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.
September 18, 2014
Happy Poetry Friday!
I found myself blogging over at artsyletters
this evening - couldn't resist a call for folks to post pictures of their messy studio tables and then submit them to the wonderful Seth Apter for his blog, The Altered Page
. (My current very limited time in the studio has actually been spent experimenting with some of Seth Apter's mixed media techniques.)
My therapist would holler if I spend any more time pecking away and sitting at this computer, so I won't attempt a poetry post as well. Ice packs calleth. BUT, my amazing friend and terrifically talented poet Amy has the Roundup today over at The Poem Farm
, so be sure to check it out.
[And if you want to see my messy studio table, you can click here
September 11, 2014
Happy Almost-Fall Greetings...
Here's hoping your summer will fold into a golden, sparkly fall - rich in experience and poetic inspiration.
What the heck - let's fling ourselves toward it with some ever-effusive Shelley, shall we?
Ode to the West Wind
by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear!
Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky's commotion,
Loose clouds like earth's decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,
Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine aëry surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head
Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith's height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge
Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: oh hear!
Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lull'd by the coil of his crystalline streams,
Beside a pumice isle in Baiae's bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave's intenser day,
All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic's level powers
Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know
Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: oh hear!
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be
The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seem'd a vision; I would ne'er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.
Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like wither'd leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
I know, if you're in my part of the country, you are still wearing shorts. But the weather folks have been showing pictures where some of you might live, and there's already white stuff on the ground!
For poetry appropriate for any clime, please visit lovely Renée at No Water River
for today's Roundup. (What's the weather like in Italy this week, Renée ?)
September 4, 2014
Poem©Keri Collins Lewis. All Rights Reserved.
It's sunny and hot outside, but the calendar says summer is drawing to a close. I'm happy to share my final Summer Poem Swap 2014 gift here to mark the transition.
It's all about transition!
Many thanks to the multitalented and thoughtful Keri Collins Lewis
for this wonderful cinquain reflecting this big move we've just made. (I hope you can see the poem well enough in the picture; it's hard to format indentions on my blog, and I'm trying to do much of this with my left hand anyway. Sigh.
For a little more about cinquains and writing them with students, check out this post
at Kenn Nesbitt's Poetry4Kids site. (Do you need to double-check your pronunciation of the form? Hmmm?)
And for more great poetry of all kinds, visit the endlessly talented Laura over at Author Amok
for this week's Roundup!
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 our 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.
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