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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Irene, Emily D., and a Bee… and Book Winner!

November 2, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, Irene Latham, Emily Dickinson, nature, giveaway, Poems Are Teachers



Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy November!

The end of October always brings a special week my way – and, most years, the most mentally and physically demanding week, but always wonderful. For several years I've had the good fortune to participate in Cobb EMC/Gas South Literacy Week in a couple of counties just north of Atlanta. These energy companies which fuel homes and bring light to read by brighten the lives of school children through sponsoring author visits, with a dozen or so visiting and local authors fanning out into dozens of schools. This year, I believe the tally was something like 44 schools and 24,000 kids! (I saw close to a tenth of those in my visits.)

I try to keep my presentations lively and interactive and multi-genre-friendly, and I always infuse them with poetry (my own and poems by others). This year I was happy to take along the hot-off-the-press POEMS ARE TEACHERS by our own Amy Ludwig VanDerwater (yep – our giveaway winner is announced at the end of today’s post! Click here for my celebratory post of two weeks ago. )

I remember a radio commercial from when I was growing up in Orlando, with a couple of country-fied male characters arguing at a car dealership. The gist and the hook was, “You can’t put two tons of fertilizer in a one-ton truck!” [I can still “hear” that phrase!] Of course, with school visits and life in general, that never stops me from trying.

I didn’t have time to share everything I’d brought with every group, but a couple of times I was able to share Irene Latham’s beautiful poem from POEMS ARE TEACHERS. (She recently shared it with an image of the Van Gogh painting that inspired it here .)


A Dream of Wheat

After Green Wheat Fields, Auvers
by Vincent Van Gogh



From a plain
packet of seeds

comes sun –
sweetened stalks

seasoned by wind
and rain –

birds diving
mice hiding

grasshoppers singing
mice weaving

in a sea of wheat
that will someday

become bread
to eat.



©Irene Latham. All rights reserved. Posted and shared with permission.


I paired Irene’s poem with this favorite from Emily Dickinson (1830-1886):


To make a prairie (1755)


To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.


Complete Poems. 1924.


I hope the kids enjoyed exploring how imagination can populate a field, or conjure up a whole prairie. And perhaps they learned a new word, if they didn’t know it already – “revery.” (Reverie – such a lovely word and state of mind!) Many thanks to Irene for sharing her poem today, and to Emily, and to bees.

In this season of harvest, I hope your own fields are golden with poems.

Now, drumroll please –

The randomly drawn winner of POEMS ARE TEACHERS, kindly offered by Heinemann, is…..

KIESHA SHEPARD! (Kiesha, email me your snail-mail address to robyn@robynhoodblack.com, and I’ll get it into the right hands at the publisher.) :0)
Enjoy!

For a whole bounty of poetic inspirations, visit Teacher Dance where our lovely and thoughtful Linda B. has the Roundup this week.

Comments

  1. November 3, 2017 12:13 AM EDT
    Wow! I'm sure it was a busy, but rewarding week, Robyn. Having Amy's book to use so quickly must have been great, too. I love Emily's poem, and Irene's poem is new to me, and just perfect, as are wheat fields! Have a wonderful weekend!
    - Linda Baie
  2. November 3, 2017 5:55 AM EDT
    Sounds like a fun but exhausting week. I love you rpairing of poems here - perfect!
    - Sally Murphy
  3. November 3, 2017 8:08 AM EDT
    You. Are. Amazing. Thanks for your joie-de-poetry! Amy's book is a gift, as are you, my dear. I'm honored you shared "A Dream of Wheat," and with an Emily poem, no less. What lucky kids! xo
    - Irene Latham
  4. November 3, 2017 8:47 AM EDT
    Hi, Linda - the timing of Amy's book in the world worked out perfectly for ME - ;0) - and so glad you got to enjoy Irene's lovely poem from it. Many thanks for hosting us all today! Hope your weekend is wonderful too.

    Thanks for coming by, Sally - fun and exhausting are exactly the right descriptors. And I just love these two poems together, too.

    Irene, thank YOU for sharing! Lucky kids who got a serving of your writing... I shared your found poem from our Bellingham workshop last year, too! :0) I love "joie-de-poetry" - that is something you embody, and Amy, too. XO
    - Robyn Black
  5. November 3, 2017 11:03 AM EDT
    Can't wait to have this book in my hands, Robyn!
    - Tara
  6. November 3, 2017 2:35 PM EDT
    You're going to love it, Tara. :0) Thanks for coming by.
    - Robyn Black
  7. November 3, 2017 3:31 PM EDT
    I love the pairing. I can't wait to get the book as well.
    - Jone MacCulloch
  8. November 3, 2017 5:11 PM EDT
    Lovely pairing! Thanks for the dose of beauty today!!
    - jama
  9. November 3, 2017 6:49 PM EDT
    You survived! Better than that, actually. It's sounds like you thrived, Robyn... with kids and creativity, beautiful words and eager listeners. Irene's poem is wonderful, as is Emily D's.
    - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
  10. November 3, 2017 7:07 PM EDT
    What a busy week. I'm sure it was rewarding in so many ways! Thanks for sharing the poem pairing...perfect!
    I'm looking forward to reading Amy's book!
    - Penny Parker Klostermann
  11. November 3, 2017 8:03 PM EDT
    I had to stop a while to consider two tons of fertilizer in a one ton truck... that's quite a picture!

