Thursday, April 13, 2006

Poetry Thursday

I have been thinking about which poem to add this week. I was scared of poetry this week - yes, scared. I was scared because I have joined Contagious Creativity and the theme is poetry - writing your own poetry. I froze when I saw the theme. I am nervous about it. I always used to write poetry. I have books full of it. But I haven't written any for years now. I think the last one I wrote was the day after 9/11. It went something like this:

September 12, 2001

The sky is clear.
The birds have it to themselves today.

I wonder if they notice

No engines roar,
No metal glints in the sun.
It's only clouds and sunshine.

The only wings have feathers.

I wonder if they notice
That for the first time
they are alone in the sky.

Eep! Now I have put one of my poems on. I've fooled myself! But I know it kind of doesn't count. I need to put something on that I have written in response to the post. So watch this space. At some point I am going to put one of my recent poems on here. But I can't do it yet. In the meantime I am going to put up a poem that I love. Claudia also sent me a book by Maya Angelou and I have been reading it. Every time I read one word that woman writes I think of this poem. I just love it.

by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a model's fashion size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips
The stride of my steps
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please
And to a man
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees
Then they swarm around me
A hive of honey bees.
I say
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth
The swing of my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back
The sun of my smile
The ride of my breasts
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say
It's in the click of my heels
The bend of my hair
The palm of my hand
The need for my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.


chest of drawers said...

Yes, that´s such an amazing poem! When I read it, I feel strong and want to go out and show the world who I really am and not change for anyone and celebrate myself! We should use it as a mantra and repeat it to ourselves often!
I would love to read more of your poetry aswell!

Cate said...

Beautiful, haunting poem, Meg. You've captured the sad solitude of those days, yet you've made it a bit hopeful. Your words are so true--I wonder what the birds thought, all alone, for the first time up there?

I also love the Maya Angelou poem. I almost bought my grandmother a book of Maya Angelou's poetry for her eightieth birthday--now, I wish that I had!

Thank you for sharing both of these powerful pieces of writing!

Susannah said...

Megg, i've been reading your blog for a while now, so thought it was about time i came out of the shadows and said hello :-)

thank you for sharing those poems - i love the idea of poetry thursday being about our own poems and look forward to reading more of yours.... and as for being phenomenal women - i want to put on my high heels and strut down the street!

btw, congratulations on the success of sunday scribblings, it's such a briliant idea - i'll be joining the sisterhood this sunday.....

Living Part Deux said...

Your poem brings back the feeling I had for weeks - of held breath, and sudden awareness of the open skys where only birds flew. Yes, yes. We all say yes. We felt just that.

The Maya Angelou poem always makes me want to rise to my feel applauding, even if I am alone at my computer at 7:00 A.M. BEAUTIFUL.

hundredandone said...

This has always been my favorite poem and in fact, I posted it on my blog a few weeks ago. Your blog inspires me and since discovering it, look forward to reading it everyday.

I'm looking forward to Sunday Scribblings this week when I'll be joining in for the first time.

Jennifer said...

your poem is breathtaking, so true. It's going to stay with me. I'm looking forward to reading more of your original poetry.

(love the poem by Maya Angelou too - she is a phenomenal woman!)

bee said...

when i graduated, i made copies of 'phenomenal woman' for every womyn i knew and arty-ed them up, and gave them as gifts. it's so great.
i loved the simplicity of your piece, too. very haiku-like in its stillness and reflectiveness.

Dana said...

Megg, that's a wonderful poem, I was just reading an article in The Writer that talked about how the most successful poems written after 9/11 focused on the detail, small details. Like your birds, their wings and feathers.

Thank you for sharing it.

Jessie said...

I love your poem because I never thought about all the birds that, for once, had the sky to themselves. How lovely it must have been for them. Even in the mists of so much sadness the universe created for itself a bit of balance.

I also enjoyed the Maya Angelo poem. Have you ever read any of Sonia Sanchez's poetry? You'd love it. She's one of my favorites. I haven't told you that before, have I?

And one last thought...I have been away from poetry also for the past couple years. Why is that? And more importantly, why do we grow afraid of it? I wish you confidence in your journey back--I wish it for both of us. Sometimes I think it helps to saturate oneself in music and other people's poetry...but yes, at some point we need to just JUMP!

