Saturday, July 23, 2011

All You Need To Be


[my photo of the pond near the summit on the way to Tofino]

This was written as an exercise at writers' group. The suggestion was to take a published poem from your favorite poet, and use it as a guide, replacing the poet's words with your own, so the metre remains the same, yet creating a new poem. I chose Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. Oliver's poem was about geese and my poem, while the metre of the piece reads to the same rhythm, is about something else entirely. A new poem was created in the same metre as the original. A cool exercise and wound up being an interesting poem.

February 12, 2003

You do not have to be Superwoman
You do not have to leap tall buildings
with a single bound


You only have to get through
this one intricately challenging
and slightly preposterous day
with as much grace and humor as possible


Tell me how hard it is,
sometimes,
to just keep going
and I will hear you


Meanwhile the myriad galaxies spin
in their mystical and so mysterious orbits
across a midnight sky bejeweled with diamonds.
Meanwhile the generous sun comes up each morning
offering a brand new day for trying
Meanwhile all beings in the cosmos
arise and go about their single day of solitary living


Whoever, you are, whatever your state of being,
the world awaits your constant co-creation -
issues you a blank canvas that cries out for
all the vibrant colors of your day,
you the living paintbrush, to draw forth
all your fire and fortitude and passion
and your deep, sweet peacefulness
at resting in the life that is oh so sweetly
and familiarly
yours

12 comments:

  1. I'm not sure I understand, is the poem yours' or her's? Which ever, I love it! And I hear you.

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  2. Awwww How lovely. It's amazing isn't it... when we stop trying to control every minute of our lives and we simply try to just let it ...be... how we then seem to get into its flow and it all goes so well, without the worry of it all. Loved this write from you today, Sherry!

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  3. Beautiful, I saw so much more on this second read than I did on the first. The last stanza is really quite stunning!

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  4. I like the idea of my being a living paintbrush! I also like how you've transmuted Mary Oliver's poem into one of your very own. Guess what I'll be trying next? :)

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  5. So important to realize that we all have that blank canvas...and that we all have the privilege of filling it in our own unique and special way! Nice write, Sherry.

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  6. So full of hope and life--Really a beautiful write

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  7. You did a wonderful job with this exercise. I'm a huge, I mean HUGE fan, of Mary Oliver and practically have Wild Geese memorized so I felt the rhythm of her writing here - but the content was all you. Wonderful.

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  8. you the living paintbrush, on the blank canvas...I love this Sherry ~

    Happy Sunday ~

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  9. "You only have to get through
    this one intricately challenging
    and slightly preposterous day
    with as much grace and humor as possible"

    ...love that.

    Tell me how hard it is,
    sometimes,
    to just keep going
    and I will hear you

    ...love this too.

    And your final stanza is so beautiful, so encouraging. I was really touched by this write.

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  10. "Meanwhile the generous sun comes up each morning
    offering a brand new day for trying"

    The sun as a granter of chance...an optimistic angle I rather enjoy.

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  11. Great way to honor a writer you admire and create something unique in the process, lovely pic btw.

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  12. What an interesting exercise. I love the result. Your version is so full of wisdom. But then, so are you.

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