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Hannah enjoying poetry workshop
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POETRY FRIDAY ROUNDUP SCHEDULE
Hanging with fellow Georgia writers (from top, l-r) Tracy Walker, Heather Kolich, Donna Bowman, (bottom, middle) Janice Hardy and Paula Puckett
photo by Steve Kolich
Susan Rosson Spain, Robyn Hood Black, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Myra Meade at the Hall Book Exchange in Gainesville, Ga.
photo by Mel Hornsby
Southern Breeze Kudos Kites 09 - Donna, Robyn, Heather, Sarah, and Peggy
Robyn with Kathleen Duey, author extraordinaire
Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller
photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko http://www.paulbjaneczko.com
Copyright 2005-2014 ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved. Please ask permission before using any text or images on this website, except for reproducible
"4 Kids 2 Do" and "Press Kit" pages.
August 28, 2014
Happy Poetry Friday! Thanks to all for so many warm wishes last week, and to Irene, of course, for assuming hosting duties when I had to bow out. My bowing is still a bit painful, so I'll simply post to out host for this week: Go find the Roundup at Jone's at Check it Out
Hope to be up and running again soon. More sessions with the neuromuscular massage therapist/PT should help.
August 21, 2014
Dear Poetry Friends,
I was looking forward to hosting today here at the cusp of a new school year! Instead, after traveling to help get my young adult kids settled in for their new years, my annoying pulled shoulder muscle turned into a pinched nerve or some such last weekend. We finally made it home but I'm still trying different treatment options and looking forward to getting full use of my right hand/arm back. Swooping in to the rescue is the amazing and generous Irene Latham, who is hosting this week's Roundup at Live Your Poem.
Thank you, thank you, Irene!
August 14, 2014
I’ve just returned from helping our daughter Morgan set up her new third grade classroom in Greenville, SC, and we’re about to head out to the north Georgia mountains to get our son Seth settled into his college apartment on campus. I hope your back-to-school-ing is going well if you are a parent or teacher or media specialist or student or such! Whether your August involves school or not, I’m sure you’ll enjoy stopping just for a moment to enjoy another Summer Poem Swap treasure.
unmiserable to the
©Heidi Mordhorst. All rights reserved.
This gem is from our ever talented Poetry Friday host this week, Heidi Mordhorst
(who greets this time of year as a teacher and a mom herself!). How lovely that she paired her haiku with this wonderful photograph of my namesake in the bird world. In an accompanying note, Heidi said she loved the “resilience” of this feathered friend. We’ve certainly seen our share of “sodden” this summer; our back yard flooded last weekend. Many cities (including Greenville) in several regions of the country have dealt with serious flooding this week.
You might know from Diane
and her wonderful blog that a haiku and visual image presented together is called a “haiga,” and I’m honored Heidi sent me one!
As Stephen Addis explains in the jacket flap of his book, THE ART OF HAIKU (Shambhala, 2012):
All the great haiku masters created paintings (called haiga) or calligraphy in connection with their poems, and the words and images were intended to be enjoyed together, enhancing each other, and each adding its own dimension to the reader’s and viewer’s understanding.
Many thanks to Heidi for this haiga, and to Tabatha
for organizing our sensational SWAP.
Here’s hoping you are unmiserable - nice and dry in fact, and ready to enjoy more poetry! Join the flock over at Heidi’s My Juicy Little Universe.
August 7, 2014
Our daughter Morgan, new grad student and brand-new third-grade teacher!
Teachers. It’s that time of year.
For me, it’s that time of life. My baby girl, the one who used to dress in prairie dresses channeling the Ingalls girls, and drag out some small congregation of dolls and/or stuffed animals, and hold court under the sun and on the grass with them – this same child has a brand new teacher badge and her name on a door a few hours away in a South Carolina elementary school. Third grade.
I could not be more proud, and I’m looking forward to a quick trip to help her finish setting up her classroom in a couple of days. I remember with utmost fondness my third grade teacher in Florida, Mrs. Ashton, and I’m certain there will be a few wide-eyed young faces in this state who will remember Morgan decades down the road, too.
