Happy Thanksgiving to all you who celebrate. I've taken the non-traditional route of a road trip with the kids and my sister this year and, so far, so good.
A few notes:
1. This week's Poetry Friday roundup will be held at Lisa Chellman's place. Thanks, Lisa!
2. I will finally be back with a weekend reviews post on Sunday and will
3. return to regular blogging on Monday with an interview with the one-and-only Judy Blume.
Thank you all for hanging in with me during this slow November.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
What is your favorite series? Mine is Kids Can Press's Visions in Poetry--a collection of picture books for readers ages 10 and up.
Picture books for readers ages 10 and up? What can they be thinking? Based on the three Visions in Poetry titles I've read--The Owl and the Pussycat, The Raven, and now Emily Dickinson's My letter to the World and Other Poems--Kids Can Press is thinking exactly the way publishers must in order to inspire a generation of poetry fanatics.
The simple-yet-brilliant concept behind Visions in Poetry is the pairing of classic poems with innovative, stunning illustration. The Raven is enhanced by Ryan Price's sinister blacks and grays. The Owl and the Pussycat is charming in Stephane Jorisch's whimsical, psychedelic pastels. In My letter to the World, Isabelle Arsenault brings a Gothic sensibility (with a palette of blacks, whites, browns, and grays--highlighted with just splashes of pink, orange, or yellow) to seven of Emily Dickinson's most famous poems.
These books make perfect gifts for teens and adults who love cutting-edge illustration but don't read poetry. Or, they are great presents for teens and adults who adore poetry and will appreciate classic poems in a new context. In other words, if you know anyone who is older than the age of 10 or so, put these on your gift list now. Are you listening? Stock up now. (And, no. No one is paying me anything for this recommendation.)
For this week's Poetry Friday entry, I'll quote the first two stanzas of the first poem in My letter to the World--"There's a certain Slant of light..."
There's a certain Slant of light,
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes--
Heavenly Hurt, it gives us--
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are--
read the rest of the poem here at The Literature Network...
I can't even read this poem in winter, if you must know the truth. From the safe distance of August, it's lovely--especially when glorified by Arsenault's street scene, which is in turn accented by the pink in a young girl's face in the center of the page. My letter to the World and Other Poems, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, is highly, highly recommended.
The roundup is here this week. I always do the roundup old school, so leave your comments and I'll update throughout the day.
The first links are in at midnight!
Tricia of The Miss Rumphius Effect is off to the mountains and celebrates with "Pied Beauty,"
by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Kelly Fineman talks pantoum at Writing and Ruminating and provides a great example of the form by Peter Oresick.
It must be Emily Dickinson week! Little Willow shares "It's all I have to bring to-day..." at Bildungsroman.
More in the morning...
And now it's "morning," if you count 10:21 as still morning. (But I had to stay up and watch Iowa girl Shawn Johnson compete. Go Shawn and Nastia! ) Okay, here we go...
Suzanne of Adventures in Daily Living brings us Mary Oliver's "Heron Rises From the Dark, Summer Pond."
Michele of Scholar's Blog is going to see David Tennant AND Patrick Stewart live and playing Shakespeare! She celebrates with Sonnet 23.
Sylvia Vardell readies for Back-to-School with reviews of three child-friendly poetry books at Poetry for Children.
Katie D., at Creative Literacy, is also thinking Back-to-School: She shares her five favorite poetry books for primary students.
Karen Edminsten shares "If Everything is Lost," by Dom Julian, this Friday.
Poet Julia Larios contributes "A Duo of Triolets" at her newish blog The Drift Record. (Bookmarking now, Julia. Welcome to the land of blogs!)
MmeT (who shares a striking resemblance to Project Runway's Chris March) has found Matthew Dickman and shares his "Trouble" at Destined to Become a Classic.
Sara Lewis Holmes shares a wonderful way to memorize Shakespeare (and some reasons why) at Read Write Believe.
Mary Lee celebrates 10 great years after concluding treatment for breast cancer (go, Mary Lee!) with Arnold Wesker's "Count Ten" at A Year of Reading.
Carol is also thinking Back-to-School, sharing a poem ("Now," by Prince Redcloud) she'll use on the first day at Carol's Corner.
Tadmack shares math angst and "Flash Cards," by Rita Frances Dove, at Finding Wonderland.
Jama Rattigan is talking teddies, lobster, champagne,and John Betjeman today at Alphabet Soup. It's a post bound to raise your spirits. Thanks, Jama!
Janet shares "crutch" poetry at Findings. Get well soon, Janet!
Sarah Reinhard brings some termites to the party from Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering. Um, thank you, Sarah?
Laura Purdie Salas shares 15-word poems celebrating tweens and summer. Looks like it was a great trip, Laura!
Cheryl Rainfield shares an original poem celebrating books this week! Thanks, Cheryl.
Here's a teacher desperate to hold on to one last summer Friday: Stacey shares Eleanor Farjeon's "There Isn't Time" at Two Writing Teachers. (Stacey, I'm 100% behind you. It's my LAST Friday before teaching starts, and I need to make a to-do list.)
Jules talks Karen Rigby's new chapbook Savage Machinery over at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Looks cool! Thanks, Jules, for the heads up.
Lisa Chellman talks about Stephen Fry's The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Withinthis week . (I had no idea Stephen Fry wrote poetry. Interesting!)
Ms. Mac issues a challenge and invitation to you all! She's building a list of great poetry books for her school library. Head on over to Check It Out and nominate your favorites!
Diane shares some prompt sources over at The Write Sisters. Thanks, Diane!
Barbara H. shares some Richard Armour at A Home for the Stray Thoughts of an Ordinary Christian Woman.
