Saturday, November 28, 2009

November Challenge Winner

Larry Turner who lives and writes in Fredericksburg, Virginia, judged between the top three poems for November. Turner is author of Eden And Other Addressesand Stops on the Way to Eden and Beyond.

Here is the winning poem:


Felt fedora
soft and gray
traveled into
town each day
sheltered Dad from
snow and rain
brought my father
home again
used a stepstool
by myself
and plopped his hat
atop the shelf

My father’s gone
I kept his hat
my little boy
knows where it’s at
first day of school
we have a spat
he’ll only go
in Grampa’s hat
I watch him go
lunch in his sack
my father’s hat
will bring him back

-- Judith Tullis

One thing I like about this poem is the way the hat moves to a third generation. After a time on the shelf, it gets a "new life." The ending of the poem is a bit of a surprise. Poems about the hats of deceased fathers are sometimes maudlin; this one is upbeat. The rhyme scheme also helps keep it light.

Larry Turner, made the following comments on "My Father's Hat": “Good concrete images. Conciseness good. Good portrayal of the passing on of family tradition generation after generation. “used a stepstool / by myself” is a little awkward without the “I.” Perhaps another quatrain would give freedom to fix that and to tell both what the son did and why.”

Congratulations to Judith Tullis! And thanks to Larry Turner.

The next poetry challenge will be posted on December 1.

© 2009 Wilda Morris