Friday, January 4, 2013

A Poem For Poetry Friday



         Poetry Fridays has become a popular feature in blogs and websites. I love poetry, so I’ve decided to join the fun. The following poem appears in my book, Relatively Speaking: Poems About Family. (Alas, this book is out of print.) This poem explores the meaning of my last name. In days of yore the Fletchers crafted arrows. Today the feathered part of the arrow is still known as the fletching. As you'll see, this poem also relates to the act of writing.



Grandpa

             When the leaves turn colors
             Grandpa comes to visit
             and we go hunting arrowheads.

Did you know that your ancestors were archers,
makers of fine bows and arrows?
It’s true, you know.

They fitted feathers onto their arrows
to make them fly straight
and strike true.

             I tell him archery is pretty cool
             but I want to be a writer
             when I grow up.

Well then, he says, what feathers will you use
to make your words fly
straight and strike true?
        
       for more Poetry Friday links go to:
  http://mattforrest.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/poetry-friday-first-of-the-year/

11 comments:

  1. Welcome to Poetry Friday, Ralph! My students still love RELATIVELY SPEAKING! I can't believe I never made the connection between the arrow and your last name!!

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  2. Thanks, Mary. Yes, I have dreams about bringing Relatively Speaking back into print. I'm going to look into it...it's one of my faves, too. Anyway, I'm looking forward to Poetry Friday.

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  3. A blog and Poetry Friday all in one week! Wow, wow, wow! It will be fun to have you on board. I never made the link to Fletcher either. My grandma's maiden name was Thatcher, as in roofs.

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  4. I have admired your work for years. So happy to meet you on Poetry Friday. I love, "what feathers will you use to make your writing fly straight and strike true." Why, the feathers of your ancestors, that's who.

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  5. Welcome to Poetry Friday and congratulations on starting a blog, Ralph. I signed on to follow and look forward to reading your posts.

    The poem wonderfully captures a moment between grandpa and grandchild. How wise Grandpa is to take his grandchild's comment and connect it to feathers flying straight and true!

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  6. Thanks for the poem!!

    While I love the ending stanza (wise!), I also really love these lines for capturing the voice of a kid so well. "Pretty cool", indeed!

    I tell him archery is pretty cool
    but I want to be a writer
    when I grow up.

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  7. Thanks for all your kind, generous comments! I really appreciate them.

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  8. Relatively Speaking is a favorite of mine....from the missing puzzle piece to your uncle on the couch. Hey, we have a feather connection.

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  9. What a beautiful poem, Ralph. Why don't I have this book? If this poem is any indication, then it's a definite hole in my bookshelf.

    -Stacey

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  10. Welcome to Poetry Friday, Ralph! Relatively Speaking is a classroom favorite, as is Marshfield Dreams, Fig Pudding, Flying Solo and so many others. I love the conversation in this poem, and the way grandpa gets his grand kid (as grandpas often do).

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  11. Hi Ralph! Welcome to blogworld and Poetry Friday. What a wonderful poem and story. You have me wondering about my name now... It's good to see you in here!
    a.

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