Lucy’s Birthday Poetry Jam

    WELCOME TO LUCY’S BIRTHDAY POEMS PAGE

    May be a closeup of Lucy Tucker Yates, hair and outerwear

    In the spirit of all the glorious word salads that feed our process and await us down the poetic road, we honor our dear Lucy by adapting a group poetry exercise from Gregory Orr.

    1. Celebrating participants have each contributed one or more single lines from a favorite poem.
    2. With the contributed lines, participants have constructed new poems following specific instructions (see below).
    3. The resulting poems are all be in honor of Lucy’s birthday, and we dedicate them to her amusement!

    New and wonderful poems were created by choosing and rearranging the contributed lines with the following rules (despite the picture on the right, Lucy was not allowed to supervise): 

    1. Words may not be added or subtracted.May be an image of 1 person
    2. The resulting poem had to use at least six of the lines, not including the option to repeat a line (as a refrain or incantation).  The “Scrabble” bonus for using all the lines was imaginary!
    3. Lines could be arranged or rearranged in any order.  Only the following specific changes were permissible: 
      1. To change the tense of any verb (past to present, present to past or future, etc.) 
      2. To change any pronouns (he to she or they or it or we, etc.). 
      3. To (re)punctuate lines (i/e/ break up a sentence into two sentences with a period, or change a statement into a question). 
      4. To make a long line into a shorter line by adding line breaks (or make two short lines into a longer one by joining them together), but NOT to rearrange any words within the lines or to drop any words from the lines. 
      5. To supply a title to the poem.
      6. To take credit for your creation or to remain anonymous.

    Here are the lines that were contributed:

    Music and light attend our head. (George Herbert)
    You who think I find words for everything (Adrienne Rich)
    here is the deepest secret nobody knows (cummings)
    Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest (Amanda Gorman)
    I blush to give her half her due; yet say, (Donne)
    And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, (W.B. Yeats)
    they’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning (Rita Dove)
    and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant [E.E. Cummings]
    Nobody loves a genius child./Kill him – and let his soul run wild. (L. Hughes)
    This is the legacy we’ll leave behind   (Rupi Kaur)
    It is the star to ev’ry wandring bark  (Shakespeare)
    Because the home is a woman: holding children, day old bread, Nat Shermans in the fireplace. Advil, Armagnac. Memories. // Her mind. Her heart. (B.Goodwin)
    That beauty is naught else but mixture made (Spenser)
    On a computer screen make us understand (Tom Sleigh)
    If equal affection cannot be, Let the more loving one be me. (WH Auden)
    Words, words were truly alive on the tongue, in the head (Carol Ann Duffy)
    Tell me, where do I exist? (Sophie)
    My glass shall not persuade me I am old (Shakespeare)
    And miles to go before I sleep (Frost)
    I was a bride married to amazement. (M. Oliver)
    But still, like air, I’ll rise. (Maya Angelou)
    All nearness pauses, while a star can grow (E.E. Cummings)
    Why—do they shut Me out of Heaven? (Dickinson)
    As summer in a golden church (Pablo Neruda)
    Even when I do not speak (Kaur)
    America I arrived to inhabit the realm of  your language (Aria Aber)
    But at spring mending-time we find them there. (Frost)

     

    And below, dear Lucy, are your birthday presents!

     

    A.I.
    from Jessica Bloch

    This is the legacy we’ll leave behind:
    I was a bride married to amazement.
    That beauty is naught else but mixture made
    It is the star to ev’ry wandring bark

    And I shall have some peace there,
    for peace comes dropping slow,
    And miles to go before I sleep
    On a computer screen make us understand

    Tell me, where do I exist?

     

    An Ode to Hope
    from Osnola Nadroj-Zepol

    Here is the deepest secret nobody knew:

    Music and light, attended our head.
    I was a bride, married to amazement.
    Tell me, where did I exist?

    This was the legacy we left behind.
    Why did they shut us out of heaven?

    But still, like air, We will rise!
    And miles to go before we sleep.
    This is the legacy we could leave behind.

     

    I’ll Rise
    from Hans Tashjian

    I blush to give you half your due; yet say,
    You who think I find words for everything,
    Even when I do not speak,
    Why?

