National Poetry Month.4

The word Poem is derived from the Greek poema “fiction, poetical work,” literally “thing made or created,” early variant of poiema, from poein, poiein, “to make or compose.”

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It turns out that the making of a poem is as much a craft and art as making anything by hand.  And vice versa.

“Poetry’s work is the clarification and magnification of being.”
— Jane Hirshfield, Nine Gates Entering the Mind of Poetry

“Anything I create becomes a doorway through which others can access my ideas and concerns, if they care to.”
— Peter Korn, Why We Make Things and Why It Matters:  The Education of a Craftsman

“The simple truth is that people who engage in creative practice go into the studio first and foremost because they expect to emerge from the other end of the creative gauntlet as different people.”
— Peter Korn, Why We Make Things and Why It Matters:  The Education of a Craftsman

” . . . we engage in the creative process to become more of whom we’d like to be and, just as important, to discover more of whom we might become.  We may make things because we enjoy the process, but our underlying intent, inevitably, is self-transformation.”
— Peter Korn, Why We Make Things and Why It Matters:  The Education of a Craftsman

” . . . the process of revising a poem is no arbitrary tinkering, but a continued honing of the self at the deepest level.”
— Jane Hirshfield, Poetry and the Mind of Concentration,” from Nine Gates Entering the Mind of Poetry

“The poet, pursuing a vessel to hold something known, finds what the poem may know that the poet as yet does not.  Poetry’s grammars, strategies, and language have their own wisdom — entering the woods, we find ourselves living with thought-forms that feed only within the ways of the leafy and hidden.”
— Jane Hirshfield, Poetry and the Mind of Indirection,” from Nine Gates Entering the Mind of Poetry

 

 

“Snowflakes spill from heaven’s hand
Lovely and chaste like smooth white sand.
A veil of wonder laced in light
Falling gently on a winter’s night.”
–Linda A. Copp

Paper Star Snowflake

Paper Star Snowflake

Several years ago one of the gift wrappers at the University Bookstore in Seattle was making these holiday snowflakes (or they could be stars, I guess).  She gave me a photocopied set of instructions, original source unknown.  I’ve been meaning to make some of these snowflakes for holiday decorations, but until now, I never got around to it.

My finished snowflake hangs in my kitchen window, a lacy wonder that lets in the light.

Here are step-by-step instructions for making your own paper snowflake/star:

Fold each square in half to make a triangle.  Then fold in half again.  And again.

Fold each square in half to make a triangle. Then fold in half again. And again.

You need six square of paper.  I used 5 x 5-inch squares.  Fold each square in half along the diagonal, making a triangle.  Then fold in half again.  And again.

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Cut slits into each triangle.

Now, keeping the little triangles folded, cut four parallel slits on the solid side.  Cut almost all the way across.

Open the paper squares and press flat.

Open the paper squares and press flat.

Open each piece of paper back into a square and flatten with your fingers.

Cutting some of the inner square just to free two corners.

Cutting some of the inner square just to free two corners.

Next you will bring two opposite points of the inner squares together in a sequence.  In order to do this, you will first have to cut the corners free along one long diagonal fold line.  (Leave the other points/corners so that they are not cut all the way through.)

Starting with the smalled inner square, fold two points together and tape.

Starting with the smallest inner square, fold two points together and tape.

Starting with the smallest inner square, fold two opposite points together and tape into a cylindrical shape.

Turn the square over, and bring the points of the next larger square together.

Turn the square over, and bring the points of the next larger square together.

1. Turn the square over.  2.  Bring the opposite points of the next larger square together and tape.  Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all of the opposing points have been taped in the center.

You've finished square one!

You’ve finished square one!

Your square should now look like this.  You need five more.  Start folding and taping!

Staple three sections together at a point.

Staple three sections together at a point.

Once you have completed all six sections of the snowflake, take three and match up at a point.  Staple at this point.  Repeat with the other three sections.

Finished paper snowflake

Finished paper snowflake

That’s it!  Your paper snowflake/star is complete.

Hanging snowflake

Hanging snowflake