Poetry Friday: Where Do Poems Hide?

I’ve been rereading Writing Toward Home by Georgia Heard and came across “Valentine for Ernest Mann,” a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye. Here’s an excerpt:

“…poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes,
they are sleeping. They are the shadows
drifting across our ceilings the moment
before we wake up. What we have to do
is live in a way that lets us find them.”

As an exercise, Georgia asked readers to list places where writing hides for us. I challenged myself to fill a page in my notebook.

Some phrases sounded so poetic that I crafted them into a sort of list poem.


Poems wait to be found.
They hide
in the grass, glistening in the morning dew
and the parade of ants across the path.
They linger
in the flutter of wings at the bird feeder
and the slow unfolding of the morning glories.
If I listen carefully I may hear poems
in the crunch of celery,
the laughter of children,
an early morning thunderstorm, or
the calls of a red-winged blackbird.
Poems greet me at the edge of my dreams,
then stick around for that first sip of coffee.
They crouch in the corners of my grandchildren’s smiles,
and hover in my husband’s hand on the small of my back.
Poems are buried deep in my dog’s soft fur,
and will live forever in my memories.

Margaret has today’s Poetry Round Up here. Thanks for hosting, Margaret.

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14 Responses to Poetry Friday: Where Do Poems Hide?

  1. cvarsalona says:

    Rose, your poem has a beautiful flow to it so your little exercise paid off. There are so many soft, tender images in your lines that I can’t say which line is my favorite. The whole poem in general is a favorite and a keeper. When I read the crunch of celery, I thought about the small details, the ordinary items in our lives that we normally miss. You found your poem in all the right places.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. katswhiskers says:

    There is definitely a poem in your poems’ hiding places. I think these lines may be my faves;
    ‘They linger
    in the flutter of wings at the bird feeder

    crouching in the corners of my grandchildren’s smiles,’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. margaretsmn says:

    This is a lovely list poem that sends me to all the very things we are present for and notice. Thanks for sharing. “My husband’s hand on the small of my back” that long lasting love resounds beautifully in that line.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Irene Latham says:

    Oh those poems deep in the dog’s fur! Beautiful list. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Denise Krebs says:

    Yes, indeed, Rose, those are poetic lines you found in the hidden places of your writing day. I love the poem you crafted. I had so many smiles throughout as you took me to the morning glories “the parade of ants”, the celery, the laughter. So many joyful surprises here. I loved the sentiment and also the alliteration in the lines about your grandchildren’s smiles and your husband’s touch.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kareneastlund4898 says:

    I love this poem, Rose, and the idea behind it. I agree especially about the edges of dreams… thanks for sharing this… so inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. maryleehahn says:

    The power of your list is in the richness of the specifics! I can’t even pick a favorite, but I am delighted that a red-winged blackbird made it into both of our poems this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mitchell Linda says:

    Oh, my goodness…what a beautiful post. The mentor poem and your poem both. All those places are wonderful. How did you know about that first sip of coffee? I thought that was mine — all mine! LOL. I must try this exercise. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mgminer says:

    “early morning thunderstorm” I love the anticipation of being able to stay in bed with a book and listening to the rain.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mbhmaine says:

    Oh, this is such a lovely poem and Nye’s poems is one of my favorites! I love sharing it with my students every year. I also love all the places your poems hide and can relate to many of them. You have me inspired to try my hand at this. Thanks for sharing this exercise.

    Liked by 1 person

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