    Do they shut us out of heaven
    Even when we do not speak?

    Tell me, where do we exist?
    Tell me, where did we exist?
    Here is the deepest secret:
    Nobody knew.

    My mind, my heart,
    My glass
    shall not persuade me.
    I am old, a fugitive and lurid gleam.

    But still, like air, I’ll rise,
    As summer in a golden church.

     

    Armagnac Memories
    from Kayla Faccilongo

    If equal affection cannot be, Let the more loving one be me.
    As summer in a golden church,
    I was a bride married to amazement.
    Tell me, where do I exist?
    You who think I find words for everything
    Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest
    Advil, Armagnac. Memories.
    This is the legacy we’ll leave behind.

     

    OdeMay be an image of 1 person
    from Chris Fecteau

    Here is the deepest secret nobody knows:
    We who think you find words for everything
    We blush to give you half your due; yet say,
    We are the legacy you’ll leave behind.

    Words, words are truly alive on your tongue, in your head
    You are the star to ev’ry wandring bark.

    You’ll let the sun burn you happy all morning
    And it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant.

    Your glass shall not persuade us you are old,
    And miles to go before you sleep.

     

    Two Poems
    from Jenny Lindsey

    1
    My glass shall not persuade me I am old;
    That beauty is naught else but mixture made.
    On a computer screen, make me understand:
    Tell me, where do I exist?
    Words, words were truly alive on the tongue, in my head;
    This is the legacy I’ll leave behind.

    2
    Nobody loves the genius child.
    She’ll let the sun burn her happy all morning,
    But still, like air, she’ll rise.
    And it’s, “I am whatever a moon has always meant.
    I am the star to ev’ry wandring bark.”
    Tell me, where does she exist?
    Her mind. Her heart.

     

    Behind every breath
    from Maria Servodidio

    This is the legacy we’ll leave?

    Behind every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
    Tell me-
    Where do I exist even when I do not speak?
    You, who think I find words for everything,
    Words, words are truly alive on the tongue. 

    In the head, here is the deepest secret nobody knows:
    music and light attend our head. 

    This is the legacy we’ll leave behind.

     

    LA
    from la Malinauskaite

    If equal affection cannot be,
    Let the more loving one be me.
    Your beauty is naught else but mixture made!
    (and miles to go before I sleep…)
    I blush to give you half Your due,
    yet say;

    Words, words were truly alive
    on your tongue, in our head.
    On a computer screen,
    Made us understand.
    Even when,
    You did not speak,
    Music and light,
    Attended our heads.
    And it is You are whatever
    A moon has always meant!

     

    Rising
    from Karen Rich

    Tell me, where do I exist?
    My glass shall not persuade me I am old
    As summer in a golden church
    I was a bride married to amazement
    and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant.

    Nobody loves a genius child
    But still, like air, I’ll rise
    You who think I find words for everything
    Because the home is a woman
    Why—do they shut Me out of Heaven

    A fugitive and lurid gleam
    they’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning
    But at spring mending-time we find them there.
    All nearness pauses, while a star can grow
    And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow.

    Sonnet (of a sort)
    from Chris Fecteau

    As summer in a golden church
    All nearness paused;
    You were a bride married to amazement –
    Music and light attended your head.

    While a star did grow,
    (You are the star to ev’ry wandring bark
    and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant)
    But still, like air, I rose.

    Tell me, where do I exist?
    Why does she shut Me out of Heaven?
    If equal affection cannot be,
    Let the more loving one be me.

    My glass does not persuade me I am old.
    This is the legacy I leave behind.

     

    The Secret to a Long Life
    from Christa Dalmazio

    My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
    You who think I find words for everything.
    This is the legacy I’ll leave behind,
    That beauty is naught else but mixture made.

    Words, words were truly alive on the tongue, in the head,
    Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest.
    All nearness pauses, while a star can grow,
    It is the star to ev’ry wandring bark.

    As summer in a golden church,
    I was a bride married to amazement.
    They’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning,
    But still, like air, I’ll rise.

    Here is the deepest secret nobody knows,
    (And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow)
    If equal affection cannot be,
    Let the more loving one be me.

