Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Poems are words that take you through three kind of doors: closed doors, secret doors, and doors you don't know are there.

This quote by Stephanie Strickland (Here Comes Everybody Blog, March 12, 2005) leapt off the page of  my new "daily devotional", Quote Poet Unquote: Contemporary Quotations on Poets and Poetry by Dennis O'Driscoll.

I keep this book near my computer in my writing space, and since early July I have been dipping in as I sit stuck in writer's block (or rather, writer's denial)-- or when I am taking a break after a writing streak abates.

Sometimes  I begin where the  yellow post-it marks the last  words read in my deliberately slow progression through this treasure. Other times I just open it at random and find a gem waiting just for me.

This is one of those books where you could legitimately highlight everything and then, as you reread, highlight everything again.

Poems are words that take you through three kind of doors: closed doors, secret doors, and doors you don't know are there.


We often wonder as we visit in homes and  pass buildings what may be behind a particular door.  Where does it lead? Who and what might we find there?

Doors can be inviting, opening and welcoming us --or shutting us out of events, activities, and places we wish to go. They can be real or imaginary, literal or metaphoric.

In Doors in the Air by David Weale, a little boy explores the doors in his house and the doors in his imagination, which he calls "doors in the air."  We follow him on his adventures through bright, colorful illustrations and rhyming verse:

Doors, doors That's all I know
Look for the doors
Wherever you go
Just close your eyes tight 
And reach out your hand
Then slip through a door 
To a faraway land
Take a peak inside this book here.

I have always been fascinated with doors. I enjoy taking pictures of unusual doors and I love photographs that focus on entrances (or exits), so it was with delight that I discovered Doors edited by Bob Wilcox., a collection of more than 500 photographs of doors from all over the world.

Click here to see samples of these beautiful photos.  

 Georgia Heard refers to 5 doors of writing.  She lists 5 possible entrances into writing.

  • Heart Door- what we feel is true in our hearts, our inner longings and feelings
  • Observation Door- what we observe, are amazed by and moved by through the doors of our eyes
  • World Door- what concerns us in the world around us, what we read in the newspaper, on television, social justice and social action issues
  • Wonder Door- what were curious about
  • Memory Door- what we remember
Other doors we might add are doors of reflection, dreams, fantasy and imagination.

For more on Heard's Doors of Writing see Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School.

Today's Deeper Writing Possibilities

Think about the role of doors in your life.  

What are the doors you wish to enter?  
Which doors are closed to you?  
Where are your secret doors?

Write an exploratory essay about doors.

Choose one of Georgia Heard's doors to enter and write a poem. 

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