Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

It's another shiny Spring day in vonBloggenschtern world; like clockwork, the birds are chirping, the bulbs are flowering, and the Baroness has done her early morning skulk-around to abscond with some cherry tree branches.

[Before you think me to be a common thief (I am so far from common, to think this would be sheer lunacy on your part), these blossoms were procured from a well-established tree on public school grounds. Ergo, my tax dollars went into that tree. And I'm just taking a little miniscule amount back. Really, only 2 small branches.]

OK, maybe 4. Hmm.

As you may recall from my weekend list of upcoming 'holidays", today's celebration of note is "Encourage a Young Writer Day".

So, in honor of this, I humbly offer up two pieces. One is from a duo who are just beginning their literary career, one is from a poetess well on her way. Without further ado:

Direct from Ms. Briscoe's 3rd grade class at Springridge Elementary in Frederick, Maryland, I give you Norman (aged 10) and his associate Steve (without whom this would not be possible, aged 9):
There was a small boy from our school
Who didn't know how to be cool
He wore disco pants
While trying to dance
And then picked his nose with a tool.

Such keen observational powers. Metaphor. Allegory. Hey, Kerouac had to start somewhere...

And now, fresh off a 3rd place showing (out of 945) at the Patricia Grodd 2008 Poetry Prize for Young Writers, I give you Samantha Berstler of Morristown, New Jersey:


she can’t write poetry.
the old ways are gone, she says and
wishes the snowflakes might scepter
our pizza box on the porch. her warm
fingers try to eucharist her lips, three slender holy candles
upon the cold apple. there isn’t any poetry
anywhere, she says, staring wistfully at the
kid on the street with dyed hair, walking
in plumes of smoke, plumes of smoke
like the silver swirls
around a statue of a vishnu. no poetry

she can’t write poetry. she is a collector
like the man who hoards paintings in an attic
or the magpie with a nest of bluebird feathers
and silver thumbnails. she glues together fragments,
magazine letters pasted on a canvas sheet, lifts up
two fingers coated in the smells and textures
of kindergarten. she
weaves pieces of yarn together found on the
artists’ floor and calls it
high fusion.

she can’t write poetry. she can’t revel,
can’t get drunk on the rains that corrode statues
and kill fish. she can only embellish graffiti like
some hindu god, sculpt images out of
modern art, and wonder, god, what’s with this world?
she is the don quixote
with the pen brandished at the boy’s tattoo
in science class, where she sits and tries to flourish away
in words, formed perfect and complete
until she tried to carve them out
with her ink-blotched

Well. She may think she can't write poetry, but the awards commitee (and the Baroness) say differently. Eloquent piece, Ms. Berstler. I look forward to reading more of your work for many years to come.

As for you? Keep a keen eye out for the Samanthas, Steves, and Normans around you. And tell them how their craft made you laugh or made you think. They need to know.

Encourage, people. Encourage.


Asthmagirl said...

That young lady from New Jersey has it going on! She's awesome!

Thanks for the litter-chure on a lovely Thursday (now Friday)!

Anonymous said...

Samantha's got talent!

Steve and Norman? Hmmm, I think they have a future at their nearest frat house.

I remember when I was little I always told people I was going to be an author when I grew up. I'd write stories all the time. My parents read one of my stories around age 7 and were disappointed that I had one of my characters exclaim "Oh my God!" as I knew better than to take our Lord thy God's name in vain.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess AG: Wasn't that just such a cool poem? I looked to see if there was any more of her stuff, but couldn't find it - we'll have to wait for the book!

Countess SRU: How fantastic that you were committed to your craft at an early age. So sorry to hear that you felt the sting of church censorship.

Damn it all to hell.


Really - it was CHARACTER talking, not me.

Lisa said...

Frederick, MD? Holy moly, that's my motherland! ....Babs Peapod

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess Babs: Obviously good things about from this epicenter. Is it the water?

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess Babs:

Abound. I meant abound. Ack. Must.
Drink. More. Coffee....

Writeprocrastinator said...

"Such keen observational powers. Metaphor. Allegory. Hey, Kerouac had to start somewhere..."

Brilliant, that.

Writeprocrastinator said...

"Encourage, people. Encourage."

That, too.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Count WP: Aren't you the nice guy? Thanks for the kind words. Now go find Norman and Steve...

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