Yat -Yee Chong shares "The Seed," by Alleen Fisher this week.
MotherReader shares J.Patrick Lewis's "The Tallest Roller Coaster" from his fabulous The World's Greatest Poems this week.
Susan Thomsen contributes Naomi Shihab Nye's wonderful "Last August Hours Before the Year 2000" at Chicken Spaghetti. (I guess Junior doesn't start school this Thursday like we do in Smalltown. Enjoy the summer, Susan and Junior!)
Thursday, May 01, 2008
May is now upon us. It's time for graduation and the best weather of the year.
I wrote this poem in honor of my graduating seniors. It's written in the spirit of great pride and just the tiniest bit of exasperation. Let me know what you think the last line means. (Oh, and I'm on the roundup this week. So leave me a comment and I'll link up the party throughout the day.)
Seniors write at 4 am:
My best friend...
A squirrel on a branch
framed by blue sky,
through leaded glass
stands, hands held high.
This is a stick up, suckas!
5 minutes late,
10 minutes late,
The seniors slink in.
the sun, my band.
A final exam.
I stand to one side,
tears blink my eyes,
while they march by.
In robes expensive, borrowed, or sewn.
In dresses, in saris, in drag, their own.
I am so proud, watch my students and wave.
Listen to speeches, I hope in the shade.
We did it! We’re off!
or maybe just France.
Those papers, those classes.
Those rooms, and the squirrels.
They’re behind us now.
Forgotten sweet pearls.
Goodbye, old college,
I’ll miss you so. We’re...
Coloring sheet image from About: Family Crafts
Let the wild rumpus begin:
Ruth contributes an original poem this week called "the dance" over at Two Writing Teachers.
Little Willow is in with Versos Sencillos (Simple Verses) by Jose Marti at Bildungsroman.
Elaine Magliaro is here with a humorous children's poem by John Ciardi--"Why Nobody Pets the Lion at the Zoo"--at Wild Rose Reader, and "Consolation," by Wislawa Szymborska, at Blue Rose Girls.
Laura Purdie Salas shares a poem written by a Scotsman hours before his execution, sent in from Edinburgh this week.
John Mutford contributes "Wise Appliance (a found poem)" at The Book Mine Set. (Funny!)
Sara Lewis Holmes shares Alice Pero's "Bad Poem" and starts a discussion on what makes a poem bad at Read Write Believe.
Mary Lee talks changes at work with a little help from Robert Frost at A Year of Reading.
Tadmack is having a great time with pen names and name poems over at Finding Wonderland.
Jama Rattigan finds you can go home again reading Cathy Song's "Leaving" at Alphabet Soup.
writer2be shares Elizabeth Jennings's "Rembrandt's Late Self-Portraits" this week at Findings.
Ruth contributes Sara Teasdale's "May Day" in honor of, well, May Day at There is no such thing as a God-Forsaken Town.
Jill is in at The Well-Read Child with "Insomnia," by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
HipWriterMama is in with "Let Each Man Remember," by Josephine Jacobsen. She's also seeking your votes on the five-sentence contest, so head on over and cast your vote!
Tricia forgives Shakespeare for a little love poetry because, well, he's Shakespeare! She's in with "Love's Perjuries" at The Miss Rumphius Effect.
Marcie contributes "Boshblobberbosh," by J. Patrick Lewis honoring Edward Lear, at World of Words.
Eisha shares the lyrics to the James Shelton song "Lilac Wine" at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
Linda, inspired by Tricia's Food Stretch at The Miss Rumphius Effect, contributes two original food poems at Write Time. (They're great, Linda!)
MsMac talks about what she discovered during Poetry Month over at Check It Out. So...check it out!
Cloudscome shares Emily Dickinson's "New Feet Within My Garden Grow" along with a beautiful photo of new vegetation at A Wrung Sponge.
Karen Edmisten talks about creating poetry lovers at home this week.
Last week Sylvia Vardell invited Janet Wong to share a poem at Poetry for Children. Janet did and asked for revision recommendations. This week the revised poem is up! (You can also read all the revision suggestions here. What a great exercise.)
Sarah Miller shares some Hafiz at Reading, Writing, Musing.
Sherry of Semicolon shares a lovely combination of Sara Teasdale, John Milton, and Pablo Picasso--all compiled for May Day baskets.
Tiel Aisha Ansari shares an original sonnet--"Eccentric Spheres"--at Knocking from Inside.
MotherReader contributes an original search string poem. (Funny!)
Alkelda of Saints and Spinners is in with a traditional May Day song sung during 'Obby 'Oss Day in Cornwall.
Lisa combines Free Comic Book Day with Poetry Friday with some super-hero themed poems at Under the Covers.
April Poetry maestro Gregory K. of GottaBook is in with an original poem by J. Patrick Lewis!!! Called "A Sixth Grader Sees the Future," this poem won't be out until 2009. DON'T MISS IT NOW.
Michele of Scholar's Blog is here with Robert Herrick's "To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time."
James, aka RM1(SS) (ret), shares a short poem by James I, King of Scots.
Becky of Becky's Book Reviews contributes Lord Byron's "She Walks In Beauty" this week.
Liz in Ink shares Marlys West's "Here is the Church" and the story of two bodies.
Sarah (a.fortis) contributes a Welsh poem this week by Hedd Wyn in original and translation at Finding Wonderland.
Charlotte (Charlotte's Library) writes in and tells us she's "in with a lovely poem about gardens, and plants, and being in the world, by Kerry Hardiein."
Suzanne of Adventures in Living shares a poem by Elizabeth Coatsworth, a poet she and her children are enjoying these days.