    Sounds like a wonderful, crazy week! I'm sure the kids enjoyed your bee-guiling presentation :-)
    - Tabatha
  12. November 3, 2017 10:34 PM EDT
    Hi, Jone - you will come up with a hundred creative ways to use Amy's book, I'm sure!

    Thanks for popping in, Jama - we need all the beauty we can savor these days.

    Michelle, it was a blast - but probably good it's just an annual gig. ;0) Glad you enjoyed these two fine poems by two fine poets.

    Hi, Penny! It was both - :0) And glad you enjoyed romping through field and prairie over here today. You'll love the book!

    Tabatha - ha! Bee-guiling. ;0) Glad to fill your mind with a couple of intriguing images. Well, maybe not so much the fertilizer, but... it's kind of fun in its own way.
    - Robyn Black
  13. November 4, 2017 1:22 AM EDT
    I still remember when authors came to visit my schools - it was so exciting to realize that authors were people too, and if they could do it, maybe one day I could too!
    - Jane @ Raincity Librarian
  14. November 4, 2017 7:10 AM EDT
    I loveloveLOVE that energy companies fuel the power of reading and writing in the schools! Your presentations were favorites, I'm sure!
    - Mary Lee
  15. November 4, 2017 8:17 AM EDT
    What a lovely pairing of poems! How lucky those students were to have you as an Ambassador of Poetry and how wonderful that this is a yearly program. I also love the fertilizer quote--you can bet I'll be using that one at school this coming week!
    - Molly Hogan
  16. November 4, 2017 8:32 AM EDT
    Sounds fun and exciting and exhausting! What a beautiful poem by Irene.
    - Liz
  17. November 4, 2017 11:24 AM EDT
    That's a lot of kids and schools and poetry and writing. I hope it was as rewarding as it must have been tiring. Those two poems by Irene and Emily are wonderful--and even better together.
    - Kay Jernigan McGriff
  18. November 4, 2017 6:07 PM EDT
    I would love to sit in on one of your presentations, Robyn!
    - Violet N.
  19. November 4, 2017 9:46 PM EDT
    Hi, Jane - it's such a privilege to be able to connect with kids in that way. How wonderful that you remember author visits so fondly, and they helped fuel your passions!

    Mary Lee - it's an extraordinary community program that started small (with the amazing Brian Lies, who still comes) and grew and grew to what it is now. Thanks for the kind words! :0)

    Hi, Molly - thanks all around, and I'm tickled you will be passing along that fertilizer quote - ha!

    It was all of those, Liz, thanks - and I've really enjoyed reading Irene's poem many times, with that field revealing more life each time.

    Hi, Kay - it's always a crazy week! But such fun. Glad you liked those two lovely poems sharing some space together.

    Aw, thanks, Violet. I hope the kids enjoy it as much as I do. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  20. November 5, 2017 4:05 PM EST
    Two wonderful prairie roses. I love a good revery, too. Getting so rare now with our smartphone leashes. But all the more precious. As are prairies, now that I reflect on it.
    - Brenda
  21. November 5, 2017 6:23 PM EST
    "smartphone leashes..." - THAT is an apt description, Brenda. Thanks for bringing your wit and wisdom by today; your words are precious too.
    - Robyn Black
  22. November 5, 2017 7:57 PM EST
    What a cool program for the power company to do! I am so glad they selected you to bring some poetry-light to those students!
    - Keri Collins Lewis
  23. November 5, 2017 8:19 PM EST
    Irene's poem is lovely! I like its simplicity. And Emily's is a favorite! Glad you survived your whirlwind tour. We had whirling winds, but they weren't much fun (except for the day off due to no power).
    - Diane Mayr
  24. November 5, 2017 8:27 PM EST
    Ah, reverie...so important to our lives as well as those of the bees'! Loved both of these!
    - Matt Forrest Esenwine
  25. November 5, 2017 9:36 PM EST
    Hi, Keri - I'm humbled and honored to get to participate. Tired, but thrilled! :0)

    Diane, that beautiful simplicity takes a lot of skill, doesn't it? And I hope the weather your way is settling down a bit. Stay cozy!

    Hey, Matt - yes, those bees need reverie too! Glad you enjoyed this pollinated poetic offering this week.
    - Robyn Black

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