So, today, this Poetry Friday is for you, Morgan! And ALL of you wonderful Poetry Friday folks who give yourselves to the next generation in schools, libraries, on school visits…. This poem might not be appropriate for the wall of a third-grade classroom, but it’s appropriate for the walls in every teacher’s heart. (Many of you know it already, I’m sure, but maybe the newbies don’t – and it’s worth reading again!)
What Teachers Make
by Taylor Mali
He says the problem with teachers is
What’s a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life
was to become a teacher?
He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true
what they say about teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.
I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests
that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.
Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite conversation.
I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor.
Be honest. What do you make?
And I wish he hadn’t done that— …
(Please click here to read the rest. You have to read the rest!)
Our youngest, Seth, actually got to go to the Dodge Poetry Festival a couple of years ago, where Taylor Mali was a featured poet (and Seth’s favorite). Why was my son there? An incredible teacher took him.
Speaking of incredible teachers, Mary Lee has today’s Roundup over at A Year of Reading
July 31, 2014
Buffy's poem arrived with the wonderful blackbird graphic (credited below) and a small envelope with two treasures: fossils from Lake Michigan!
During The Summer Poem Swap, I’ve enjoyed a little banter with fellow participant Buffy Silverman
about our – um – lack of ability to, technically, meet the deadlines. :0! [Aside: I had the privilege of meeting Buffy a couple of years ago at a Highlights Founders workshop
in poetry, along with a few other Poetry Friday-ers. What a treat!]
This deadline business all started with the very first swap poem; I’d noticed a comment Buffy left on another blog with a wee apology that her poem would arrive a little late. I emailed her that her confession gave me comfort, because I was already running behind too! Little did we know we’d be swapping with each other just a couple of rounds later.
And little did I know she could turn that week’s suggested prompt into this poetic series that literally had me laughing out loud. My office cat, May, was in my lap while I read it, and she looked alarmed, wondering what all the fuss was about.
I’m sure you will enjoy Buffy’s offering as much as I did!
Thirteen Ways of Looking at Procrastination
(an apology poem for Robyn, with thanks to Wallace Stevens)
Among the pile of unfinished tasks,
The one that tore my soul
Was the poetry-swap poem for Robyn.
I was of three minds,
Like a blank page
In which there are three imaginary poems.
The unwritten poem whirled in the background of my day.
It was a small part of the pantomime of being a writer.
Facebook and sudoku
Facebook and sudoku and a week up north
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of Robyn’s poem for me not yet written
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The busy writer with assignments
That no one need know were completed seven days ago.
Would icicles fill the study window
Before the summer swap poems were written?
The shadow of procrastination
Grows when Robyn’s poem arrives.
The joy of her gift
Traced with guilt
A decipherable cause.
O idling writer of Augusta
Why do you imagine golden words?
Do you not see how the page
Still blank dances with rhythm
Of the writers before you?
I know about spiders and webs
And nimble, unpredictable rhymes;
But I know, too,
That frittering delay is involved
In what I know.
When the excuses flew out of sight
The words marked the end
Of the empty screen.
At the sight of stanzas
Crowing in black and white,
Even the mistress of procrastination
Would cry out sharply.
She rode to
Beaufort in a manila envelope.
Once, a fear pierced her,
In that she mistook
The lateness of her words
The neurons are firing.
The missive will soon be flying.
It was easier to write than to delay.
It was sunrise
And it was going to glow.
The words poured
From the writer’s pen.
--Buffy Silverman, July 2014
Image from http://www.julianjardine.co.uk/alisonread.html
©Buffy Silverman. All Rights Reserved.
Now, don’t procrastinate – get thee hence to this week’s Roundup over at Reflections on the Teche
, hosted by the lovely and talented Margaret. (You can see Margaret’s Round One Summer Poem Swap gifts to me here
And… BLATENT COMMERCIAL WARNING: If you have a little correspondence to catch up on yourself this summer, I’ve just added a couple of beach-themed note card designs to the artsyletters
stable. You can see them on my art blog here
July 24, 2014
Greetings, Poetry Fans! Sending my best wave (and maybe a wag) today, as our house is full this weekend with family visiting to celebrate my hubby's birthday. (Happy BDay, Hubby!) Please trot on over to see Sylvia and Janet at Poetry For Children
today, as they unveil plans for the next Poetry Friday Anthology and round up everyone's poetry posts! And enjoy a great dog poem from Janet.
