The Music of Venice – Writing Assignment #27

The Music of Venice

All photos by Lynda McKinney lambert. Copyright 2015.

 

Walking by Inner Vision Journal

Writing Assignment #27

 

I always remember the special nuances of a place I have visited when I listen to the music that is created by the local musicians and composers.  I always shop for CDs of that particular music and bring it home so I can enjoy it.  When I listen my memories come alive and I remember specific little activities or places of that place.

One of my favorite places to visit is Venice, Italy. Every summer I visited Venice during the Redintore Festival in July. As soon as I arrived at my hotel, I purchased tickets to a Vivaldi concert.  Of course, I bought the CDs of those concert performances and listen to them often throughout the year.

Photo: Lunch at the Guggenheim Museum and Restaurant with my students.

**

Here is a link if you would like to take a little cyber visit to Venice today.  You can listen while you read my blog!

Vivaldi, the Four Seasons

**

Another activity I did in Venice was to walk through the city, then select a place where I could sit down and write in my journal.  Some times, I opened up my sketch book and did drawing of the people, buildings, boats, and I wrote notes in the sketchbook, too.

Later, when you are back home, you will love looking through your sketchbooks and reading your notes once again.   

I use my notes and sketches to bring back the details of a special day. I turn them into a poem.

Here is a poem I wrote from such an experience, very early one morning as I sat beside the Grand Canal enjoying the beauty of the new day.

**

Venezia, 7 a.m.

I hear deep bell sounds

From the Renaissance tower

morning announcements

Arrive in waves

embrace me low

surround me deep.

A duet begins

To shape this early light

mingled with lapping

pushing

surging

waves in the lagoon.

Polished black boats are tied

to terra cotta stone piers

covered by slippery gray mists.

An undulating shrill voice

somewhere

out of view

soars over

aqua cleansing waters.

Four Chinese women pause

form a circle

their heads lean back

mouths open wide as they laugh

at fat pigeons taking staccato strides.

The thin man in green cotton pants nods

as he sweeps away the debris

from the all-night celebration

his long flexible broom

scrapes away trash and fireworks

scattering them into the heavens.

The scratching of his broom

mingles with the chorus

of bells, birds, water,

women’s chatter

and the movement of my hand

as I write in this journal.

It is the morning after

Redintore Festival

once again

the Redeemer’s fireworks

have saved us from the plague.

It has now been 400 years

the sparks have kept us safe.

Bon Giorno!

Bon Giorno!

Published in “Concerti…Psalms for the Pilgrimage,” Kota Press, 2002.

Copyright 2002, 2015. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

Writing Assignment #27

Walking by Inner Vision Journal

Create a short writing piece or a poem from your memories of a place you have visited.

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All About Stones – From A to Z

Walking by Inner Vision – Your Personal Journal

Writing Assignment #25 _ The Abecedarian Poem

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EASY as A-B-C

and so much Fun!

This poem will take you on writing  journey through the alphabet, from A to Z.

You can begin by writing each letter of the alphabet down the left side of your page – vertically. It will look like this:

A

B

C

D

E

F – and just keep on going till you get all 26 letters on your page.

**

Once you have your letters – they will become the first letter of a word in each line. Your poem can be 26 lines long, or you can write your poem in pairs of lines as I did in my example below.

**

Follow my example and create your own ABECEDARIAN  POEM. **    

  ** Crystal Healer  

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Amber red dripped from ancient trees

Solidified and fossilized.

Boji Stones brought healing to painful memories,

grounded high spiritual vibrations.

Crystal quartz cleared the room of negative energy,

brought healing to those who lost hope.

Dragon’s Blood was also christened as costly Cinnabar

she helped change your image.

Emerald stood surrounded by palest green rays of light,

protected from evil enchantments, foretold the future.

Fluorite made me smile when I touched her soft curves,

a  celestial rainbow of clear, blue, green brown, and yellow.

Garnet gemstones surrounded us with beauty from the earth,

mined and carved, tumbled smooth.

Hematite, a heavy magnetic stone, harmonized and balanced the spirit,

supported timid women and boosted self-esteem.

Iolite, so very small and translucent; a delicate stone,

changed her colors with the angle of light.

Jadeite, translucent, soft, and green;

hidden away, smooth and silky in my pocket.

Kunzite’s delicate shades in lilac, pink, or yellow translucent,

transparent, mood-lifting effects.

Labrodarite, my favorite gem,

reminded me of the deep water’s reflections on a summer day.

