The Poetry Portal

Ellen Liberatori

Dear Poets, Writers, and Members of ARAS’ Online Community,

This edition of the Poetry Portal comes at a most auspicious time - summer is here in all her sun glories. We have chosen a very special image for this edition’s invite to write.  The Bird comes from a small carving recently found in Germany.  It is believed to be 30,000 years old and maybe the oldest sculpture known.  It is only about two inches in size but it carries great significance and symbolism, especially as it gives us a glimpse of early man in a moment of inspiration to create. In its easy movement between heaven and earth, the bird has been seen as a messenger from the other world, calling us, giving flight and hope to our ideals, thoughts, and our essential knowing.  Across cultures and ages the bird as symbol embodies the soul. 

I also chose the Bird to honor the work and life of poet, writer and civil rights advocate Maya Angelou who died last month at age 86.  In many ways, because of her life and work, we can say too, the world is no longer the same.  In 1997 I had the pleasure to hear Maya Angelou. She quoted her own mentors and teachers, and in that hour of time all of what I had ever read, from her poems to her first memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, came to me, sang to me with new messages that only the Bird can deliver.  Maya was the essence of birdsong, messenger, soul-soother and sojourner.  She helped me believe in myself no matter the challenge.  As one of her most noted poems reads:

I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise

As always, we would like to thank all those who contributed to the last Invite to Write.  Here are some of the poems that were submitted.