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Poem It Out Classroom

week 3: the story of home begins

liz lamoreux

URL: https://vimeo.com/40488274
password: poeming 

"The story of home begins" is a phrase that came to me as I was brainstorming prompts I wanted to include in this course. I started to imagine writing on every page of a small notebook with this as my prompt. If I did this today, some of these pages would say:

The story of home begins with a pink blanket fraying at the edges, her scared face searching mine, his big hands, the house up on the hill and "what did we get ourselves into?" and six weeks of crying.

The story of home begins with lily of the valley and Pond's cold cream and a jewelry box I could peek inside when she wasn't looking and jumping on the bed and waiting up for him and "I would have to remind you how to behave when you got home."

The story of home begins with "we will do the best we can" and sometimes we will fail but we will love love love.

This story of home could be specific and describe every detail of a childhood room or it could be general and describe what home means to you. The story could be about a home of many years ago (or even centuries) but it could also mean the home of today. It could be something vast like a country or something much smaller, like a kitchen table, as I share in the first two poems I read today. It could be real or imagined. Follow the threads of thoughts that come up and see where they take you.

In the video today, I share five poems:

"Mediation" by Kim Stafford, which is in the collection Poetry Speaks Who I Am. His book Early Morning: Remembering My Father, William Stafford is one of my favorites. Find out more about him and his writing and teaching at his website

"Perhaps the World Ends Here" by Joy Harjo (also in Poetry Speaks), which you can read at Poetry Foundation

"Growth" by Philip Levine from the collection in What Work Is. (I could not find a copyright free link to this poem.)

Excerpts from "Prairie" by Carl Sandburg as found in Harvest Poems: 1910-1960 (this collection only includes excerpts from this long poem). The whole poem can be found here. And I read his short poem "Fog." (How I love that poem!)


Prompt: The story of home begins

In the video I encourage you to let Carl Sandburg guide you today with his openings and lists and his "ode" of sorts to the prairie as he speaks right to her:

I was born
The [....] sings to me...
I am...
They are mine... 

If you do write a poem directly inspired by Sandburg, be sure to credit him under the title of your poem (after Carl Sandburg) or (Inspired by Carl Sandburg's poem "Prairie") especially if you share your poem publicly.

Again, remember to take you poetry/word toolbox with you as you write today. Make lists as you need to; gather more words. Give your poem a sense of place. Breathe deeply. Have fun.