Malachite held layers of copper between her spiteful greens,

powerful stone of the new millennium.

Nebula stones are small with unique metaphysical properties,

gaze into it and you’ll be moved to new places in the universe.

Obsidian sang of a black winter night

with snowflakes falling on the shiny opaque glass-like surface

Precious opal stones,

cleansed in the light at full moon a fiery glow in the morning light.

Quartz clusters gathered deep secrets,

in their helical spiral crystalline forms.

Rainbows flourished inside the dense earth

a harvest of vibrant mysteries.

Serpentine, a talisman of water-worn black-green stones,

were  said to assure the wearer of longevity.

Tiger’s Eye beads in yellow-brown, pink, blue, red,

were used as protection against ill will.

Unikite is a circus of tumbled stones placed gently in a bowl,

brought calm to your home.

Varsite sang the songs of encouragement,

hope and courage to those who gave up.

Wulfenite brings knowledge from ancient temples of Egypt or Greece,

brought spiritual vibrations down to earth.

X represents the signature of the Creator’s hands

as He fashioned and planted each precious gem.

Yellow Calcite, the silent stone, brought healing,

from darkness inside the fertile earth,

Zeolite can be colorless, white, blue and  peach,

a group of all kinds of crystals, living together in a matrix of  a harmonic rainbow.

**

Note: This poem is the abecedarian  form. You can go back and look at the first letter of each pair of lines, and you will see the alphabet from A to Z.

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The Gloss Poem and Jacqueline Williams

Walking by Inner Vision…presents:

I am so happy to present a poet who lives in Arizona today!

 


Arizona_Sunset_AwesomeView
Arizona_CattleandSkyHorizontal

Our FIRST GUEST BLOG is by Arizona writer,  Jacqueline  Williams

Jacqueline says,

” I enter the NFSPS annual contest every year  and the past two years, my favorite form, the Gloss (sponsored by Mississippi) no longer appeared  as a category.

I keep writing them for I love this form for very personal reasons.

I was enticed by some quatrains written by special people in my life. Once conquering this form, I found myself on the constant lookout for those written by famous poets. Therefore, it became an educational tool.

When I lost my sight, I needed a tight structure to help me learn to use a screen reader and organize my thoughts. It required me to learn meter and syllable counts, natural rhyming enhanced by enjambment to make a poem like this jell.

It is a way of honoring a favorite poet while taking the challenge of expanding on their original thought. So here, I honor, first, my mother, Donnafred Hoff, deceased, a well-known Arizona poet, and secondly Ogden Nash, whose humor I have always been a captive of.

 **

Jacqueline introduces to my readers, The GLOSS FORM…

This exciting poetic form is an  expansion of a well-known poet’s quatrain in iambic tetrameter or iambic pentameter.

 

This quatrain, the text, must be given as an epigraph under the title of one’s poem, along with the title of the poem it is from and the name of the poet who wrote it.

Following are four sextet stanzas, 24 lines, each stanza beginning with a line from the text, with four original lines added in a rhyme scheme of one’s choosing, and closing with the same line from the text.

**

Arizona_Landscape_VerticalwithWalkPath

Who is Keeping Track of Time

The birds fly west; the sunset fades.

The moon begins her nightly climb.

The world is busy at charades

and who is keeping track of time.

 

The Birds Fly West  donnafred

The birds fly west; the sunset fades.

Through clouds, a lone star slowly wades,

and what will Heaven do this night—

Shed tears on lovers, holding tight?

The night owls screech as light degrades.

The birds fly west; the sunset fades.

The moon begins her nightly climb.

At midnight, somewhere, bells will chime.

In peaceful places, night brings sleep.

Volcanos, earthquakes—all will weep.

No matter what, we know through time—

the moon begins her nightly climb.

The world is busy at charades.

Some lie, some steal, some join parades.

Some hold their children, live in fright.

Wars come and go and some must fight.

While reptiles creep in forest glades,

the world is busy at charades

and who is keeping track of time?

For me and mine, it is a crime

to turn our backs on heating world.

We march together, flags unfurled.

Is it too late to save our clime,

and who is keeping track of time?

**

by Jacqueline Williams, second place winner, NFB, 2014

Arizona_Landscape4_SkywithCacti_Trees

 **

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photos of Arizona landscapes by Lynda McKinney Lambert

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Appetites Gone Wild

Some primal termite knocked on wood,

And tasted it and found it good,

And that is why your cousin May

Fell through the parlor floor today.

