Poetry Friday: Poetry of Place

We’ve been travelling over the last week, visiting places we used to live and conduct our lives in Western New York. It brings to mind something my son said when he was young and in elementary school.

Mom, he said, “Math is everywhere!” And, he was right. We started noticing how math was a part of gardening, cooking in the kitchen, in art, architecture, and even in writing. Patterns, cadence, syllabic count, lines, and more – it showed up everywhere!

Similarly, over the last four years, since I’ve been writing daily, including spinning some poems a few times a week, I’ve noticed that poetry is everywhere! When I travel, this idea of poetry being everywhere comes to the front of my mind – writing poetry on place. Travel and/or place can be a great inspiration to write.

A large part of my personal teaching philosophy is connecting students to the place they find themselves. Developing a sense of belonging for a certain place can lead to feelings of responsibility for that place and a desire to protect it into the future. Although this philosophy is often put into action in my environmental lessons, the written word can highlight what one feels about a particular place, what connections one has to a place, and how being in that place makes one feel.

Buffalo

Another time,

another place,

where I lived in another design.

A lake front breeze,

grazes my face,

as I walk amongst the trees.

Much is the same,

But, some seems new.

More people, cars, and traffic to drive one insane.

Still, family and food draw me to

this place I lived a long time ago.

Buffalo, I still miss some parts of you.

© Draft, Carol Labuzzetta, 2021.

Some more poems of place can be found in my earlier blog posts. You can search on my blog or go to this page that contains some haiku poems on place.

9 thoughts

  1. So true about math and poetry being everywhere. I am experiencing that so much lately since I’ve been writing more poetry. I love the math part of it, and how any place and experience can inspire a poem. Like your Buffalo poem. I love the breeze grazing your face.

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  2. I totally agree: “Developing a sense of belonging for a certain place can lead to feelings of responsibility for that place and a desire to protect it into the future.” And isn’t it true that when you are thinking about poetry, you wind up seeing it everywhere?!?!

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  3. “Another design” brings up questions. What used to be there, what lives lived there, and on. I like the idea of making connections to a place, through research & finding stories about those and ‘it’ long ago. Once I did have students research the land upon which their homes sat, digging deep, back, here in Denver, to the prairie, Native Americans, etc. It was quite illuminating for them. I like reading your poetry of place!

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    1. Thanks so much! Most of my environmental education lessons are connected to the idea of place. It can encompass so much – which you have found, as well! Thanks for sharing your experience with it! ( I apologize for my late reply.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I too was struck by what you said about “developing a sense of belonging for a certain place can lead to feelings of responsibility for that place and a desire to protect it into the future.” I feel like that’s true of nature, too–when kids are out in nature and become fascinated with bugs and frogs, etc, they develop a sense of belonging in the natural world and hopefully want to protect it.

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