Putting our Poetry out there

1 Apr


Good morning and welcome to April at SK.


April is a month of big happenings and we’re going to focus on two themes: National Poetry Month and the Boston Marathon.    

I fancied myself a poet in Iteration One, composing hundreds of verses in my journals. Many were published. We don’t post every day here at SK, but My Pub and I are going to include one of my originals every time we do post in April. Here is one from Iteration One       


‘A little bird I am’

Shut from the fields of air,

And in my cage I sit and sing

To Him who placed me there:

Well pleased a prisoner to be,

Because, my God, it pleases Thee!

‘Naught have I else to do;

I sing the whole day long;

And He whom most I love to please

Doth listen to my song,

He caught and bound my wandering wing,

But still He bends to hear me sing.

        Louisa May Alcott


My Pub once fancied herself a poet as well and went so far as to compose poetry to be read at the Concord Free Public Library. It was somewhat like an open mic night. It was a thrill to read in the very halls in which I once read, as well as Ralph Waldo Emerson, my father A. Bronson Alcatt, Henry David Thoreau and other greats.


Her reception was, however, not so great. After reading what she thought were well-worked originals to an audience of poets and poetry lovers, she was met with some pretty nasty criticism. Like REAL bad. One woman took about five minutes to express her dislike. We don’t have a recording, but her rant basically boiled down to: “You Suck.”


That woman’s companion chimed in with a shorter – more elegantly phrased – criticism, which ended (and this is a real quote) ‘I just didn’t know where you were trying to take us. I am baffled.”


My Pub and I have since held a dear place in our hearts for the word “baffled.”


My Pub took this in stride, standing, smiling at the podium, nodding, thanking the audience for  saying her work sucked.


After returning home that night her phone rang. It was an audience member “horrified” at what she’d witnessed at the library. She was hoping My Pub was OK, and was there anything she could do. She was NEVER going back to that mean group of people again. Before that night, she thought poets were kind people who could read people’s hearts. (She added that she completely understood where My Pub’s poems were taking her.)


My Pub smiled and assured the woman that the library incident was small potatoes compared to the vicious complaints – heavily populated with a word that begins with F, and with an occasional threat thrown in – she received regularly as a news reporter. (It appears that not everyone is happy to see their name in the paper, especially when it is followed by the name of their defense lawyer.)


My Pub still scribbles poems here and there as they appear in her mind. It’s been a pastime since discovering how multifaceted a single word can be. And unlike other arts, poetry writing is easily transportable – no hauling a tuba around – and does not disturb the neighbors.


Yesterday we wandered over to the excellent blog http://roughwighting.net/ where my pub and I took the challenge and posted a Cinquain we wrote on the fly. It felt great sharing a few fleeting thoughts with the blog world. Taking a chance. Putting ourselves out there. Leaving ourselves open for all the commentary good and bad. Bring it on.


Head on over to Rough Wighting and try a Cinquain yourself. The format for a Cinquain is 2 syllable stanze,/ 4/6/8/2.


Also, feel free to leave a few lines here. Poetry writing can be fun, especially when you share it with others. Following is a reworking of the Cinquain we posted on Pam’s site yesterday. Like everything else, it is always evolving. Feel free to toss out a suggestion for a title.


I wish

I could pour love

into your soul so you’d

realize how important you are

to us


Happy National Poetry Month. xo, LMA




9 Responses to “Putting our Poetry out there”

  1. currankentucky April 1, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    Excellent article, thanks for sharing. So much to chew on!

  2. sued51 April 1, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    Wow, LMA…I can’t believe the reaction your Pub got! I would have been in tears. The open mikes I go to are full of much more polite and kind people. Those were just MEAN people. If you don’t like it, just don’t say anything! Geez…you can tell that’s a button for me, right?
    Anyway…glad it didn’t stop your Pub from writing and that she posted something on the poetry blog. Good for her!

    • Louisa May Alcatt April 1, 2014 at 9:52 am #

      again, small potatoes. You have to wonder about anyone who would be so critical in such a setting, so we viewed the comments from that perspective, xo LMA

      • sued51 April 1, 2014 at 9:55 am #

        Good for you! You have a healthy perspective! 🙂

  3. liz feltham April 1, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    I saw your post early today and wanted to reply right away but alas, am too limited by my phone’s tiny letters. I have always thought of poets and poetry readings as gentle, thoughtful folk–so much for that. Your pub is very brave, and I understand what she says about experiencing worse in reporting days. Still.
    I think poetry is like cooking, you know? Doesn’t have to be all gourmet and fancy pants, can be simple comfort food. Or like music–every song needn’t be a symphony, sometimes a happy little catchy ditty will do!

  4. Kourtney Heintz April 1, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Happy National Poetry month! Great way to kick it off here! Lovely poem too. 🙂 Wow, that sounds like a room full of insecure people tossing around a special brand of nasty.

  5. LB April 7, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    I did not know what a Cinquain was, but I do love yours. So simple but says so much.
    And I too am amazed that someone would be so horrible in their criticism.
    Truly, how are people supposed to grow unless given constructive, appropriate criticism?
    Honestly, it baffles me ( 🙂 )


  1. A Cinquain of Herbs | Food 4Thought - April 4, 2014

    […] around for inspiration and alit on the always informative, always entertaining Suffragette Kitty’s blog, where I read about cinquains, a form that if I ever knew, I’d pushed long back in the dark […]

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