                 The Termite by Ogden Nash

Some primal termite knocked on wood.

I do not think he understood—

that diet was not meant for him

though it would fill the interim.

In  our resistant neighborhood

some primal termite knocked on wood,

and tasted it and found it good.

With treated wood, no way he should

indulge his starving appetite.

For ten long months, bite after bite,

he did, he thrived—misunderstood—

and tasted it and found it good.

And that is why your cousin May

was eating chocolate, curds and whey,

while Uncle George, and neighbors—all—

danced to a jig and down the hall.

But she kept eating, would not weigh,

and that is why your cousin May

fell through the parlor floor today.

She hurt her back and had her say,

but termites chomped in some new place.

May could not find them—not a trace.

She moved her chair to wood parquet—

fell through the parlor floor today.

**

 Copyright. Jacqueline Williams. All Rights Reserved.            

First Place (Humor), League of Minnesota, 2013

**

More about Jacqueline Williams:

Jacqueline Williams is a retired educator and active writer, mostly poetry, from Mesa, AZ. With her husband and three young boys, she spent five years in Uganda, East Africa. She travelled through Greece, England, Italy, Spain, the Balearic Islands, France, Austria, and Germany. Before returning to the U.S., she climbed the “Mountains of the Moon, finally looking down on the Congo from above the Speke Glacier.

Jacqueline  completed her Masters in Special Education at Arizona State University;  taught at San Carlos Reservation Special Education for two years. Jacqueline  was head teacher, Chairman of Special Education and teacher of learning disabled and gifted students at Keller Elementary School in Mesa, and finally took early retirement when she became dance coordinator for the African-American dance teacher, Arthur Hall. He spent many years teaching at the elementary schools in Mesa.

**

Poetry is her primary passion.

Jacqueline  has three books in development:

“Lizard in the Bean Sauce,” a memoir of the five years she lived  in Africa. Her writing including the coup installing Idi Amin.

“In Search of Adam Scott” is  about her 20-year-old son who disappeared in the Superstition  Mountains.

“Run, Quail, Run!” is a mixed genre of poetry and a narrative of her journey into an exciting and doomed relationship ending in violence.   

**

870 words

 

 

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Song Lyrics _ Writing Assignment #24

Here’s an idea to get you started on writing a new poem.
For Writing Assignment #24, we will select a song,  look at the lyrics, and use our selected lyrics to inspire a new poem.

Choose one or two lines from that song as inspiration for your poem today.
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Step 1: choose your song. Pick a  song  you love, or one you don’t like at all. What you choose will give you direction to where you want to go with your poem.

Example: I chose “Waltz Across Texas”  by Ernest Tubb. I’ll give you my personal “back story” to this song if you’d like to know why I like it so much.
I like this old country song because I used to dance to it with my husband. We love traditional country music and dancing together is something we still do after 54 years of marriage.  This song also brings back memories of dancing with my husband in Texas, at Gilly’s, in 1980.  We flew into Houston over the July 4th weekend to attend the big party at Gilly’s. The air was so hot it took your breath away as we got off the plane.  We rented a car and drove across Texas for a week. I took photos along the way, and later when we were back in PA, I used my photos to create paintings of the Texas landscapes.

**

Step 2: Select one or two lines from the song as a place to begin your poem.

Example: I chose to use the first two lines of “Waltz Across Texas” and I wanted to use it to write a poem about riding my motorcycle. In the poem, I am riding the motorcycle and it is a cold day. I am riding with a group of other women riders.
**
The first two lines of the song are:

“When we dance together, my world’s in disguise.”

“It’s a bizarre fairyland tale…” Ernest Tubb

Step 3: Choose the format you will use for the poem.

Example: I chose the Pantoum format because the repeating lines can give the poem some speed and energy by use of repeating lines.  The repeating lines move the poem right along – on down the highway, in this case.

Note: For directions to writing the Pantoum form click onto my article at this link:

http://lyndalambert.com/you-can-write-a-pantoum/

**

“When We Dance Together”

When we dance together, my world’s in disguise

Concealed behind black leather jackets

Dense fringes snap in the wind

We spiral downward – a bizarre fairyland tale.

Concealed behind black leather jackets

I hunker down against the brisk mountain air

We spiral downward – a bizarre fairyland tale

Wild rock-n-roll women in masquerade.

I hunker down against the brisk mountain air

The throbbing steel tank between my legs

Wild rock-n-roll women in masquerade

Neon surges through our veins.

The throbbing steel tank between my legs

With the rumble of Cobra Drags

Neon surges through our veins.

