What’s Up Wednesday: The Poetry Edition

What’s Up Wednesday is the brain child of Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. WUWTreeJoin the fun on your own blog and then go to Jaime’s or Erin’s to add your link – it’s a great way to share what’s going on in your life and get to know other bloggers!

What I’m Reading

I finished TAKEN by Erin Bowman and went straight into FROZEN. I broke my rule about starting a series before all the books are finished. The third book (FORGED) isn’t out until next year. I’ll just have to hope the fabulous people at Recaptains will have a recap of the first two books by then.

What I’m Writing

I got past the revisions on the first 30 pages on my WiP and added another 4k. It was a good writing week, my friends.

What inspires me right now

Last week I posted in the inspiration section about a great story in which a man used his passwords to inspire change in his life (here’s the link to last week’s post). In the comments section, the brilliant and inspiring Kris Oliver said this:

The last year I was desperate to quit my Evil Day Job (with Evil Uber Racist/Sexual Harassment Boss), I tacked up “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” by my computer and my password was the answer to that question.

I just loved that story. And I knew I had seen that line before about “your one wild and precious life” but I wasn’t sure where. So I searched it online and came upon a whole world of absolutely fantastic Mary Oliver poetry. I have to admit, I have never been one for contemporary poetry. When I was young, my Dad loved to read poetry out loud to us but he tended toward the classics. Robert Frost. Robert Service. Walt Whitman. A couple of poems from James Henry Leigh Hunt have always been among my favorites because they were among my Dad’s favorites: Abou Ben Adhem  and Jenny Kissed Me (such a sweet poem).

That one comment from Kris has made decide to re-introduce myself to old poetry that I have loved and to new poetry that I have never read – starting with everything that Mary Oliver has ever written. Here are a few quotes of hers I found on Goodreads:

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

“Listen–are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?”

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

Talk about inspirational. I’ve also read a little about Mary Oliver’s life in the past week and she, herself, is quite inspiring. (See this interview with the famously private Mary Oliver by Maria Shriver).

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Not much! The highlights of last weekend were meeting with my Writer’s Group and going to my daughter’s softball game which turned into a non-game because not enough kids on the other team showed up. Why was a “non-game” a highlight, you ask? Because the coaches did the pitching and catching and they – and the girls – were all just silly because it wasn’t a real game and it was just really fun and funny to watch. I think there should be more “non-games.” 🙂

Have a great week everyone!

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21 Responses to What’s Up Wednesday: The Poetry Edition

  1. Hah! Well look at that, I’ve been quoted in your blog. Day=Made. I think I can die happy now. 🙂 Seriously, though I love that line from the Mary Oliver poem. It resonated with me in an almost inexplicable way. It was like that E.M. Forester line “By the side of the everlasting Why there is a Yes and another Yes!” Sometimes I read something and I have to resist shouting “Yes!” out loud. I think I devoured a bunch of her poetry after reading that one. I love that she writes beautifully about insects and mold. *grin*

    Congrats on such a fantastic writing week. My word counts were a tiny bit slim this week, so you are going to be my inspiration for next week. Butt in chair people. (or in my case..Butt in Hammock) Whatever it takes to get the “inside words” out and fossilized on paper.

    Hope your week is splendid and filled with light. 🙂

    • “Forster” not “Forester”…Blerg. If you’re going to quote the guy, at the very least get his name right. (Makes it sound like he’s trimming trees.) My bad.

    • Kitty says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kris for your great comment last week that really made me think!! 🙂 And, yes, I love the way she writes beautifully about insects and mold, too! So much of her stuff that I’ve read (so far!) makes me want to walk right out my door and keep going until I’m in the woods. It did inspire me to take a long-overdue hike through the local state park this week. I hope to do more of that before the snow flies again.

      Good luck on your writing goals this week! Although, if my writing spot was in a hammock, I’d probably end up either sleeping or daydreaming. 🙂

  2. Love those poem lines! I’ve never been hugely into poetry but I don’t hate it either. I guess I never really make time for it. But you’ve made me change my mind!
    Have a great week!

    • Kitty says:

      Yay for changing peoples’ minds! I keep thinking about the fact that I should really try to read more outside the YA sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal genre, even though that’s the stuff I love. But if I want to really expand my writing, I should be reading other stuff, too. I think that reading poetry would really help expand my horizons! Have a fantastic week, Melanie!

  3. Love Mary Oliver. Part of my MFA comps exam had to be poetry and so I was very familiar with her work at one time. The line that Kris quoted is one of my faves. Hope you’re doing well and enjoying the summer with your family! 🙂

    • Kitty says:

      Hi Sara! I love that line so much, I’m thinking I need to have it done up and framed somewhere. Somewhere in my house, I think, so that my girls have that question on their minds, too. 🙂 I hope you are having a fantastic summer, too! It’s going so fast. *boohoo!*

  4. Those are awesome lines! I haven’t read much poetry since graduating from universtiy, but maybe it’s time to try new things! Glad to hear you’re having a great writing week! 🙂

    • Kitty says:

      Hi Emma! I haven’t read much poetry for a long time, either. When my Dad died, we divvied up some of his favorite books and I have two poetry books that have been gathering dust. I like to think about him smiling down from heaven at those books being picked up again! Have a great week!

  5. Miss Cole says:

    Thanks for sharing your inspiration, it’s great 😀

    You have had a great writing week. Hope this one’s just as good!

    • Kitty says:

      Thanks! It was a pretty good writing week and it’s been a great inspiration to just keep going with it! I can’t let the momentum die. 🙂 I hope you are having a fantastic week!

  6. Jaime Morrow says:

    Oh my gosh! I knew that “wild and precious life” quote by Mary Oliver (so inspiring!), but the other lines of poetry you shared by her are AMAZING. Honestly, they speak to me so much. Thanks for sharing them, Kitty. I’m going to have to check out more of her stuff. Have a wonderful week! 😀

    • Kitty says:

      Hi Jaime! I’m glad I inspired you to check out more of her stuff. I have been really trying to keep myself from buying new books as of late and trying to check out more from the library. But I think I’ll make an exception for Mary Oliver. I need to read more of her stuff than I can find on Goodreads or by surfing the web! I hope you’re having a great week!

  7. Niki Lenz says:

    Good job on your 4K this week! Gotta love that!

  8. C.E. Darrell says:

    What gorgeous pieces of inspiration, Kitty, thanks so much for sharing 🙂 I might have to print out the Mary Oliver one, how beautiful.

    And big congrats on the 4K! Here’s to a sprint all the way to the finish line, haha 🙂 Have a great week!

    • Kitty says:

      Thanks Caitie – Mary Oliver really has some amazing poetry. I look forward to reading more of it … and soon (hopefully)! I hope you are having a wonderful week!

  9. Kate Scott says:

    I’ve never been a poetry fan, but those Mary Oliver quotes are making me think twice. So beautiful and poignant. Maybe I should give poetry another look.

    Have a great week!

    • Kitty says:

      I can relate, Kate. The only poetry I have been a fan of is the stuff my Dad used to read because that has a special, nostalgic quality for me. But I am definitely going to explore more poetry going forward! I hope you are having a wonderful week!

  10. I love Mary Oliver’s poetry. Here’s another good line:

    Did I actually reach out my arms toward it, toward paradise falling, like the fading of the dearest, wildest hope – the dark heart of the story that is all the reason for its telling.
    – Mary Oliver

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