Miss Erin shares "On My Way Home from School," by Sonya Sones, this week.
Paper Doll contributes a poem by her mother Rebecca Kai Dotlich, from Dotlich's book Sweet Dreams of the Wild.
Kelly Fineman, who always does a fantastic job discussing the structure and origin of poems, is in with Melville's "Shiloh: A Requiem" at Writing and Ruminating.
Lisa has posted Rachel Field's "Something Told the Wild Geese" in honor of a Mama Canada Goose at A little of this, a little of that.
Felicity celebrates Poetry Friday with Robert Frost's classic "After Apple Picking" at Look Books.
Friday, February 22, 2008
J. Patrick Lewis lends his poetic talent to a somber subject in The Brothers' War: Civil War Voices in Verse. The Brothers' War is a thought-provoking and beautiful book. It's also a multi-layered poetic history, with Lewis writing in different voices and different poetic forms.
Two lines open The Brothers' War: Civil War Voices in Verse--two lines alone on a two-page spread in dark brown: "If war is nothing more than lists of battles/Then human lives count less than saber rattles". Lewis brings the human voice to the Civil War, inhabiting the persons of those long gone.
The Brothers' War benefits not only from Lewis's verse, but also from stunning composition. Each two-page spread contains a photo from the Civil War era, one of Lewis's poems, and a paragraph on either the person in whose voice Lewis speaks or the subject of the poem. The grays, blacks, browns, and whites that make up The Brothers' War fit the subject and the verse perfectly.
Take, for example, "Boys in a Brothers' War," a poem devoted to the Battle of Seven Pines. (The poem is subtitled 'near Richmond Virginia, May 31, 1862." The poem opens:
In the bloody Battle of Seven Pines,
a young soldier, Absalom Flowers,
whose mother baked the most delicious cobbler
in Roanoke, whose father was nothing really,
stopped a Union bullet with his face. Rolling slowly
downhill, he concluded on the home of a vole.
A sprawling monument to insanity.
A photo of a tree on the banks of a creek faces the poem, and the note tells us, "The Battle of Seven Pines was an exercise in calamity."
Lewis chooses different poetic forms throughout The Brothers' War to match his subject and voice. "I Am Fast In My Chains" is in the voice of Frederick Douglass and stands opposite Douglass's famous portrait. The poem begins:
Down where the slaves lie broken
Under a slant-wind sky,
The sleepy land heard spoken
Words to electrify.
Bleak history of two nations,
My own slave narrative
Told what the white plantations
Took but refused to give.
Lewis writes in his notes on the poems, "Frederick Douglass's slave narrative is one of the most powerful political documents ever written and the inspiration for my poem. The rhythmic and rhyming form seemed to have just the right flavor to evoke Douglass's voice."
Lewis's notes on the poems are wonderful. He explains why he rhymes in some, why he uses a sonnet for another, why he chose a certain rhythm. His notes add further complexity to an already superb work.
Because of its intense subject matter, The Brothers' War: Civil War Voices in Verse is best suited for children eight and older. This book is perfect for children in Middle School studying American history systematically for the first time. Highly recommended.
Don't miss Bruce's interview with J. Patrick Lewis at Wordswimmer.
The Poetry Friday roundup is here today. I'll be doing it old school--adding links in throughout the day. Leave your links in the comments!
First linkage: 8am. Let the roundup begin!
The Cole Mine is first out of the gate with a "short and sweet" poetic quote on family from Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Becky of Becky's Book Reviews goes for the sublime with a Muppet song (and video clip!), "I Am My Own Grandpa."
Suzanne of Adventures in Daily Living returns to Lucy Shaw this week with "Freezing Rain."
Gregory K. of Gotta Book goes for the laughs today with the original "Mom's Meatloaf."
Mary Lee (A Year of Reading) also contributes an original--a poetry chant called "The Solace of Open Places or It's Not the End of the Earth, But You Can See it From Here." Great stuff, Mary Lee!
Tricia--The Miss Rumphius Effect--celebrates Edna St. Vincent Millay's birthday today with two poems.
Just One More Book is talking A Bird About to Sing--a "gorgeous picture book about a young girl celebrating her poet-self."
Laura Salas is busy this morning! She's looking for help defining the "difference between poetic prose and a poem, specifically in picture books." If you have some ideas, head on over and help her out. Laura also shares some 15 words or less poems this morning. (I love "Why Did I Think I Should Learn Web Design?")
Cloudscome shares "February," by Margaret Atwood, and is enjoying the snow at A Wrung Sponge.
Writer2be contributes a John Mole children's poem --"Variation on an Old Rhyme"--at Findings.
Watch out for Sara Lewis Holmes! This week she commemorates her experience boxing with "One Stick Song," by Sherman Alexei (also a boxer) at Read Write Believe.
Kerry the Shelf Elf reviews Jack Prelutsky's The Wizard (fantastic illustrations by Brandon Dorman).
Jama Rattigan's in love with Paul McCartney and explains why in a beautiful post at Alphabet Soup. (I'm a George girl myself, but this is a fantastic post. Jama almost has me convinced.)
The Queen of Poetry Friday--Elaine Magliaro--has posted an original cento to Harriet Tubman at Wild Rose Reader, and, ooh!, a list poem from one of my favorite poets, Szymborska, at Blue Rose Girls.
MmeT shares a Mary Oliver poem, "Hummingbird Pauses at the Trumpet Vine," at Destined to Become a Classic.
M.F. Atkins reviews Cybils finalist for Poetry Your Own Sylvia, by Stephanie Hemphill, at World of Words.
