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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - The Roundup is HERE! Along with Terrific Student Haiku...

March 15, 2016

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, haiku, student work


So glad you're joining the party. I'm delighted to host today. Everyone is welcome - new faces and PF veterans alike.

In addition to the Roundup, it's my pleasure to share a few accolade-winning student haiku this week.

Tom Painting, language arts teacher at The Paideia School in Atlanta and haiku poet extraordinaire, sent along some poems by his eighth-grade students which recently appeared in the "Youth Corner" of The United Haiku and Tanka Society's online publication, cattails. (To read more about cattails, click here to read my interview with its Youth Corner editor, Kala Ramesh.)

The following haiku received honorable mention recognition in cattails in January. Also, each young poet agreed to share a personal thought about haiku, which appear just beneath his or her name.

shower steam
my off key notes bounce
on the tiled walls

©Taylor Clay
"I enjoy writing and reading haiku because of the satisfaction in creating a beautiful scene with only a few words."

setting sun
the scarecrow whistles
in the wind

©Cole McCord
"Haiku allows me to remove a moment from my memory and place it on a page for safekeeping. "

the rocks
water glides down
the river

©Hunter Collins
"I choose the moment that strongly urges to be put down on paper. Then, I let the moment write itself."

bound diary
what secrets do
you hold?

©Naiima Paul
"Haiku is like any art form, one needs inspiration. Anything can inspire you, from the sound of raindrops to a photo of your cousin."

Many thanks to Taylor, Cole, Hunter, and Naiima for sharing their work. I'm always inspired by the haiku of young poets!

And I must share a fun comment from one of my daughter Morgan's third graders this week. (I've been traveling across SC to her classroom for some classroom poetry adventures in recent weeks, tagging wedding planning appointments to these visits in the process.) I told the kids I'd see them in April, after spring break. Out of the blue, one of Morgan's enthusiastic young poets, Krish, made my day. He said, "Spring Break is a great time to write nature haiku!"

Indeed it is. Wishing you warmth and inspiration as the calendar pages turn to spring.

Please leave your links (& a brief description) in the comments below, and I'll round up as we go along. NOTE: We'll actually be on the road again this afternoon, so links left after lunch might not get rounded up until this evening. [I also just bought a laptop I'm trying to figure out how to use. It will go with me - wish me luck!] Thanks for your patience, and feel free to scan the comments to visit everyone's posts today in the meantime.

Onward to Poetry!

At Random Noodling, Diane is generously sharing a pot of fresh coffee to celebrate WORLD POETRY DAY, along with a tray of original coffee-themed poems from recent years. Cheers!

For a bit more about WORLD POETRY DAY and a poem about what girls wanted 500 years ago, pop in over at Diane’s Kurious Kitty. Mrow.

CB Haneck chimes in with poetic praise for our noses. And, no, not because they can smell.

Michelle joins CB in responding to Amy LV’s TLD Challenge herself at Today’s Little Ditty, ringing in spring with some amorous cicadas.

Speaking of Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, Laura celebrates Amy’s exciting news at Writing the World for Kids. (What? You haven’t heard? Laura’s got it covered, with a couple more wonderful shout-outs, too.) Laura also shares the link to Penny’s post about a project by Ken Slasarik inspired by Laura’s WATER CAN BE. Yes, there’s a lot of mutual poetry love being passed around today!

Matt offers up the “Naani” poetry form from India at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, with an invitation (challenge?) to try one yourself.

What’s the weather doing outside your window, and did it change from five minutes ago? Lovely Linda captures the topsy-turvy-ness of spring’s arrival with an original poem and picture at Teacher Dance.

Carol has rolled out the St. Patrick’s Day green at Beyond Literacy Link - go grab yourself some poetry, and a lovely Irish blessing to boot!

Rubber boots handy? Brenda’s leading us on a mud-luscious puddle romp over at Friendly Fairy Tales. with an original poem and a couple others. Enjoy – you can clean up later!

Jone’s in this week with an appreciative limerick for her assistant and info about how to receive an illustrated poem post card from her students for Poetry Month. Check it Out!

Responding to one of Tricia’s terrific challenges, Catherine shares a moving ekphrastic poem today at Reading to the Core. (Maybe grab a tissue….)

Tabatha joins in today with two powerful poems by Kathryn Stripling Byer from Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia at The Opposite of Indifference. (And a certain beloved Monster gearing up for April.)

