it never does get old to watch them. Thank you for this.

  10. It's so true - sometimes we take the every day miracles of the natural world for granted, and forget to stop and look at everything that's going on around us every day. Thank you for this poetic reminder.

  11. A fun new type of poetry! I want to try this! Like several others, I love the "caterpillar clothes" and also the last five lines!

  12. I also love the lines, "What once began as all crawl/will become fluttering flight" and the growth mindset of the caterpillar. Well done!

  13. leans into the process....what a lovely phrase.
    I recently was in a workshop and was the participant with her hand up saying "but...." and the leader gently said..."trust the process" I tell you what, that simple, gentle reminder was such a moment for me.
    This caterpillar trusts the process....and look at the beauty that comes from it.
    Well done, on this.

  14. So true, watching this process never gets old. I think it turned out beautifully, Mary Lee!

  15. What a great ending to your wonder-filled septercet! The picture collection to go along with it was perfect too.

  16. Love your septercet - and I think morphing into a a butterfly is just what writing is like - starting out with something a bit grub-like that hopefully, given time, creates a beautiful thing.

  17. And poems about this change never grow old, either, especially when as well crafted as this. "all crawl/ will become fluttering flight." Niiiiiice.

  18. I love the growth mindset, that made me smile. I also like that you ended with flight still a possibility. Left the reader room to have their imagination take flight. As you know, mine is prone to doing. Great job on the seven syllable form.

  19. Amazing septercet to chronicle the metamorphosis of a butterfly - a great "growth mindset" for this poetry form. =)

  20. Mary Lee, I think the way you crafted this metamorphosis process was beautifully rendered. I likened this whole process of growth mindset as a learner who leans in and shuffle, shuffle to take wing and fly. I can see bringing this one to a PD session for Ts to ponder. If you like I can capture this poem and photo collage for a summerscape moment in the summer gallery. I am away with family in Las Vegas for the week so you have time to decide.


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