Lean into the slant wind that blows us around.

With the rumble of Cobra Drags

We ride side by side, with stars in our eyes

Lean into the slant wind that blows us around.

I raise the fist of my icy cold left hand

We ride side by side, with stars in our eyes,

On the rough pavement of the dance floor

I raise the fist of my icy cold left hand

Reach out to catch the storm.

On the rough pavement of the dance floor

Laughing with the painful gusts of rain

Reach out to catch the storm

Dancing together in disguise.

**

Note: This poem is a Pantoum form.

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright, 2013. All Rights Reserved.

This poem has been Published:*

Wordgathering Literary Magazine, Sept.  Issue, 2013.

Special THANKS to Wordgathering Literary Magazine for publishing my poem.

Copyright, 2013 and 2015. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

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The Disappearing Poem – Writing Assignment #23

~ Walking by Inner Vision Journal –

The Disappearing Poem

Writing Assignment #23

June 20, 2015

Photo: Hotel Balcony by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

This is one of my all-time favorite ways to write a  poem. I think you will enjoy it, too. In this poem, we make words DISAPPEAR to create  NEW meanings. Voila’ just like MAGIC – It’s so much FUN! will begin this poem by selecting some documents, such as a newspaper, birth certificate, letters, restaurant menu, junk mail, advertisement, phone book, dictionary, etc.

Let us begin this poem by selecting some documents, such as a newspaper article, E-mail advertisement, birth certificate, letters, restaurant menu, junk mail, advertisement, phone book, dictionary, etc.

If you select a document that is an original and you don’t want to destroy it, then make a copy of it and use your copy to create the poem. (Put the special document safely away so it does not get mixed up with the copy.)

I chose to use an em-al advertisement I received this week, from Travelocity.

Follow my guidelines to create your own poem.

1._Take your document and begin to erase or remove words – in whatever way you decide to do it. I like to scribble over the word until it is obliterated. You can take words away and you can add any words you like.  I copied and pasted my E0mail advertisement. Then, I went through it and used the strikeout function to mark the words I wanted to delete from the poem I would be writing.

2._ Type up the document using only the remaining words you did not strike out.  You can rearrange the formatting. You can delete punctuation, capitalization, etc. I chose to remove the words and punctuation from the original, but I kept the capitalization which gives the poem a different kind of feeling and voice as it is read aloud. It gives a sense of movement and a bit of instability because unusual patterns of punctuation are unexpected.

3._Arrange your new “poem” on the page in any way that makes sense to you.

*****

Poem Title:   “Terms and Conditions”

My source:  Travelocity:  E-mail to me on June 17, 2014.

Here is the quote  I will use as “raw material” to do a “Disappearing Poem.” You can see how I used the strike-through function on unwanted words.  Quote from advertisement follows:

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • Special offers are only available at participating hotels. Percentage discount calculations are based on the full rate, as determined and supplied by the hotel. Sample prices are for the stated travel period and are subject to availability based upon Travelocity’s hotel rates. Prices are per night based on double occupancy and include taxes and fees. Deals may change or be discontinued without notice. Minimum stay may be required. Additional restrictions and blackout dates may apply. Hotel-specific conditions may apply and are notified prior to booking.

*****

Ok, now you can see what I did with the advertisement from Travelocity.

I went through it, line by line, and crossed out words.

The deletion of words  brings new meaning to the advertisement.  After I deleted the words, I began re-writing the poem. As I wrote the poem, I again, deleted some words to push the meaning even further away from the meaning in the advertisement.

Below is the completed Disappearing Poem:

Terms and Conditions

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

SPECIAL OFFERS AT HOTELS

calculations determined

by hotel travel

subject  to hotel rates.

prices are based on taxes

deals may change without notice

change without notice

minimum restriction blackouts

conditions may  change without notice

change without notice

prior to booking

****

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Lynda is currently working on her second book of poetry – Eclipse: Hands Folded in Prayer.  She is the author of *Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage* – published by Kota Press. Available through the publisher, or on www.amazon.com  If you want an autographed copy, contact the author directly – there is a very limited supply of this book.

Lynda’s newest  book “Kaleidoscope: Collecting Patterns of Light and Dreams” will be forthcoming later this year.  It is a collection of essays/memoirs on art, writing, and faith.

Lynda’s art is exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide; included in public and private collections. and museum permanent collections. The US Department of State chose Lynda’s artwork for the  “Art in Embassies” program. She has received over 100 awards for her art work and her work has appeared in over  300 exhibitions in national and international venues.

