poetry friday roundup is here!

Happy May, and Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup!

So, a new month, the month of flowers and strawberries and Mother’s Day (sigh). Tell me, on the first of May, did you wash your face with morning dew to maintain your youthful appearance? Will you scamper through the meadows wild with a garland of blossoms in your hair?

And are you smiling right now? In the UK, May is National Smile Month. Sounds good to me (call me Cheshire Cat). πŸ™‚

I think a good way to celebrate this new month is with a Mary Oliver poem. We’ve talked before about the importance of art, beauty, and gratitude. Whether you write or draw, it all begins with careful observation, being fully present, and as Oliver says, “learning to be astonished.” What is your message?

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photo by Julie White

MESSENGER
by Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird β€”
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

~ from Thirst: Poems (Beacon Press, 2007)

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Though this poem is the perfect writer’s credo, this “job” of rejoicing in the wonders of the natural world is a worthy one for all human beings. In this way we become stewards of this fragile earth. In this way we are all poets. πŸ™‚

I’m anxious to see what you’re sharing this week, so please leave your links with the amiable Mr. Linky below. Do help yourself to a little light refreshment to bolster you on your travels from blog to blog. πŸ™‚

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🎈 KEEP A POCKET IN YOUR POEM GIVEAWAY WINNER! πŸŽ‰

Happy to announce that the winner of a brand new copy of Keep a Pocket in Your Poem by J. Patrick Lewis and Johanna Wright is:

TANITA S. DAVIS!!

WOO HOO!

Congratulations, Tanita!!

Please send along your snail mail address so we can get the book shipped out to you pronto.

Thanks, everyone, for entering the giveaway. πŸ™‚

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Thanks so much for joining us today!!

🌺 HAPPY WEEKEND TO YOU! πŸ“


Copyright Β© 2017 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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44 thoughts on “poetry friday roundup is here!

  1. As always, you set a lovely and inviting table. I am too learning to be astonished. It is good work. Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday. I believe I will help myself to more fragrance of the flowers than sweet of the fruit. They are so beautiful today. Smiling all the way today!

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  2. I am appreciating our World, this Mary Oliver poem, which I will love to read in my Writing Circle & Alphabet Soup, Jama. Happy Mother’s Month with hugs. And thanks for such colorful & delicious hosting.

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  3. Thank you for hosting – and WHAT a poem!
    “Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
    keep my mind on what matters,
    which is my work,

    which is mostly standing still and learning to be
    astonished.” *swoon*

    And congratulations to Tanita for winning the giveaway!

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  4. I dare anyone to get to the end of this post and poem without smiling… Thank you, Dear Jama, for sharing such joy and wonder, and for hosting today! (This Mary Oliver poem is in a similar vein as the Taylor Mali one I found for today.)
    Overflowing May flowers to you and the Alphabet Soup crew!

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  5. Thank you for sharing Jama and thank you also for getting my day off to a rollicking good start. The positivity shone through in your words and those of the poet you enlisted, Mary Oliver. As a student once told me, ”I’m not here to learn, I’m here to astonish and amaze!’ We must be all be curious learners.

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  6. The way you photograph food is eye-popping and delicious. I love that you layered in the flowers, in cloth, real and were those plastic, too? You even put the word “fragrance in a picture.” I am practicing my astonishment, but somehow, I still don’t sound like Mary Oliver. πŸ™‚ Thanks for hosting!!

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  7. Just perfect, Jama… and I’m smiling! You always present such a lovely table.Thanks for a great Mary Oliver poem. I was just over at Robyn Hood Black’s and “Messenger” goes with the Taylor Mali poem she shared. I hear the message!!

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  8. Jama, this is perfectly lovely. I can’t stop beaming! Yes, I couldn’t agree more, we are poets and stewards of this world. I want to focus on being more present, more astonished in my day to day life. Thank you again for the warm welcome this week!

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  9. Oh, Jama–I LOVE this. Mary Oliver is a wonder, isn’t she. This poem is darn near perfection. Thank you for sharing it. I’m in with a Things to Do poem–it’s the Poetry Princesses’ May post. And thank you for your email!

