Thursday, 26 January 2017

Thanks to Carol Varsalona for hosting Poetry Friday this week. Carol’s blog is Beyond Literacy Link, always a great resource for writing and education. Stop by for more of this week’s Poetry Friday posts.

It’s the last Poetry Friday of January. That means I am gearing up for the annual February daily poem project.

This year, I’m encouraging participants to engage with current events, news articles, political speeches, and interviews. Each day, we’ll be using 10 Found Words from a news-related source and building our poems around those words.

The February poetry project grew so large last year that I can no longer host it here at my blog. Instead, we are writing together in a closed Facebook group.

Interested? Read the full introductory post here. If you’d like to join the group, leave me a note in the comments. I will add you ASAP.

We’ve been working on a few warm-up poems before the project officially starts on February 1. Here’s my draft of the day. Do you think it’s “Unfair!”?

Under the Rug
By Laura Shovan

The arc-shaped flow
of his solar-blonde hair
defies gravity. Fluid,
odd, its color scorched
as a drought-tossed field
of wheat. When the wind
rattles its dried-out stalks,
the whole plain shifts, lifts
as if the hidden door of Hell,
slammed shut for so long,
has swung wide open
in the middle of America.

10 Words — found by Heather Meloche:


Source: “Weird wave found in Venus’ wind-whipped atmosphere,” by Ashley Yeager, Science News, January 17, 2017.

24 responses to “Poetry Friday: #10FoundWords”

  1. Dang, Laura–scorching indeed. I was weary already this morning when I got up to blog, but (and why do I repeatedly forget that this will happen?) I’m feeling a little more fired up already after two visits!

    I’ve been a little behind but I’ve got it now. Headed to the Facebook group to figure out how that really works…and yes, hugs in person soon!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Call or message me if you need help navigating the group. Also — it’s time for birthday meet-up plans with Tabatha. Can’t wait.

  2. “the hidden door of Hell”
    Yeah, that’s about it.
    Thank you for being such an inspiring person, Laura.
    Your leadership is important to me.

  3. Linda Baie says:

    I haven’t worked with these 10 words yet, love that you connected that hair to something more. . . “the whole plain shifts”. The whole being is an affront.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thank you, Linda. I was inspired by a side-by-side photos the National Park Service tweeted — amber waves of grain next to DT’s hair.

  4. This is lovely, Laura. Gives me a warm smile. I hope Trump realizes that it’s no longer all about him — the whole country will be affected by what emerges from that door.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I don’t think he has enough empathy or compassion to see beyond his own precious image, Brenda. Thank you. I’m glad the poem brought a smile to your face.

  5. Holy Wow, Laura! You’ve managed to take something so ugly and vile and turn it into a reality check “the hidden door of Hell” and a battle cry for action. Thank you for your words and wisdom. =)

  6. B.J. Lee says:

    wow! The whold plain has shifted, Yes! I’d love to join this FB group – it sounds like a great project! Please add me when you get a chance and I’ll go check it out! Thank you, Laura!

  7. Wish we could quickly close that “hidden door of Hell” and throw away the key. Moving poem, Laura! I’ve asked to join your FB closed group on the FB page, would love to join this challenge, thanks!

  8. The hidden door of Hell is quite a punch-America watch out. This is going to be a powerful February, Laura.

  9. Kay McGriff says:

    No, not unfair at all, but rather a pointed barb of truth (something he seems to be allergic to). Thank you for your inspiration. I don’t know if I can keep up with a poem a day, but I’d like to try if you would add me to the Facebook group.

  10. Mary Lee Hahn says:

    Adding my WOW with a side helping of YEOW and an echo of what Amy LV said.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      In one of the warm-ups, I wrote about a cat with a champagne-blonde tail and thought — again — of the hair.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      In another warm-up, I wrote about a cat with a champagne-blonde tail and ended up thinking — again — about the tail.

  11. Catherine says:

    Well done, Laura! And not a bit unfair. Despite the fact that he won the electoral college, I feel like he has foisted himself and his pernicious troupe upon the American people. If he can’t take the heat, then he should get out of the kitchen!

  12. […] Shovan is getting ready for her annual February poetry project.  She has built a Facebook group.  It’s a closed group, but if you ask, you can join.  We […]

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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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