Click links below to follow our Progressive Poem for Nat'l Poetry Month!
Hannah enjoying poetry workshop
(Scroll down this column for tags, archives and blogroll....)
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 ©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 25, 2016
I don’t know about you, but to counteract the weight of the daily news, I could use a daily dose of Issa!
[Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) is regarded as one of the primary masters of haiku. He endured much hardship and loss, and his heartfelt poetry is known for its sensitivity to all living things.]
Wait -- Now I have
a daily dose of Issa!
For years, Issa scholar and past-president of the Haiku Society of America David G. Lanoue has offered a random Issa poem delivered to your inbox or your Twitter account (or both!) . [Here’s
a post about Dr. Lanoue (David) from my blog a couple-few years ago. A professor at Xavier University, he has translated upwards of 10,000 of Issa’s poems.]
His Issa website was launched in 2000. Click here
to get to know Issa and sign up for daily poems. After my own unsuccessful attempt a while back to receive this daily treasure (operator error, I’m certain – it’s really quite easy), I finally got myself subscribed and love reading an Issa poem each day.
Thursday’s made me smile:
at an honest man's gate
make their home
1824, translated by David G. Lanoue.
It reminded me of our summer guest I blogged about before –
the golden silk orb weaver who took up just outside the back door and is still with us. She’s apparently going to go for a third brood?
Issa wrote about spiders, too. And lots of animals. Lanoue’s book, Issa and the Meaning of Animals – A Buddhist Poet’s Perspective
(2014), offers accessible insights about this special poet and many of his haiku – a must if you are an Issa fan, a double-must if you are an animal-loving Issa fan.
Here’s one I love:
rest easy, my soot-broom
Translated by David G. Lanoue.
And one more – this goes out to my newlywed teacher-daughter Morgan. They have seen deer a few times in their in-town neighborhood in Georgia this week; a buck, twice!
the young buck’s
Translated by David G. Lanoue.
The book provides background and unlocks potential meanings for the poems, which give us beautiful imagery with or without explication. Hope you enjoyed this taste!
Are you a teacher? Click here
for David’s website pages designed just for you. You can “test” your haiku/Issa knowledge with the first link, and find out about how to share Issa’s life and poetry with kids at the second.
Also, if picture poetry books call your name, you might enjoy sharing Matthew Gollub’s Cool Melons – Turn to Frogs! – The Life and Poems of Issa
, illustrated by Kazuko G. Stone (Lee & Low, 1998, 2004). This colorful paperback combines some biography and sample poems to offer glimpses into Issa’s life and writing.
That's what’s going on in my universe this week. For the Poetry Friday Roundup and lots more poetic goodness, please visit poet and teacher extraordinaire Heidi over at My Juicy Little Universe
August 18, 2016
Hi, Friends - I'm up to my elbows in artsyletters
projects in the studio, trying to get ready for a local "Starving Artist Market" (weather willing) on Saturday. Please go check out all the great Poetry Friday offerings over at my dear friend Doraine's place, Dori Reads
Thanks again to all who BUGSCUFFLED here last week! :0)
August 11, 2016
Greetings, Poetry Friends!
If school bells are ringing in your neck of the woods, hope all is starting smoothly.
A couple of times on Facebook recently, I've posted pix of our resident Golden Orb Weaver this summer. (It's a habit - I did the same thing a couple of years ago, too.) She started out in the carport, a Baby Daddy came and went, and then she disappeared for a couple of days - I'm guessing to lay her egg sacs?
Lo and behold she returned and strung up a web adjacent to the first one, but this one RIGHT next to the kitchen door. (So close that I put a sticky note warning on the inside.)
Anyway, I think it's the same spider - I consulted my Go-To naturalists/children's authors - our own Buffy Silverman
and my SCBWI Southern Breeze long-time-buddy Heather L. Montgomery
. They said it was plausible, so we're sticking with it.
Interesting behavior note: When my hubby enters and exits the house, this goddess-size spider scurries up her web to the tippy top. When I go in and out, she stays put in the middle. It doesn't seem to matter if we are holding our wee Chihuaha, Rita - I thought maybe that was the trigger - but she's fine if I've got the dog. Jeff is about five inches taller than I am; maybe that's it? Or maybe he just gives off stronger vibes?!
You'll see the latest photo I shared above. I was mighty impressed that our outdoor house guest caught a big ol' cicada for a meal. (And if you think that's creepy, at least I spared you the visual of her actually dining on her supersized lunch...) Yesterday she enjoyed what appeared to be an ill-fated Junebug.
This week, in addition to spider-watching, I also took our youngest back to college for his senior year, sniff-sniff, up in the North Georgia mountains. You come across some pretty fun names of roads up there.... I actually turned around and pulled off the road to snap the picture of that sign. [Some of you would have done the same thing, I know!]
I absolutely love that word, "Bugscuffle"! And I thought, I wonder what kind of inspiration some of you might find in it? (Google tells me it's the name of a town in Texas, but otherwise I don't know much about it.)
So here's a Poetry Friday pick-me-up just for fun. If you are so led, please leave a short (up to six lines) poem with the title "Bugscuffle" in a comment below, and I'll post your literary works of art in this main post throughout the day. (Legal housekeeping: By posting your amazing words, you are agreeing that they are yours and that I can share them here with a copyright notice with your name.) Thanks!
What Say You?
Well, look who's swinging in Spiderman-style Thursday evening to start us off with a delicious, raucus rumble! (Thanks, Matt.) :0)
A bug stole a chocolate truffle,
which started a crazy kerfuffle.
The beetles and ants fought with fists, jeers, and chants -
It was quite a colossal bug scuffle.