July 17, 2014
Our Fearless Poetry Friday Roundup Leader, Mary Lee, of A Year of Reading
blog and her poetrepository website
, is certainly worthy of a tribute. But today I bring you a different Mary Lee. One with fins.
Let me back up. Today in our new hometown, a 10-day extravaganza known as the "Water Festival"
begins. While this part of the lowcountry is also called the “slowcountry,” my understanding is that for the next week or so, it’ll be the slowcountry on steroids. Concerts, dragon boat races, parades – on land and in the water, and lots of dancing, lots of beverages…. Well, at least we live within walking distance to downtown!
Thinking about celebrating the water, I was also reminded of a news story which came in on the tide this week. We’d heard about Mary Lee, a great white shark who pays visits to Beaufort County waters. (She even has her own Facebook page
She was tagged in 2012 by OCEARCH and now scientists monitor her movements, and those of other sharks, around the world. (Pretty cool – click here
here to explore!)
Anyway, seems our new little personal nest is more or less surrounded by what just might be a prime nursery site for great white mamas in the Northern Atlantic! Port Royal sound is teeming with diverse aquatic life, perfect for baby shark buffets. Here’s this week’s article
which caught my eye.
(Did you click over? Please pause and wrap your mind around that: 16-plus feet long. 3400-plus pounds.) Ah, motherhood.
I decided to shine the light on Mary Lee for Poetry Friday this week – from a distance, of course. From land, in fact. Inside my house.
Mary Lee, Oh, Mary Lee –
you’ve come back to the bay.
To these waters where we swim
and fish - and row - and play.
Come to leave your pups with us
in deep Port Royal Sound.
Yes, we’ll keep an eye on them.
We hear you’re Northern-bound?
Not to worry. Go on now.
Though you might find it odd,
we’ll sleep a bit more soundly here
when you’re back in Cape Cod.
©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
Please remove your silver jewelry and paddle and splash your way on over to Terrific Tabatha's, where she has this week's Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.
July 10, 2014
You can’t outclever Irene.
A couple of weeks ago it was my pleasure to share my first surprise in the 2014 Summer Poem Swap (dreamed up by the amazing Tabatha
), a lovely and poignant poem and hand painted card from Margaret Simon
Thursday my mailbox offered up delectable poetic surprise # 2 – this time from my good friend and fellow SCBWI Southern Breezer, Irene Latham
First, I howled at the packaging. A repurposed Little Debbies
Star Crunch box! That bit of cardboard transported me back a few decades ago to summers when I worked at a daycare center– we took the kids skating and took along boxes of Little Debbies Star Crunch treats! Mmmm, still remember how yummy they were…
I opened that box to find another: a cute little take-out carton with wire handle! You know the ones. Irene collaged the outside of this with all kinds of pictorial wonders – images of a light bulb/idea; a big beetle; a pig wearing shades; the words yes!
; some eighteenth-century party-goers; some colorful men under a colorful umbrella; and a little girl in make-believe mode hanging out a costume to dry. Sooo very Irene!
Inside the box were some fortune cookies! And, a wee colorful scroll. Oh, I do love a scroll. I untied its ribbon to find this:
crisp, golden shell
happy to hatch
©Irene Latham. All rights reserved.
Is that delicious or what?!?! (And please forgive the less-than-perfect formatting.) I could read that last stanza over and over, and I’m sure I will.
In the interest of poetry of course, I opened one of the fortune cookies. To share whatever its message was with you …
If we only knew the real value of the day.
Now there’s a sentiment a poet can sink her teeth into! (And, yes, of course I ate the cookie… Am I wearing crumbs?)
Speaking of Irene, on the OFF CHANCE YOU’VE BEEN ESCAPING THE HEAT IN SIBERIA OR SOMETHING… Huge congrats on the starred reviews for her first collection of poetry for young readers, DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST
, to be released from Millbrook in September. Says the one and only Lee Bennett Hopkins
CHEERS to Irene Latham. Her latest book, DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST AND OTHER POEMS FROM THE WATER HOLE (Millbrook) received STARRED reviews from both SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL and KIRKUS reviews. The book is simply beautiful in every way. SLJ cites:
"This will be a much-sought after book...". Seek it out.