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The Photograph Poem_Writing Assignment #22

Walking by Inner Vision Journal

Writing Assignment #22

The Photograph as Subject for your writing

1._ Select a photograph that seems to have special meaning for you.

2._ Sit quietly and look at the photo selected.

3._What colors do you see?

What do the colors make you think of as you look at the photo?

4._Write a few adjectives (describing words) about the colors.

5._Write some verbs (doing words) that reflect what the colors are doing in the photo? How does this make you feel?

6._Write about objects in the photo as you stare into it.

Do you see something you had not noticed previously? What is it?

7._Take the list you made while contemplating the photo;  arrange them into a poem.  You can add or remove more words as you write the poem.

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The photograph I meditated on for this poem:  

My Photo title: Handmade Gifts

If a PHOTOGRAPH is worth a THOUSAND WORDS, I have no need to say much more. I will say,  “Thank You, Dear God for warm colors and Gifts of Love.

***

“Dear God, my heart bursts With much gratitude for HANDMADE friends”

I write with a heart full of gratitude today

You have given me so many friends who know the value of “HANDmade” love

There are no gifts to compare with the gifts made by their own hands

the best ones

Thank you, dear Kathy Szakleheidi for the homemade bread and rolls

cards and notes and messages of love

Delightful mornings with my coffee in mugs given to me by Heidi McClure

for the gift of the handmade mugs

from the potter’s hands

And, oh the delicious treats from Raylene Italiano’s kitchen

the homemade jelly and loaves of bread on winter days

cookies and love

 Ilsa Barry and Salome Mengle kept me supplied

with gifts the K-cups – so tasty

Special thanks, in memory, of my precious friend

June Molohon Kerstetter

handmade pottery plates

and more

and more memories than any friend could ever hold in her hands

for all my HAND MADE, HAND SELECTED,  GOD GIVEN FRIENDS.

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Book of Remembrance – Writing Assignment #21 (Part B)

Note: I published this blog article about a year ago, in 2014.  I am publishing it again today with a few modifications for our:

Writing by Inner Vision Journal

Writing Assignment #21 – Part B

How to write a journal assignment about a historical event.

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June 10, 1942
Lidice, Czechoslovakia

Lidice_ChildrenSculptures

A bright and lovely June day in western Pennsylvania is everything we could imagine such a day would be. The birds are singing as they normally do on a June morning. The sun was up in the sky well Before 7 am:

     My dogs have had their morning walk. Bob and I have had a good breakfast together; we had toast and eggs and orange juice. Bob has gone into town to do some errands. I am at home in my office. I have some forms that need my attention today and I plan to get them all finished up and sent out today. In the kitchen, country music is playing on the radio. It’s a normal June 10th day in every way.

Eventually, the date of June 10th crossed my mind again. This time though, it was like a soft whisper from the distant past. Then, I began to remember something else. I remembered Lidice. I had visited Lidice once a year, on my summer travels in Europe. This village was so important, I believed, that I took my students there to stroll about the rolling landscape, walk through the fields of summer wild flowers that were blooming everywhere.

When I wrote my book, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage, I included a short historical note about Lidice. And, after that, I included the poem I wrote, “Book of Remembrance in Lidice.”

Below, I have put those two pieces from my book into this Blog post today, for you to read.

The journals that I kept each summer  as I traveled  became the source of information I needed to write about Lidice. I often turned to my journals for material to write new poems and essays.

 ***

Lidice_Field

from my book,

“Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” 

pages 9 – 11

Historical Note:

The earliest records concerning the village of Lidice is found in the 13th century. The village was dominated by St. Martin’s church. 

Lidice, a  typical Czech village,  had the first school with central heating in Bohemia in the 1700’s.

St Martin’s church was destroyed during the Hussite wars and again in the Thirty Years’ war.
It was rebuilt and decorated by Czech artists.

On June 9, 1942 the village of Lidice had 102 houses and 493 residents. The oldest woman was 88 years. The youngest infant was 2 weeks. There were 14 farms and a mill in the village.

On June 10, the shooting began:

192 men shot dead
7 women shot dead
52 women martyred in the concentration camp
88 children assassinated

Lidice was leveled to the ground.

___________

Book of Remembrance in Lidice

In the museum
a Book of Remembrance
records the facts –
names, dates, village

A Plexiglas box
holds debris –
sand and dirt
human remains

A basket of flowers on
an embroidered hanky
with lace around the edges
hands clasped in friendship
on a corner of the lace scallop.

