SCROLL DOWN FOR POETRY FRIDAY ROUNDUP SCHEDULE
Hannah enjoying poetry workshop
(Scroll down this column for tags, archives and blogroll....)
POETRY FRIDAY ROUNDUP SCHEDULE
I will get all these linked ASAP, but in the meantime, here's the schedule:
Radio, Rhythm & Rhyne
January 4, 2013
No Water River
January 11, 2013
Violet Nesdoly / poems
January 18, 2013
The Opposite of Indifference
January 25, 2013
February 1, 2013
A Teaching Life
February 8, 2013
February 15, 2013
February 22, 2013
The Drift Record
March 1, 2013
My Juicy Little Universe
March 8, 2013
Jone at Check it Out
March 15, 2013
A Year of Reading
March 29, 2013
Read, Write, Howl
April 5, 2013
April 12, 2013
Live Your Poem...
April 19, 2013
Writing the World for Kids
April 26, 2013
May 10, 2013
JamaĀfs Alphabet Soup
May 24, 2013
Teaching Young Writers
May 31, 2013
The Opposite of Indifference
June 7, 2013
Reflections on the Teche
June 14, 2013
June 21, 2013
The Poem Farm
June 28, 2013
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
© Robyn Hood Black
five hungry mouths mid-may
© Robyn Hood Black
five fat feathery babies may 25
© Robyn Hood Black
Fresh from the nest! May 27, 2009
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 2005-2013 ©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.
April 8, 2013
Eileen and Robyn at Highlights Founders Workshop in May 2012; Office Kitty May enjoying NORA'S ARK.
Greetings from Mississippi, where Iím heading home today after the wonderful Fay B. Kaigler Childrenís Book Festival
at The University of Southern Mississippi. April and Irene and I had a blast sharing the Poetry Friday Anthology and the Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School
(Sylia Vardell and Janet Wong, eds.) with workshop attendees! [Details in my post last week, which was to my utter shock gobbled up somehow in cyberspace, with all the dozens of links folks had left and Iíd rounded up - 60-plus comments. Sigh. I reposted my text part here
, with our PFA poems.]
I love connecting with other childrenís poets, writers and readers. Almost a year ago I had the good fortune to attend my second poetry workshop up at Highlights
(post about that here
Guess whose small group I was in? Eileen Spinelliís. Yes, that Eileen Spinelli
, whose work Iíve admired for many years.
Eileen has poems in these Poetry Friday Anthologies as well. I asked her if I could share her PFA poem from Fourth Grade, Week 29 Ė ďPoetry PoemsĒ Ė because to me itís just perfect for National Poetry Month. She kindly agreed.
Today Iím going to pay attention.
To the broken blueness of sky.
To the high weeds in the vacant lot.
To the rusted pot in the alleyway.
Today Iím going to leap across puddles
and steep in green
and all the wild colors in between.
Iím going to listen to
what the birds are singing about,
and to the happy shouts of toddlers on swings.
Today Iím going to gather all my heart can hold
of lemony light and yawning cats
and the bright blur of traffic on the bridge.
Today Iím going to pay attention.
Today Iím going to find myself a poem.
©Eileen Spinelli. All rights reserved.
This poem is particularly delicious when read aloud!
Speaking of Eileen, who is an amazingly generous and prolific writer (of more than 40 books and counting), Iíd like to offer a shout-out here for her brand-new picture book, NORAíS ARK
(illustrated by Nora Hilb, Zonderkids, 2013).
The ark is just what youíd think, except in Noraís case the ďpassenger list includes two backyard spiders, a pair of battery-operated monkeys, and a couple of unimpressed cats.Ē And Nora does everything just like NoahÖ well, not just
praised ďthe respectful exploration of the power of a childís imagination.Ē
I absolutely love this book and its ending Ė perfect for sharing with a child on a rainy day, or any day!
Now, are you ready for some more Eileen Spinelli poetry? Check out ďApril Foolery,Ē
the poem of the month at her website.
For links to more great poetry all over the Kidlitosphere, please visit the terrifically talented, kitty-loving Diane at Random Noodling
for todayís Round Up. Unless you are a cyberspace gremlin.
