THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY

THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
April 12, 2016

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Poetry Postcard 19

Remember that creative wall I was talking about a few days ago? Postcard 19 was when I slammed face-first into its bricks and crumpled in a ridiculous puddle where wall meets floor. You can still see the marks on my forehead.

It started, as all things in the 44 Postcard Project do, with a card:


“239−A BEAUTY SPOT, BELLE ISLE, DETROIT, MICH.”

Isn't it lovely? Can't you just imagine yourself strolling through those flowers and over that bridge? Well, I could not. I could only glom onto the phrase "A Beauty Spot." The kind Cindy Crawford is famous for. 


Marilyn Monroe also
had a beauty spot.
Soon, a little rhyme was running through my head. And it goes:

Belle Ilse

Deirdre had a beauty spot,
a mole, a mark, a little dot.
She looked at it more than she ought,
her lovely beauty spot.

Deirdre's beauty spot was shy
(all moles avoid the sun and sky).

It packed a case and said goodbye.
Deirdre was left to wonder why.

by Laura Shovan (I grudgingly admit it)

Maybe the beauty spot went to Belle Isle, to bury itself beneath the flower beds.


Belle Isle, Detroit will be the site of a 2013
 Grand Prix
 Race. Too noisy for a mole.
I did know a Deirdre once. She was the older sister of an elementary school friend. One Halloween, Deirdre took great delight in blindfolding us and making us touch eyeballs (hard boiled eggs), but I don't remember her having any moles.

Is this poem revenge at long-last? Or was I just trying to laugh myself out of mid-project doldrums? You decide.

I'd like to thank Baltimore poet, Mr. Anti-Establishment himself, David Eberhardt. David is always willing to take a playful risk with his writing, so I know he'll forgive me for sending him the "Belle Isle" postcard. It is, moles down, the goofiest poem in the project... so far.

Thanks to the tipster who recommended a current postcard art exhibit! (Sorry, I didn't write down who you were. Please send me a comment so I can credit you by name!)

The show is at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts through April 14. (Find the exhibit page here.)
A poster for the exhibit. Find out more at
the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
There is a review of the postcard exhibit at the Boston Globe online. I loved this phrase, by reviewer Mark Feeney: "few shows this year are likely to offer more in the way of enchantment than 'The Postcard Age: Selections From the Leonard A. Lauder Collection.'" 

He goes on to say, "The 700 or so examples that are on display in 'The Postcard Age' are almost without exception aesthetically pleasing, historically illuminating, or both." Road trip, anyone?

The review also has some historical information about postcards. It's well-worth reading. Visit the exhibit website itself, and you can choose a postcard to email to a friend.

The further I go into the project, the more I appreciate postcards -- their history, but also their creative possibilities. As we have seen, they make great writing and art prompts.


This postcard art project comes from the Logan School
for Creative Learning in Denver.


I love how the project requires the student to use the artist's
color scheme and style to create something new.
Later this week, I hope to introduce you to twin brothers -- one on each coast of the U.S. -- who have a longstanding tradition involving postcards.

Postcard 19 Information:


“Belle Isle, Detroit’s island park, is located in the Detroit River near the heart of the city. Here there are more than 985 acres of grandeur blended into one magnificent panorama of recreation and amusement.

UNITED NEWS CO., 24 WEST JEFFERSON AVENUE, DETROIT, MICH. ‘C.T.ART-COLORTONE’ REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.”

Read about Belle Isle as it is today.

UPDATE: Just as I said to my  husband, "I have to find a way to see this postcard show in Boston," it hit me. I am going to Boston. The AWP Conference is in March, and I will be there. To which Rob said, "You just made your own night, didn't you?" Yep.

8 comments:

Linda at teacherdance said...

Well, I must say the connection is quite interesting, from flower beds to moles-as you said, goofy. But there are many poems available about small things, & you just added to the mix, Laura. I think that women used to actually add a beauty spot, didn't they? A La Marilyn Monroe, maybe? The postcard exhibit looks marvelous, & I am trying to get to Boston for NCTE, but that isn't until November, probably gone by then. Thanks for the links-I'll go right over!

Irene Latham said...

I enjoyed your beauty spot poem very much! And yes, you must work that exhibit into your travel plans. I love how much fun you seem to be having with this project. I'm excited to see what's next!

Author Amok said...

Hi, Linda. I just couldn't get the phrase "beauty spot" out of my head. I think you're right about the practice of adding a beauty spot to one's face. Marie Antoinette and her court come to mind. The Boston exhibit closes in April, I'm sorry to say.

Author Amok said...

Hi, Irene. Thank you. I am having a great time with the project. The postcards have led me to research topics I would not otherwise have learned about. The more often I read the postcard poems and tell people about the project, the more I learn how many people are as intrigued by postcards as I am.

pauline537 said...

I loved the Beauty Spot poem. It made me smile. Which is a good way to start the day. Thanks.

Tabatha said...

I feel sorry for Deidre -- what happened to her beauty spot? Why did it take off?

Are you going to do the March Madness Poetry Tournament? It seems like this is good preparation for it!

Author Amok said...

Hi, Tabatha. Good question. Only the mole knows.

Not sure about March Madness. I put my name in the hopper, but haven't heard back.

Anonymous said...

there r 2 things i (dave e) can say:

1 zinc ions
in yr mouth
kill germs...
from pre cold
to no cold

2 this attachment
may have been removed or
the person who shared it
may not have permission
to share it with u!

i have already sold the postcard on ebay for a few hundred

capcha is fiendish
please switch capcha companies?