Envelopes
with tea colored letters
faded red stamps
written in pencil
postmarked.

A wall for the men
A wall for women
with photos and
names
pf the dead
posted

Eighty-two bronze children stand
In the field just off the path
It’s a secluded place
beneath a solitary pine tree
where chicory frolics with the grass.

I imagine it was such a lovely summer meadow
Clover, Sweet Peas, Dandelion,
Crown Vetch, Queen Anne’s Lace
a large snail in a smooth spiral shell
beneath the silent pine tree

Zum Gedenhen an die millionen kinder, Die Dem 11. Weltkrieg zum opfer gefallen sind.

In Memoriam – Jahre 1942
The Children of Lidice

______________

…all past events are more remote from our senses than the stars of the remotest galaxies, whose own light at least still reaches the
telescopes. But the moment just past is extinguished forever, save for the things made during it.
George Kubler

Lidice_Memorial_2010_11

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Turn YOUR Journal Entry into a Poem: Writing Assignment #21 – Part A

How to CREATE a POEM from your JOURNAL Entries…Writing Assignment #21 (A)

Lynda pauses for a moment in Mirabell Gardens. Photo taken in 2006.

Turn a Journal Entry into a Poem

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

PART A of Writing Assignment #21

There will be two parts to this assignment.

 

Writers often discover treasures for writing  poems and other literary pieces when they look back into history. They seek out additional insight and information on something they  think is interesting. You may want to try this method, too.

This way of working  inspired some of my best pieces. I keep  travel journals on my trips. I make sketches and  write short notes as I record my experiences. My travel journals become the raw material I looked back into long after I returned home.  I find exciting new revelations. Keeping a travel journal makes your trip memorable long after it is over.

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My example: Writing in Mirabell Garden 

 

07boblyndaMirabell

The famous Mirabell Garden (Salzburg, Austria) was a place  I visited   during my summers of teaching in Austria. I inhaled  the  fragrance of  fully blooming roses in a formal garden.  I thought about how I would remember this place as I began to write about my experiences in my travel journal.

 

I wrote some quick notes about the palace – it’s location in the center of Salzburg and the fascinating Archbishop Wolf  Dietrich  who commissioned the building of the palace for  his mistress, Salome Alt. I imagined their children frolicking in the palace and in the gardens.  I used a  pen to make a few line drawings of various aspects of the architecture, the gardens, and the fortress on the mountain.

Later, I looked into some historical notes on this intriguing story.  The people who had lived in this magnificent palace became so real to me. I began to imagine their lives in a personal way.  This story did  not have a happy ending. The Archbishop eventually made so many political enemies that he was eventually arrested and imprisoned in the fortress dungeon where he spent the remaining years of his life. He died in prison in the fortress, high above the city, overlooking his palace.  His mistress, Salome Alt, fled with  their children to Wels, another  city where they were safe.

You can do a little scribble drawing, take some quick  photos,  or jot descriptive notes in a  journal. Later, when there is more time to think it over, use those thoughts and images when you  craft a poem. It only takes a few visual or text notations to awaken memories.

Turning Journal Notes into a Poem:

 

Explore the HISTORY:

Consider the history of the place and the people who inhabited it.

Write down some historical notes on  location as you are visiting a place. That is the best way to begin. Later, when you are back home you can do some additional research to gain even more information to set the stage for the historical context.

Example from my journal:

Mirabell Palace, sits like a jewel in the heart of Salzburg, Austria. It was originally called Altenau,  built in 1606 by the Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau as a home for his mistress Salome’  Alt and their children.   The famous Mirabell Gardens surround the palace.  Fischer von Erlach designed them .  On the grounds are stone sculptures  on the massive pillars at  each side of the gates as you enter the palace grounds.  They are depictions of mythological heroes.  In other places you can find sculptures such as unicorns, a Pegasus fountain, gloriously blooming flowers spilling from large urns and a magical rose garden all enclosed by local wrought ironwork.

 

The stone urns sit atop the stone pillars  that surround the lush gardens.  Each urn seems like it is literally spewing glorious flowers like a waterfall they are bursting forth from the urns. I sit and make pencil sketches of the urns. Each one is different from the others; each a different  design. 

Wolf  spent the final six years of his life imprisoned in Hohensalzburg Fortress which overlooks picturesque Salzburg.  The fortress prison was his destiny as he was held prisoner until his death in 1612.”

