Poetpourrie Friday

*It's Poetry Friday early!*
I was going to wait until noon to post this, but I'm just so excited I can't wait.  I have to do it NOW!

Spoiler Alert:
My poem is at the end, in case you want to wait to read it until after you are finished your own poem.

So any time now you may reveal your poems all based on that line I stole from Buffy Silverman a month back! 
The Poetpourri Challenge is condensed below and there are links to the "history" for review in case you missed what this was all about. .
Remember, we are revealing for Poetry Friday, but I'm posting this early for those who need an earlier than USA time or just anyone who is ready.
Don't forget to do your Poetry Friday link up to Carol at Beyond Literacy Link, too.
And here's Mister Linky, for another way for others to find our ferocious poems easily.  Hope to read your poem soon!

*********A review of the challenge**********
*********and how it started is here *********
******and Buffy Silverman's original post that started me thinking is here******
If you wrote a poem from these lines, please copy and paste this into your post TODAY:

Lines used in poems were found by the following writers, with credits to origins and original authors of direct literary quotes.
  1. Buffy Silverman: "ferocious women who never bring you coffee" - refrigerator magnetic poetry
  2. Donna Smith: "always leave a wild song" - refrigerator magnetic poetry
  3. Linda Baie: "dreaming women do art in poetry" - from her pile of poetry blocks
  4. Buffy Silverman: "where wizards and wolves rush by in a blur of green and gold and gray" - patched together from Kate Dicamillo's Where Are You Going Baby Lincoln
  5. Kay McGriff: "ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones" from Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five
  6. Linda Mitchell: "waking the world to a new day"
  7. Margaret Simon: "steam that climbs like smoke from a fire" - this was in the comments the first week, and I'm not sure if it is a comment or a line... but I'm using it! 
  8. Carol Varsalona: "fearless women reach out, connect, and find joy in life's intertwined moments" - Connecting the word "fearless" that April had used last week.
  9. Tabatha Yeatts: "little chest to put the Alive in" - Emily Dickinson
  10. Joy Acey: "wear loose clothing and a smile" - from a thought and some connections
  11. Jan Godown Annino:  "I feel like there should be more stories out there for girls, and I try to tell them" - a quote from Hope Larson from the book COMICS CONFIDENTIAL.
  12. Mary Lee Hahn: "ferocious women do not exaggerate" - from Mary Oliver's UPSTREAM on page 109, "I do not exaggerate."
  13. Brenda Harsham: "make a ferocious dinner that eats masks, drips truth and saves softness for dessert"
  14. Keri Lewis: "radical at their core" from her husband's magazine, "Guns & Ammo"
  15. Kiesha Shepard: "ferocious women would rather drink the wind" - a line from Mary Oliver's (Why I Wake Early) titled "The Arrowhead"
  16. Diane Mayr: "out of endurance, exaltation" - a line from the poem "Monadnock" by Robert Francis.
These are/were the guidelines for writing the poem:
  1. You may break the given lines up into phrases, esp. if the line is broken into prepositional phrases.  
  2. A word used in a line may be repeated elsewhere as needed.
  3. You may add or change articles (a, an, the...).
  4. You may change tenses, as necessary for meaning.  
  5. If you haven't added a line to the poem, you may not add one now. Others won't have it in their pile of phrases to use - so it won't really be as intriguing.
  6. However, if you can create a brand new line using individual words from the given lines, feel free! Do not do that for the whole poem though - that may be another challenge on another day! 
  7. Phrases should still be identifiable even though the whole line may not be in one unit still. (for example: "ignore the awful times" may be used in one place and "concentrate on the good ones" may be in another place).  
  8. Remember, these are only guidelines, as it IS poetry and we ARE poets...
  9. Rules are meant to be broken.
  10. You may make your own rules if you don't like these - and that way you aren't breaking a rule.
  11. You need to use ALL the submitted lines in some way.
  12. Please copy and paste the list of participants and their lines in your blog so that each is credited, along with some of their sources for the lines!
  13. Link up here on that day also for potential extra traffic to your poem!
  14. There is no 14.  I just didn't want to stop on 13.
I chose to work with the lines on the computer first.  Then I decided that was good but not fun.  So I printed up two copies of the lines and cut them apart.  One sheet was cut into whole lines and/or then phrases to keep the intent and recognition, and the other sheet was cut up into all the individual words for inserting extra words and composing as needed.   Surprisingly, the cat didn't want to help right then, so I had a blast scooting words and phrases around all by myself.
The work of words begins...