I always do what Lee says. Actually, I had the good fortune to see some of these fine poems in manuscript form, and I recently got to see a beautiful ARC from the publisher. To see the cover, and to learn about more poetry books for young readers Irene has coming down the pike, click here.
Many thanks to Irene for allowing me to share her work, and I’m ever grateful to share this journey in poetry with her as well.
All this talk of cookies must have whet your poetic appetite. Please visit lovely Linda at Write Time
for more delicious poetic offerings in this week’s Roundup!
July 4, 2014
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!
Hope your holiday weekend is full of fun with loved ones. Our wee cottage is full of young adult kids and even an extra visiting pup. so I'm not at my computer. (And I just returned from an SCBWI Southern Breeze workshop on character led by the astute, articulate, and oh-so-full of life agent Marietta Zacker. It was terrific.) Three "fulls"in one paragraph?!!
Others have put together wonderful posts today, though - please go enjoy the Roundup at one of my favorite places, Heidi's MY JUICY LITTLE UNIVERSE. http://myjuicylittleuniverse.blogspot.com/2014/07/pf-round-up-independence-day-edition.html?m=1
June 26, 2014
painting and poem ©Margaret Simon
First, Summer Poetry Swap Confession: I so enjoyed the Winter Poem Swap - these things are conjured up by the amazing Tabatha Yeatts
- that I signed on for this year's Summer Swap. "I'll be all settled and organized by June," I says to myself. "I'm in!"
Got my first secret recipient info - it was Diane Mayr
! I'm a not-so-secret admirer of her poetry, her quick wit and thoughtfulness, her art sense, her ability to juggle three blogs simultaneously and hold down a real job and keep her feline companions happy... . "I'll come up with some lovely haiku for her," I says to myself. Well, that first "deadline" zinged right past me, and I sent her a little groveling message that I was already behind! (Of course, she sent a "no worries"-type message back. But she SHOULD get my offering in the mail today according to the P. O., not haiku but something else. When I saw Buffy's message to her first Summer Swap partner that hers would be a little late, I emailed Buffy about how much better that made me feel!)
Anyway, I was delighted to open my own mailbox and find a special envelope with Margaret Simon's
return address! Margaret is just one of those people you want to drive all the way to Louisiana to meet up with and talk with for hours over some strong Louisiana coffee, just by reading her blog posts and her thoughtful comments all around. BUT - I was also feeling a little guilty. Her poetic gift arrived on time, and I just knew it would be something wonderful.
When a quiet moment finally presented itself, I opened the envelope, feeling inadequate already. A hand painted card was inside, and it looked like my new surroundings! At first I thought, "Does the bayou look like our lowcountry?!" Then I read that she'd looked online for a picture of "South Carolina beaches" and she painted, in watercolor, a scene she found! (I didn't even know she painted - did you?)
If that wasn't enough to grab me - and actually, it was! - I read the beautiful poem she'd penned inside. Talk about humbled. And uplifted. I was struggling to feel like I could slow down enough (even in this "slow
country") to write some new poetry, and I fell right into these words:
Poem in the Sand
Let a poem find your voice.
Real things can happen there,
even imaginary ones
Poems hide in unexpected places,
buried in the sand, tossed from the sea.
Turn the grains over in your hand.
Take them to where you want to go.
Whisper softly like ocean waves.
I’ll know when I hear your voice.
Your words will find me watching.
Your words will find my heart waiting.
Sigh. I felt so grateful. And less stressed. What a gift! And the imagery of sand experienced in different ways - it reminded me of time, too, and nudged me not to fight it all the time!
Isn't the last stanza something? I think anyone who reads it will feel encouraged. I sure did.
[By the way - Buffy, if you're reading this, and at the risk of spoiling a surprise - guess who my next poem is going to?? ;0) ]
AND, guess who is hosting us today? BUFFY! Go check out all the great offerings at Buffy's Blog
(and tell her to watch her mailbox, but maybe not with bated breath....)
Explore a poem or two or five....
A rhyming tale of a young boy's knightly adventure with an imagined dragon.
Nonfiction, interactive book on wolves featuring giant pop-up and tons of info!
In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
bio, photos, interview links, etc.
(Click here to visit Robyn's art business)
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
National Council of Teachers of English
Click here for KidLitosphere's links to current poetry round-up