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PF tagIt’s Day 11 of our month-long daily writing project.

This year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 2 FOUND OBJECTS at this post.

 

We’re also celebrating Poetry Friday. This week’s host is Kimberly Moran at Written Reflections. If you’re enjoying the poetry community we’re creating with this project, I know you’ll have fun getting to know the Poetry Friday blogging community as well.

baie dollFOUND: Walnut Doll

This week, we’ve been talking about some of the categories our FOUND OBJECT prompts fall into. There were many contributions (a few of them my own) of toys. These weren’t ordinary playthings, though. The found objects were toys in odd settings, like the window full of antique dolls we wrote about on Day 6.

Linda Baie of the blog Teacher Dance contributed this interesting little plaything. There will be a few more toys to come in the weeks ahead, but this is the last doll we’ll see. She’s an unusual object — I’m glad to be able to write without any information about her. She’s going to raise quite a few questions in today’s poems.

Linda Baie is first up today with an acrostic poem about our little lady.

What I Had

F ound– faded flowerdy cloth from Mama’s scraps,
O verlays a piney piece of wood in Papa’s workshop.
U nder the backyard shade tree, the walnut–
N ear perfect color of my face.
D oll delight, looks like me.

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

***

Carol Varsalona, who is blogging alongside our project at Beyond LiteracyLink, wrote: “As a lover of antiques and history, I was drawn to this prairie doll that brought back memories of Little House on the Prairie books and the television show.” I hope you’ll stop by  Carol’s blog today. Her post includes a wonderful list for the classroom entitled, “Broadening Elementary Students’ Awareness of Prairie Life.”

I was born,
just an ordinary doll
of plain homespun fabric
stitched by Ma’s loving hands.
As odd as this seems,
I was given a walnut
for my head.
Just an ordinary doll,
I am.

They tell me that my family
weathered many a storm
as their wagon wheels
slowly moved west
to Walnut Grove.
Here on the prairie,
I was loved
as the ordinary doll
that I am.

Living in a soddie
under a sun that
beat and blistered
was a way of life
in summer,
while winter snow
drove us indoors
to wait out the
blizzards and
cold winds.

My days with
my little owner
were full of
simple prairie life
and prickled by
inconstant weather.
The ordinariness
of pioneer days
were filled with
special moments,
family ties,
and homespun charm.

Time has turned over.
Centuries have passed on.
My descendants
grace museums and
I sit on a shelf
reminding all of
ordinary times
and ordinary dolls
loved by ordinary families.

©CVarsalona, 2016

***

Jessica Bigi wrote in to say, “This doll made me think of a craft you would find at a county fair.” This should be a concrete poem, everyone, but I’m having trouble capturing its shape with WordPress. Please excuse the technical difficulties!

Summers Fair
by Jessica Bigi

I imagine                walnut dolls
Lemon tarts           Pecan pies
Red ribbon             Ferris wheels
Winners
County Fairs
Lemonade skies

***

I had a difficult time finding an “in” with the object — the thread that would lead me to a poem. So I tried one of the exercises I use with students when we are working with an image. First, we list all of the “facts” of the picture, the things we can see with our eyes. Then, we make a second list. This time, we write down all of things we imagine about the image. What’s the story? What is the person or people in the picture doing and thinking?

Churning Song
By Laura Shovan

A bonnet covers her white cotton hair.
Her face is wrinkled and round as a nut.
I call my scrap doll Grandmother Daisy
for the meadow flowers dotting her dress.
She wears a white apron with squares of blue
same as the apron I wear to do chores.
Grandmother Daisy’s bag is filled with songs.
She sits with me as I churn the butter.
Together, we sing her songs, pass the time.

***

“I let my kid-self out today,” says Violet Nesdoly. I think we have to make space for play during a project like this, to keep the daily writing from feeling like a chore.

On a Visit to Red Riding Hood

This is a memory
of Grandmother dear,
who outsmarted the wolf
when he came by here

with the gunny and muslin
she stuffed in her bed
and the pumpkin she used
to mimic her head.

It’s here on the shelf
and reminds me each day
better activate wits
than be someone’s buffet.

– Violet Nesdoly

***

Le Secret

Diane Mayr has a talent for combining images and poems. With another birthday coming up next week, this contribution spoke to me.

Le Secret d’un Visage Naturel
By Diane Mayr

Walk out
the back door,
scan the ground,
find a whole new
face to put on for
the day. Tomorrow
you can switch
it out again.
Who need be
the wiser?

