Invitation to Poetry: Expanding the Heart in Gratitude (and Book Giveaway!)

Welcome to our Poetry Party #41!

I select an image and suggest a theme/title and invite you to respond with your poems or other reflections. Add them in the comments section and a link to your blog (if you have one).  Make sure to check the comments for new poems added and I encourage you to leave encouraging comments for each other either here or at the poet’s own blog.

Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog if you have one and encourage others to come join the party! (permission is granted to reprint the image if a link is provided back to this post and full credit is given – © Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts)

Book Giveaway!

As a special Thanksgiving to you, my wonderful readers, I also have several books to give away this week – books which somehow I ended up with two copies of each (please look up the titles online for more details).  If you’d like one of the books, please post your gratitude poem or list in the comments (see theme below) plus a note of which title you’d like to have.  I will cross the titles off this list as they’re claimed, but please look through previous comments in case I haven’t gotten back to my computer since someone claimed one.  These are first-come, first-served.  All I ask is that in the coming days you extend the generosity to someone else in your life.

The Everday Work of Art by Eric Booth

Living the Creative Life: Ideas and Inspirations from Working Artists by Rice Freeman-Zachery

Creative Awakenings: Envisioning the Life of Your Dreams Through Art by Sheri Gaynor

Entering the Temple of Dreams: Jewish Prayers, Movements, and Meditations for the End of Day by Tamar Frankiel & Judy Greenfeld

Praying with the Body by Roy DeLeon

The Inferno of Dante translated by Robert Pinsky

All the books have now been claimed – but please keep contributing your wonderful poems!

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Poetry Party Theme: Expanding the Heart in Gratitude

In the United States, this is of course the week of our Thanksgiving feasts.  I decided to host a Poetry Party here even though I anticipate smaller numbers attending as people travel and cook and clean and prepare.  But I am keeping the invitation simple so that you might be able to stop by even briefly to express your gratitude through the beauty of poetic language.

So my invitation this week has two simple suggestions:

1) write a haiku (or several) that captures the essence of a heart-expanding moment for you, something in the course of ordinary, everyday life

or

2) make a list of 5 simple, everday things for which you are grateful.

You are, of course, welcome to write a longer poem as well about the ordinary things which make your heart sing and overflow.

(Photo taken at a fountain in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City)

** The February 22-April 4, 2010 session of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Contemplative Practice is now FULL!  I will be adding a second session later today to run concurrently with the second session of Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist from April 12-May 23, 2010. **

© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

Way of Monk Banner - April 12-May 23, 2010 

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32 Responses

  1. Receive Your Blessings

    Maple leaf hand rests on frozen earth
    palm up
    to receive her blessings

    High limbs of the fir tree hold
    eagles’ nest
    giant cup, empty
    to receive her blessings

    Clamshell chalice
    her whiteness awaits
    silver tide
    to receive her blessings

    Pores of our skin
    open tiny mouths
    to receive their blessings

    Unfold the layers of your heart
    Receive your blessings
    Receive your blessings

  2. Receive Your Blessings

    Maple leaf hand rests on frozen earth
    palm up
    to receive her blessings

    High limbs of the fir tree hold
    eagles’ nest
    giant cup, empty
    to receive her blessings

    Clamshell chalice
    her whiteness awaits
    silver tide
    to receive her blessings

    Pores of our skin
    open their tiny mouths
    to receive their blessings

    Unfold the layers of your heart
    Receive your blessings
    Receive your blessings

  3. My litany of gratitude is here; at my blog it includes photos

    Family ~ at our Thanksgiving Table this year the hands of many were gathered: my parents, my daughters, myself, and the hands of my grandparents who had washed and used the tablecloth, china and silver that graced our table, and the hands of the hundreds who planted the seeds, tended the soil, harvested the produce, cared for and nurtured the poultry, stocked the shelves, and bagged the groceries of all the food we enjoyed. Oh to be blessed by so many hands!

    Furry family members ~ life is simply richer by their presence in our lives and home!

    Friends ~ near and far, young and old, of just recently and from many years ago, they also enrich our lives!

    Faith ~ ever expanding and stretching, grounded and centered, unknown and steadfast!

    Food ~ especially that which is grown locally and organically (and I am pleased to add food which is grown by my future son-in-law!), gift of our planet, feast for our senses, delight on our tables!

    Indeed I am grateful for what I have. May you be so blessed as well

  4. I went somewhere I didn’t expect this week.

    It is a task I have put off
    for years and years and
    years longer than I should
    but now I finally sit
    surrounded by piles and piles of
    books I want to want to keep
    but I also know that,
    as much as this one was read
    the year my life fell apart,
    and that one is from my friend,
    and that each has a story
    of how I found them
    not all will stay.
    So I pick each one up and
    remember and decide
    and the pile by the door grows
    and the shelves become 
    sparser and neater
    and I give thanks for the 
    stories I am recalling
    and the new stories 
    whose space is now waiting

  5. Before the words are spoken
    I fill my lungs with air
    My heart is overflowing
    I sing “thank you” everywhere.

  6. Great blog. Informative and some lovely shots. I teach on a few Photography Holidays around the world and I’ll definitely be recommending this blog to my students who are always asking me about good photography websites!

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