- ©2016 Matt Forrest Esenwine
And a wonderful, early and inspired poetic gift from Down Under - Thanks, Sally!
At the Web-Club
- ©2016 Sally Murphy
[And here we go Friday morning. This Come-As-You-Are Bugscuffle Party is even more fun than I was hoping - Thanks to all you crazy-talented, challenge-loving poetry people for jumping in!]
the corner dust
one bug scuffles,
another is trussed.
- ©2016 Diane Mayr
Right on Hardscrabble and left at Flack-Fluffle.
Go round the gob-smacked moose
(his lady played fast and loose).
Just stay to the right, then left at Bugscuffle,
We'll be waiting with a cup of juice.
- ©2016 Brenda at friendlyfairytales
One bug wander
Two bug tango
Three bug bustle
Four bug scuffle
- ©2016 Julieanne
Courting a glance,
defensive stance …
slowly advance …
victor guttles …
-©2016 Kat Apel
You sneezed, Gesundheit!
my retort, as Ms. Spider
untangled eight legs.
-©2016 Linda Mitchell
What’s a bugscuffle?
Wondered Miss Tuffle,
Who scampered in ruffle
Unpacking her duffle.
Not knowing how to scuffle,
She scampered & shuffled,
With her flowing ruffle
Proudly swaying her bustle.
~©2016 Carol Varsalona
A good bug scuffle
May ruffle some feathers
No matter whether
You choose to kick
Off your shoes
And get into it
Or sit this one out.
-©2016 Linda Christoff
Unarmed and be-
--©2016 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
Spider spun a sticky line.
Cicada crashed into it.
Spider thought that she would dine--
but cicada frazzled through it.
--©2016 Buffy Silverman
They can't can-can
A line of millipedes readied to Rockette,
to do high kicks and bum wags in high spirits,
but the dancers were reduced to a pile of rubble
when their legs tangled in a buggyscuffluffle.
- ©2016 Tabatha Yeatts
[Happy Saturday. By the way, there's a Baby Daddy on the scene again in the big ol' web....]
Alice chimed in that she did a "bugscuffle" Google search and might have to write a post about it, beginning this way:
The Bugs don't seem to care
'Cause they've . . .
And from Heidi:
It's a dead end down at Bugscuffle Road
where the skeeters rumble horseflies late at night.
The "best" insects live up on Dragonfly Bluff,
big rolling fields under wide blue sky.
Just below that is Honeybee Hill,
where hardworking folks take their rest.
I make my home here on Ladybug Lane
in a snug spotted cottage. It's the best.
-©2016 Heidi Mordhorst
(Ha! Love those buggy social classes!)
and from Catherine:
The air was so humid and hot,
the cockroach simply forgot
to scurry away
at the start of the day,
not bugscuffle at dawn down Broadway!
- ©2016 Catherine Flynn
--And after you've said what you have to say, please go visit To Read To Write To Be
for this week's Roundup!
August 4, 2016
Hello, Poetry Lovers - It’s August... Back to School!
Today my newlywed teacher-daughter, Morgan, welcomes 27 wonderful third-graders to her class in a new (to her) school. Married life summoned her back to north Georgia, and in June, she was juggling last-minute wedding planning with job interviews and moving!
While she’ll have a few things to learn herself, she does know third-graders – that’s the age she’s taught for two years, in addition to her student teaching experience before graduation.
So for today, I went hunting for a back-to-school poem with a special tip of the hat to Third Grade.
I didn’t have to look far in my art studio (with its own projects for fall sprouting in every corner). I’ve procured several vintage “readers” in recent years. I can never pass up poring through those books during thrift store jaunts. Not too deep in the stack was an ELSON PRIMARY SCHOOL READER – Book Three, for Third Grade (Elson, William H. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1913. Illustrated by H. O. Kennedy). Well, the title page says, "Book Four," but the cover says "Book Three/Third Grade." A bit of rushed proofreading between volumes?
Anyway, halfway through, I fell into Christina Rossetti
’s “THE MONTHS: A PAGEANT.”
Do you know the work? I didn’t, but was delighted to discover, and a quick search gave me an initial publication date of 1881.It’s a play, written in poems, with students taking on the characters of the months.
The opening scene is “A Cottage with Its Grounds.”
January starts us off, seated by the fire, and soon February knocks on the door, and so on.
Here is our poem for August:
Wheat sways heavy, oats are airy,
Barley bows a graceful head,
Short and small shoots up canary,
Each of these is someone’s bread;
Bread for a man or bread for beast,
Or at very least
A bird’s savory feast.
Men are brethren of each other,
One in flesh and one in food;
And a sort of foster-brother
is the litter or the brood
Of that folk in fur or feather
Who, with men together,
Breast the wind and weather.
[August sees September toiling across the lawn.]
My harvest home is ended; and I spy
September drawing nigh
With the first thought of Autumn in her eye,
And the first sigh
Of Autumn wind among her locks that fly.
[September arrives, carrying upon her head a basket heaped high with fruit.]
It might be a fun project for a contemporary class to read this “old-fashioned” pageant/play, then write an original play with their own parade of months! Maybe three or so students could be assigned a month, with each student then sharing a stanza during the play's performance.
By the way, do you remember your third-grade teacher? Mine was Mrs. Ashton and I thought she hung the moon. Maybe she did.
Both of our kids were taught third grade by our dear friend Cheryl Brown, retired now but still working with students. Her class was that perfect combination of warm & welcoming and challenging, and she helped prepare her charges for future success in academics as well as on the playground.
Goooo, Third Grade!
And, speaking of school, please visit the multi-talented Tara at A Teaching Life
for this week’s Roundup.
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