***

The doll brought up an old memory for Donna Smith. “This struck me as such a stark contrast to a pink, delicate ballerina doll I once had… that my brother broke… not that I’d remember that after over 50 years…”

The Dolls

Prima Donna ballerina
Could bend and point her toes;
Her arms were curved so gracefully –
No walnut tip for nose;
She wore a satin tutu
And on her feet toe shoes;
She smelled of sweet vanilla –
Not of smoke and bread and stews.
I loved my doll until it broke
And then threw it away.
What good is a dancing doll
If it can’t tour jeté?
My grandma’s doll, so precious,
Has stood the test of time;
She never went to dances
But with Grandma she would climb
The big old tree beside the house
To make up wondrous tales,
And then go wading in the stream
To look for baby whales.
My grandma’s doll upon my shelf
Still dresses in humble style;
And looking down at me from there
I think she’s cracked a smile.

©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

***
Remember when we wrote about the antique shop dolls on Day 6? Writers were split between those who found the playthings dark and creepy, and those who felt nostalgic about dolls from their past. I see a similar pattern happening with today’s found object.

Mary Lee Hahn says she not sure where this poem came from. I see a definite ripple between this poem and Diane Mayr’s contribution. Mary Lee is blogging alongside us here.

She struggled
to keep her face blank,
unreadable.

The news
made her shoulders tense,
took her breath,

blinded her.
An unimaginable future
stretched ahead.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

***

Matt Forrest Esenwine is back with us today!

The Old Woman in the Yard

We’d walked this way for years.
Each time, we’d see her there
in burlap dress and bonnet,
hands clenched, as if in prayer.
Her back was always turned,
head bowed in silent thought;
we wondered (rather, worried)
should we bother her, or not?
So every time we passed,
we never said a word,
we never slowed our pace;
the woman never stirred.
And then one day we came upon
an empty, hollow space…
we never knew her name.
We never saw her face.

© 2016, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

***

Margaret Simon’s poem reminds me of Raggedy Ann, with the heart sewn inside her body.

How to be a Walnut Doll
By Margaret Simon

Wear your walnut with pride
Flaunt feathery fabric
Be flexible
Make time stand still
Love is your sacrifice
Feel the beat of a young heart.

***

Catherine Flynn is blogging alongside us today. Like many of us, today’s object evoked a place and time for Catherine. You can find her full post here: https://readingtothecore.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/poetry-friday-found-object-poetry/

Bouncing along this rutted trail
toward a great unknown,
I clutch my dolly, Susan,
keeping her corncob body close.
Ma saved one cob
from last summer’s harvest
to make this dolly, just for me
after I helped her husk
the bushels of corn
Pa hauled from the field.
Corn for us to eat,
corn to grind into meal,
corn to feed our brown swiss, Bess,
so she’d share her sweet, creamy milk.

Ma sewed a little dress from scraps of calico
soft as a cloud,
blue as the summer sky,
sprigged with pink and white daisies
like those in our yard.
Fashioned a tiny muslin bonnet,
just like mine,
it’s wide pleated brim shielding our faces
from the blazing sun
as it leads us westward,
toward our new home.

© Catherine Flynn, 2016

***

Isn’t it lovely that Jone MacCulloch gave our doll a name in her poem?

grandmother’s doll
hidden in the attic
Clarabelle,
her name

her clothing
grandmother’s worn out
clothes
scraps recycled

her head
a walnut
from the backyard

always headed
to the market
with an empty
satchel

grandmother’s doll
hidden in the attic
Clarabelle,
her name

© 2016 Jone Rush MacCulloch all rights reserved

***

There’s wonderful sensory imagery in Charles Water’s offering today.

DOLLY
By Charles Waters

This walnut body of mine
gets hugged every night by Laura,
my heart beating, apple cheeked
forever friend.  She fiddles with my
flowered dress, stitched up tan apron,
tattered handbag, homemade bonnet.
“I love you Dolly,” she says every nigh
before bed as shades of moon slice
through her alabaster curtains.
If only I had the heart to tell her,
“The feeling is mutual.”

***

If I missed your poem today, I apologize for the oversight. Please leave me a note in the comments and I will add your response ASAP.

 

buffy

DAY 12 FOUND OBJECT PROMPT

See you tomorrow for Day 12.

