It’s Spring! There are red buds on the maples (see Don’s photograph at http://www.newsofelsewhere.com/23-04-01.html)! And no more sno …. Well, maybe I was wrong about that ….

And I’ve written a new book! It’s called Journey Bread: New and Selected Poems. It’s a memoir of a life in poetry, a “New and Mostly Rewritten Poems” collection, and a late-in-life reflection on the poetic journey that brought me here.

Easter Morning

            For my sister

There they are where they fell, side by side 

in their starched dresses, patent leather shoes –

in sunlight, in somebody’s garden. 

The baby points eagerly toward a hidden egg – 

bright-eyed, fearless as sparrow chick

hopping toward easter worm.

The elder turns inward on a sullen foot,

is familiar with egg-lure, has already practiced 

the performance she will shortly give. 

Yet see the grip she takes of that small shoulder? 

Stay back a while, the knuckles say.

The egg’s a trap. Has closed on me. Stay free. 

“Easter Morning” was originally written in response to an old photograph. Maybe an old photograph would spark a poem for you too? Or getting rid of old books, as in Dorianne Laux’s wonderful poem “I Dare You” (https://poets.org/poem/i-dare-you?mc_cid=cae57ec1d3&mc_eid=60e2b76b9a) which I saw in today’s Poem-a-Day. 

NaPoWriMo: It’s not too late to join Tania Pryputniewicz’s delightful NaPoWriMo “Heart’s Compass Tarot Poetry Challenge” (https://www.taniapryputniewicz.com/2022/03/april-hearts-compass-tarot-poetry-challenge/)

Revising? Here’s a couple of tips from a workshop I’m thinking of teaching again:

·      Use Google Translate to translate your poem into a non-Romance language (Inuit, Japanese, Old Norse), then into a Romance language (Italian, French), then from those back to English. 

·      Listen for sounds: Are there a lot of “oh” or “eye” sounds? What happens if you make more of one vowel sound throughout? What happens if you use hard, sharp Germanic words (“gut” instead of “stomach”)? Or Romance-language-based words?

Let me know if you’d be interested in taking this online workshop on revision this summer. (rt@saddleroadpress.com)

And let me know if you’re in need of manuscript consulting! (More about this at https://www.ruththompson.net/editing/)


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