Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Poetry Toolbox-- Parts 2 & 3

It's almost July, which means the workshop at Madison Public Library is coming to an end soon!  While the workshops have been building off of one another, you can still jump in if you haven't attended the previous sessions.  We've been having a great time!

In the second workshop, we:
* read poems and discussed patterns (& how and why repetition works in poetry)
* used lists as a way to break free from obvious language and images
* talked about list poems (like "Where I'm From") and anaphora (poems like "Jubilate Agno")

If you'd like to come to the next workshop, anyone who has written an anaphora-- a poem in which each line begins with the same word or phrase-- or a list poem has the option of sharing, so feel free to give it a shot and bring it along!  We're a friendly group!

On Monday, we'll be reading and discussing other patterns, focusing on poetic forms and techniques like the ghazal and syllabics.

You can register here!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Carter is spending the week at Fine Arts Camp learning to fuse glass and create metal sculptures and the like.  He'll be there the whole week, sharing a dorm room with a guy he doesn't know (whose name is the same as a famous English writer, which I consider a sign that it will go well).  This is his first time away at camp for a week, and I'm super-excited for him!  It's also the first time in so long that he'll be the youngest in a group-- it's for high school kids.  I can't wait to hear about it, though I'll likely need to wait until he returns.  I told him I'd cry if he didn't call me to check in sometime, but he'll probably think to call on Friday.  It's just the way he rolls.

I didn't have my camera, so I'm sharing someone else's
baby raccoon photo to exemplify their sheer
adorableness. (Of course, the raccoons we saw
were way more adorable than these.)

On our way home from dropping Carter off at camp, we spotted over 100 white pelicans on this tiny pond in the marsh just off the highway in Sun Prairie.  We decided to stop and see how close we could get.  The marsh was was warm with chamomile and overgrown and wonderful, and we got really close to one shore where there were about 25 pelicans.  When we started back, I heard a rustle in the grass just ahead to the left of the path.  The animal didn't scamper like a bunny or chipmunk, so I tried to get a peek at it-- it was fuzzy and black.  Of course, I panicked and pushed Matthew in front of me to investigate the noise...  a baby raccoon!  He tried to scare it off, but it just sat there.  And then another one came out, then another, and there were four baby raccoons coming to check out what the commotion was all about.  When we were sure there was no mama in sight, we passed them.  Man! They were so adorable!  How can anything be so adorable and terrifying at once?! 

And on that note, I have about 100 days before the baby is due.  So many things, so little time!  We'll be moving to a bigger place in August, so we need to start packing soon!  And I have a list of 300 things to make, like baby clothes and a crib set and a new cushion cover for my glider and etc.  And there's the list of things to do this summer, like have baby showers and spend time with family and yoga and Rhinelander and etc. And the worst part is that I am stuck at this point where I can currently do nothing about any of the things to do except look at the lists, reevaluate the lists, and try to figure out what I can do ahead of time so that I don't have to do all of this stuff at once (when I'm a giant, exhausted pregnant lady and we are in dead-middle of the hottest time of the year).  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Poetry Toolbox

I'm teaching a free workshop at Madison Public Library! It's a series of three workshops, and while they do build off of one another nicely, you by no means need to go to all three (it's summer, and I know how hard it is to commit to three weeks of anything inside when the sun is out!).

Last time, we:
* read great poems and discussed how imagery, sound, and metaphor were working in them
* participated in a great metaphor-writing exercise
* talked about conceit poems

If you're not familiar with conceit poems, they're essentially poems centered on an extended metaphor. Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," for example, when read literally, is about a guy standing in the road, while metaphorically, it's about the decisions we make.

If you'd like to come to the next workshop, anyone who has written a conceit has the option of sharing, so feel free to give it a shot and bring it along!  We're a friendly group!

Next week, we'll be talking about repetition, rhythm, and anaphora-- poems starting with the same word or groups of word.  We'll read and discuss poems and work on a writing prompt or two.

You can still register here!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Where Our Eggs Come From!

We picked up our first CSA share of the year yesterday!  This year, we decided to switch to Christensen Farm for a few reasons:

1.  Pick up is on Tuesday at the farmer's market down the street from our house. This is ridiculously more convenient than our last CSA's Saturday delivery.  And our farmers are there at the market, so we get to meet them!

Chicken in the Field!
2.  They are closer and smaller.  It's run by a family from Monroe with adorable children.  I like to live vicariously...

3. They have eggs! I would like to share with you the video of the chickens who lay my eggs and the coop in which they lay them, but I can't get the video to link up here, so you will have to trust that they are some of the happiest chickens you've ever seen.  Also, their eggs are amazing.  (You can see the video on the homepage of the farm-link above, and I did find this photo of one of their happy flock.)

This week, we got asparagus, spinach, lettuce, rhubarb, radishes, carrots, and a jar of red currant grape jelly (and eggs). We had eggs and toast with jelly for breakfast, and it was the happiest way to start a rainy day! At the market, we also picked up a bag of Farmer John's cheese curds-- they were the squeakiest, freshest cheese curds any of us had ever eaten.  We'll never buy cheese curds anywhere else, ever!

OK, I'm starving now...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Finally Summer!

This past weekend was the first weekend we spent at home since... err... a long time?, and we got so much done!  On Friday, we drove through Horicon Marsh and while we didn't see many birds, we saw a doe giving birth, which is kind of better.  I don't know why, but I was surprised to see her on her own, hunching over in the tall marsh grasses.  Of course she didn't need help, but I guess I thought (somewhere in the back of my head, because it's not something I actually think I've ever considered) that maybe a doe would be surrounded by other does while giving birth.   (These back-of-head-thoughts may be rooted in the Golden Books/Disney rendition of Bambi.)  What a remarkable thing to experience.

On Saturday, we went to the Farmer's Market and bought some plants to eat (asparagus and baby kale) and plants to grow (swiss chard, a jalapeno, and kohlrabi).  We also bought a tiny cherry crumb pie from an Amish stand and, of course, cheese curds.  Oh wait. We also shared a strawberry rhubarb crumb bar while we were there...  It was good.  We walked there and back, which isn't too far at all, but I can definitely feel the extra 15 lbs I'm carrying around with me these days!

After the market, we went to Happy Bambino, which is a fantastic baby store with the friendliest, happiest staff anywhere, and I finally learned what I needed to know about cloth diapers!  Hooray! And then we bought some potting soil and topsoil and compost and came home to plant!  Matthew put baskets on my bike, we put our plants in pots, and we moved our sage, which we were able to keep alive since last fall, back into the earth.  We also have peas coming up and chives that came back this year.  Now, we cross our fingers that the earwigs don't come back...