Thursday, January 05, 2017

Poetry Friday -- Looking for OLW




Looking
by W.D. Snodgrass

What was I looking for today?
All that poking under the rugs,
Peering under the lamps and chairs,
Or going from room to room that way,
Forever up and down the stairs
Like someone stupid with sleep or drugs.

Everywhere I was, was wrong.
I started turning the drawers out, then
I was staring in at the icebox door
Wondering if I’d been there long
Wondering what I was looking for.
Later on, I think I went back again.

Where did the rest of the time go?
Was I down cellar? I can’t recall
Finding the light switch, or the last
Place I’ve had it, or how I’d know
I didn’t look at it and go past.
Or whether it’s what I want, at all.


That's exactly what it felt like to look for my One Little Word for 2017. Last year's word was a dud -- BEND. It had a great image, but it didn't inform my life at all in 2016. 2015's word was NOTICE, which was not bad, but severely underutilized. 2014's word, BREATHE, has carried me through many days for the past three years. It's my go-to word when I'm feeling stressed...which feels like most of the time these days.

I restarted my morning exercise routine this week, and received a stern warning from the universe that I am of an age where I simply cannot take a couple of months off without severe repercussions. Oh, man, am I sore! How could I lose so much ground in such a short period of time?

As I work to regain my physical strength, I am also striving to be stronger in my beliefs and actions. And so, my word has found me through these two efforts: this year, I vow to be STRONG.



Linda has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at TeacherDance.


29 comments:

  1. Glad you found your word, Mary Lee! Thinking of you as you get after it to regain that strength. Go ML! xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great word, Mary Lee. What the world needs is more people to stand up and be strong in their beliefs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can relate to feeling like exercise is needed daily medicine, Mary Lee. Strong is a great choice and goes so well with breathe. I like that you chose the verb spelling of breathe.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My daughter broke her leg skiing last year and was out for about six weeks. The leg atrophied amazingly during that time. I know what you mean, but the looking that Snodgrass describes feels nearly like flailing. If no exercise helped you find your word, I guess it was a good thing. "Strong" is a great word, in a myriad of ways, isn't it? Happy New Year, Mary Lee!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Strong - Well, I already think of you as strong. I look forward to your sharing how you gain strength this year!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this poem. Thank you for sharing it. I'm glad you found a word for your year. It seems fitting. Here's to strength for 2017.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The poem captures the 'art' of searching. I enjoyed going through the process of looking as i read each word.
    Strong is a wonderful word to carry this year and thank you for this, now I'm off to search for my own little word.
    -iphigene

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a perfect word for 2017. I think we'll all need a bit of that strength as we move into the new year.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My OLW is eluding me so far this year. Strong sounds exactly right for this year. Love the Snodgrass poem! Thanks for sharing, Mary Lee!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great OLW, Mary Lee. It's fitting for the year ahead. I'm choosing FOCUS for my first ever OLW. This is an adorable poem. Haven't we all been there?

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Strong" sounds like just the ticket! (I am on year three of using the same words, so I figure keep what works!)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mary Lee, thank you for sharing the poem I never read before. Your follow-up clearly explained the process in your own life. Finding a word to live by is an interesting venture. Perhaps, strong found you awhile ago when you engaged us all in #haikuforhealing. Strong voices are what we need in 2017 so thank you for seeking that and being a champion.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Strong. Yes, that's a word that fits you...and what we are all going to have to be these next four years.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love the poo email and can relate to that feeling of looking for something and not quite knowing what, much less if I've found it. I'm glad it led you to your word for the year. Strong is a word with so much depth and varied meanings to explore and experience.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Exceptional choice, Mary Lee! So glad you shared this poem to express your search for that just right word for 2017. Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Such a delightful poem; resonates with me. I think STRONG is a great OLW17. This is my first year to join in OLW; I chose "rejoice."

    ReplyDelete
  17. I snorted when I read "Last year's word was a dud -- BEND." I've had years like that. I have tried to shake my OLW for 2017 but it keeps sticking, even as I audition others. I'm going to commit this weekend! Thanks for being candid, Mary Lee!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I don't know what is about the words this year, but they seem to be just right for every person choosing them. I know you are strong. I've seen it. But I love that you are embracing it as a part of you and setting intentions on your strength. I know I can lean on you when I feel weak.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This poem is my life...up and down the stairs, wondering what I was looking for. Here's to a strong new year.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Our OLW always do find us, don't they? I hope you utilize strong a whole lot this year!

    ReplyDelete
  21. The poem made me laugh and also sigh. I can identify with it all too readily! I, too, appreciate your honesty about the disappointment with last year's word. Last year was my first year with OLW and I can't say it was a success. I'm still pondering this year's. Your OLW sounds like a perfect fit!

    ReplyDelete
  22. That was a perfect poem for some of my days, too. My OLW for last year was perfect, and this year my word eluded me and hid behind other words until it just REACHed out - tired of me walking past without seeing it, I guess - and grabbed me.
    I think STRONG is going to be a good word for you! I may steal it for the following year - because, like you said, it is so easy to lose your strength if you aren't diligent.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hurrah! You found it! Or are on the way to finding it. I know what you mean by words that don't work. That was me last year. Here's hoping for a good match this year. Be strong friend!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Fantastic! I think our olw find us some years as we look and look and look....they are there waiting to be noticed. I wish you health, happiness and strength in 2017. I look forward to how you express STRONG. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Strong is a great word since it doesn't only apply to physicality. I hope you grow strong this year and stay strong through the next. (Although exercise is probably still necessary.)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Such a beautiful picture, poignant poem, and thoughtful choice. I have never done OLW, because I suspect I would really enjoy the process of choosing and reflecting on it, but then would forget to follow through. (Maybe my word should be "focus" or "finish"?)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Perfect little post, ML--the poem, the story, the word. I went back to look for my OLW from last year and didn't find one, which suggests that 2015's wasn't very inspirational or helpful, so I was thinking to just leave it alone again this year...but you make me want to try harder, at least to be READY? for it find me.

    Is that abcacb rhyme scheme a named form, or did WD create it by using it, I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Excellent word!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think strong sounds like a word to guide your mind, your body and your soul. Stay strong through 2017.

    ReplyDelete

We welcome your contribution to the conversation!