and continues...
And NOW, my contribution, using all the phrases above in part or whole, in pieces or intact, some words more than once, a few changes in singular and plural usage of verbs; otherwise, there are no new words in this poem - though a few words were omitted to keep the poem flowing.  I think every line of the 16 donated lines is identifiable!  I am SO psyched!  Such fun, I had!  I hope you did, too!  I'm anxious to visit all the ferocious poetic renditions! 

I Try to Tell Them of Alive from Donna Smith on Vimeo.
(oh, dear...play this video so I don't just sit there with my mouth open...)

I Try to Tell Them of Alive

I try to tell the world of
Ferocious women who never bring you coffee,
radical at their core,
who, in life’s intertwined moments,
ignore the awful times
and find the good ones
in Alive.

I should tell the stories of
Fearless women who wear loose clothing,
who save softness for dessert,
reach out, connect,
do not exaggerate,
and drip truth and joy
from Alive.

I would tell of
Dreaming women who do art in poetry
that climbs like smoke from a fire
in a blur of green and gold and gray
where wizards and wolves rush by,
who wake the world to a new day
of Alive.

I tell them
I feel like there should be a little chest
to put the Alive in -
there for girls and women
of endurance;

I tell them
Concentrate on
the Ferocious, Fearless
and Dreaming
who never bring you coffee,
would rather drink the wind
and always leave a song,
a wild song of exaltation,
and a smile
for Alive.

Donna JT Smith, January 24, 2017

Looking forward to next January's 
2018 Poetpourri Challenge!  There has to be another!

We're on our way to February...enjoy the Alive!

NEXT week I will share the postcards I received from the exchange.


  1. I don't have time to really read all your post, Donna. I have Ingrid with today, but will return later this evening. This was fun, but a big challenge! Thanks!

    1. Now, I'm back and you may be off to bed! This is lovely, and I am impressedwith your creative way of moving those words around, but I did recognize the phrases. I like the repetition, too! Happy Writing, Donna!

    2. Have fun with Ingrid today! Imagine - if you weren't retired, you wouldn't have had this opportunity for a Friday of fun!

    3. You are right, and I am grateful to be free to have that fun. It feels like I am so busy that I'm not sure how I did all the regular things, too.

  2. Oooh...I love it, especially the repetition of Alive. Your whole poem throbs with life! Thank you for inviting us to join in the challenge. It was quite a brain teaser, but so much fun.

    1. I love brain teasers, so this made my January blahs into hurrahs!
      Glad you entered into the fun, Kay! I hope to do this again...not tomorrow...

  3. That second stanza has such pacing, I stopped to smile at my little part, and then I wanted to hug the whole poem. Really awesome, Donna!! Thanks for doing this, it was such fun.

    1. It IS fun seeing where your words end up and how they are manipulated into another work! I hadn't really anticipated that feeling...bonus!

  4. Thanks for the description of your process. You've made yourself a set of magnetic poetry, all you need now is a roll of magnetic tape to cut up and adhere to the backs of the words.

    I couldn't get started on poem, but I was happy to contribute a quote. The whole project is outstanding from start to finish and I congratulate you and the others who managed to complete a poem.

    1. I loved your powerful line! Thanks for "playing"! Maybe some day lines of poetry will start forming in your brain...and you will wonder where they came from...and suddenly...poof! A ferocious poem will emerge from seemingly out of nowhere!
      You are right. I do need to get some magnetic tape. These are magnificent words.