Julie’s been busy! At The Drift Record, she presents a list poem by Nobel-prize winner Wislawa Szymborska, and an invitation to write a response poem.

Over at Books Around the Table, she’s exploring phrenology and bumps in the night – you can’t resist clicking on that one, can you? Hmm? What might your skull say about YOU?

At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee shares an original poem, “Bygones,” to announce her fantastic Poetry Month project. (Diane Mayr, you must check this out! Everyone else, too.)

Penny’s collaborative series, A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, continues today with a special treat : Guest poster is Ken Slesarik, in with a whole roomful of first-grade poets! They produced a collaborative work inspired by Laurie Purdie Salas’s WATER CAN BE. Your day will not be the same if you miss this colorful feast.

At Dori Reads, the ever-lovely Doraine is in this week with a perfect-for-spring poem by Abigail Carroll, an adult poet who's stepping into the children's poetry world and shares her thoughts on that, too. [If the air is yellow with pollen where you are, you’ll particularly enjoy! We're swimming in it down South.]

Inspiration wafts from life to life around here. Margaret Simon, at Reflections on the Teche., offers up a poem inspired by an emailed quote from Laura Shovan and a photo Tabatha posted on her blog. Beautiful words and profound thoughts.

Heidi extends an invitation to participate in her Poetry Month project at My Juicy Little Universe. Pass the ketchup, please, and a napkin? (To write poems on, of course!)

Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town generously offers “a touch of sanity” from Wendell Berry today. Yes, please. Enjoy his “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.”

Irene – yes the same one whose DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST just garnered an SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins poetry honor book designation – shares Don Tate’s amazing book, POET: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate at Live Your Poem.

Ramona’s in the mix with poems from Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s 42 Miles (plus another one) at Pleasures from the Page. Another book for my must-read stack!

Tara’s a woman after my own heart today, sharing Gary Short’s beautiful “Teaching Poetry to Third Graders” over at A Teaching Life. She also shares a way in which poetry ended a very challenging day in the classroom with a bit of affirmation.

More Tuesday Slice of Life Goodness (I love that PR and Slice of Life collide so often!) from Molly, sharing an original poem, “The Nightly Struggle,” that captures the experience of so many of us I’m sure, yearning to turn another page before turning out the booklight!

Yay – more haiku today! Thanks to the oh-so-talented Elizabeth Steinglass for sharing two gorgeous spring haiku (and a picture of one of the prettiest Poetry Friday cats in the realm) as well as her thoughts about crafting haiku – well worth the short read if you are a haikuist or an aspiring one.

Though no one would blame Amy if she were still up in the clouds after FOREST HAS A SONG just won the inaugural SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award.– (!!!) – she’s her usual down-to-earth-self over at The Poem Farm today, with an original poem, “Lesson From a Stone Bowl,” that just proves why her writing is so award-worthy, and how she embraces life as a poet.

Please join Violet (the perfect Spring name!), who is outside with her camera and stellar eye taking pictures and poetic inspiration for her “Spring Journal” she’s sharing with all of us.

Cathy’s been taking inspiration from nature this week, too, at Merely Day by Day. Join a cacophony of blackbirds with her lively original poem, “Bird Games.”

And now up to Maine, where Donna at Mainely Writeshares another delicious slice of life experience-put-to-poetry, “Book Club and a Mug”set against the dark mornings after the time change.

Little Willow’s in this week with “Babylon” by Robert Graves at Bildungsroman - a perfect companion to so many posts today about young poets, and young-at-heart poets inspired by Spring.

Jama doesn’t have a regular PF post today, but she’s putting forth the call to send in YOUR Poetry Month features for her April round-up! She and Mr. Cornelius do a great job keeping track of the many ambitious projects. If you have something special planned (one of these years, I keep saying to myself!) just send your addition to her website email address at Thanks, Jama and Mr. C.!

Over at Teaching Authors, the wonderful JoAnn is featuring an Avis Harley poem from African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways. (Isn’t that a great book title?) She’s also not alone, I’m sure, in her struggle with taking the perfect selfie,which she’s written about in a chuckle-worthy original poem.

At All About the Books with Janet Squires, Janet is serving up Georgia Heard’s anthology of found poems, THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK. (I’m personally partial to this collection, as it includes two poems by yours truly!)

