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Poetry Friday: Summer Forest Jazz

 This week passed by in a whirl of appointments and to-do lists. One of the highlights we participating in Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong's workshop on Poetry Anthologies. It was jam-packed with insights on the poetry market and practical tips about anthologies: both seeking publication in them, and producing them. If you're interested, they're holding the workshop again on October 16th. There are still a few spots available. For more details about the workshop and how to register, check out this post.

My poem today was written early in the summer, before the recent extreme rain and intense storms. As I was biking through the forest, the sounds of summer around me made me want to play with onomotopaeia

I stopped and pulled out my notebook and pen and tried to capture the essence of the sounds I was hearing. Those were the seeds of this poem. I've been revising it off and on over the summer and this is the version I'm happiest with (so far ;-).

A tree, river, gravel path in the forest. Poem: Birds, Chir-chir-chir-chirrup, scat singing in the trees.  River rushes,  steel brushes  stirring on the snare. Tires hum a tuneless drone  along the forest path. Bike and gravel play percussion chip! pop! ping! Summer Forest Jazz.  © 2021, Elisabeth Norton

Thanks for stopping by! Our Poetry Friday host today is Christy at Wondering and Wandering. Wander over to her corner of the internet to discover what poetic wonders await you today.


  1. Thanks so much for this lovely post, Elisabeth! We loved the insights you shared with our group during our session, and it was very exciting to count you among our international participants! As for this poem: it's a master class in sound with all the onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance, consonance, and rhyme. Wow!!!

  2. Such fun! I was "singing" along with your onomatopoeia!

  3. Elisabeth, I love that the birds are scat-singing. The #anthologies101 workshop was so good.

  4. I love your jazz in the woods, especially including that "scat singing".

  5. Elisabeth, I've often tried to find poems that might come to me listening to the birds, the trees, etc. It's not easy to translate but you have managed to bring sounds to the page, all different. I can hear "River rushes/steel brushes/stirring on the snare."

  6. The sounds of the forest are heard loud and clear in your poem, Elisabeth. Your words take on a jazzy tune with the introduction of scat.

  7. Oh, I don't like jazz music, but your poem is the kind of jazz I can get into! Love the snare :>)

  8. I love the spontaneity of your poem which fits so well with improvisation in jazz!

  9. Elisabeth, I love the forest jazz music that comes out in your poem. Very smooth and spirited.

  10. Oh, I love those steel brushes on the drum...a favorite sound. Great poem...smooth jazz on my screen.

  11. ooo! I love the Summer Forest Jazz! I am not a huge fan of contemporary jazz, but I do love the older jazz from the 1930s. I can completely see the forest coming to life in your poem. Thanks for sharing.


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