Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 6

You may be familiar with my Poetry Marathons – I’ve done them since winter, 2015. I take a week, several times a year, and devote it to poetry – writing, editing, all poetry-related activities.

This year, in addition to scheduling the regular long versions, I have decided to do one segment of a Marathon each week. Two to three hours set aside for poetry, outside my regular life. It’s called the Installment Plan Poetry Marathon.

For more background information, look here. And if you want to read previous posts in this series, search this blog under the term Installment Plan Poetry Marathon 2017.

On February 9, we had snow.

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My library site, Chestnut Hill College, was closed today, as was my other choice, Arcadia University. So, I did this week’s installment at home, in my art studio. After lunch:

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and after shoveling snow:

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and after setting out my gloves and boots to dry:

I went downstairs to get to work. You’ve seen my art studio before – you know I have a table there for working on snippets and any other art form that doesn’t make a lot of mess. That’s where I went. I had some work-in-process strewn around already.

I had cut out a lot of new words and phrases the other night, so I was ready to work.

I did a lot of snippets and a couple of short collage poems. It took some time for me to settle into the activity. I am still caring for my husband after his leg surgery and though he is improving daily, I often feel I’m running along a little faster than a pace I can comfortably sustain. I’ve had to come to terms with various matters with family and friends over the past few months as well. And, as with many people in the US, I have been saddened and disheartened by recent political events. I found my snippets reflecting some of my feelings.

And this collage poem: “Can They?”

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But it is this collage poem, “Asking Only This”, that I want to mention in particular. Remember, when I do snippets or collage poetry, I work with the materials I have, the words I have already cut out. But of course there are many configurations they can fall into – and they do have a way of arranging themselves so that I work out feelings and thoughts while doing them. Here is the poem:

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And here is where it came from, I think. I have put this sign in my front yard ( I am showing you each side; one is red and one is blue):

A local woman started the trend. Now, there are signs on pretty much every street in our township. I am not going to go into politics. I just wanted to put a word in for something I think is very important – even if people disagree, that they still recognize each other as people, with feelings, people worthy of respect and good behavior. For me, this sign means that if you come to my house, I will do my best to treat you with kindness and civility, and you may count on me to approach you as a person worthy of being taken seriously. I’m not promising to like you or your ideas, just to treat you – kindly. Respectfully.

I think this is something, not a big thing, but something – I can do to help hold the world together. I believe that if you behave in a certain way, you will influence yourself to think in that way as well, as time goes on. And from there, maybe, others.

Anyway, not all the poetry was so wrenching to me. How about these?

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27 thoughts on “Installment Plan Poetry Marathon, Week 6

  1. All mixed together, one right up against the other, profound and silly. Just like the words when I shake them out on to the table to work with them – it’s up to us to make order out of them? (I think I may be going overboard with this metaphor but I like it). thank you, Jane.

  2. You had a very productive session despite of all the pulls on your time. I am impressed by your diligence and creativity. All of the poems you produced are gems. That one particular poem you highlighted is very moving in this current context. These are strange and troubling times and I feel it is more important than ever to remember that most people are kind and compassionate and not given to outrageous prejudice and hate. It is simply that those who are hateful are often the loudest and demand attention. I have been heartened to see so many of those signs in front yards around my own neighbourhood.

  3. Thank you, for your encouragement and your continued really appreciate support of my work, art and poetry. And it seemed really important for me to get one of those signs, since I could not think of any other way to make my feelings known, being just one person in suburbia, but I am really glad I did. It helps to remind me not only to be calm and kind, but that others are, too, when I feel pulled down.

  4. No, I get it now, but in the US we don’t have that meaning of it (I know it from my British mystery fixation). So you are perfect as to your English. As for resistance, there is plenty of it. And it’s not all marches or the like, that get all the coverage. It’s things like these signs. Quiet. Waiting. Gathering. I’ve never seen anything like it in my almost 60 years of life. Any of it.

  5. I can imagine it will be a bit like that here if/when Marine Le Pen is elected. The left has fallen apart and the right has been completely discredited. People look to her in the same blind, senseless illogical way people look to Trump.

  6. I enjoyed all of your poems…noticed some sense of setback and wanting to move forward…a parallel between your personal life and the bigger picture … the poem placed on the library envelope is priceless…both words and placement. AND I love your sign and that you can see that others around you stand for the same thing…every shred of solidarity helps.

  7. Thank you. I had plans for 2017 that I’ve had to postpone, that is very true. And yet events have opened new options that I had not thought of. New directions and new things coming. My husband and I are progressing along together on our little side trip and the end result will be a good one. But I am caught in a lot of confusion and sorting out right now. Poetry and art help me work things out. Thank you for your perceptiveness and support.

  8. I enjoyed the “behind the scenes” aspect of this post, and also the comments.
    You make me want to cut out and save snippets, too. 🙂
    I really enjoyed reading the ones you came up with–as others have commented on, the combination of back and forth and personal and political. I have seen things on FB about these signs, and I’m happy to know your neighborhood is full of them. (And I can picture it, since my sister lives sort of nearby.)
    I’m happy your husband and you are progressing. I hope he’s steadily getting better.

  9. Thank you for everything. My husband is doing well and better every day. The process is very long but he is patient and working hard to improve (I need a bumper sticker that says “My husband is an honor student at NovaCare Rehab” since he is very proud of his progress!!! A real throwback to school days, how did that happen?) Snippets have a way of digging out my thoughts that I didn’t really clearly know I had. For that alone I value the process. Plus, just cutting out words is somehow – very interesting and relaxing to me (I also used to read the dictionary when we ran out of library books when I was young, so take that with a grain of salt!). Seriously, thank you for everything, reading, sympathy, and good wishes, all.

  10. Excellent sequence – going past corners.
    Fascinating Process – snippet, step, step.
    Found Poetry Here –
    little word boxes outside of the box.

    Glad to hear your husband is on the mend. Hopefully your country will begin to mend. 🙂

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