December 6, 2012
Image ©Hyewon Yum; text ©Carus Publishing.
Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy Holidays!
Iíll be rounding up throughout the day, so come on in and have a cup of hot chocolate or tea and enjoy all the great poetry posted today. Please leave your link and a short description in the comments.
Today, Iím celebrating that one of my poems appears in the current issue of LADYBUG
. Several years ago, when we lived on a small farm, I encountered a beautiful fox where our yard met our woods. Weather-wise, it was probably much like today Ė chilly, with one season was making way for the next. I remember the fox and myself suspended in a moment of stillness just looking at each other Ė a fleeting moment that was gone as quickly as it came.
I wrote this poem from that experience and was delighted when it was accepted for publication at Carus. It was originally accepted by SPIDER, but they ended up not publishing it, and in the meantime the LADYBUG editor had expressed interest. Suffice it to say that after a few years of waiting, Iím thrilled it has found a home in the Nov./Dec. 2012 issue.
Even more thrilled that it is so beautifully illustrated by the talented Hyewon Yum
, who kindly shared the original art above with us today. It's a linoleum cut print - isn't it perfect? Yum is an acclaimed author/illustrator of many books including: MOM, ITíS MY FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN (2012), THE TWINSí BLANKET (2011), THERE ARE NO SCARY WOLVES (2010), and LAST NIGHT (2008) all from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. More books are soon to hit the shelves, which she either illustrated or wrote and illustrated.
Many thanks to Hyewon for sharing her artwork, and to The LADYBUG/Carus folks for granting permission to post my poem for you today. Here it is:
by Robyn Hood Black
At the edge of winter,
at the edge of the wood,
at the edge of the brush,
a gray fox stood.
I took a small step,
I took a breath in Ė
then nothing was there
where the gray fox had been.
© 2012 by Carus Publishing
for a link to the LADYBUG Teacherís Guide. (It says October, but scroll halfway down and youíll come to a couple of suggestions/questions re. ďGray Fox.Ē)
Thanks so much for coming by today, and hereís to appreciating moments and poems! (Remember to leave your link with your comments if you want to be rounded up.)
Oh Ė and if youíre a fiction writer, you might enjoy my column from yesterday over at Janice Hardyís blog, The Other Side of the Story
, in which I talk about writing mask poems as a way to get inside your characterís head. (Thanks to the lovely Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
for loaning a poem for the post!) In 2013, my column at Janice's will move from the first Thursday of each month to the first Wednesday of each month (except Feb.).
HERE'S THE ROUND-UP
Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff
has delightful feline fare today: JRR Tolkien's "Cat."
At Gathering Books
, this month's water tales theme continues with Mary Oliver's "Blackwater Pond," presented by the lovely Myra in a visual setting befitting the words.
is here today with "The Christmas Box" (from his CHRISTMAS IS COMING!) with a homemade gift idea that would thrill any parent.
has a fun and yummy original ABC poem called "Appetite Affair." If you haven't yet had breakfast, this will make your stomach rumble....
At Poetry for Kids Joy
, Joy brings us her original poem, "The Elf." I like that this elf is female! :0)
Jama at Alphabet Soup
serves up another stunning haibun by Penny Harter, the title work from ONE BOWL.
After reading Jeff's cat post above, you must head over to Carol's Corner
, where Carol is featuring Rose Fyleman's classic "Mice" with Lois Ehlert's magnificent collage illustration.
Tara at A Teaching Life
has Mark Strand's moving "Lines for Winter" (and a gorgeous photograph to go with it).
At Teacher Dance
, Linda shares an original poem about a weather phenomenon she noticed while at school - I won't spoil the fun, but I'm happy to say she was quick with her camera as well as her pen!
Matt Goodfellow at Poems and things! is in with a triple play of original poems today: "Yew Tree"
, "Different Eyes"
and "Ghost Bike."
(Off to make coffee - back in a short bit....)
Wondering how to start writing your next poem or creating your next piece of art? Susan Taylor Brown
has a wonderful poem by David Whyte today, "Start Close In" - food for the creative soul!
