Friday, November 02, 2012

Poetry Friday -- Writer's Notebooks

What's in My Journal 
by William Stafford

Odd things, like a button drawer. Mean
Things, fishhooks, barbs in your hand.
But marbles too. A genius for being agreeable.
Junkyard crucifixes, voluptuous
discards. Space for knickknacks, and for
Alaska. Evidence to hang me, or to beatify.

(the whole poem is at The Writer's Almanac)

There's even room in my journal/writer's notebook for a bizarre gigantic "Siamese-Triplet" heirloom tomato.

Here's to all the bits of this and that which go into a notebook, and all of the brilliance which (sometimes) comes out!

The Poetry Friday Roundup is in Maine this week, hosted by Donna at Mainely Write.


  1. Anonymous7:48 AM

    My husband is in the tomato industry. I've never seen one quite like that. Love that poem.

  2. I love the lines "Deliberate obfuscation, the kind/ that takes genius. Chasms in character."
    I must have kid-lit on the brain this morning because the poem made me think of Artemis Fowl.

  3. "Loud omissions. " That's mostly what's in mine LOL. Love that photo.

  4. "Evidence to hang me, or beatify." I suspect we all have a bit of both!

  5. LOVE Stafford. Thanks for sharing this one, and the photo of the weirdly tomato! I'm craving three BLTs now. :)

  6. "Pages you know exist
    but you can't find them."

    Argh--I can't stand that! And marbles and fishhooks--aren't we all full of that weird combo...

  7. Well, I love both list poems & William Stafford, so thank you for these wondrous words, Mary Lee. Just a perfect piece to keep in one's notebook!

  8. I love William Stafford, but somehow I have never read this poem! It gave me a new way to think about my notebook! Thanks, Mary Lee!

  9. I have been trying to get myself to take time to go through three little notebooks I have. Lots of notes, but not enough time spent tending to them. I need to do something with the "voluptuous discards"!

  10. Looks like someone loves her heirlooms! Thanks for sharing, Mary Lee!

  11. Yes, odd things, like a button drawer...that's what is in my "ideas" folder or journal. Loved this list poem. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  12. I love it. What great jagged words. There seem to be quite a few list poems this week--but such different lists.

  13. Ooh, I am such a delinquent notebook keeper. Every time I see a fun reference to one, like the poem and your comment, I vow I must do better. (That tomato definitely belongs!)

    Violet N.

  14. Love! Mary Lee...I just linked to this from Sharing Our Notebooks! Might you be willing to open your notebook full of tomatoes to post over there? You on your own or with your students! xo, a.

  15. I love William Stafford. This poem is similar in theme to one I've been working with by Stafford, "Things I Learned about Last Week." He sees randomness as a kind of thread.


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