Museum at Home Interactive Blog: Poem/Story Challenge

April is Poetry Month! Let’s celebrate accordingly!

Quarantines have historically spurred the creative spirit of our greatest writers and poets. 

The isolation and longing for re-establishing human contact necessarily inspire the creative spirit to invoke the innermost passions of the soul.

Click through the titles in the gallery below
and read through a few works written by community members
Jan Graham and Patricia Roth Schwartz.

Consider the inspiration at the heart of each. 

Do any of these works remind you of your current situation in isolation?

Do any inspire you in different ways?

Now it’s your turn!

Rules for the Poetry/Story Challenge:

1) Write a story and share the first page, write a journal entry about your experience, or share some poetry inspired by your experiences, or find an already written work that speaks to you.

2) *Optional: Tell us about it!
In 2-3 sentences, tell us about the poem. What inspired you, and what made you want to share?

3) Share with us!
Post your written work and description  in the comments section of this blog or go on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, tag the Cayuga Museum and add these hashtags to your post: #musuemfromhome #museumathome #nysmuseums #SupportCayuga #MuseumInExile

Quality content like our “Museum in Exile” programming is only possible if we can sustain the staff who research and write our content.

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and help us keep you engaged with your history and art in this difficult time

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7 thoughts on “Museum at Home Interactive Blog: Poem/Story Challenge

  1. …from my journal on 3/18

    the silence is eerily reminiscent of september eleventh.
    no voices on the street of children as they walk to and from school…
    there is still the local bus and occasional motor vehicle traffic of last minute shoppers looking for the best deals and cures…
    gotta be prepared for what’s next in our neighborhood.
    was the silence this deafening one hundred and two years ago?…
    as far as pandemics grow?…
    crowded stores and empty shelves… abandoned public spaces…
    worried looks behind masked faces.
    sanitized and prioritized; where does the fault lie?…
    and who is to blame?…are we as safe in our homes, as we were that september day?…
    social distance, financial assistance …re-assured by the government team…
    have you washed your hands clean of the american dream?

  2. A few More From Isolation

    The Journey

    Air breezing over my skin
    sun warmth against me
    the Earth softens under my step
    a pebble here and there

    I inhale the nature
    and witness the vast beauty
    it surrounds me through every sense
    and I am humbled

    By myself but not alone
    walking till you feel the gravity
    burdened only by travel
    and I am free.

    An Ill Wind

    Sitting softly like fog
    You came into my focus
    You drifted through my thoughts
    And clouded my judgment
    You give neither reprieve nor solace
    Just a blank canvas
    For which to paint my emotions.

    You’re a bitter taste and a cold embrace
    A rough surface waiting to score
    I’d open the window and push you out
    Erasing you from my memory
    But sadly then I would be alone again
    Alone again in misery.

  3. A few poems I have written while in isolation.


    Softly sinking the worn feather falls
    As though cast aside
    Unable to carry on
    As the bird takes flight

    Its fine pine needles of down
    Now gone to splinters
    Leaving the only evidence of existence
    Floating to the ground.


    When memories desert you
    and the dreams they do confuse you
    when that sanity alludes you
    when every little thing is gone
    of your once brilliant mind.

    You’ll look up as if to remember
    through charred and ashed ember
    society will not count you as a member
    as you struggle to close the chapter
    of your once brilliant mind.

    The Farmer

    There was a man of older years
    who lived in black and white
    and ate his meals on an oaken plank
    barely lit by candle light.
    He worked the fields out in the sun
    and sweat did bead about him
    but felt sure of the work he’d done
    with the bladed wheat about him.
    He knew nothing of the world beyond
    the fields that he could see,
    and never dreamed any higher
    than the tops of the willow trees

  4. A poem written during isolation.


    Softly sinking the worn feather falls
    As though cast aside by work
    Unable to carry on
    As the bird takes flight

    Its fine pine needles of down
    Now gone to splinters
    Leaving evidence of existence
    Floating to the ground

    I sit idle on the shelf
    dusted time to time
    I sit idle on the shelf
    someone looking at me
    I sit idle on the shelf
    a dainty hand reaching
    I feel gentle fingers
    tug on my cover
    I am off the shelf
    held in embrace
    I am not idle on the shelf
    my pages turn in excitement
    I am not idle on the shelf
    a feeling of shared comfort
    by Lucy Thomas
    At this time of readjustment, choose
    “A Book Idle On The Shelf”

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