Hannah enjoying poetry workshop
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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 2005-2016 İRobyn 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.
June 30, 2016
Happy Independence Day weekend!
I'm freshly returned from our daughter's lovely and very fun wedding in Greenville, SC, followed by a week of dog- & house-sitting at Morgan & Matt's new home in Georgia while the happy couple was honeymooning.
[If you like wedding pictures, photographer Sabrina Fields featured "ours" on her blog a few days ago
- family pictures will be ready soon! I just put up a post about the handmade elements
over at my art blog.]
The new Mr. and Mrs. Whyte are pup parents to two-year-old Cooper, who is happy now I'm sure to have both of them in the same state and the same house. Coop always reminds me of our Shepherd-hound mix, Lucky, who joined our family as a rescued 5-week-old pup in 2000 and died in 2012, with lots of adventures in those dozen years. I might have even called Cooper "Lucky" a time or two last week before I caught myself.
Do you know what the American Kennel Club calls mixed-breed dogs? (I remember being delighted many years ago when discovering this, probably at an agility trial with son Seth and his canine partner, Oliver.) They are... All-American Dogs! Isn't that great?
In fact, now they compete in many AKC events, and this year's AKC National Agility champion was, in fact, a former rescue dog (and a repeat winner!). Here's
that story and you can click around more of the AKC site.
Matt and Morgan elected to have DNA testing done to see just what their All-American is made of. I would have bet, especially when he was a puppy, that Black and Tan Coonhound would have been way up there in the results, but he's mostly Boxer, with a heap or two of terrier and hound mixed in.
He's a handsome fella, whatever he is, captured in the gorgeous oil painting above by our friend Ann Goble
, who surprised the newlyweds with a gift they'll cherish forever.
Since it's an All-American weekend, I thought I'd share a couple of older dog poems. The first was inspired by our All-American dog, Lucky, and the second... just a little canine fun.
A hound dog is hard
Nose on the ground, he sniffs, he pulls -
Nose in the air as if you're not there -
This dog has got to go!
He looks at you with soulful eyes;
you fall in love
İRobyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
I Paper-trained my Puppy
I paper-trained my puppy -
he reads the New York Times.
He starts at the beginning:
the news, the views, the crimes.
Then he reads the comics,
while rolling on the floor.
He moves on to the book reviews,
the fashion, arts, and more.
After that he grabs a pen
and holds it with his muzzle.
Hewon't get up until he's done
the daily crossword puzzle.
I paper-trained my puppy.
I made one small mistake.
The puddle in the corner
is looking like a lake.
İRobyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
Will a canine member of your family be part of your red, white and blue celebration this long weekend? Or perhaps there's a special dog you remember? Purebred or All-American? Please do share in the comments!
And then be sure to enjoy all the great poetry rounded up for us this week by Tabatha, friend of creatures great and small, at The Opposite of Indifference
June 9, 2016
Happy Poetry Friday!
As some of you know, we are gearing up for a wedding around here... just a week from - Oh, My! - tomorrow.
Our oldest child and only daughter, Morgan, will wed her long-time honey and already a member of the family, Matt. (Our youngest child and only son, Seth, has enjoyed Bro-time with Matt for as long as he and Morgan have dated.)
My initial visions of composing some lovely poem for the happy couple have flowed right into reality - meaning I still have quite a long list of other to-do's. The big things are all done, but there are many little things!
Still, I wanted to honor this "theme" before taking a wee blog break for the wedding.
Morgan just got her things moved last weekend to a great older house in Georgia they bought this spring. Matt has been painting and sprucing up the yard, and looks like their HGTV obsession over the last couple of years has taken root in their nesting instincts! So I've been thinking a lot about "home."
The poem at the top of this picture is a print we let Morgan pick out in Ireland when she was four years old. Somehow the framed picture has remained in my, um, possession. Hmmm.... Wonder if she'll claim it now that they have their own house?
Anyway, I think the art and the words by W. M. Letts are lovely:
If I had a little house,
A white house on a hill,
With lavender and rosemary
Beneath the window sill,
The door should stand wide open
To people of good will.
I also thought I'd peruse a few of my cherished art-fodder tomes in my studio for something appropriate. One of my favorites, Crown Jewels OR Gems of Literature, Art, and Music
from 1888, has a whole section on "The Home Circle."
Well, there were some dark, sad options (Victorian book, after all!) and then a few like this one:
My Little Wife
Our table is spread for two, to-night -
No guests our bounty share;
The damask cloth is snowy white,
The services elegant and bright,
Our china quaint and rare;
My little wife presides,
And perfect love abides." ...
[I'll spare you the rest, but be content in knowing the anonymous writer and his little wife were still happy at the end.]
While that poem drew as much smirk as smile from me, especially in a week where a woman has clinched votes needed to be the Presidential nominee from a major party, I'm not completely without sentiment. In fact, I was rather drawn in by the language and images in this poem, also without attribution (& please forgive my not attempting to format - that to-do list calleth):
The Wife to Her Husband
Linger not long. Home is not home without thee:
Its dearest tokens do but make me mourn.
O let its memory, like a chain about thee,
Gently compel and hasten thy return!
Linger not long. Though crowds should woo thy staying,
Bethink thee, can the mirth of friends, though dear,
Compensate for the grief thy long delaying
Costs the fond heart that sighs to have thee here?
Linger not long. How shall I watch thy coming,
As evening shadows stretch o'er moor and dell,
When the wild bee hath ceased her busy humming,
And silence hands on all things like a spell!
How shall I watch for thee, when fears grow stronger,
As night grows dark and darker on the hill!
How shall I weep, when I can watch no longer!
Ah! art thou absent, art thou absent still?
Yet I should grieve not, though the eye that seeth me
Gazeth through tears that make its splendor dull;
For O, I sometimes fear when thou art with me
My cup of happiness is all too full.
Haste, haste thee home unto thy mountain dwelling,
Haste, as a bird unto its peaceful nest!
Haste, as a skiff, through tempests wide and swelling,
Flies to its haven of securest rest!
Wishing all young couples beginning their lives and homes together as much joy as their hearts can hold, and then some, and comfort in each other when clouds obscure the sun. The sun comes back out!
Please join the creative and industrious Carol today at Beyond Literacy Link
for gardens-ful of poetry, and a visit by J. Patrick Lewis. Happy June to all.
June 2, 2016
Happy June, Poetry Lovers!
Let's see, June is the month for... WEDDINGS. Our own Morgan will walk down the aisle in just two weeks! Hence, most of the rest of my life is on a temporary sabbatical, though I'll try to pop in and out of Poetry Friday this month.
Today is more of a pop-out day, as we actually have another wedding to travel to this weekend. BUT, I wanted to share some excitement coming up this fall. If you are near the beautiful coast of Washington state or would like an excuse to visit, the folks at Western Washington University in Bellingham are cooking up a spectacular POETRY CAMP conference (for grown-ups!) on Saturday, Oct. 1, starring our own Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Lots of Poetry Friday folks will be participating, including yours truly. (Can't wait!) The event will also feature Washington State Poet Laureate, Tod Marshall.
AND, special guest Jack Prelutsky will offer a free public performance from 4:30-5:30 pm!
Want to know more? Click here
for the schedule and registration info. It's going to be a blast!
Speaking of Washington, the wonderful Jone at Check it Out
is our Poetry Friday host today. Click on over and head into summer with lots of great poetry!
bio, photos, interview links, etc.
Explore a poem or two or five....
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
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.
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!
(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