Sarah Miller hopes spring is on its way (Me too, Sarah! I'm at the end of a very short rope) with a short and joyful poem by Rumi.
Jules is a-swooning with and, she says, the "love poem of all love poems" by John Frederick Nims at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
Laurel shares one of John Berryman's Dream Songs--Number 14 to be precise--at Kid*Lit(erary).
Liz B. (A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy) is inspired by the television show Supernatural (Man, I feel out of it) and shares two poems reminiscent of two characters ("pretty, pretty boys"--Sam and Dean).
Susan of Wizards Wireless is also thinking weather today and contributes "Whether the Weather," by Author Unknown.
Karen Edminsten shares a lovely little poem by Ramona on the wonder that is celery. Beautiful.
50 comments. Wow! Okay, now where was I? Oh, here I am...
Tiel Aisha Ansari has an original--"I Could Be"--at Knocking from the Inside.
Anastasia Suen shares from Birdsongs, by Betsy Franco and illustrated by Steve Jenkins, at 6 Traits.
Stacey at Two Writing Teachers is raising awareness about upcoming World Water Day (March 22) with two lovely stanzas from Shania Fernandes.
Jill shares some Thomas Hardy ("The Voice") at The Well-Read Child.
Sandhya of Literary Safari raves about PoetryFoundation.org's The Poem as Comic Strip series and quotes from this month's entry: "Recitative" by A.E. Stalling, illustrated by Kikuo Johnson.
First-time Poetry Friday participant, Lara of Paper Doll, shares some Billy Collins and some pretty cute photos of her daughter.
Wa-hoo! An audiobook blog! Mary Burkey, of Audiobooker, reviews Blues Journey, by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers, and produced by Live Oak Media for Poetry Friday.
Little Willow contributes "She Didn't Mean to Do It," by Daisy Fried, at Bildungsroman.
Cheryl Rainfield joins the Poetry Friday crowd with an original--"A Good Book."
Gina MarySol Ruiz shares "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning," by John Donne, in memory of a friend at AmoXicalli.
Hey, it's George Washington's birthday. RM1(SS) (Ret) shares "Our Worshipful Brother, George Washington" (author unknown) at The Old Coot. And, Chris, of The Simple and the Ordinary, shares "George Washington's Birthday: Wondering," by Bobbi Katz. And, Becky at Farm School shares a letter and a poem by Phillis Wheatley addressed to George Washington. And, late entry: Sherry from Semicolon interrupts her blog break with some Washingtonian poetry.
Jennifer shares an "add-on" song in honor of a new car at S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen. (A new car definitely deserves a new song. Congrats, Jennifer!)
Our brave Kelly Fineman shares how to prepare to be a featured poetry reader at Writing and Ruminating. Congratulations, Kelly! I'm sure you knocked their socks off.
Liz Garton Scanlon shares an original from 1999--"March Birthday." It's a sad, but touching poem.
Susan of Chicken Spaghetti gives us a mini-review of The Secret of Me, a Young Adult novel in verse by Meg Kearney and links of some of Kearney's work.
MotherReader reviews Carver: A Life in Poems, by Marilyn Nelson. Like The Brothers' War, Carver: A Life in Poems contains poems written in different voices.
John Mutford shares an original called "Age" at The Book Mine Set.
Alyssa of The Shady Glade is reading e.e. cummings in American Lit and so shares "anyone lived in a pretty how town. "
Tadmack contributes a poem for all the worriers of the world--"Whatif," by Shel Silverstein--at Finding Wonderland. And that "blissfully peaceful completely unexceptional weekend of relaxation" you wish us all? I hope you have one too, in the end.
Uh-oh. Crispus Attucks of Dominant Reality had a little accident with his Suburban and felt the blues. Fortunately, Crispus found Langston Hughes with his own "The Blues" for Poetry Friday. (Could be worse, Crispus. I just backed into my neighbor's Suburban. Awkward.)
Poetry Maven Sylvia Vardell reviews the Cybils Poetry winner, This is Just to Say, by Joyce Sidman, at Poetry for Children.
Miss Erin contributes "Here is a wound that never will heal, I know...," by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Annie at Crazy For Kids Books shares one of her favorite read-alouds--"Jaberwocky," by Lewis Carrol--for her very first PF entry. Welcome, Annie!
Alotalot contributes "My Doggy Ate My Homework," by Dave Crawly, at At Little of This, A Little of That.
Charlotte of Charlotte's Library shares two snow poems from Robert Graves in honor of snow in Rhode Island. (Here in Smalltown, Charlotte, we've had over 50 inches since December 1. I'm happy to send more your way!)
Friday, November 30, 2007
Celebration time! My new favorite series, Kids Can Press's Visions in Poetry, and my favorite Edward Lear poem, "The Owl and the Pussycat," meet together in one new volume. They fit together like pyjamas and a good book. Or espresso and a lemon bar. Like wasabi and soy sauce.
I've reviewed another Visions in Poetry book before--an edition of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven. And I honestly can't go on and on enough about how wonderful this series is. Take a classic poem and pair it with compelling illustrations and you have a winner. I find that this series works best for the Middle Grade reader--one who may think she is too old for "The Owl and the Pussycat," but can't help staring at the loopy, appropriately-psychedelic illustrations by Stephane Jorisch, or too worldly-wise for The Raven, but can't turn away from Ryan Price's dark, creepy sketches. Visions in Poetry, by using new and interesting illustrations, brings poetry to every child.
