This is the house that Donna built

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Donna reads - September 2015

Donna reads – September 2015

I’ve been part of a local poetry group for about ten years! My involvement started out when the MSA Poets Potpourri Society invited me to be a guest reader at one of their poetry nights. I think it was in 2005. After a few years of attending off-and-on, I became a paid member. In 2010 I started our website. Then a few years ago I became one of the directors.

Last year we changed our name to Fraser Valley Poets Society. We also published a book of writings by our society’s founder on the occasion of her 90th birthday (titled Encouragement).

Donna Bishop started our club way back in 1981, after she got a standing ovation for reading one of her poems at a poetry reading in a neighboring town. She realized what a powerful force for good sharing poetry could be and wanted others to experience it too.

Donna’s book is a collection of poems and essays not only by Donna. There’s also an anthology section of poems by our members and a section of tributes.

We had our first poetry reading of this fall season on Monday—an open mic. Guess who was there—Donna herself, now almost 91 and still sharp as a tack! Of course she read for us.

Our president happened to read my tribute poem to her, and later in the week, the sweet lady phoned and asked if I would read it at her memorial service. Of course I said yes, but told her we sure hope that would not be for a long time yet!

It’s the poem I’m going to share with you today:

THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT DONNA BUILT
(with apologies to Mother Goose)

These are Valley poets of Potpourri
who read in the house that Donna built.

These are the words of the English tongue
and other languages living among
the Valley poets of Potpourri
who read in the house that Donna built.

These are the poems, some short, some long
crafted in words of the English tongue
and other languages living among
the Valley poets of Potpourri
who read in the house that Donna built.

These are the books of original verse
with shiny covers, thoughts diverse
crafted in words of the English tongue
and other languages living among
the Valley poets of Potpourri
who read in the house that Donna built.

And here is healing for low esteem
where everyone listens and knows your name
buys your books of original verse
with their shiny covers, thoughts diverse
and listens to poems, some short, some long
crafted in words of the English tongue
and the other languages living among
the Valley poets of Potpourri
who read in the house that Donna built.

Thank you Donna!
© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

Read some of Donna’s poems HERE.
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Poetry Friday LogoThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Michelle at her always-something-interesting-happening blog Today’s Little Ditty.

8 thoughts on “This is the house that Donna built

  1. That is a beautiful tribute. What a special woman! Love the format, too.
    “And here is healing for low esteem
    where everyone listens and knows your name”
    Isn’t that just the best? It is so wonderful that you have a local group made up of such supportive people.
    Hope you don’t get to read it for a long time…

    Like

  2. I also love “here is the healing.” It spoke to me of the deeper wider meaning of a poetry society. How big is your group? I have organized poetry readings in our town, but find it hard to sustain without a supportive group. Maybe I need to create a poet’s society. Love the pictures of Donna. She looks great!

    Like

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