Look over your notes and think about bringing something to life from this place and the people who lived there. What do you think they might have been like?

 

When I walked through the mansion, sat in the gardens, I thought of the love that a man had for a woman and the children they had together. Because Wolf  was a powerful Prince Archbishop, marriage was not permitted for them Yet, Salome’  was clearly his mistress. She bore thirteen children to Wolf who deisgned Mirabell Palace for Salome’  and the children.

I learned that Wolf spent the final 6 years of his life in prison.   I thought  of what might have been going through his mind in the prison dungeon as he remembered his beautiful mistress and their children. Did he know he would never see them again?

In my imagination,  Wolf  smuggled love notes to Salome’  during those six years of imprisonment. The focus I chose  to write about was  the imaginary love notes he sent to her. Back in my studio, I  hand-crafted an Artist’s book from hand made papers I bought at a specialty paper shoop in Salzburg. On each page of the book, I wrote one of the Haiku verses I created in this series. I  fashioned red and blue roses made from thin paper all through the book to illustrate the rose garden, the inspiration for my poems.

My poem  developed  as a  series of tiny “love notes” from Wolf  to Salome’ – Here is what developed, in the poem “Salome’s Garden.”

I chose to write each “note” using the  ancient  Japanese Haiku form because this type of poem  is  often used to express love. Below, you can read  the poem I developed from journal notes, my memories, imagination  and history.

***

Example from my journal:

 

Salome’s Garden

(Haiku notes from Wolf to Salome. smuggled from prison)

If we could measure

The length of our time on earth

Before we began the journey

I would have hoped

for golden days alone,

in the garden

with you.

II

Pegasus can fly

When waxed begonias bloom in

Mirabell’s Garden.

III

Is our garden lush?

Yellow marigolds touched by

Morning’s cool damp mist?

IV

Do our marble stairs

Come to life during the night

When the putti dance?

V

The orangerie waits

Near the end of the garden

Hidden, out of view.

VI

The scent of roses

Permeated my cell tonight

Just before twilight.

VII

“Salome and Wolf”

We danced down pink marble stairs

Hot candles flickered.

VIII

Lions guard our steps

To the secret garden path

Where the dwarfs carouse.

IX

Raphael Donner

Created putti  who  frolic

On pink marble crests.

X

I miss your soft touch

Long to be near you at the

End of my journey

XI

You are my crown jewel

In the snow that melts away

Everything I touch.

XII

When our garden fades

Icy frost covers windows

I will remember you.

Xiii

Our children will dance

In gardens we created

From imagination.

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The Acrostic Poem ~ Writing Assignment #20

What is on my mind today? Acrostics!

Walking by Inner vision – Writing Assignment #20

“The Sky Visited Me”

Today, we explore the ACROSTIC POEM:  This in an  old poetry form often used  by poets to send secret messages to a loved one.  Follow my steps as outlined below to learn how to write an ACROSTIC POEM. Then, you can kick it up a notch, by following my next step AFTER you created your FIRST Acrostic poem.

***

Step ONE:  Think of a word, and write the letters of that word down the left side of the page –
Example: My name is Lynda.
Here is how I would write it VERTICALLY to begin the acrostic poem:

L
Y
N
D
A

***

STEP TWO_Begin each line of your poem using the letter of your WORD, for each line, as you write it.  Yes! It is that easy!

Here is what I wrote  using the letters from my name, LYNDA.  Consider this the FIRST STEP in writing the Acrostic poem.

After you have completed yours, then read it over a few times and fix anything that does not sound right to you when you read it aloud.

***

“Dangerous Cats”

by Lynda McKinney Lambert, 2015

Lavender mists covered the pathway in the woods
Yesterday the sky was gloomy and dark
Nevertheless large black crows visited me
Dangerous cats were near the nest
All the birds are on high alert this morning

***

Now, I want you to change it UP a bit.

You wrote the STRAIGHT ACROSTIC POEM.

At this time, I ask you to rewrite that poem:

mix up the lines

scrambling the lines and words  into a new order.

 You will disguise the original acrostic letters you used to begin the first poem, too. You should have a nice surprise when you take this next step! Here is when the MAGIC enters your poetry!

