Friday, September 30, 2016

POETRY FRIDAY: Wild Geese

 
 
I often find it difficult to capture an image/idea that I have in my mind in words. Autumn is the time of year when I hear the honking of geese that are heading south for winter. I have tried over the years to write a poem about migrating geese—but I have never been really satisfied with the results. Here are two versions of a “wild geese” poem that I wrote. The first was written several years ago; the second was written earlier this year.
 
One Poem Two Ways
 
WILD GEESE #1
 
So long…farewell. We’re on our way.
We must depart. We can’t delay
Our journey to a warmer clime.
Mother Nature warned: “It’s time!”
We’re heading south before the snow…
And winter winds begin to blow.
We leave you with our parting call—
Honk! Honk! Honk!
That’s the sound of fall.
 
WILD GEESE #2
 
So long…farewell. We’re on our way.
We must depart. We can’t delay
Our journey to a warmer clime.
Mother Nature warned, “It’s time!”
Days grow shorter. Trees grow bare.
Pumpkins fatten. Frost nips the air.
We know the signs. It’s time to go
Before the sky fills up with snow.
But we’ll return again next year
When we can sense that spring is near.
We leave you with our parting call—
Honk! Honk! Honk! That’s the sound of fall.
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Here is one of my favorite fall poems:
 
Something Told the Wild Geese
by Rachel Field, 1894-1942
 
Something told the wild geese
It was time to go,
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, "snow."

Leaves were green and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned, "frost."
 
Click here to read the rest of the poem.
 
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Cari Best wrote a touching picture book about a wounded goose that landed in her backyard. It is based on her own experience. A photograph of the one-footed goose is included on the title page. The book was beautifully illustrated by the late Holly Meade.
 
 
From the title page:
“Goose’s story is true. She came on a Sunday. We could only guess about how she’d hurt her foot…Whatever it was, the goose with one foot became our spring and then our summer that year. Who would have thought she’d become our inspiration for all times, too.”
Booklist gave Goose’s Story a starred review. Here is an excerpt from that review:
“Best's simple prose is rhythmic and beautiful, more poetic than much of the so-called free verse in many children's books; and Meade's clear, cut-paper collages show the drama through the child's eyes--the clamor of the flock against the New England landscape through the seasons; the honking and jumping for the sky; and one goose left behind, wild and beautiful, hurt, and strong.”
Unfortunately, the book is now out of print—but you may be able to find it in your public or school library…or a used copy from an online bookseller
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A Family Movie about Migrating Geese
My five-year-old granddaughter Julia likes Fly Away Home, a 1996 movie starring Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin. Julia and I have watched the movie together a few times.
NOTE: (Fly Away Home won the 1997 Broadcast Film Critics Association Critics Choice Award as the Best Family Film, the 1997 Christopher Award (for family films), 1997 Young Artist Award in the category of Best Family Feature – Drama, and the 1997 Genesis Award for Feature Films.)
Fly Away Home movie trailer:
 Mary Chapin Carpenter—10,000 Miles
Something Told the Wild Geese (Ann Arbor Youth Chorale)
Mary Oliver reading her poem Wild Geese
 
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Karen Edmisten has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.
 


6 comments:

jama said...

I love hearing the geese flying overhead and honking. It's a beautiful way of saying goodbye to the year. Enjoyed your poems -- the details in the second one were very nice. And I love the Fly Away Home movie. I'll have to look for Cari Best's book. Happy Almost October!

Molly Hogan said...

I love that Rachel Field poem--it's so poignant. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Lee said...

Just came from Little Willow's post about migrating birds! Cosmic connection!

I like the second version best.

Happy Fall!

katswhiskers said...

We were talking about 'Fly Away Home' on twitter this week, because of this article about Sacha Dench from Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, doing the migratory flight with the Berwick's swans - from Russia to UK. Very much like 'Fly Away Home'. http://geographical.co.uk/nature/wildlife/item/1891-swan-vistas-taking-to-the-air-to-solve-an-arctic-mystery

The extra detail you added in the second version enhanced your poem.

Kiesha Shepard said...

Both beautiful poems! Thank you for sharing the book and the movie connections as well. Now off to listen for the honking of the geese!

Mitchell Linda said...

A delightful and full post full of goodies. I feel fat with the enjoyment of your words.