Poetry Month 2016

When Mom and I were sorting through a drawer full of old pictures last December, I was struck by the forgotten faces and the unknown stories that were captured on film. This April, I'll bring 30 of the photos back to life through poetry.

I'll post the photos here, a week at a time, so that any who want to write along with me can pick and choose, look ahead to the next day, and/or download the picture to use in their own blog post.


My eyes
will always twinkle,
even when 
they become surrounded
by wrinkles.

I will read thousands of pages,
see sunsets and rainbows,
witness a long lifetime of history.

My smile
will always turn down at the corners
just like
my grandmother's did.

I will smile at my husband's dear face,
my children's accomplishments,
my friends' news,
my cats' playfulness.

My hands
will always be busy,

I will hold these photos
one more time,
amazed at my big life,

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016





The graphic for this year's project was created with Canva.


  1. I'm excited to give it a try, Mary Lee. I've been looking through some photos, too,; some family stuff, but some from the wonderful digital collection of the New York Public Library.

    30 poems in 30 days might not be possible (for me!), but I'm hoping to post 2-4 a week, which means that I need to create another website for poetry so I can link photos.

    Looking forward to writing with you, Kevin, and Carol again. I've missed it.

  2. Thanks for the invite ... might do my own with some Library of Congress photos or something ...

  3. What a fun project this will be. Have you read Walter Dean Myers "Brown Angels"? April is a very busy month so I will write alongside everyone when I can. I would love to have the group join me on 4.11.16 for #NYEDChat's Poetry Month conversation. I will send the information.

  4. Gonna try to write with you. I always enter with fear and trepidation, but we will see…

  5. What great photos, Mary Lee! I like the way you've grouped these by attitude!

    My family photos are in an album up at the family cabin in the woods in northern MN, so I haven't been able to get to them. However, I've been exploring some historical photos from the New York Public Library and our local museum and will use some of those for my part of the project. I'll try to write some about the photos you present, too! What attitude in these!

  6. Mary Lee, this is a wonderful idea. I am looking forward to following along. Not sure I could keep up the writing for 30 days
    so I think I will just enjoy what's posted.

  7. I am writing to images, too. Use the hashtag #imagepoems and we can find each other. I love old photos, too. What a goldmine you found!

  8. What a treasure trove. Writing to an image feels freeing to me---how funny that something locked forever to one instant in time could provoke an outpouring of words---can't wait to see where you go with this!

  9. I am ready to jump in with "Lewis in Response to Lizzy." I am tweeting it to you, Mary Lee but will post it at my blog when I have time. This is a wonderful project that must really make your mother happy.