{--We interrupt this Roundup for its host to hit the Road. I'll check back this evening for any afternoon link-leavers! Thanks.--}

Evening Update: I'm having computer AND network connection issues, and my attempts to update keep getting swallowed into a cyber-black-hole. My apologies! PLEASE scroll down to the end of the comments for a few more great poetry links - canine poetry & a challenge from Joy, a post from Karen, and, all the way from Guam, news from Sylvia V! Thanks, and have a great weekend, all!
THEN, check out the posts from Lisa and Fats at the end!


  1. March 17, 2016 9:18 PM EDT
    Hi Robyn! Thanks for hosting! At Random Noodling I have FREE COFFEE! (Coffee poetry, that is!) And Kurious Kitty has what was billed as a "spiritual" poem--spirited is more like it! I love the young poets you featured today, and especially what Hunter had to say, "I let the moment write itself." AWESOMENESS!
    - Diane Mayr
  2. March 17, 2016 9:28 PM EDT
    Thank you for hosting, and for posting the students' haiku, which are all the more precious (& instructive for me!) given the students' shared insights-comments. Each one of the honorable-mention haiku is amazing. (As one who sings in the shower, I especially loved the first one.) A special shout-out, too, to you and the student you inspired to connect spring break with writing nature haiku! God bless you, and thank you for facilitating early posting. Since it's still the 17th: Happy St. Patrick's Day!
    - cbhanek
  3. March 17, 2016 9:32 PM EDT
    This week's post responds to Michelle and Amy's DOM challenge:
    - cbhanek
  4. March 17, 2016 9:32 PM EDT
    Howdy Robyn! Thanks for hosting the roundup this week and for featuring these precocious student poets. I especially connected with Cole's whistling scarecrow and his thought about placing moments on the page for safekeeping.

    I've got cicadas at Today's Little Ditty— some fun facts and also an original poem titled "Love Song." It's in answer to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's DMC challenge.
    - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
  5. March 17, 2016 10:45 PM EDT
    Thanks for hosting, Robyn, and for sharing these haiku! I love how the nature ones put me right in a moment (I'm a bad shower singer!), and I like the question of the last one! I spent all day today writing biopoems with student poets, which I will share next week. This week, I'm congratulations Amy Ludwig VanDerwater on a great award, plus linking to a poetry project inspired by my Water Can Be... that's being featured on Penny Parker Klostermann's blog. So much poetry goodness!
    - Laura Purdie Salas
  6. March 17, 2016 10:48 PM EDT
    Love seeing students coming up with creative, poetic insights! Today I'm featuring a poetry form that has some similarities to haiku: the Naani!
    - Matt Forrest Esenwine
  7. March 17, 2016 10:59 PM EDT
    Thank you and the students for the lovely words that help me pause to see those images they've put on paper. It's wonderful that you've been able to visit your daughter and her class so much, while wedding planning happens. What a pleasure all around, Robyn! I have a response to spring, maybe winter too in an original poem today. Thanks for hosting during your very busy life!
    - Linda Baie
  8. March 17, 2016 11:56 PM EDT
    Robyn, as the hostess of Poetry Friday you prepared a wonderful feast of student haikus to get us thinking about the power of #stuvoice (student voice).Nothing only did I like the haikus but also enjoyed the comments by the young poets.
    - Carol Varsalona
  9. March 18, 2016 12:10 AM EDT
    I love how insightful your young poets are as well as their beautiful haiku. Creating and keeping are what draw me to writing, too. I'm contributing Puddle Heaven this week, as well as a couple other puddle-related excerpts. It's been raining a lot here, and puddles are on my mind. And in my socks. Good luck with your new laptop. Thanks for hosting! Here's the link:
    - Brenda at friendlyfairytales
  10. March 18, 2016 12:21 AM EDT
    A limerick for my library assistant. And a reminder about poetry postcards.
    - jone
  11. March 18, 2016 12:24 AM EDT
    May the luck of the Irish be upon each one of you. Read on Stories lives to be told. (I am still in the process of designing my upcoming gallery, Winter Wanderings. It is a slow process this time in the midst of many projects.
    - Carol Varsalona
  12. March 18, 2016 12:52 AM EDT
    Thank you for hosting today, Robyn! I'm sharing an ekphrastic poem I wrote response to Tricia's Monday Poetry Stretch earlier this week. I love all the students' haikus, and Cole's thoughts about putting his memories on the page for "safekeeping." Smart kid!
    - Catherine @ Reading to the Core
  13. March 18, 2016 3:14 AM EDT
    Thanks for hosting in the middle of your poetic, bridal romps! Love those clever, charming haiku you're sharing :-)
    Those poets really know how to make a moment come alive.
    I've got poems by Kathryn Stripling Byer from Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia :
    - Tabatha
  14. March 18, 2016 5:34 AM EDT
    Thanks for hosting, Robyn - I love those student haikus. Really lovely. Over at The Drift Record, I've posted a poem by the Polish poet Wislawa Symborska and a challenge for all of us to write a similar list poem. Here's the link for that:
    I also have a new post over at Books Around the Table, about phrenology and bumps in the night. Link is Here's wishing everyone a Happy 1st Day of Spring on Sunday!!
    - Julie Larios
  15. March 18, 2016 6:13 AM EDT
    Thanks for hosting! I'll come back to read the haiku, I promise!