    Pillow Talk
    Anonymous 

    All nearness pauses,
    While a star can grow
    as summer in a golden church
    I blush to give her half her due;

    Yet say, if equal affection cannot be,
    Let the more loving one be me.
    Words, words were truly alive on the tongue,
    In the head,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

    No Title
    Anonymous

    Why – do they shut me out of Heaven?
    Tell me,
    Where do I exist?
    You who think I find words for everything even when I do not speak
    Nobody loves a genius child.
    They’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning but still,
    Like air, I’ll rise.

     

    Whatever a Moon has Always Meant
    from Jeff Mandelbaum

    As summer in a golden church,
    I blush to give her half her due;
    yet say- I was a bride married to amazement.
    All nearness pauses, while a star can grow,
    and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant.
    If equal affection cannot be,
    Let the more loving one be me,
    Even when I do not speak.

     

    Legacy
    from Rachel Barker-Asto
    Here is the deepest secret nobody knows:
    Nobody loves a genius child.
    Tell me where do I exist?
    You who think I find words for everything
    Even when I do not speak
    I was a bride married to amazement.
    This is the legacy we’ll leave behind.

     

    Ode to Summer Peaches
    from Francesca Federico 

    Her glass shall not persuade me I am old.

    Tell me, where did she exist?
    As summer,
    In a golden church,
    Even when she did not speak.

    here is the deepest secret- 

    They shut us out of heaven because the home is a woman

    This is the legacy she left behind;
    It is the star to every wandering bark,
    Summer in a golden church.

    I arrived to inhabit the realm of her language
    Tell me, where do I exist?

    In the fireplace,
    In the head,
    Even when she does not speak –
    I shall have some peace there.

     

    A Fugitive and Lurid Dream
    from Alessandra (Allie) Altieri

    Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (a fugitive and lurid dream):
    I am a bride married to amazement.

    I blush to give you half your due;
    yet say, even when I do not speak:
    “Music and light attend your head,
    as summer in a golden church.
    And I shall find some peace there,
    for peace comes dropping slow,
    but still, like air, you rise.”

    (Words, words are truly alive on my tongue, in my head – I, who think you find words for everything!)

    And it’s:
    “You are whatever a moon has always meant,
    you are the star to ev’ry wandering bark”
    (All nearness pauses, while a star can grow)

    This is the legacy you’ll leave behind.
    If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me.

     

    …Attend our Head
    from Marianna Mott Newirth

    On a computer screen make us understand
    I blush to give her half her due; yet say,
    Why shut me out of heaven?
    If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me.

    Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    Beauty is naught else but mixture made
    Though I do not speak I shall have peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
    And it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

    Music and light attend our head
    It is the star to ev’ry wandring bark

     

    The teacher
    from Stephanie Feigenbaum

    Here is the deepest secret nobody knows:
    Words, words are truly alive on the tongue.
    In the head they are the star to every wandering bark,
    And it’s they are whatever a moon has always meant,
    Even when one does not speak.

    Tell us, where does she exist?
    On a computer screen make us understand
    That beauty is naught else but mixture made
    As summer in a golden church
    And miles to go before we sleep

    We blush to give her half her due; yet say,
    “This is the legacy she’ll leave behind.”
    We who think she will find words for everything –
    Even when she does not speak
    Music and light will attend her head.

    Solar WordsMay be an image of 1 person
    from Christina Esser 

    Words…
    Words were truly alive
    On the tongue;
    In the head.

    You’ll let the sun burn them happy,
           All morning.
    It is the star to ev’ry wandring bark.

    That beauty–
    is naught else,
    But a mixture made.

    Here–
    Is the deepest secret,
    Nobody knows…

    Music and light attend your head,
    As summer in a golden church;

    Even when you do not speak.
    All nearness pauses
    While a star can grow.

    This –
    Is the legacy you’ll leave behind.

     

    Photo credits:
    Lucy rehearsing Orpheus and Eurydice for her Seattle Opera debut: Philip Newton
    Other photos: Shawn Hardison, Hardiroc Photo
    Except the sunglasses photo – artist unknown