Poetry Friday: What the Milkweed Knows

How to Grow Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies | Garden Design
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A couple of weeks ago Mary Lee Hahn wrote about the August Poetry Peeps challenge – to write in the style of Jane Yolen or Joyce Sidman’s “What the _Knows” poems. I’m always up for a challenge, and I loved the form What the ____Knows, so I decided to join in.

I’ve been obsessed with the milkweed I planted last spring ever since starting to see some monarchs in the yard. I check on the plants daily, research the things I notice, and continue to learn from nature. So it seemed right that my poem be written about the milkweed. My poem is more free form. It’s more like a list poem and doesn’t follow a particular rhyme scheme, but you will hear some rhyming words and assonance.

What the Milkweed Knows

The quiet kiss of a monarch’s egg,
The gentle creep of caterpillar feet.
The buzzing bees,
A swaying breeze,
The silky strands of parachuting seeds.
The glow of the moon
on a clear starry night,
The wonders of nature,
The cycle of life.

Elisabeth has this week’s poetry roundup at Unexpected Intersections. Stop by to enjoy more poetry fun.

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17 Responses to Poetry Friday: What the Milkweed Knows

  1. Liz Garton Scanlon says:

    I’m so glad you did this — I’ve been watching the milkweek and monarchs in my neighbor’s yard, and you captured this beautifully, perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kareneastlund4898 says:

    I love this poem, Rose! You got it just right! Thanks so much for sharing… and caring!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tee+d says:

    Oh, you’ve even snuck in a quiet, perfect rhyme. Lovely! Thanks for joining the fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful poem about one of my favorite plants!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lindabaie says:

    Milkweed & butterflies are everywhere at the lake where I often walk. I love that opening, “the quiet kiss”.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All that internal rhyme is really beautiful! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. katswhiskers says:

    Oooh. Great summation, Rose. Of course that is what the milkweed knows best of all; the cycle of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful poem Rose, I love all the senses you capture in it, and the cycle, and calm it leaves us with, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Denise Krebs says:

    Yes, indeed, I heard all that, Rose. It is so beautiful. I love milkweed. I’m glad you planted them and have enjoyed the summer with them. “quiet kiss of a monarch’s egg” and “creep of caterpillar feet” and “Parachuting seeds” make me happy, as well as the sound of all that lines together. Just gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Elisabeth says:

    oh gosh Rose this is gorgeous! Beautiful and lyrical. I also love “The gentle creep of caterpillar feet.” and those last four lines – it was like reading a gentle bedtime story, lulling and peaceful. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Janet F. says:

    Ah, Rose, what a lovely poem. It really brings me right up to your milkweed and and the caterpillars who will emerge from those gorgeous green chrysalises with the golden squares! I love your subtle but effective rhymes and every line.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree that even though it looks quite different on the page, you have a lovely lilting rhythm for your milkweed lullaby, Rose!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. bmagee10 says:

    Now I know more about the milkweed thanks to your poem, Rose! Now even I have ‘butterflies’! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. maryleehahn says:

    I love this so much!! I am obsessed with my milkweed and monarchs, too. Your poem is spot-on.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a beautiful poem. I especially love the first two lines!

    Liked by 1 person

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