Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet, artist

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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
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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday: Student Haiku Poet of the Month Marisa Schwartz

March 20, 2014

Tags: Poetry Friday, Student Poet of the Month, haiku, student poets, student work, HSA, conferences

Marisa Schwartz

Happy Spring! If Spring did not arrive with the calendar this week where you are, I send you coastal sunshine (& pollen!) and wishes for warmth soon. What better way to welcome a new season than with haiku?

This Poetry Friday finds me traveling to Atlanta for the quarterly Haiku Society of America national conference/meeting, where some of Tom Painting’s haiku students will again share their thoughts and poems. I hope you are enjoying our blog series featuring a Student Haiku Poet of the Month as much as I’m enjoying sharing these talented and generous young people.

Ringing in Spring today is Marisa Schwartz. Marisa was raised in Decatur, Georgia (but is a New Yorker at heart) and has attended The Paideia School since third grade. She has always enjoyed writing ever since she could hold a pencil and started writing haiku in seventh grade, when creative writing teacher Tom Painting introduced it to the class. Marisa is also an accomplished piano player and plays the flute for her high school. She loves to play ultimate Frisbee and is a voracious reader. She lives with her parents, sister, and beloved cats.

(The kinship with kitties is enough for many of us, right?)

About haiku, Marisa says:

I love how haiku can capture such small and sometimes seemingly insignificant moments in life. Such small poems - only three lines - can have such a huge impact and I love how beautifully imagery can be conveyed in this way.

Here is a selection of Marisa’s poetry:

funeral home
a potted plant
in the window

lying in bed
I daydream

autumn night
a swing
in the wind

a dusty Steinway
the pedals
still warm

playing soccer
with a ping-pong ball
the kitten

lovers’ lane
on cell phones

9/11 memorial
running my fingers
over his name

All poems ©Marisa Schwartz. All rights reserved.

Many thanks to Marisa for sharing her fine work! Several poems to admire here – I was particularly taken by those warm Steinway pedals myself. What speaks to you?

In cased you’ve missed any of our previous Student Poets, here are the links: Emma Jones (Dec.), Stuart Duffield (Jan.) , and Abby Shannon (Feb.).

Thanks as well to the also talented and generous Julie at The Drift Record for hosting our Poetry Friday Roundup today! Lots of great poetry awaits there, perfect for spring or any season!


  1. March 21, 2014 10:50 AM EDT
    Another winner, today! The 9/11 poem is stunning.

    And, as you said, who doesn't like cats?
    - Diane Mayr
  2. March 21, 2014 11:00 AM EDT
    I've enjoyed each student's poems you've invited in, Robyn. I always loved what my students wrote, & wonder that so many don't realize the beauty that can be in their words. Marisa, I am challenged by haiku, so study yours, the few words making lovely pictures. I like them all, but the first, that potted plant is truth. Thanks both of you!
    - Linda Baie
  3. March 21, 2014 11:32 AM EDT
    Diane, thanks for coming over! The genre's future is in great hands. I agree about that 9/11 poem - such variety among these examples, no?

    Hi, Linda - Many thanks. I know you appreciate these as a teacher and a poet (& so many lucky students you've touched!)
    - Robyn Black
  4. March 21, 2014 12:28 PM EDT
    So nice, Robyn. Talented students!
    - Doraine Bennett
  5. March 21, 2014 1:40 PM EDT
    The poem about the funeral home reminds me of how fragile life can be. A friend's daughter died this week. She was only about forty-eight years old. At the funeral, my old minister of music sang. God blessed him with an outstanding voice. He sang the Lord's prayer. It was beautiful. I like the poem about the piano, since I took piano lessons for a short time.
    - Patricia Cruzan
  6. March 21, 2014 7:17 PM EDT
    Thanks for sharing Marisa's talents with us today, Robyn. That 9/11 poem took my breath away.
    - Tara
  7. March 21, 2014 8:29 PM EDT
    So nice to meet Marisa and read her lovely haiku. Like those warm piano pedals too, and the lovers lane one made me smile. :)
    - jama
  8. March 21, 2014 9:39 PM EDT
    Thanks for sharing these Robyn. They are wonderful. I especially like the ones about the funeral home, the daydreaming at midnight, and 9/11. The one about the funeral home really feels rich to me--life goes on but perhaps only noticed from time to time? Have a wonderful trip to Atlanta.
    - Liz
  9. March 21, 2014 9:44 PM EDT
    Hi there Robyn, this is such an awaesome thing, sharing so many talented poets' works with us. Glad to know of Marisa through you. I was particularly taken by the midnight daydream one. Lovely.
    - Myra @ GatheringBooks
  10. March 22, 2014 8:01 AM EDT
    Many thanks, all, for your kind comments and your feedback for Marisa. Off to the conference this morning!
    - Robyn Black
  11. March 22, 2014 8:42 AM EDT
    Thanks for sharing exemplary student work with us! Inspiring!!
    - Mary Lee Hahn
  12. March 22, 2014 2:11 PM EDT
    What a great smile Marisa has! Two of my kids were born in Decatur, GA -- we enjoyed our time living there. The Steinway and the kitten particularly resonated with me.
    - Tabatha
  13. March 24, 2014 11:50 AM EDT
    Thanks again, all! Marisa was one of the students reading at our conference this weekend, and it was a real treat to hear her share a couple of these and some new poems as well.
    - Robyn Black
  14. March 24, 2014 8:44 PM EDT
    Really enjoyed these, exp. the ones about the piano and lovers' lane - Marisa's got a great writing life ahead of her!
    - Matt Forrest Esenwine
  15. March 25, 2014 8:26 AM EDT
    These young poets you highlight may be students, but I would have to say that they're teachers as well. I learn from each one of them. The poems that spoke to me today were "funeral home" and "lovers lane." Happy haiku days to you, Robyn!
    - Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

Quick Clicks

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.
Author visits
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!