First, I want to thank Laura Shovan for generously sharing her wonderful poetry lessons. I had fun with summer poetry workshops this week. Read some of the student work here.
I visited the Winslow Homer exhibit at our local museum last week and was again caught up in thoughts about crossing genres.
Homer began his career producing lithographic covers for sheet music.
In 1857, his first wood engravings appeared in a Boston periodical.
In his early work, the children looked like miniature adults.
Then he moved to New York and designed wood engravings regularly for Harper's Weekly. During the Civil War years, Harper's sent him to the field as a war correspondent.
But look what came first.
And this.Allison." I don't normally write lengthy poems, but this one called for a number of sections, and was emotionally draining in the writing process. I got to the end, almost, and knew I needed something more, a conclusion that brought me back to joy. One day I was browsing through some old files and found that I had written that triumphant closing years earlier in a slightly different format. That old piece of a poem became the last two stanzas of "Allison."
And that brings us full circle back to poetry. Homer provided illustrations to many children's poems. Here is one for John Greenleaf Whittier's, "My Playmate," published in Ballads of New England in 1870.
by: John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)
- HE pines were dark on Ramoth hill,
- Their song was soft and low;
- The blossoms in the sweet May wind
- Were falling like the snow.
- The blossoms drifted at our feet,
- The orchard birds sang clear;
- The sweetest and the saddest day
- It seemed of all the year.
- For, more to me than birds or flowers,
- My playmate left her home,
- And took with her the laughing spring,
- The music and the bloom.
- Read the rest here.