Thursday, April 30, 2015

Poem in Your Pocket Day

The end of Poetry Month is marked by "Poem in Your Pocket Day." Poetry lovers copy poems and carry them around in a pocket. The idea is to share a poem with someone you meet. "Poem in Your Pocket Day" seems like a fun activity for children who love rhyme and stashing things in their pockets. My sister made some small felt pockets and tucked a poem into each one. Today she is handing them out to a class of first graders.

When I find a poet whose work I enjoy, I try to read their early work. Knowing that every poet and writer has a beginning encourages me. The way a writer's work changes and grows as they become more skillful is an interesting and useful study for my own writing. I write poems and have shared some with close friends and family. I have not published them in blog posts because copyright violation (someone copying parts or all of my work and then claiming it as their own work) is easily done and hard to prevent. Today I am making an exception.

In honor of "Poem in Your Pocket Day" I am posting a poem I wrote about poetry. Some years ago I heard a nationally known poet state something to the effect that "writing poems about writing poems was rather boring and shouldn't be done." If I could remember the poet or find the quote, I would give her/him credit, but I can't. I took the statement as a challenge and wrote this poem.

Small Thin Poem
Jane Wolfe

I prefer slim books of
poetry that slide easily
under the seat of my car.

Heavy anthologies with
new and selected jam
against the undercarriage.

Instead I carry books of
Nye, Hasselstrom, Stafford
for their early work.

They write of lilacs, icy
highways, and Kansas women
wearing their shawls.

With a thread from my shawl,
I measure words into a small thin
poem, one that fits into the hand.

Please enjoy this short poem and know that if you copy any part of it and claim it as your own, I will haunt you for the rest of your days!

In knitting notes, I cast on the Aggie pullover in yarn reclaimed from another sweater project gone awry. Soon it is going to be too warm to have a sweater's worth of merino/kid mohair blend in my lap. Socks will be my carry around project while the Maple Leaf Press Shawl will be my more substantial project. Right now the shawl looks like a blob of lace but after blocking I think it will be lovely.

Spring has come to my neighborhood, knitting, and writing. I hope you are finding something to enjoy on these lovely warm days. I encourage you to celebrate poetry by putting a "poem in your pocket."

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Today I am watching a young blue jay hop from limb to limb in the birch. In the sunshine, the bird's coloring reflects as a vibrant blue. The grass is brilliant emerald after three days of light rain. Trees are beginning to put out small leaves in a myriad of greens. Maples sport a red fringe. When I walk this afternoon, I will check the progress of a tree leafing out in vivid chartreuse. Spring colors are a welcome change after winter's landscape.

Shades of green have also been part of my knitting for the last few weeks. I recently cast on the Leaf Press shawl, striping Madelinetosh Merino Light yarn in a sage green color with another variegated skein reminiscent of a Monet watercolor. I finished the little green Antler Cardigan. As I knitted, I pictured an active toddler wearing this sweater outdoors on a cool Spring day. Green was a good idea in late January when I bought the yarn for the Antler sweater. While I choose colors I enjoy, my choices are influenced by the seasons.

April is National Poetry Month. Poetry brings another kind of color to my reading and writing. Local and regional poets offer wonderful work. Linda Hasselstrom and Joyce Sutphen write from different parts of the Great Plains. Twyla Hansen, the Nebraska State Poet, and Marjorie Saiser are even more local to me. These poets and many more help me see the world in new and different ways.

Join me in discovering a new-to-you poet this month. Browse the poetry section of your library or bookstore. Try reading a poem out loud to feel and hear the unique rhythm and sounds in the words. Enjoy the colors and sounds of an April Day.