Friday, March 16, 2012

A Poem Inspired by The Thin Prison, Leslie Norris

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Greg at Gotta Book.

Slice of Life Story Challenge hosted by
Stacey and Ruth Two Writing Teachers
About three years ago I read the book, Dancing With the Pen: The Learner As a Writerby New Zealand Staff Ministry Of Education. It was a book I picked up and read a little here and a little there. It is a great book to read if you are beginning to question your own process as a writer or a teacher of writing. It helped pull things into focus for me at a time when I was ready to reflect on these aspects of my teaching. However, the part that remains fresh for me, even after three years, is the poem that opens chapter three of the book, The Thin Prison, by Leslie Norris. It is the poem that lead me to write Steps and helped me realize if I am going to understand writers, I have to be one. I think each day I get closer to convincing myself that I am a writer too; still on my journey like everyone else.

Steps are what I take
every time I pick up my pen.
Words take me somewhere. A medium
to expression, an art that too many never try.

We all have words,
an audience, a pen, yet,
words do not escape among the
doodles, smudges and ink stained fingers.

Let your words out.  

Inspired by
The Thin Prison,
by Leslie Norris       
The Thin Prison
 Hold the pen close to your ear.
Listen—can you hear them?
Words burning as a flame,
Words glittering like a tear,

Locked, all locked in the slim pen.
They are crying out for freedom.
And you can release them,
Set them running from prison.

Himalayas, balloons, Captain Cook,
Kites, red bricks, London Town,
Sequins, cricket bats, large brown
Boots, lions and lemonade—look,

I’ve just let them out!
Pick up your pen, and start,
Think of the things you know—then
Let the words dance from your pen.

Leslie Norris


Ruth Ayres said...

I like your last line -- let your words out. It is so bold.

Books4Learning said...

great poems! thanks for sharing.

Robin said...

I enjoyed your poems. I also like the last "let your words out." Powerful! The book your inspiration poem came from, Dancing With the Pen, is a good one too. Thanks for sharing!

Katya said...

Thanks for sharing the Leslie Norris poem and your reaction to it. I like the juxtaposition of boots, lions, and lemonade.

elsie said...

You are letting the words out and I am enjoying reading them. Your poem is something I've felt as I take the writing journey.

Maureen Young Ingram said...

Love your poem. I love the words about writing as "an art that too many never try." This is a poem to post on one's desktop or bathroom mirror - get writing! This was also my first time reading The Thin Prison. I thought of one of my preschoolers who is too, too quiet, unable to express. It is a prison of sorts. Thank you for sharing these. And thank you for your comments on my blog!

Carole said...

Very nice blog. As someone interested in words, I thought you might like to look into the word play in cryptic crosswords (if you aren't already into them). I have been doing a series of posts about cryptic clues and how to solve them. This is the first one in the series:

Betsy said...

Previous Comments:

reparkhouseNovember 7, 2010 8:42 PM

"Words take me somewhere" - Love it! I have always thought that about books. I'm slowly starting to think that about writing too. I'll get there someday.

twowritingteachersDecember 13, 2010 6:34 PM