    Today I'm announcing my Poetry Month Project "Bygones" with an original poem.
    - Mary Lee Hahn
  16. March 18, 2016 6:24 AM EDT
    Thanks so much for hosting, Robyn. The students did an amazing job with their haiku. I love it when you share work form young poets. Have safe travels.

    Today on A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt I have a not-to-miss treat. Usually I just have two guest collaborators but today is different. Ken Slesarik did a poetry project with a group of 1st graders from his after school poetry club. The results are delightful. Please come on over and enjoy poetry and art by these young students.
    - Penny Parker Klostermann
  17. March 18, 2016 6:27 AM EDT
    Thanks for hosting, Robyn. Wonderful haiku work by the students. Love the off key voice bouncing off the tiles. I'm in today with a poem and thoughts on poetry for children from Abigail Carroll, an adult poet who's stepping into the children's poetry world.
    - Doraine Bennett
  18. March 18, 2016 6:50 AM EDT
    Thanks for hosting. The students' quotes are as inspired as their haiku. I wrote a poem inspired by an emailed quote from Laura Shovan and a photo on Tabatha Yeatts' blog.
    - Margaret Simon
  19. March 18, 2016 6:53 AM EDT
    Oh boy oh girl--I love when there are student poems to come back and savor!

    Today I have an invitation to all to participate in my April Project (and to eat ketchup!), as well as some inspiration.
    Thanks for hosting!
    - Heidi Mordhorst
  20. March 18, 2016 7:02 AM EDT
    I have a Wendell Berry poem today here: Berry is a welcome touch of sanity!
    - Ruth,
  21. March 18, 2016 7:25 AM EDT
    Thank you, Robyn, for Roundup and for these lovely student haiku and for being you. I've got a look and giveaway of POET by Don Tate. xo
    - Irene Latham
  22. March 18, 2016 7:54 AM EDT
    Thanks for hosting, Robyn. Love the student haiku and their inspiring words about this form. I'm sharing 42 Miles by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer and highlighting three favorite poems from the book.
    - Ramona
  23. March 18, 2016 8:01 AM EDT
    Thanks for sharing these talented poets with us this Poetry Friday, Robyn. I'm sharing a poem about young poets today:
    - Tara
  24. March 18, 2016 8:06 AM EDT
    Thanks so much for hosting today. I loved the haikus and especially enjoyed the young poets' comments underneath. Inspiring! I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge and wrote this poem about my nightly struggle between work and time to read.
    - Molly Hogan
  25. March 18, 2016 8:18 AM EDT
    Hi Robyn, thanks for hosting and for sharing these wondering student haiku. I wish I could take a class from Tom Painting. I am sharing a couple of haiku this morning too--about the comings and goings of spring.
    - Liz
  26. March 18, 2016 8:40 AM EDT
    I always hope that a poem will give a little twinkle, a little message from the beyond somehow...and these students' poems do. Thank you to you and to them for sharing them with all of us! Today at The Poem Farm, I have a nature poem too, about an old stone bowl that lives in my garden - Thank you for hosting! xo
    - Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
  27. March 18, 2016 9:20 AM EDT
    Hi Robyn, thanks for hosting and for sharing these beautiful haiku and the wisdom of kids. (The poets' comments are almost as insightful as the poetry--poems in their own right.)