This version of "The Owl and the Pussycat" begins with four two-page spreads without any words. We see a villa by the sea, complete with an owl bust in front of the house, and an urban-sophisticate cat on the subway platform at the "Owl Heights" station. The mismatched lovers share drinks together at Cafe de la gare. Tongues wag and soon the pair sets off in their "pea-green boat," watched all along by slightly-threatening monkeys, elephants, and other creatures all dressed in clothing. Soon the owl and the pussycat pass through an archway in the water and arrive to the mythical "land where the bong tree grows." Jorisch's illustrations at this point become cheerful and celebratory. The owl and the pussycat are accepted in this new land.
Today's Poetry Friday entry comes from my favorite part of "The Owl and the Pussycat," lines I love simply for their rhythm:
are you willing
to sell for one shilling
Said the Piggy,
Go ahead. Read it aloud, just for fun.
I'll conclude this review and Poetry Friday entry with a letter. Maybe I'll even send it.
Dear Visions of Poetry editors,
I adore your series. Pretty please, can A.A. Milne's "Disobedience" (James James/Morrison Morrison/Weatherby George Dupree) be next?
Your humble reader,
Other blog reviews:
A Fuse #8
Through the Looking Glass Review
The roundup is over at Two Writing Teachers.
Speaking of reviews, there's a great debate on reviewing going on over at Gail Gauthier's Original Content. Head on over and add your two cents to the fray. (Debate inspired by Anne Boles Levy.)
Friday, November 16, 2007
A huge work project (due Monday) has left me scrambling--at work and at home. Do you think I can just hand my students a copy of Bruce Lansky's wonderfully true and funny "Confession" instead of their graded essays?
Here are the last three stanzas of "Confession" as this Poetry Friday's entry. Then I'm off to keep writing bureaucratic prose. I'll be back throughout the day to update the old school roundup.
... (read the first two stanzas here)
I didn’t wash the dishes.
I didn’t clean the mess.
Now there are roaches eating crumbs—
a million, more or less.
I didn’t turn the TV off.
I didn’t shut the light.
Just think of all the energy
I wasted through the night.
I feel so very guilty.
I did a lousy job.
I hope my students don’t find out
that I am such a slob.
Poetry Friday roundup:
First up via e-mail is Shelf Elf with a review of Andrew Clements' Dogku.
Jama Rattigan is in with a tasty version of "Humpty Dumpty."
Elaine Magliaro is doubling up this poetry friday with a Thanksgiving poetry roundup at Wildrose Reader and two Thanksgiving poems at Blue Rose Girls.
Wow! Sara Lewis Holmes has outdone herself this week. She has an original poem, "Inked" (on memorizing Gerard Manley Hopkins) as well as a recording, notes and a rough draft here.
John Mutford shares some classics this week at The Book Mine Set--one by Samuel Daniel and another by William Shakespeare.
Laura Purdie Salas challenges us to write 15 words or less poems. Leave yours in her comments. Laura also shares Mary Logue's "Crysalis" as a Poetry Friday entry.
Michele Fry shares Matthew Arnold's lovely "Dover Beach" over at Scholar's Blog.
Tricia thinks of fireside chats and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Fire of Drift-Wood" at The Miss Rumphius Effect.
Gina Ruiz combines Shakespeare and snowflakes over at AmoXicalli. Don't miss this poetic Robert's Snow feature on Elizabeth Sayles.
Tadmack discusses William Carlos Williams's "The Dance" (and Breughel's The Kermesse) at Finding Wonderland.
Adrienne shares the (scientifically-proven) best stanza from Poe's "The Raven" at What Adrienne Thinks About That.
Okay, now I'm blushing. Karen Edmisten links to my review of Steve Martin and Roz Chast's new picture book at Book Buds as her Poetry Friday entry. Thanks, Karen!
Cloudscome talks Native American Poems and Songs of Thanksgiving, told by Joseph Bruchac and pictures by Murv Jacob, at A Wrung Sponge.
Chris M. is preparing for Thanksgiving travel with a classic song at The Simple and the Ordinary.
Sandhya shares the wonderful thought-provoking "After Challenging Jennifer Lee to a Fight," by Aimee Nezhukaumatathil at Literary Safari.
Dawn enters in Hattie Knapp's "Chrysanthemum" (the flower of the month) and some wonderful ideas for nature study at By Sun and Candlelight.
Shannon shares up a Prelutsky Thanksgiving treat at The Cole Mine.
HipWriterMama shares rare footage of Anne Sexton reading "Her Kind." Go! Go and watch!
Susan Taylor Brown shares Hillaire Belloc's "The Microbe" in honor of a special person in her life. A good boss is hard to find, Susan. No wonder it's a sad occasion.
Becky is in with Mary Ann Hoberman's "Relatives" (it's that time again) at Becky's Book Reviews.
Liz Garton Scanlon shares her own sonnet--the seventh in a crown of sonnets (go read all about it!)--at Liz in Ink.
Kelly Fineman talks tropes and The Collected Poems of Louis MacNeice this Friday.
Susan helps out searchers who want Chicken Poetry with a link to Prelutsky's "Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens." Where else? At Chicken Spaghetti!
Alkelda the Gleeful shares Lewis Carroll's "The Lobster Quadrille" at Saints and Spinners.
MsMac shares charming children's Thanksgiving poems at Check It Out. Thanks, kids!
Anne reviews Good Masters! Good Ladies! by Laura Amy Schlitz and illustrated by Robert Byrd at Book Buds. (It earned a rare 4 buds.)
Becky enters in Barbara Howes's "Early Supper" at Farm School.
Stephany shares plum nursery rhymes and a funny kid story at Crooked House. Oh, plums!
Sheila posts Robert Louis Stevenson's "Autumn Fires" in honor of the season at Greenridge Chronicles.
Check out Sarah's S+7 constraint form (an OULIPO poem) of Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends” at The Reading Zone.
