“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
― Markus Zusak,
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to choose a poem by Sylvia Plath and write a poem that responds or engages with the chosen Plath poem in some way. I chose Elm. I noticed that three of its fourteen verses started with “I am,” so that phrase became the mantra on which I based my poem.
I am alone
in a room full of people. I am invisible.
I am unknown.
I am a shadow
of my former self, quiet where I used to be loud,
slow where I used to be quick.
I am a memory
long forgotten, a distant past, an ancient
I am terrified
of the dark, of the things hidden inside darkness, of the dark things
hidden inside me.
I am inhabited
by thoughts, divergent thoughts, fighting to be written down before
they are forgotten forever.
I am incapable
of holding a grudge. I must forgive. I create myriad possible explanations
for behavior that initially offended me.
I am an observer.
The once unnoticed is now a specimen to be studied. The simple is intricate,
the complex plain.
I am aware
of silent songs. A hush whispers expectations. A sigh speaks
I weep in the face of beauty.
The Creator must love me, to have designed wonders for me
that no one else can see.
Youth is wrested
from my grasp. I would rather not look back.
Let me forget and move forward.
I am arthritic.
Movement is pain. Pleasure comes
only with great cost.
I yearn for peace,
for a day without obligation, without schedule, without agenda,
without purposeless hurry.
I am impatient
for the next chapter. I’ve been stalled far too long.
The familiar is contemptible.
I am ready—
ready to enter my eternal home, ready to meet my Master.
I am, I am, I am.
A beautiful folk dance from Russia:
And as a special bonus, another folkdance starting with Y: Yar ko parag, from Armenia:
I’m not using the NaPoWriMo prompt today. When I looked at The Daily Post prompt, notable, it reminded me of notes. I used to be an elementary general music teacher, and last night I had a recurring dream: I suddenly had to go back to work, and they gave me an unfamiliar room and no class lists, and I had no lesson plans prepared, and my first class arrived…
Young voices singing slightly out of tune
Their fervor making up for lack of skill
Recorders blaring, grating, sounding shrill
My music teacher’s ears from harm immune
Round hand drums pounding jungle rhythms loud
Slim rhythm sticks articulating beat
The xylophones play melodies so sweet
While dancers improvise their movements proud
My chord progressions steadily keep time
While tambourines crescendo to the end
Triangles and maracas with them blend
While glockenspiels and finger cymbals chime
Not long ago these were my daily themes
But now they’re relegated to my dreams
When I saw Nancy Merill’s prompt for her photo challenge this week, I knew I had just the right shot:
Spend the weekend reading to inspire your art.
- Beautiful paintings.
- Photo essay about Nara, Japan.
- Beautiful tangles.
- I love reading an artist’s story.
- Quotes about reading and thinking. When was the last time you read an article that included the work peradventure twice?
- An encounter with gorillas.
- Lessons in creativity.
- We all have bad days. We need to develop resiliency to hang on during difficulties, learn the life lessons therein, and move on to the next thing with a little more wisdom.
- Someday I’m going to take some of these free online courses from Ivy League universities.
- What it’s like to be a graphic designer.
- Pre-drone aerial photographs taken by German pigeons in World War I.
- Ways to prod your creativity.
Word for the day: xylography—the art of making engravings on wood especially for printing.
In other words, a woodcut.
The master of woodcuts was Albrecht Dürer (1472-1528), a German painter and printmaker during the Renaissance.
Here are some examples I saw at a special exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum last year:
The Adoration of the Magi
Detail of The Adoration of the Magi
Detail of The Annunciation
The complexity in Dürer’s work is amazing, especially when you consider that he carved away everything except what you see–thin lines, dashes, intricate folds and feathers…
You can see his initials (the stylized A surrounding the D) in the details.
Maxwell “Coby” Whitmore was a commercial artist from Dayton, Ohio, who enjoyed a long and productive career as an illustrator and painter. His illustrations appeared on the covers of publications including The Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and Sports Illustrated. He contributed illustrations to many national and international ad campaigns as well.
Read the rest of this article here.