At The Poem Farm
, Amy offers an original poem from her SPARK 18 project to accompany Amy Souza's gorgeous collage. (If you had a grandmother like mine, "Quilt Map" will fill your heart.)
for some touching low-tech communication celebrated in two delightful poems: "Father's Story" by Elizabeth Madox Roberts and "The Telephone" by Robert Frost.
Visit Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
for a new take on "Squandering" - an original poem inspired by a kindergarten teacher's comment during a challenging day.
Speaking of the classroom, over at A Year of Reading
, Mary Lee has a simple and powerful original poem about teaching.
Take a moment to s-l-o-w down with a very clever original poem, "The Snail's Lament," penned by Liz at Growing Wild
. She also offers a discussion of how she revised this poem - great to share with students (or others!) expecting to write a perfect draft the first time.
Laura, our resident Author Amok
, shares the history of the haunting Coventry Carol, including a video of the Westminster Choir singing it. This thoughtful post literally gave me chills. (As Laura kindly points out, if you've recently suffered miscarriage or the loss of an infant, you might want to skip for now and come back at a later date.)
Our other Laura
is in with a poem from David Harrison's newest book, COWBOYS. She's sharing "Stampede." (Does anyone else think she might be partial to that title?) ;0)
Also, Laura's got quite the lively party going on at 15 Words or Less Poems
. Check out today's larger-than-life picture prompt and join the fun.
Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
shares the most wonderful poems in a "Preposition Parade" today - her own poem and then several samples from students. (The kids came up with 50 prepositions as part of this exercise - can you??)
Another terrific teacher in our pack of poets, Betsy, takes a look back at warmer days with an original poem, "Summer Dandilion," over at Teaching Young Writers.
At Charlotte's Library
, Charlotte shares her son's first sestina. (Note: Link is working now.)
Steve is in today with a "thoughtful-wondering poem about chance events and parents getting older" at Inside the Dog
. This is one of the sharpest poems I've read today - exemplifying this repeating theme of observing a moment. (Beautifully wrought, it has great prepositions we've been discussing, too!)
At Random Noodling,
Diane offers up a few humorous poems from a 1937 anthology. Kurious Kitty
has a gorgeous poem by Rumi accompanied by a perfect photo , and, Kurious K's Kwotes
' Poetry Friday quote is by Rumi, too.
At There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town
, Ruth ponders the winners of the Academy of American Poets "best poems of the year" and shares a fun poetic look at love poems from Rafael Campo.
David's in with celebratory voyage of poetic nonsense (very cleverly crafted) at fomagrams
. Happy Birthday, David! (I would like to note that my birthday is coming up next month and I am younger than David, though not by much, but I'm younger.) ;0)
Speaking of birthdays, Karen
is celebrating Willa Cather's birthday today with the poem, "L'Envoi," which Cather wrote for Fr. Scott.
Lovely Sylvia has two offerings today: a list of more than a dozen books featuring poetry for Hanukkah (which begins this weekend) at Poetry for Children
, and Constance Levy's fun "penny" poem with accompanying activites at The Poetry Friday Anthology
At Paper Tigers
, Marjorie offers a look at anonymous seventeenth-century English nonsense/puzzle poem, "I Saw a Peacock With A Fiery Tail," and a lovely discussion about Gond artist Ramsingh Urveti's stunning illustrations of it in a recent version published by Tara Books. Warning: I read this post and immediately ordered the book online. Yes, I did.
JoAnn Early Macken is here! She's a guest today at Teaching Authors
with a student poem from WRITE A POEM STEP BY STEP, her new book which shares tips for teaching poetry gleaned from years of experience. AND, she's giving a copy away... so go sign up like I just did.
Little Willow at Bildungsroman
has a gorgeous poem by Siegfried Sassoon, "Butterflies."
At The Small Nouns
, Ben is also featuring Willa Cather's "L'Envoi" poem, and a discussion about careful planning versus shooting from the hip. Which way do you approach a task?
has a glowing review of J. Patrick Lewis's new anthology, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S BOOK OF ANIMAL POETRY, with a taste of Robert Frost for you to sample. She dares you to click the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon and not end up buying this book. (I dare you, too.)
Lunch break! Afternoon posters, add your links in your comments and I'll circle back around.