***

***

“the sky visited me”

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

near the nest
all the birds were covered

by lavender mists

gloomy and dark

this morning

large black crows

the pathway

was  dangerous

the sky visited me

yesterday

on high alert

all cats are in the woods

nevertheless

**********

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Writers Who Influenced Us…Writing Assignment #19

Writer’s Who Inspire Us
Blog15_Writing_MedievalScribe
 
 Consider what author  left a  lasting effect on your WRITING  life.
The question for me is:  
What writer inspired me?
I taught  a wide assortment of  humanities  courses throughout my teaching career;  it is difficult to choose.
I have to consider which writers brought me to recognize  the core values I have embraced for my entire lifetime.
What works  answered the questions of life and death?
Which ones gave me a world view that goes beyond current  trends and fashions?
How did I begin to understand the Zeitgeist of the times through the different authors and texts?
***
During my undergraduate studies, contemporary American poet Robert Bly deeply influenced me.
At the same time, I was exuberant when I read the  language of the 16th century poets and wrote papers on romance and death I viewed  through the poetry  of the  English author, John Donne.
If I look back into my high school days I find it was the “Beat” poets who occupied my literary  thoughts.
In my earliest recollections, I listen once again to  Joyce Kilmer’s poem “Trees” ~ All school children had to memorize this poem and recite it  before the class.  I probably complained, but that poem remains, planted deeply in my own mind.
“tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair…”

Oh, Yes, I can recognize the beginning of my life-long appreciation of nature.  (Read “Trees” as published in Poetry Magazine, august 1913  at this link:

***
What do they  all have in common?
Authors and books stay with us forever. In the final quarter of my life, they are still here, alive and thrilling. My memories abound with the people, places, and life lessons I discovered from all those writers and poets.
***
After quite a bit of contemplative musing over this question, I suddenly  knew for sure exactly which writer and works were the  center of my creative life.
My source is an ancient one – the Psalms of the Bible.  I would have heard them read in church from the time before I could speak. The various Psalms have been at the core of my life.
***
~ King David  ~
my earliest influence
I connected  poetry with singing
***
We turn to literature at the most challenging days in our life.  The Psalms are always a comfort as well as a source of inspiration, happiness, singing and instruction for living life.
***
I focused on some of the Psalms; wrote a number of my own personal “Meditations on the Psalms.”
,”Drawing and Writing from the Psalms”
is an  introduction to the imagery and lyrical majesty found in the Psalms. I created this workshop, a course in learning how to get inspiration for your writing by using the Psalms.
 In our workshop, students  read a Psalm, meditated on the text, then wrote responses to where this text led them in their own writing projects.  We also used the imagery of the Psalms to create drawings and paintings.
***
Photo: Lynda McKinney Lambert is visually  impaired.writes using adaptive equipment for the blind.  Here you can see her using Zoomtext, which enlarges her print, and reads the text to her as she works.
 blog15_WBIV_May_ WriterInfluence_LyndaWriting_Compressed
***
Walking by Inner Vision Journal:  Writing Assignment #19
How can I use the Psalms to lead me into some creative writing?
1._ Begin by reading one Psalm (or passage  of your choice).
2._ Jot down notes on that Psalm as you read it.
3._ Continue to think about the images and language of this Psalm after you read it.
4._ You may need to read it several times to get the feel of it.
5._ Use your notes to create your own Psalm.
***
Note:  Reading the Psalms led me to write my book, “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage,”  published by Kota Press.  My book features work I created over a a decade  as I traveled through Europe every summer while teaching a course for college students.  My work reflects the music of life, as we walk day by day on our life’s journey.
***
My EXAMPLE: Below  is one of my “Meditations.”
 
Psalm 138 
 
 The link below will take you to a recording of the  original source if you want to compare my meditation with the original that inspired me one day in 1999.
You can listen to this Psalm:
 ********************
“An Interpretation on Psalm 138”
           by Lynda McKinney Lambert
I am standing here,  Lord
my heart full of praises for you
I am sometimes aware
that the angels of heaven
surround me as I sing
In my imagination
I  stand against a gentle breeze
still on the mountain top
looking at your Holy Temple
The sun warms my face
How could I refrain
from singing today
as  I think about your faithfulness
and the promises you keep
Your trust is guaranteed
You know there’s been days
when I’ve been weak
my condition has been shameful
Yet, you respond to me
with encouragement and new dreams
Wouldn’t every person in this world
like to hear your voice today
Surely they would give you thanks
because you know them personally
They will see that you are great
Through the greatest dangers
we have come hand in hand
You cleared the way before us
and quietly rescued me
Is it  because you have plans for me
The vitality of life passes before
the presence of  your glance
Let this day develop as you say
and for only one reason

I am your creation

****

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 1999 and 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

You may enjoy doing additional research on the value of the scribe in ancient literature.

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