Poetry Friday : March 10, 2017.
Slice of Life March Challenge. No. 10.
I read the words of Mary Gordon, shared by Maria Popova. So many phrases resonated with me. They danced on the page and played like music in my mind. I wanted to capture them; I wanted to remember them. And so I composed a found poem.
Putting pen to paper
Not just any pen to any paper
I write by hand taking
Great joy in making books manually
Celebrating the glorious,
Grounding physicality of penmanship
Writing by hand is laborious
Labor has virtue
Involves flesh and blood
The thingness of pen and paper
Anchors that remind
We inhabit a corporeal world
The tool itself, a fanciful transporter
Gateway to a different
sense of self
Black enamel, a trim of gold
My pen is elegant,
A fashion statement from a gulag
Subscribe to the cult of the notebook
Notebooks acquired during travels
Square red one for journalism
Hard turquoise for literary criticism
Primary colors for the most uncensored
In the handmade Vermonter, the sentence that shimmers
It is remarkably pleasant
Before failure starts
To use hand and wrist
Copying in one’s own
Marks of those gone before
© 2017 Alice NIne
–From the words of Mary Gordon shared by Maria Popova on Brain Picking
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That was great! Thanks for linking me back to this post. I missed it the first time round – although someone else had mentioned it. I will also go off to read Brain Pickings I have skipped it the last few weeks because I was reading to many other things. Darn I hate when I miss a good post – thanks again for the link!
Thanks. I hear you; I feel like I’m missing great ones too these past weeks especially with so many SOL slicers every day.
Beautiful! So many thoughtful observations about the act of writing by hand. It makes me want to search out a fountain pen and practice my handwriting.
Yes, Violet! I couldn’t let those words of Mary Gordon’s escape me …so I created the found poem.
Wonderful as a poem.
Thank you, Brenda. Mary Gordon’s words are so wonderful!
Alice, you’ve distilled Mary Gordon’s wisdom so beautifully. I love these lines: “Labor has virtue.” and “Subscribe to the cult of the notebook.” Thank you for sharing!
So glad you enjoyed it. You picked out two of my favorites.
Choosing the right words and phrases for found poem is art. You are good at this art. I enjoyed reading your poem.
Thank you, Terje. It was fun to work with Mary Gordon’s wonderful words.
So insightful, Alice! My favorite phrases “flesh and blood” and “the cult of the notebook.” It’s brilliant!
I love Mary Gordon’s words; I couldn’t lose them, so the found poem was perfect! “The cult of the notebook” is one I really like, too.
As a fellow lover of writing my hand, this resonated with me deeply.
“Celebrating the glorious,
Grounding physicality of penmanship” – there’s just nothing else quite like putting pen to paper and letting the words flow!
I am in total agreement with you, Jane!
I love the ingenuity of your found poem, Alice.
What a lovely poem. While i am generally in front of a computer for most parts of the day, I love writing by hand. I keep notebooks (journals) where i write my thoughts, my poems, everything. I love the idea of handwritten letters. I compose most of my writing with pen and paper. I feel more connected with myself and with words when i hold in my hand pen and paper.
Thank you for sharing that! I fear writing in script will become a lost art.
I always loved found poems. My students would sometimes use them as part of book reports. Helped them identify and remember facts from the book.
I love your use for found poems. Also, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote that a writer needs to have “dozens of turns of phrase simultaneously bidding for his choice” … this is one way to fill students’ reservoirs.
writer needs to have “dozens of turns of phrase simultaneously bidding for his choice” … what a great line!
I love that one too.
“To use hand and wrist
Copying in one’s own
Marks of those gone before”(
Just before I started commenting, I stopped to copy Jack London’s quote from today’s call for slices into my writer’s notebook. Perfect how you used this found poem to capture the phrases that resonated with you.
Thanks, Ramona. Mary Connor’s words are so wonderful, I had to capture them to come back to over and over.
Really nice, Alice! The loving attention paid here to writing by hand reminds me of those who delight in making a home cooked meal. You don’t just chop the tomatoes, first you have to admire their blush, their smell, the way they give in your hand. You get the idea. 🙂
So true, Michelle! Thanks for sharing that thought.
Lovely! I love Brainpickings – always a smart read.
Yes, I love stopping by Brainpickings.
Gorgeous! Found poems are the perfect form of note-taking! And you’ve just proven it, so eloquently. (For me, there is no beauty in my handwritten text. But I’ve been thinking of late, that I need to rediscover the process of drafting by hand. I do too much on computers…)
Thanks. Me too–too much on computers. I don’t use my laptop when I fly (which is often). I always take a yellow tablet and pen and often those next to me comment about my writing with pen & paper.
Alice, this line, “The thingness of pen and paper,” is beautifully delivered in your poem. It is exciting to find a poem. Putting pen to paper is what I am about, too.
🙂 Thank you, Carol.
I love your found poem. Coincidentally, I recently wrote a poem about my own pen, but it is nowhere near as inspiring as yours. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Sally. Mary Gordon gave me the beautiful words. 🙂