Interested in what we’ve written so far? Here are links to this week’s poems:

Sunday, February 7
FOUND OBJECT: Blood Letting Knife
Poems by: Diane Mayr, Jessica Bigi, Laura Shovan, Catherine Flynn, Linda Baie, Molly Hogan, Carol Varsalona, Mary Lee Hahn, Matt Forrest Esenwine.

Note: You will find links to all of  the Week 1 poems at this post.

Monday, February 8
FOUND OBJECT: SCULPTURE IN THE WOODS
Poems by: Laura Shovan, Jessica Bigi, Heidi Mordhorst, Carol Varsalona, Linda Baie, Margaret Simon, Donna Smith, Diane Mayr, Joanne R. Polner, Kay McGriff, Molly Hogan, Mary Lee Hahn, Catherine Flynn, Jone Rush MacCulloch.

Tuesday, February 9
FOUND OBJECT: TIRE TRACKS IN SNOW
Poems by: Molly Hogan, Jessica Bigi, Linda Baie, Violet Nesdoly, Carol Varsalona, Mary Lee Hahn, Donna Smith, Laura Shovan, Diane Mayr, Jone Rush MacCulloch, Catherine Flynn, Kay McGriff, Charles Waters.

Wednesday, February 10 at Reflections on the Teche
FOUND OBJECT: LOTUS PODS
Poems by: Diane Mayr, Patricia VanAmburg, Jessica Bigi, Molly Hogan, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Carol Varsalona, Violet Nesdoly, Heidi Mordhorst, Donna Smith, Mary Lee Hahn, Margaret Simon, Charles Waters, Buffy Silverman, Catherine Flynn.

24 responses to “2016 Found Object Poem Project: Day 11 – Poetry Friday”

  1. Sorry I’ve been away – with a sick 2-year-old, I’ve had little time for anything! This needs some work, but it’s the best I could come up with quickly…

    The Old Woman in the Yard

    We’d walked this way for years.
    Each time, we’d see her there
    in burlap dress and bonnet,
    hands clenched, as if in prayer.
    Her back was always turned,
    head bowed in silent thought;
    we wondered (rather, worried)
    should we bother her, or not?
    So every time we passed,
    we never said a word,
    we never slowed our pace;
    the woman never stirred.
    And then one day we came upon
    an empty, hollow space…
    we never knew her name.
    We never saw her face.

    © 2016, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

  2. […] today’s poetry! Laura Shovan’s February poetry prompt series, the “Found Poem Project,” is in full swing (I hosted the project last Friday!), and today I have another poem to […]

  3. How to be a walnut doll

    Wear your walnut with pride
    Flaunt feathery fabric
    Be flexible
    Make time stand still
    Love is your sacrifice
    Feel the beat of a young heart.

  4. There is so much to love in this lyrical exercise. Great job, ladies! I am so glad to see familiar names in this post too – all beautiful poems. And that photo, well done, Linda! It’s creepy and gorgeous all at once.

  5. Molly Hogan says:

    I’ve been missing writing and contributing and hope to begin again soon. I’m somewhat optimistic that I may even catch up, so I’m forbidding myself from reading the past few days’ entries for the time being. My optimism may be ill placed as I head out of town for a week tomorrow and am uncertain how much tech. access I’ll have. Either way, thanks to all of you for a wonderful poetic beginning to the month of February!

  6. Mary Lee Hahn says:

    Day 12

    You’re the Icing on the Cake

    You’re the best
    you’re the bomb
    you’re the highest supreme

    unrivaled
    unbeaten
    you’re king (or you’re queen)

    you’re the finest
    the greatest
    the premier and prime

    you’re the jewel in the crown…
    we’ll keep you,
    You’re fine.

    ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

    This poem should be subtitled “Fun with the thesaurus.” I took Violet’s advice and let loose with some FUN today!

    http://www.maryleehahn.com/2016/02/found-object-poem-project-icing-on-cake.html

  7. Irene Latham says:

    When I saw Linda’s picture earlier, I couldn’t wait to read what lives this doll might have had! I’m enjoying everyone’s unique take… thank you!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Isn’t she a fascinating doll? Linda doesn’t have any information about her — just that she was purchased at a shop.

  8. Donna Smith says:

    Day 12
    A pantoum this morning…coffee anyone? I have no idea if this is what it is, but this is all I could see! Time to make the coffee! And for some unknown reason I thought, hey, why not write a pantoum before you wake up?

    Hot Mocha with Whipped Cream, Please.

    O’er the frothy brew
    Floating peaks of cream
    What would be my due –
    On roiling mocha stream.

