Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My pocket, my poem

After giving you this amazing list of poetic options for the April 26 Poem In Your Pocket Day, I struggled with what poem to tuck in my pocket. I like so many poets. So many poems. The choices were overwhelming.

Fortunately, exercise clears the mind. I was driving home from circuit training this morning, and realized there is only one logical choice. I've been writing poems since I could pick up a pen. Why not carry one of my poems in my pocket?

The poem I've chosen isn't one of my best, and I don't say that modestly. I say that as someone who knows a bit about the art and craft of poetry.

In terms of my personal writing history, I wrote the bones of this poem when Kate was not quite 2 -- more than 20 years ago. I'll carry it Thursday for the idea it represents. Because I still like that. I hope you do too.

Mirror, mirror …

If I had known who she was,
I wouldn’t have thought she was pretty.

But, for an instant,
All I saw was her reflection

And she was pretty.

Soft-hearted, smiling,
admiring her daughter.

If she had known I was watching,
I’d never have seen her.

But, for an instant, the mirror was honest.
And, in that instant,

I knew I was pretty.

©1992, Jan Sokoloff Harness

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Creative Inspiration: Poem in Your Pocket

By Shel Silverstein
Remember me? Ha! Yep. I'm the woman who used to blog every day. Now's the time to tell me you miss me! (Oooh. There's a subtle cry for affirmation and attention. I may not be blogging daily, but I clearly haven't changed.)

Even with my current lack of focus on blogs, I couldn't let April go by without a post. After all, it's National Poetry Month!* And, the best day of the month is coming up: April 26 is Poem In Your Pocket Day.

I, of course, will have a poem in my pocket. The question is, how to choose? I could go with a classic from Robert Frost. I could fall back on this favorite from Dan Albergotti. There's Jane Kenyon. E.E. Cummings. Douglas Goetsch.

The possibilities are endless. David Ray. Tess Gallagher. Shel Silverstein -- I could just print the image from this post and pocket it!

Or, thanks to my friend Vered, I could tuck a Merle Feld poem into my pocket. (Click on the link, scroll down and read The walk. Beautiful.) I love it when friends introduce me to poets. And that brings us to YOU! Suggest a poem or a poet for my pocket. Better yet, write one for me. Post it here or send it to me. I promise to carry every poem you write in my pocket. And my heart.

*Give me one other reason why April rocks. Long-time readers should know this. It goes back to my endearing demand for attention. It is endearing. Right? Right? Sigh ...