Hints of cinnamon, cardamon, cumin
In the mysterious Old Country
That no one knows anymore
Every winter a hundred years long
Every spring a miracle
Water like music, music like water
In the Old Country
Whose name and borders have changed
There was magic
There was war
A little girl, and a fox with a tail
Long, long ago
In the Old Country
Writing about my writing
One of my favorites is Mordecai Gerstein’s The Old Country. Beautifully written, a story within a story. It captures you, like the best of fairy tales or folk tales, an allegory of war, of a holocaust.
In it, I’ve found marvelous descriptive passages to use as mentor texts. The book opens with a Prelude that sets the story. If you don’t read it, you will miss much.
From the pages of the Prelude, I wrote this found poem.
Below is my first draft of the poem with a sketch in my journal. Today, I did a bit of revision–changed some line breaks, added a few words, and flipped the last two lines for effect, to end with the title.
Slice of Life
Read more about a slicing life
and a great community of writers / educators
A special thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, Beth, Kathleen, and Deb for a place at Two Writing Teachers where teachers and others can share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March.
I enjoy sharing where my poetry comes from too. I want to look for that book, it looks lovely and I’m especially eager because of how it inspired you.
Thanks for sharing your draft in from your notebook as well! Beautiful!
Wonderful! I agree I love hearing about the product and the process. I’ll look for this book!
So glad you enjoyed it, Anna. Thanks for letting me know; it makes it worth the time. Enjoy the book!
This is simply lovely. Perhaps, you would like to join my gallery of artistic expressions when I announce the spring one. I am in the midst of designing Winter Wanderings now. Think spring, Alice.
Thank you, Carol. It was so easy to do with Mordicai Gerstein’s words. I am honored by your invitation. I will watch for your announcement. Spring is everywhere!
The poem is magical. And now (of course!) want to read this book. Thank you.
Yes the words are magical, and they come from Mordicai Gerstein. I only pulled them and sliced them together. I think you are going to enjoy the book.
Cool. I love found poems. I haven’t written any in a long time. I should try one soon!
Yes, Lisa. Found poems are such fun, especially from a text that has beautiful or challenging language. It can be a summary of sorts for descriptive passages.
bubbles up from the Spring;
bugs skirting their way
along the surface of Time;
I toss another pebble
and listen for the sounds
–Kevin, not really a riff off the center of your poem but off a phrase that caught my attention
Thanks, Kevin. Lovely thoughts, lovely riff of “water like music.” That phrase caught me in the book, too.
I so appreciate the way you share not just the product, but your processes with us. And I will be looking for this book to read now.
You are so welcome, Wendy. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have.
I’m glad you included your source and the pic from your journal. Lovely poem. Before reading the explanation, the phrase “in the old country” meant something else, but the explanation changed my interpretation.
Thanks, Glenda. knowing the source or background sure clears up a lot. I appreciate you letting me know it was important. It encourages me to take the time.