Masking My Voice

In my quest to learn more about this poetry that leaves me breathless, takes me where heart soars and feet won’t stay on ground—I read this post by my poetry teacher. Here she talks briefly about The Making of A Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (Strand and Boland) and how it is impacting her daughters.

Never one to fear picking the minds of children for wisdom, I figured if the book was a good study for budding poets, then it would qualify as a necessary read for me. I promptly punched up Amazon and placed my one-click order.

Imagine my surprise when the box arrives and there is not one, but two copies of this lovely gem inside.

My error is your gain. Participate in this week’s poetry challenge (read about it here) (and read the rules here) and leave me a comment for a chance to win this amazing resource.I’ll even throw in a slightly used copy of A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson and delightfully illustrated by Tasha Tudor.

Don’t be afraid to try your hand at this poetry thing. The beauty of the process is making me a better writer, and a better seer.

I’m still muddling on, join me!

For this week’s poetry challenge, I am employing mask, “…which entails taking on the voice of something or someone”.

In this case it is a glass of water:

I am
half empty
or half full?
these lips
on my rim
cannot decide…
in the beginning
I am
the clunk
of ice
with each dip
desert tongue.
I have
this lifegiving
but now
I sit
by sink
half empty


  1. says

    Laura!! You make me smile. What a great idea to give the extra copy away. Of course you know i don’t need one, so I’ll link to your giveaway and hope someone else takes the chance.

    And you’re early for next week’s prompt! What an awesome girl you are.

    And, and, and… i love your poem. One of your best yet. It is true that writing poetry makes us better writers all around. And every writer/blogger could benefit from that.

    Oh… and you make me smile too, calling me a poetry teacher. How sweet you are to me.

  2. says

    Okay, I’m back. I just keep thinking about this poem. And even your last one. You ARE finding a deeper voice through these efforts, which will seep into your other writing (not that that’s a goal).

    Here’s what brought me back… I just couldn’t let go of the sorrow that (importantly, I think) makes its way into these little pieces. At first blush, it’s just details, after all, but the best writers choose details carefully to convey a certain sense, and here are the ones that really do it so nicely…

    I sit
    by sink
    half empty

  3. says

    I think it is a good idea to improve our poetry skills. Think of the Proverbs – many think of them as “mini” poems. Certainly the Psalms are. Great and eternal truth and wisdom has been passed on through poetry.

  4. says

    Oh kay, do kay…Warren Baldwin lives in my home town. I’ve never seen him before in the blog world and here he has posted at YOU MY FRIEND!

  5. says

    You are so unbelievably gifted, my friend. I never was very good at poetry. I wrote one once for my mom when I was in the 6th grade… It started like this..
    “My mom has blonde hair and blue eyes”
    “She makes wonderful pies”

    Believe it or not she had it framed…. lol We still laugh about it today!

    I loved your visit.. Don’t ever apologize for not being able to stop by. I know you’re around and will be by when life allows.

    So blessed to know you!

  6. says

    you rose to meet that challange – i’m a half full glass myself :0) what a great idea to offer a free copy of the book – learning from a good teacher means you become a teacher yourself

  7. says

    Okay, okay. Back again. Thinking that the lines MG pulled out may actually be the ones. They say a similar thing to the lines I pulled, but they say it with a better sense of tension. And the words are formed so nicely. It’s a little poem in itself.

    half empty
    or half full?
    these lips
    on my rim
    cannot decide

  8. says

    Wonderful poem, Laura. You are way beyond muddling. I dabbled a little bit with poetry in college and really enjoyed it but somewhere along the way, the desire became lost. Maybe this needs to be one of my summer break projects 🙂 Have a wondeful weekend!

  9. says

    Laura! I’m so excited with you! The whole reason I started my blog is for the poetry at HCB! How many exclamation marks can I put in this comment?! I’ll have my “mask” poem up by Monday night! (We’re going out of town after that!) What a great giveaway—a chance to read more poetry! (My favorite way to learn is to JUMP RIGHT IN—observe, then emulate!) I’m so glad I met you! See what you did? I have adrenaline coming out my ears!!

  10. says


    Wonderful poem!

    but now I sit by sink half empty lukewarm and forgotten.

    Oh Laura that makes me feel sad… I don’t know a lot about poetry but I think when it evokes feeling and thought…. it’s so good! I will be dwelling on this one for awhile

    much love to you my friend,

  11. says

    What a wonderful poem! I love the tinge of sorrow.

    The Norton Anthology really is marvellous. I use it with my daughter and even though she is not usually poetically inclined she has written villanelles and sestinas. It’s lovely to see such a treasure is becoming popular.

  12. says

    i liked this.
    sometimes half empty scared of evaporation
    sometimes half full scared of souring
    words to paper ( or blogs 🙂 ) are truly random for me, but I am open to learning, and this book can’t hurt right?

  13. says

    Poetry does not become me ~ so I won’t be joining the giveaway ~ but I’m glad you found a great addition to your collection.

    Blessings, Cindy

  14. says

    I love that you have a poetry teacher! That is just beautiful in itself. I think that everyone should have a poetry teacher!

    Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we would be more careful with our words and add rhyme when we reason?

    I was very intimidated by your contest. I haven’t even looked at the rules yet. I haven’t dabbled in poetry for years. This is why:

    When I was graduating from high school, I made a spiral notebook for each of my very closest friends that contained my poetry. Words seemed to flow from my heart to the page so easily in those days. The small notebooks were packed full of words that I had crafted into beautiful little packages tied with velvety ribbons on top.

    At our twentieth class reunion, one of my dear friends and recipients of one of my notebooks, asked me if I was still writing. I had to say “no” telling him that I had laid that all aside long ago. He was very disappointed and told me that it seemed that I was created to write.

    That comment is what turned my heart back to the blank page. My craft had become so rusty that I wasn’t sure it was worth the try. But I have been working hard to hone my craft and reading and studying has been a big part of that. So whether I dare to write for the contest or not, I have been blessed by the memories that your challenge has stirred, Laura. Thank you for the opportunity.

    The book looks amazing!

    Love to you,

  15. says

    She sits.
    Touches me
    Gently prodding me from sleep.
    From here to there
    And to and fro.
    Click, click, click.
    Read, read, read.
    Words from my screen jump
    right into her heart.
    From Ann to Laura.
    She’s been here before
    Just snooping, sucking in the words.
    Now she leaves a shy note
    Looking out the window as letters depress
    Into my keyboard.
    She’s thinking of horse chores
    And poetry.
    She’s leaving now
    but will be back.
    Sharing–God and His Love.

  16. says

    Hi Laura! Thanks for the poetry encouragement! I enjoyed your mask poem – and even more after I tried to think through the idea of masking myself – challenging! I gave a “apostrophe” a try instead.


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