Alexandra S said...

I'm so surprised you hesitated posting your own poem. It was beautiful, somber and perfectly evoked for me the vacant feelings of the days after. I just love the perspective you took from what it might have been like for the birds. You are a beautiful writer (a beautiful friend too!), and I am a bad bad friend who is very behind in her emails but WILL be returning a long email to you as soon as possible. I keep holding out for a two hour span to sit down and properly respond. In the meantime, thank you dearly for sharing your poignant poem and I loved the Maya Angelou one as well! I read that the first time in a SARK book and thought, "yes! Thats me too!" Its all of us.

M said...

Thank you so much for sharing your own writing- what a beautiful, simple poem, yet so full of emotion. Keep em coming!
Love Maya as well. I need to read more of her stuff.

melba said...

I love Maya. Good choice.
I am excited to read more poetry from you.
My wedding was 2 weeks after 9/11...when I look back in my journals about that time there is mostly stuff about the wedding and not what was happening in the world.
You captured a moment of your thoughts well.

la vie en rose said...

phenomenal woman is one of my favorites by her! such a great anthem for all women!!!

i'll be looking forward to reading more of your poetry...

Bohemian Girl said...

oh how wonderful both of these poems are.

your 9/11 post was actually serene and sad and beautiful.

phenomenal woman made me want to roar and hug my womanly curves.


Endment said...

Your poem is bittersweet - that is what it was like just after 9/11 -
wonderful poem.

I always like Maya Angelou
Great post

Susannah said...

me again - just got your sweet comments, thank you for the lovely welcome - i'm hooked on this blogging thing already :-) i think the south coast needs more writers don't you? LOL i'm in Bournemouth, been here for a year after escaping from London, so i'm probably a couple of hours from you? if you're ever along this way do give me a shout - we could do real life blogging over cappucinos in Cafe Rouge! Sx

art and soul said...

thanks so much for sharing that terrific poem of Maya Angelous!
It says so much.

HoBess said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today ... a little splash of color goes so very far ... look at Claudia's pillow! I love that you wondered who would have connected if our timing had been even slightly different. My first connections were through Alexandra's blog and I'm eternally greatful for if I hadn't stubbled upon her blog I don't know if I'd have kept trying. I'm catching up today, so please forgive this long comment! But I just love your poem from 9/12/01. One of my many vivid memories of that time is the silence of the skies and my daughter's comment about planes crashing when they returned. It made me realize the power of TV on a 3-year-old. Your poem touched my heart and I look forward to you posting more of your poetry. Hugs*Hugs

liz elayne said...

your poem is beautiful. i read it aloud to my husband and said, "i wonder if anyone else in the whole world had that thought on that day." you are amazing my friend.

and i can hear maya angelou reading these words aloud in her incredible voice (i only wish i could hear her in person).

firstborn said...

very touching are gifted.

Jamie said...

Congratulations in taking a first step! What a brilliant poem. I felt the quiet of that day and remembered it well. What an interesting perspective to explore. I just loved it and can't wait to see what more you create!

Letha Sandison said...

I loved your poem and would LOVE TO SEE MORE!!!! I know it is scary, I am terrified every time I post a painting too, (even writing posts, cuz I am no writer :)) but please do share more.

I saw Maya Angelou give a concert, spoken word concert and she performed this piece. Amazing! It was one of the most inspiring and enriching evenings, she is just devine! As I read her work here I found myself reliving her performace and smiling. Thanks for reminding me of an amazing night!

Leah said...

oh, your poem is gorgeous. truly. thank you for sharing. just putting yourself out there and sharing your words is huge!! so, no pressure to do more if you feel stressed about it. :-)

Shannon (Sentimental) said...

First I love phenomenal woman and I love Maya Angelou. But can I just say you took me back to almost 5 years ago. That stillness in the air still haunts me. Everything seemed so unreal.

Karen said...

I'm going to a women's wilderness weekend conference this weekend that I have gone to every year for the past 8 years. Every year there is a coffeehouse....I might be brave enough to attempt to read this poem. I love it! We'll have to see...