Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sestina for Poem: A Virtual Poetry Group: ABCs

Learning My ABCs

Right now, I should be correcting an essay
or planning what my next assignment will be
for British Literature class. But, you see,
all I want to do is de-
vote time to writing a poem e-
ven though I know it will take ef-

fort. Today, as a teacher, I get an F.
I’m here physically but my mind is away,
dreaming of letters and words that will, e-
ventually, become thoughts. I turn on my computer and be-
gin to type a black and white de-
sign on this school-owned PC.

I take a poem from its infancy,
nurture it though childhood, survive the ef-
fing teen years, and gentle it with de-
tails into an adult. Shh, don’t let the PTA
know what I do when I’m supposed to be
teaching. I haven’t even checked my e-

mail since there’s barely e-
nough time to finish this, never mind see
about my students’ needs. Be-
fore the lunch bell, while ideas are still like ef-
fervescent bubbles, I want to parlay
them into something meaningful~a word melody.

Sometimes, it’s so easy to let myself be de-
toured from writing. So, now, while my e-
motions are high, and letters are dancing a ballet,
I have to lasso them, whip up a poem fricassee.
Instead of being a teacher I must be a word chef
for a little while. But kids keep coming in to be-

devil me with questions and the intercom is be-
coming annoying. There is no remedy
for these interruptions; inside I’m screaming, “F
You!” but outwardly I must remain e-
ven-tempered and capture se-
clusion where I can. I lock myself away.

I’m just a wanna-be poet with an e-
normous desire to sea-
son my refugee heart with word play.


Marilyn Zembo Day said...

Linda, this is so original-- ending the lines with the sounds of letters of the alphabet was a stroke of genius. And it reads so smoothly. Loved a couple spots of humor in it it too, especially "...surviving the ef-/fing teen years..." Using stages of a human life makes poetry a living breathing thing.

It appears you were inspired by Duhamel's underlying topic about writing too. I once wrote a poem entitled "I Won't Tell Where I Wrote This," and of course I wrote it at work. I submitted it to the local alternative newspaper, not expecting it would be accepted for publication. Well, it got published within a few weeks and the paper came out on a workday. Everyone in the building read it and had a comment about it to me-- including my boss! (So does your principal or the PTA chairperson read your blog?

I know you said it was harder to do than you expected, but few would have thought that. It reads as though it flowed easily out of your pen. Of course, anyone who has tried to write a sestina will know better. Great job!
Marilyn Zembo Day

P.S. Thank you for your quick response to my posted poems. Your words were an affirmation for me. If you'd ever like to use either of them as examples with your poetry classes, you're welcome to (I would love to hear about it though!).

Giggles said...

I do love the unique structure of this poem...and when the muse knocks we must heed the call! I've seen many a stanza evaporate into the abyss having not grappled on while I could!! Sometimes those most inopportune moments garner the best this one has!!

Hugs Giggles....always a pleasure to read my favorite poet!!

Jay said...

I loved this one - and I thought I'd already commented! I see it's not here though, so something went wrong.

I like the thought of a teacher slacking, and swearing at everyone in her head. LOL!

I like the form you've used too, it's fun.

...deb said...

Marilyn's quite right. It's inventive. Love the play in it, the word play, the self-effacing. It reads as though you had great pleasure in writing it.

Fledgling Poet said...

Very cleverly done...this looks incredibly challenging and you did an impressive job!

theaccidentalnovelist said...

what fun. kudos to anyone attempting a sestina at all. love the letter play. marilyn says it all.

I used to teach high school... haha, can so relate.

son my refugee heart with word play.

love the refugee heart.

SweetTalkingGuy said...

Yeah, dead good! I know how much effort it takes to do this and you do it brilliantly. The abcdef's are so creatively constructed. Supurb!!

anthonynorth said...

I’m just a wanna-be poet

Oh no you're not. Loved this.

littlekhargosh said...

enjoyed reading this, and pssstt... you're not alone XD

Richard said...

Now that was fun, and what was best was "my refugee heart."

Jeeves said...

Lovely poem. Like the different touch to it.

Tumblewords: said...

What fun this is - the flow is wonderful and the words are a delight to read...

christine said...

Hey, this is very clever, and I can see how hard it must have been. I can commiserate, too, with being a teacher and trying to squeeze in some time for your own writing.

Jill said...

Linda! You rocked the sestina! Your end words are clever. What a mind you have! There are so many layers, too. The ABC repetition, the teaching references, the school-slang (swears!) it's perfect! I've seen journals that publish poetry by teachers--you should definitely send this out!

Linda's Poems