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  10. Yes to loving the world, which you, Jama, do so beautifully! You are an inspiration. And me still not half-perfect, but yes, smiling! What a great holiday. πŸ™‚ xo

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  11. Your post is a wonderful greeting to us this week, Jama. Hope you find lots to smile about this day! Thanks for hosting!

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  12. Jama,
    I want to walk into your house this morning and enjoy light refreshment with you and Mr. Cornelius. But I think you’re too far away so instead I’ll take my walk and spend my day as Mary Oliver suggests in my these lines of her poem.

    “Let me
    keep my mind on what matters,
    which is my work,

    which is mostly standing still and learning to be
    astonished.”

    She is a genius and if I read this poem every morning, I’d be better for it! Thanks for sharing it and thanks for hosting.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mmm, I’ll have one of each, and a cup of tea besides. That photo of the little girl in the sunflowers makes me smile. Thanks, Jama, and thanks for hosting and for the perfect poem (there’s no “half-perfect” about Mary Oliver!)

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  14. Oh, how I love Mary Oliver, and everything else about this luscious post. I also want to steal that pretty little dish the strawberries are in. πŸ™‚ Thanks for hosting!

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  15. Yes, I’m smiling–at all the delicious goodies served up in those gorgeous photos and in Mary Oliver’s poem. Yes, the job of standing still and being astonished by the beauty around us is the job of all humans, and especially poets and artists. I am determined to find and celebrate the beauty of this day amidst the rain that is falling, falling, falling.

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  16. Jama, thank you for this delicious post. I adore Mary Oliver, but I hadn’t seen this poem. Any poem that opens with “My work is loving the world” is a keeper.

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  17. The ONLY place I EVER win ANYTHING is at your blog! Yay! I’m excited! And thank you for hosting today; that lovely wee girl in her boots made me smile (as did all the desserts, of course).

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  18. How do you always make your site SO inviting and beautiful? It’s field trip every time I come here!
    I love Oliver’s line: “My work is loving the world.”
    I seem to always be walking in astonishment…good and bad!
    Astonishing is such a full to the brim word.
    Thanks so much for hosting today, Jama!

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  19. Well you certainly are the hostess with the mostess, Jama. What delectable goodies for sight and sound. What a fun photo shoot you had! YUM! The Oliver poem was perfectly timed, for so many reasons. I just read Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story by Suzanne Slade to my Kindergarten students today. Comstock, a naturalist in the later 19th century, was saddened that students weren’t learning about nature, so she decided to do something about it. “My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird…” reminded me of Comstock and her mission. Many thanks for sharing this lovely poem and hosting this delightful Poetry Friday tea party!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. What a beautiful spring table you have set for us, Jama. You are such a gracious hostess and I would love to go beyond being more than a virtual guest. For now, I shall soak in all the lusciousness of your spring presentation and linger awhile in Mary Oliver’s words: “Let me keep my mind on what matters,
    which is my work…which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.” If you agree, I would love to showcase two of your photos at Springsations as part of a culinary spring treat (compliments of you the perfect hostess).

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  21. Good morning, Jama–

    My Sunday morning routine includes waking later than my usual 5am but early enough to finish my Poetry Friday rounds before my Unitarian Universalist service at 9:15. You may know that Mary Oliver is the Poet Laureate of the UU’s, even if SHE doesn’t know it! The reason her work is so often read in our sanctuary is that
    “standing still and learning to be
    astonished,
    mostly rejoicing,
    which is gratitude,
    telling them all, over and over, how it is
    that we live forever”
    is the one thing we all, free-faithers that we are, can generally agree on. (The only thing she leaves out is that after standing still for a while, we get out with our shouts of indignation and justice too.) So seeing this this morning just starts my meditation a little earlier than usual and has me thanking you, from the depths, for this joyful, colorful post.

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  22. Yes, I’m smiling–at all the delicious goodies served up in those gorgeous photos and in Mary Oliver’s poem.
    I love Oliver’s line: “My work is loving the world.

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  23. Thank you, Jama, for hosting today and for sharing Mary Oliver’s gorgeous words. Ah, Jama, how did you know I needed to hear THIS Mary Oliver poem today?

    Like

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