    I've taken your little third grader's advice and written some nature poetry for spring. Spring Journal is here:
    - Violet N
  28. March 18, 2016 9:39 AM EDT
    Hi Robyn,
    Thanks for hosting. Oh, I did love reading those haikus and the advice of the young poets. They each shared the significance of a moment in poetry. Just lovely.

    Today I'm joining the conversation with an original poem,

    Bird Games:

    This poem was inspired by a moment as well. It was early evening, and I was out back watching the birds move from tree to tree. There were so many blackbirds perched in the treetops that the air was anything but quiet. I laughed as I watched them. They seemed to be playing some kind of game where two would land on a tree, and then two would leave that tree...they'd fly to another tree and then two would leave that tree.

    As your young writers said, poems are inspired by moments.
    - Cathy
  29. March 18, 2016 10:14 AM EDT
    Your young poets even write their reasoning in poetry! Thanks for introducing them.
    My poem is a slice from early morning yesterday.
    - Donna Smith
  30. March 18, 2016 10:26 AM EDT
    Good morning, poets and readers!

    I have Babylon by Robert Graves
    at my blog, Bildungsroman:
    - Little Willow
  31. March 18, 2016 10:54 AM EDT
    Thanks for sharing. Guess what? We're still trying to get caught up from being at the SCBWI conference. My husband thought he saw a golden at our new neighbor's house.
    - Patricia Cruzan
  32. March 18, 2016 11:18 AM EDT
    Loved reading these student haiku! Their personal thoughts were wonderful too. Especially liked removing a moment from memory and placing it on a page for safekeeping. :)

    I don't have a regular post for today, but did want to mention that I'm doing a Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Roundup again this year, and would appreciate details about any Poetry Month projects (I have Mary Lee's, Tricia's, Jone's and Heidi's so far). Please send info ℅ of my website email address.

    Thanks for hosting this week, Robyn! Happy Spring!!
    - jama
  33. March 18, 2016 11:21 AM EDT
    That should be "please send info to my website email address." I think Cornelius typed those extra characters when I wasn't looking. . .
    - jama
  34. March 18, 2016 11:32 AM EDT
    I love the images in the haiku you shared. Good luck with your new laptop! On the Teaching Authors blog, I've posted an acrostic poem by Avis Harley and and original poem of my own about trying to take selfies.
    - JoAnn Early Macken
  35. March 18, 2016 11:33 AM EDT
    Whoops! Here's the link:
    - JoAnn Early Macken
  36. March 18, 2016 11:43 AM EDT
    Hi, Patricia - thanks for coming by! So glad you got to attend Springmingle; I hated to miss it this year. Hope you see lots of wonderful fauna and flora this spring!
    - Robyn Black
  37. March 18, 2016 12:18 PM EDT
    Thanks for hosting.
    My selection is "The Arrow Finds Its Mark: a book of found poems" edited by Georgia heard and illustrated by Antoine Guilloppe.
    - Janet Squires
  38. March 18, 2016 12:53 PM EDT
    Happy Road Ramble Robyn & Family.
    The student poems are so perfect - all.
    I love this roundup!

    My Bookseedstudio takes an trip across The Pond
    when I share from irish poet Michael Longly.
    The title is, "Emily Dickinson."
    - Bookseedstudio/Jan Annino
  39. March 18, 2016 3:07 PM EDT
    Hey Robyn,
    It is 9:00 AM on The Garden Island and I have a poem up titled MY DOG. He's having a party. There is also a poetry challenge. It's all at:
    - Joy Acey
  40. March 18, 2016 4:37 PM EDT
    Thanks for hosting and for sharing the wonderful haiku! Bravo to the kids! My link is here.
    - Karen Edmisten
  41. March 18, 2016 6:00 PM EDT
    Hi, Robyn, my post this week is all about my time sharing poetry with kids in Guam!
    - Sylvia Vardell
  42. March 18, 2016 11:09 PM EDT
    I'm late to this poetry party but glad I found out about it. Thanks to Ramona for letting me in on the fun. Today my Slice of Life Challenge post is a haiku.
    What synchronicity!
    - Lisa Rizzo
  43. March 19, 2016 10:47 AM EDT
    Thank you for sharing some student haiku this week, Robyn. They're all so talented and great with words! I have a poem by Joyce Sidman over at
    - Fats Suela @ GatheringBooks
  44. March 19, 2016 10:48 AM EDT
    Oops! Here's the link, Robyn:
    - Fats Suela @ GatheringBooks

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