Crispus Attucks shares a Sweet 16 poem in honor of his stepdaughter's birthday. Happy Birthday! Hope you survived the party, Crispus.
Fall is almost over and Literacy Teacher shares Lilian Moore's "The Tree on the Corner" at Mentor Texts & More.
Stacey contributes two "I am" student poems at Two Writing Teachers.
Kimberly shares an original Thanksgiving haiku at lectitans.
ProTeacher is in with "Sick" by Shel Silverstein. Feel better soon!
Little Willow enters "Girl," as written by Miriam, the protagonist of the novel Freak, by Marcella Pixley, at Bildungsroman.
Eisha celebrates Robert Hass's NBA for Poetry with "Interrupted Meditation" at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
Suzanne shares Robert Burns's "To a Mouse" with her own modern American translation at Adventures in Daily Living.
Linda shares a Thanksgiving poem by an unknown author over at Just Like the Nut.
What a party this week! If I've missed you, please drop me a comment.
Friday, August 10, 2007
It's that time of year again, a time of school supplies, teaching nightmares (mine always find me teaching chemistry for some unknown reason), and heatwaves. I was browsing around for teaching poems this morning and this one--"A Teacher's Lament"--struck me as funny for many reasons:
A Teacher's Lament
by Kalli Dakos
Don't tell me the cat ate your math sheet,
And your spelling words went down the drain,
And you couldn't decipher your homework,
Because it was soaked in the rain.
Don't tell me you slaved for hours
On the project that's due today,
And you would have had it finished
If your snake hadn't run away.
Don't tell me you lost your eraser...(read the rest here)
I love this poem, because we do have a cat who eats homework and I often have the same problem as the poem's "I" (read the end of the poem).
Poetry Friday Roundup: Old School Edition
Sara Lewis Holmes leaves us with a wonderful verse original--39 Reasons to Write. (Sara has a great photo, doesn't she?)
Liz Garton Scanlon is on the road with Wallace Stevens and children. (You should have stopped in Iowa, Liz!)
John Mutford experiments with wordless poetry over at The Book Mine Set.
Literacy Teacher shares Ted Kooser's wonderful "A Spiral Notebook" at Mentor Texts & More.
Suzanne shares A.A. Milne's "Alexander Beetle" for a neighbor and all of us at Adventures in Daily Living. (Suzanne also has THE BUTTON for you all in code.)
Alkelda the Gleeful contributes "Tarantella," by Hilaire Belloc, at Saints and Spinners. (And she's taking a break until September 1. We'll miss you, Alkelda!)
Michele of Scholar's Blog is back with John Keat's "Endymion."
Mary Lee has school on the mind too at A Year of Reading. This week she shares Esme Raji Codell's "How to Teach Learning."
Kimberley brings us Emma Lazarus' "The New Colussus" at lectitans.
Elaine reviews Toad by the Road, by Joanne Ryder, at Wild Rose Reader, and shares from Maurice Sagoff's humorous take on Beowolf at Blue Rose Girls.
Tricia contributes William Brighty Rands' funny "Topsy-Turvy World" at The Miss Rumphius Effect.
Cloudscome reviews Conversations with Ryokan, by Mary Lou Kownacki, at A Wrung Sponge.
Kim shares "I Sit Beside the Fire and Think (Bilbo's Song") at Hiraeth.
Stacey shares a wonderful original on her engagement at Two Writing Teachers. (A blog to add to my teaching section.)
MotherReader also shares an original (inspired by Tricia's challenge) this week. (Very sweet, MR!)
Sherry, while contributing Kipling's "Recessional," is looking for the Great American Poem at Semicolon. (Head on over and leave your suggestions!)
Christine M. has Oz on the mind and shares the wealth with "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" at The Simple and the Ordinary.
A Fuse #8 Production contributes Susan Ramsey's "Letter to Matt on the Opening Day of Deer Season." Susan is Fuse's mother and has just won a poetry award. Congrats, Susan!
Becky shares Michael Hearn's classic "In the Library" at Becky's Book Reviews.
Adrienne breaks into song with the Born Ruffians (and audio links!) at What Adrienne Thinks About That.
Tadmack contributes a great poem--"Lost," by by David Wagoner--at Finding Wonderland: The Writing YA Weblog. I think I'm going to print this one out and hang it on my bulletin board at work. Beautiful.
Song is the thing this Friday. Little Willow shares "Blue Wind," by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, at Bildungsroman.
Eisha stretches the concept of Poetry Friday and we all benefit. Check out her post at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
Susan Taylor Brown has Photo Poetry (and a great prompt) up over at Wordy Girls
MsMac knows you can never go wrong with Valerie Worth! Ms.Mac also gearing up for the school year and, so, chose Worth's "Book" for Check It Out.
Nancy at Journey Woman searched for a crazy weather poem (I wonder why...) and selected "In General," by Pattiann Rogers. It's hot as heck here in Smalltown with a humidity to match.
Sam Riddleburger shows us what we already suspected: kids like an element of the disgusting in their poetry. Check out his post--Kid Haiku. It will have you in stitches.
The Old Coot brings some dignity back to the haiku (no offense, Sam!) with haiku lessons and examples in form.
And there are more:
Next week's host, Kelly Fineman, is in with "Whenas in Silks by Julia goes," by Robert Herrick.
Becky shares "When Father Carves the Duck,"by E.V. Wright, at Farm School. (Note: Not for Vegetarians.)
Julie contributes "Mrs. Moon," by Roger McGough, at a Reader's Carousel. (Another new blog for me to mark down. I love Poetry Fridays.)