    Floating peaks of cream,
    Like little white sailed ships
    On roiling mocha stream
    Greets my waiting lips

    Like little white sailed ships,
    What would be my due
    Greets my waiting lips,
    O’er the frothy brew.

    ©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

  9. Linda Baie says:

    Terrific again to see the memories emerge and connections made to the doll. She is not a family heirloom, but a wonderful discovery at a sale.

    Day Twelve

    A Picture Can Bring Many Thoughts

    This snowy space lures like icing on a cake,
    but don’t suggest it may be sweet.
    I feel it only in my imagination,
    a dream-whipped cold-
    more than sunshine cold for skiing
    or snow drift cold for red cheeks and snowball fights,
    and snow-fluff cold for making angels.
    This cold freezes eyes open, nostrils shut;
    teardrops form frozen waterfalls on the eyelids.
    This cold makes the news.
    Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

  10. Laura, as always, I am amazed at the wonderful poems that come from a single prompt. Each one is crafted in style and makes me appreciate writer’s voice. Each day I await the pleasure of enjoying the time to read poetry offered at your site. I placed my Day 12 poem, Poetrylicious, on my blog after concocting a mash-up of images using Buffy’s as a starting point. http://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2016/02/poetryliscious.html I then followed up by creating an edible poetrylicious treat for a Valentine’s Day luncheon this afternoon. Before we began to eat our treats, I offered my poem for the guest of honor. Thanks for indulging my sweet tooth with a wonderful prompt.

  11. What a variety! I love the different forms, too. Here’s my Day 11 entry, which is on my blog for Poetry Friday. Thank you again for this project, Laura! (https://readingtothecore.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/poetry-friday-found-object-poetry/)

    Bouncing along this rutted trail
    toward a great unknown,
    I clutch my dolly, Susan,
    keeping her corncob body close.
    Ma saved one cob
    from last summer’s harvest
    to make this dolly, just for me
    after I helped her husk
    the bushels of corn
    Pa hauled from the field.
    Corn for us to eat,
    corn to grind into meal,
    corn to feed our brown swiss, Bess,
    so she’d share her sweet, creamy milk.

    Ma sewed a little dress from scraps of calico
    soft as a cloud,
    blue as the summer sky,
    sprigged with pink and white daisies
    like those in our yard.
    Fashioned a tiny muslin bonnet,
    just like mine,
    it’s wide pleated brim shielding our faces
    from the blazing sun
    as it leads us westward,
    toward our new home.

    © Catherine Flynn, 2016

  12. A little sweet haiku for tomorrow!

    Left, right swivel, sway
    sideways, sugar’s circle-steps
    dance, sweet merengue

    © 2016, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

  13. Wonderful poetry, all from a well-loved doll that must have made some little girl happy. Such a lot of care went into the dress, apron, satchel and bonnet. I just wanted to express my admiration.

  14. Carol says:

    I wrote with Mary Lee and Steve the entire month of December and really thought I might do this challenge this year too, but so far I haven’t made it happen. I’m enjoying reading all of the different takes on each photograph! I loved the walnut doll poems! They immediately took me to my dear friend Laura, from the Little House books!

  15. What a compelling collection! Kudos to all.

  16. cbhanek says:

    What an amazing doll collection you and your colleagues have amassed! Thank you. I especially loved the line I found in your found-object poem: “Grandmother Daisy’s bag is filled with songs.” What a delicious love-ly Valentine’s Day thought! (Even more delicious than my beloved dark chocolate) … If I could, I would carry songs in every pocket and bag, inhaling and exhaling music with every breath…God bless you. Thank you for hosting and sharing the found-object challenge for all of us to enjoy. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  17. […] Thursday, February 11 FOUND OBJECT: WALNUT DOLL Poems by: Diane Mayr, Carol Varsalona, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Violet Nesdoly, Donna Smith, Jessica Bigi, Mary Lee Hahn, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Margaret Simon. […]

  18. […] Thursday, February 11 FOUND OBJECT: WALNUT DOLL Poems by: Diane Mayr, Carol Varsalona, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Violet Nesdoly, Donna Smith, Jessica Bigi, Mary Lee Hahn, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Margaret Simon. […]

  19. […] Thursday, February 11 FOUND OBJECT: WALNUT DOLL Poems by: Diane Mayr, Carol Varsalona, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Violet Nesdoly, Donna Smith, Jessica Bigi, Mary Lee Hahn, Matt Forrest Esenwine, Margaret Simon. […]

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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