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Today's poem is "inspired by" a poem by former Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, who is a favorite poet of mine. One of the things I admire so much about her is her dry wit, and also her use of internal rhyme, end rhyme, and slant rhyme and her focus on alliteration and assonance when writing her poems.

For this month's posts, my poetry sisters are using various of her poems (including "Turtle" and "All Shall Be Restored"). I opted to go with her poem "Atlas" as a model. Here is a link to the poem "Atlas", so you can read it. I love the ending: "there is so little/others can do:/they can’t /lend a hand/with Brazil/and not stand/on Peru."

To write my poem, which took far more thought and planning< I eventually seized on the idea of Sisyphus, pushing his boulder up the hill every day. And it resonated for me in lots of ways, especially since I have been in the throes of health issues lately. I've just started a new treatment protocol for my RA, and it isn't a one-dose fix. It's been wreaking havoc with my energy levels. But I digress . . . here's the poem.

by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman

No pill helps push
rocks up hill.
Each evening lands
just like a boulder.
“It’s life,” they say.
“You can keep going,
but you can’t keep
from growing older.”

Here are the links to the other Poetry Princesses, with their "in the style of" poems:


You can get to the rest of the Poetry Friday posts by clicking the box below:

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( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Andi Sibley
Jul. 1st, 2016 01:32 pm (UTC)
No pill helps push
rocks up hill.

I love those lines so much. I feel it! Sorry you are struggling, but you definitely used the pain to share grace with us, so thanks!
Jul. 1st, 2016 07:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Andi. Hoping this will soon improve, but the sleepiness lately is rough.
Sara Lewis Holmes
Jul. 1st, 2016 01:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, my gosh. This is SO Ryan-like! And yet, I can hear your voice, too. Well-done. I hope your new protocol kicks in soon. xo
Jul. 1st, 2016 07:09 pm (UTC)
Gee, thanks, Sara! That is a fine compliment. And ME TOO on the health stuff.
TS Davis
Jul. 1st, 2016 03:00 pm (UTC)
Love the imagery here
I used to tell my students this, that there was no magic pill. (Many of them were on meds for ADHD) I'm regretting that truism, but thank you for letting me imagining myself small and pushing my pills uphill. We are equal to the task of shoving chronic illness away, if we can keep pushing those pills!

...but... It is indeed so sloooooooow.


Thanks for suggesting Kay Ryan. We need to DEFINITELY come back to her.
Jul. 1st, 2016 07:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Love the imagery here
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Kay Ryan. She really is marvelous.
Jul. 1st, 2016 03:27 pm (UTC)
from Laura Purdie Salas
Kelly, this is amazing. Very Ryan-esque, and you've captured all those fabulous qualities she excels at. I'm so hoping your new protocol brings good results. Meanwhile...more like this, please:>)
Jul. 1st, 2016 07:13 pm (UTC)
Re: from Laura Purdie Salas
I have a couple of my own poems that are similar to Ryan's - I love her use of internal rhyme and slant rhyme and alliteration and assonance. She really makes things sing - even though they're free verse, they incorporate old-school poetic devices.
Laura Shovan
Jul. 2nd, 2016 01:38 am (UTC)
Kay Ryan Fan!
"Each evening lands just like a boulder." This is such a powerful image, Kelly. I love Kay Ryan's rhythm and yours in this poem!
Sally Murphy
Jul. 2nd, 2016 08:20 am (UTC)
Love it! I don't know Kay Ryan's work but having read yours and Laura's responses, I am going to go and seek her out.
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Jul. 2nd, 2016 11:48 pm (UTC)
I owe you a huge debt of thanks for introducing me to Ryan. Just when I think I'm well-read when it comes to poetry, I find someone new I should have known something about. Thank you, thank you for sharing her.

Short poems are hard to write (at least for me they are), but your words are so well-chosen that this compact little piece is very powerful. If we could keep from growing older, would we? I adore the ending.

I hope your new treatment helps and that your evenings are easier and lighter.
Mary Lee Hahn
Jul. 3rd, 2016 09:44 pm (UTC)
Boom. You got this just right -- both the nod to Kay Ryan and the message in your poem.
Jul. 9th, 2016 06:22 pm (UTC)
I like this one. A lot.

Life's about making the best of it. What's the point in lamenting over our limitations or what can't be changed? I truly believe that every cloud, no matter how dark and dismal, has a silver lining. We just have to find it.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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