Karen E. is suffering from the heat with the rest of us. She managed to find a Jane Austen quote that will make you smile, despite the heat and humidity. Thanks, Karen!
Amy is in with "Epicurean Indulgence" at another new-to-me blog, My Breakfast Platter.
Katie at Pixie palace reviews and quotes from a very interesting book--Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. It's on my list now, Katie!
Miss Erin shares some Emily Dickinson with "EXHILARATION is the Breeze..."
Liz B. reviews Kid Tea, by Elizabeth Ficocelli and illustrated by Glin Dibley, for Poetry Friday at A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy.
Susan at Chicken Spaghetti links to a very interesting article on dyslexia and reading poetry. Wow, is all I can say.
Becky is also thinking school with Aileen Fisher's "I Thought I'd Take My Rat to School" at In the Pages.
Sarah Miller is in with a short, but incredibly sweet Emily Dickinson poem.
Oooh! Another original...this time a parody. Sheila Ruth links to her husband's poem "Georgie at the Bat" at Wands and Worlds.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Greetings, everyone, from Ballater, Scotland! I somehow signed up for the Poetry Friday roundup during my week off from the blog. The wonderful Gwenda Bond of Shaken & Stirred has agreed to take up the roundup tomorrow. So head on over her way and leave your links.
I'll see you all on Monday, I hope.
I'll see you all on Monday, I hope.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Bloggers have been raving about Valerie Worth's Animal Poems--and for good reason.
First and foremost, as you can tell from this cover illustration, Steve Jenkins' illustrations are beauty and genius incarnate. His cut-paper collages are composed from such small pieces that the animals appear living even though they're not identical representations of their referents. I mean, just look at this porcupine. Don't you want to take him home and feed him?
Worth's animal poems are short, with their rhythms matching their subject. Take, for example, the first eight lines of "Whale":
Too heavy to live
On land, where only
Winged things escape
The weight of stones,
His whole hill of
Flesh floats easily
In the sea, light as
Dust in sun-baths
Now contrast this heavy beginning to the opening lines of "Snake":
These differences are ones kids will understand as you read Animal Poems aloud. And with poems dedicated to bats, owls, cockroaches, and jellyfish, a child will find a favorite in no time.*
Animal Poems is best suited for children ages four to eight. It's perfect for storytime reading and for lessons on poetry in the early grades. Enjoy!
* Valerie Worth died in 1994 and many of these poems were written decades ago. That being said, I do wish the first four lines of "Camel" were not included in this volume: "They can afford to be ugly/And ungainly, to stand/About munching and belching/Like smug old maids" How do you explain that one to a bunch of first graders?
Other blog reviews:
Elaine Magliaro at Blue Rose Girls
The Excelsior File
The roundup is over at A Wrung Sponge today. Head on over and leave cloudscome your comments!
Friday, April 06, 2007
Me I Am!, by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Christine Davenier, celebrates the individuality in every child.
Based on a single poem by Prelutsky, Me I Am! follows the exuberant personality of several children as they show their stuff--baseball stances, roller skating, bike riding, insect-studying, ballet dancing, and dressing up. The kids are gleeful as they pursue their passions in a chaotic, kinetic kid-like style.
Today's Poetry Friday is the first 8 lines of Prelutsky's poem, "Me I Am!"
I am the only ME I AM
who qualifies as me;
no ME I AM has been before,
and none will ever be.
No other ME I AM can feel
the feelings I've within;
no other ME I AM can fit
precisely in my skin.
Me I Am! is the perfect choice for a child who is feeling a little out of place. Best suited for children ages three to seven, Me I Am! encourages children to find the special within themselves. Christine Davenier's illustrations are simply wonderful--colorful, busy and full-of-life. Children will search for kindred spirits in these pictures. Davenier includes not only active, busy kids, but also the detritus of their lives. Books, frogs, flowers, items of clothing, and art supplies litter the pages, just as they do the lives of young children. Enjoy!
Here's the early roundup.
Liz Garton Scanlon celebrates a big birthday in verse over at Liz in Ink. Happy Birthday, Liz!
HipWriterMama contributes her own "A Salute to Shel Silverstein" (in verse, of course).
This is Elaine's month! She's in full poetry activity with an original poem dedicated to Susan of Chicken Spaghetti, "Mainly Speaking" at Wild Rose Reader. Also at Wild Rose Reader, Elaine reviews Here's a Little Poem, by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters (ill. by Polly Dunbar). At Blue Rose Girls, Elaine contributes a Poetry Friday potpourri. Not to be missed!
Speaking of Susan at Chicken Spaghetti, Susan calls attention to Randall Jarrell's "Bat-Poet" this week.
Wendy at Blog from the Windowsill contributes a song from the musical The Frog Prince.
lectitans shares a selection from "The Mermaid," by Alfred Lloyd Tennyson.
Tricia contributes "From the Shore," by Carl Sandburg, over at The Miss Rumphius Effect."
Mary Lee celebrates Diane Siebert and Stephen T. Johnson's Tour America over at A Year of Reading.
MsMac enjoys spring break, beautiful weather, and Jean Little's "Today" at Check It Out.
Mrs. K shares "Homeless Bird," by Tagore, at Readathon. (This poem was the inspiration for Gloria Whelan's Homeless Bird.)
Charlotte contributes ee cummings' wonderful "maggie and milly and molly and may" over at Charlotte's Library.
Little Willow finds comfort with Emily Bronte's lovely "Love and Friendship" at Slayground.
Michele thinks about Time with the help of Horace, Milton, and Frost at Scholar's Blog.
Kelly Fineman prepares for a school visit with plum poetry. Wow! Plum looks like an awesome book--must find it.
