Poetry Friday: Poems of Time and Place

This morning I went out to meet a past co-worker for coffee and I heard birds singing! Not just any birds…spring birds! I am pretty sure what I heard were robins! Immediately, I started thinking how the return of songbirds might be a better indicator of spring than trusting groundhogs!

From these sounds and thoughts, I made a reverse nonet, still nine lines but starting with one syllable instead of nine. I don’t know if it’s “legal” to call it a reverse nonet, but I did! Nonets are poems that start with a line of nine syllables and then each subsequent line has one less syllable until it ends with a line of one syllable. To read more about nonets, you can check Irene Latham’s website here. As you can see, I took some creative liberties going from 1-9 syllables instead of 9-1 as is the case in typical nonets.

February Spring

© Draft, Carol Labuzzetta, 2022.

Writing about place is a way to connect to where you find yourself in the world. When I worked with young children as an environmental educator, I often used a sense of place to form connections for our lessons. The places we concentrated on were home, school, and neighborhoods, all settings that were familiar to the young school-aged child. It is a satisfying way to teach and connect to the world that surrounds us.

Place is a favorite topic for my writing, too. I wrote a poem about a visit to the University of Minnesota’s campus when I accompanied my youngest son on a visit there several years ago.

© Carol Labuzzetta, 2018

And, finally, I’ve been trying to gather mind’s eye images of our recent trip to Maui to convert into words and use in a poem on one of my photographs. Here’s what I came up with. It is another poem of place.

Photo by Carol Labuzzetta, 2022.

I’ve been working hard to try and get my Poetry Friday posts up sooner than I have in the past. So, this is my second blog post today – I wrote a Thursday post and this post for Poetry Friday. Our round-up host this week is the talented Laura Purdie Salas at Small Reads for Brighter Days. Thanks for hosting Laura! Please check out her blog for more inspiring poems. I’m looking forward to reading what others have to offer this week!

18 thoughts

  1. Love your eclectic poetic offerings this week, Carol. Your college tour inspired poem should be required reading for all college bound students AND their parents. But your final question is universal throughout our lives: “Ask yourself, can I be happy here?” 🙂

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  2. What a great variety of poems, Carol–it’s clear you love playing with forms and with words :>) And your post made me think of when we took our younger daughter to check out the University of Chicago. It’s funny–we live in the Twin Cities, so the U of Minnesota campus doesn’t seem overwhelming (even though I know it’s enormous!), but the U of Chicago felt huge and totally too much for our daughter. Finding where you can be happy is such a good life skill!

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    1. Thanks, Laura! The campus at UofM was too big for me – not my youngest son! He loved it. He ended up getting in Madison but decided not to go (2020 HS grad) and now is making a nice living as a full time artist in St. Paul! Our oldest goes to ISU – which also is huge if you look at the #’s but the campus is beautiful and also turned out to be not too big for that son. I went to a very small undergrad school and then went to a huge university for one of my graduate degrees. I prefer smaller. It is a life skill to find a place you can be happy! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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  3. Such variety. There is joy in your birdsongs. (This week I was celebrating the trumpeting call of brolgas at last, after three years of drought. Sadly, they only spent a morning. But I’m hopeful they will return.) Coercion and adventure in your Urban Campus. And most definitely holiday feels in your last picture-poem. Hold tight to that feeling!

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  4. I endorse the authenticity of reverse nonets. I’ve written some myself, and there are times (like in yours!) when you need to build UP from one syllable rather than shrink down to one. Well done, and I agree with your premise!! 🙂

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  5. Your spring birds nonet (or should we call it a “tenon”? Oh, wait, that’s a carpentry term) works beautifully, and I appreciate your poems of place. I can catch the little mother’s anxiety in the Urban Campus one!

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  6. Thank you for the Nonet suggestion; I like to do #haikuSaturday but I may mix it up this week. 🙂
    “Place” informs my writing, especially my poetry, too. I split my time between mountains and desert, so there is plenty of place to draw (read: write) from. I hope you shared your college visit poem with the son. 🙂

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    1. Love that you split your time between mountains and desert! May I ask which ones? We were fortunate enough this year to visit the Southwestern National Parks and went to Saguaro National Park for the first time – love the desert! I’ve always wanted to go. And, then, last month we spent a week on Maui and hiked through a verdant bamboo forest! Now, we are home with snow. I marvel at all the different climates on earth! (yes, I shared the poem with my son – he loved the place – but did not go there).

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