  5. Enjoyed your video, Donna! The ending was especially lovely. Thanks for making this project happen!

    1. I had debated about the video, but then I'd like to see everyone read their poems, so I did it. I think it helps sometimes to hear it. The meaning becomes clearer and more musical.
      I remember as a student when I listened to Shakespeare (not that this is Shakespeare, by a long shot!) I understood it better than when I read it to myself. After a time of hearing the language, I could read and understand Shakespeare better on my own. Anyway, kind of like that. Like missing intonations in email and blog comments! Ha!

  6. Love it! The lines: "and always leave a song,
    a wild song of exaltation,
    and a smile" spoke especially to me. Off to sing a wild song!

    1. Oh, to always leave a song and a smile! I want to be remembered that way! So yes, off to sing a wild song today!

  7. "who, in life’s intertwined moments,
    ignore the awful times
    and find the good ones
    in Alive."

    Yes. Yes. Thank you. I want to hug you!

    1. Thanks for the hug! I am so amazed at these offerings: the lines, the poems and the comments. I want to hug everyone!

  8. Your poem is alive and soaring as powerful voices should, Donna. Ferocious women would rather drink the wind...and soar like the eagles. If I ever have time I will give this a try.

    1. Let me know if you do! I want to read it for sure!

  9. Thanks for organizing this challenge. Have enjoyed reading all the different ferocious women poems hither and yon, and it's especially nice to see and hear you read your poem!!

    1. It's amazing to see what can be arranged out of the lines given.
      It always seems surreal to read one of my poems aloud - seems like the words of someone else, somehow removing or distancing you from the poem, yet bringing you closer to your own words at the same time.

  10. What a great challenge, Donna. I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to play, but it's been so much fun reading all of the response poems today. I'm glad to see everyone attending carefully to language and how we use it. Art is a form of resistance.

    1. This was the kind of fun I like to have! Challenging and awakening stuff! I like to use my art as exaltation and exultation.

  11. "always leave a wild song" -- that IS a poem! I adore that line, Donna. I'm inspired by all you ferocious writers! xo

    1. I liked the feel of that line when it arranged itself on my refrigerator. Do you sometimes feel like your pen - or your magnets - know what you want to say before you do? Is that crazy?
      Anyway, because of all the fierce, ferocious, fearless and dreamy lines, poets and poems that arose from this, I'd like to try it again sometime.

  12. Well done, Donna, for your poem and hatching this project in the first place.

    1. Thanks! It was just the thing to take me through January without really caring how long it was!

  13. So glad you turned my line into a cool project, Donna--you are a ferocious woman!

    1. Your line just resonated with me...though I'm really a woman who WILL bring you coffee...or at least lead you to it! Let me know if you are ever in Maine and I'll take you to Starbucks!

  14. What a great challenge, Donna! I'm so sorry I missed it. Your poem is amazing, and hearing you read it was a real treat. I love the repetition and that joyful ending. Let's flood the world with "wild song[s] of exultation/and a smile."

    1. Yes! We need songs of exaltation and exultation...and always a smile! I hope you get inspired to go and write your own anyway. Let me know if you do and you post it. I'd love to read it!

  15. I love ALL of these, and especially your recurring Alive. Great challenge!

    1. Wasn't Alive a neat word to have? When I first saw it, I wasn't sure how I wanted to fit the line in, but then it became a major piece.

  16. So cool! It just goes to show that sometimes a writing assignment is just what we all need!

  17. Beautiful job, Donna! I am in awe of how these lines are woven so seamlessly together. Well done!

    1. Thanks for your line "ferocious women would rather drink the wind"! I imagine gardeners have the same feeling as poets...the seeds of wonderful lines gave birth to some pretty fierce poems!

  18. Wow! Great job, Donna! Your repetition of "Alive" was wonderful!

  19. Such a fantastic project, Donna. I've been feeling empowered reading all of these wonderful poems. It's a ferocious phenomenon and yours is the phenomenalist! Thank you, also, for reading it aloud. The personal touch lends so much.

  20. This is brilliant! Donna, you've spun a golden thread from the bits of straw we all offered. Thanks for tackling such a big, yet fun, project to encourage us!


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