Betsy continues to post the Collected Works of Susan Ramsey at A Fuse #8 Production. Thanks, Betsy and Susan!
Susan Taylor Brown shares Edna St. Vincent Millay's classic "My candle burns at both ends..." at Susan Writes.
Laura Salas reviews Tracy Vaughn Zimmer's Reaching for Sun at Wordy Girls.
Wordy Girls also share a collection of 15-words-or-less original poems. Check 'em out!
Barbara Johansen Newman is a cowboy fan and has just discovered cowboy poetry. She shares a ton of great resources on cowboy poetry and the poem "Hands," by Linda M. Hasselstrom. Thanks, Barbara.
And there's more:
Nancy relies on an old favorite, Robert Frost, at Journey Woman.
Emily shares "When I Grow Up," by William Wise (maybe the best name ever for a children's poet) at Whimsy Books.
Lisa at Passionately Curious talks about using poetry in the classroom and posts some recent favorites.
Sherry at Semicolon contributes some George Herbert on the occasion of Easter.
Twice Bloomed Wisteria thinks about Daylight Savings Time with a little help from Robert Louis Stevenson. We know where you're coming from, Wisteria, and welcome to Poetry Fridays!
Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast is in. This week Eisha is "grooving on her new nephew" with "Only Child," by D. Nurske.
Adrienne shares Karla Kuskin's "Green as a Bean" over at What Adrienne Thinks About That.
Snow contributes "Wild Nights! Wild Nights!," by Emily Dickinson, at Kiddie Lit. Snow is also, like Gregory K. and Elaine, posting a poem a month for National Poetry Month!
Speaking of Gregory K., today's poem at GottaBook is "A Single Wish."
Jennie from Biblio File shares "The River Merchant's Wife: A Letter," by Li Bo, as translated and adapted by Ezra Pound.
Becky at Farm School drops in with a little Edna St. Vincent Millay--"Song of a Second April."
Miss Erin shares "Evening Star," by Edgar Allan Poe.
Monica Edinger has big plans for her lucky students involving "Jaberwocky" and a literary salon. Check it out at Educating Alice.
It's cloudscome's birthday too! Happy Birthday. She celebrates with Ogden Nash's "Always Marry an April Girl" at A Wrung Sponge. Great choice.
Bri is in with some William Shakespeare (April was his month, in more ways than one) at Bri Meets Books.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Friday, December 01, 2006
Have you ever been teased at school? Do you know someone who has been teased at school? Well, who hasn't! That's the beauty and universality of Betty Lou Blue, by Nancy Crocker (illustrated by Boris Kulikov).
Usually kids are teased at school because they have red hair, or they wear glasses, or they're slightly weird, or, let's face it, for any old reason. Betty Lou's reason is unusually unusual--she has especially large feet. Here's the story:
Betty Lou Blue had the world's biggest feet.
Whackety, thwackety, flappety feet.
The other kids laughed
when she whappeted by.
'If those feet were wings,' they would yell,
'you could fly!'
'If those shoes were boats,
you could float for a year!'
But whackety-flap, she'd pretend not to hear.
Despite the fact Betty Lou is suffering, Crocker's verse is snappy, "whackety" fun to read aloud.
Betty Lou's mother tries to reassure her daughter, telling her everyone's perfect, "yes, even you!" But, Betty Lou is too wise for maternal affirmations--she knows better.
One day, however, Betty Lou's lot changes. It snows in the city and all the children head out to sleigh in the park. Unfortunately, a number of them are buried in the snow. Who can help? Why a little girl with feet as large as snowshoes.
She knew what to do.
It was really a cinch--
On top of the snow,
without sinking an inch,
She stood each kid up
on the world's biggest feet
And walked each one out
to the newly plowed street.
Betty Lou Blue is an "everyone has a place in the world" tale, expertly told. Boris Kulikov's illustrations are gorgeously unique, combining Russian and urban influences (the city looks to be a combination of Brooklyn and Moscow) and a warm color scheme. His children look like animated wooden dolls, with large eyes and startled expressions.
Susan Taylor Brown is back this week with Mary Oliver's "The Journey."
Elaine has a wonderful review of four books of "poetry for the seasons" at Blue Rose Girls.
Nancy at Journey Woman features her own translation of Lorca's "Sonnet of the Sweet Complaint." Go, Nancy!
Susan has written a hilarious non-sensical search fib at Chicken Spaghetti. It goes downhill from "Whitbread," believe me!
Adrienne sets up a Christmas Eve Cage Match at What Adrienne Thinks About That. Head on over and participate. Go, Tasha Tudor!
Michele marks the onset of winter with some winter poetry at Scholar's Blog. Brrr is right! (Also, Michele links to the Guardian article on the National Poetry Archive, complete with audio files.)
Wendy reviews George Shannon's Busy in the Garden at Blog from the Windowsill.
Liz at A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy takes a look at the poetry books nominated for the Cybils and finds she has some reading to do!
Jules reviews another Kulikov-illustrated title (looks like the eyes are it, Jules!), Max's Words, at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
MotherReader is in with THE BEST POETRY BOOK EVER.
Kelly Fineman is in with "the small flash that is poetry" (with a little help from Plath and Sandburg. ) Speaking of Sandburg, Little Willow contributes Sandburg's "Under a Hat Rim" at Bildungsroman/Slayground.
Anne reviews Nancy Tillman's On the Night You Were Born at Book Buds.
Cloudscome has cited a very interesting poem, "It aint No," by Bob O'Meally, at A Wrung Sponge.
And, Gregory K. contributes what may be his best Oddaptation yet at GottaBook.
Keep those comments coming...