Break out the footy pajamas! Bridget has an original poem paying homage to the ultimate winter comfort wear at wee words for wee ones
Remember all the madness this past March at Think, Kid, Think? Well, Ed has just unveiled "The Thinkier"
, a celebration in bronze to commemorate each year's poetic champion.
is getting us in the holiday spirit with a poem celebrating Christmas trees from his winter collection of poetry, AND he has a lovely give-away offer. Of what? You'll have to click over to find out.
Any bugs knocking on your door for winter housing? Check out Jone's look at two bug poetry books at Check It Out
for some fun with lots of legs, and some great classroom tie-ins to boot.
A hearty welcome to children's author Dia Calhoun
, who ventures into Poetry Friday for the first time with a lovely original poem, "A Room With No View."
And in the Fashionably-Late-to-the-Party-and-Always-Welcome-Dept., we have:
The Write Sisters
with (one of my personal favorites!) a wild Carl Sandburg poem, and an equally cool photo.
Donna at Mainely Write
has been finding inspiration in lost gloves this week. Click the blog link for today's succinct and clever offering, and, if you want more, that poem's pink predecessor
was posted on Tuesday. ("They have jobs to do while they wait," says Donna.)
Here's some more humor to transition into the weekend: Janet at All About the Books
offers a taste of Douglas Florian's LAUGH-ETERIA. (You can't even get through this plug without smiling, can you?)
If, like Irene, you are searching for the perfect breakfast casserole recipe for this weekend, try this poetic little treasure
she found in the back of a cookbook. Wishing you heaping servings.
An evening surprise:
Carlie at Twinkling Along
shares a lovely cinquain about cherry blossoms in December. Yes, cherry blossoms!
At On Point
, Lorie Ann has an original haiku this week - and you must see the accompanying photograph!
August 26, 2012
Joy Acey had some fun with the new Poetry Friday Anthology, and with my poem, "Snack Rules." Click here
to see what resulted when she mis-read the title, then followed that wondering and pondering into a new poem of her own. (And you might check out her follow-up post exploring rhythm.)
Joy has two fun poems in the anthology as well. I've had the privilege of meeting Joy at the two Higlights Founders Worskhops in poetry I've attended. She's an enthusiastic voice for children's poetry!
August 24, 2012
Lucky at Christmas, patiently donning a wreath for the camera
The summer before our youngest, Seth, entered first grade, we rescued a five-week-old hound/shepherd mix. This Wednesday, Seth began his senior year of high school, and it was Lucky's last day with us.
The vet said he had lived up to his name, especially this past year, as he had dodged a myriad of health problems. He went blind in the spring, but, like most trusting, devoted dogs - he took it in stride as long as he could be near us.
I think he wanted to spend one last summer with the kids. Morgan moved back up to college last weekend and posted a beautiful tribute to Lucky on her Facebook page. I'm glad he hung around long enough to meet a new school year.
We still have two little dachshund mixes - they just turned 13 and haven't slowed down, despite their white muzzles. Time is less kind to the larger breeds.
Rest in Peace, Lucky - we were the lucky ones.
Here's a poem I wrote earlier this summer:
My Old Dog
This dog of mine
was once a pup.
Heíd romp and lick
the sunshine up.
This dog of mine
when he had grown
could guard the yard
and grind a bone.
This dog of mine
now old, now gray Ė
needs me to guide
him through his day.
This dog of mine
so slow and frail
wears years of love
from nose to tail.
©Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved
For the Poetry Friday Roundup, visit the ever-talented and all-around wonderful Doraine at Dori Reads.
March 30, 2012
Fans of Nancy Raines Dayís wordplay are in for a treat. Her newest picture book, A IS FOR ALLIGUITAR - Musical Alphabeasts
(Pelican Publishing, Spring 2012) is a unique abecedarium - chock-full of fun animal/instrument combinations.
Since Nancyís first picture book, THE LIONíS WHISKERS, appeared in 1995, sheís published half a dozen more. All have poetic language, and some of them rhyme, like her rollicking ON A WINDY NIGHT (Abrams) (see my blog post here
) and DOUBLE THOSE WHEELS (Dutton).
In her new book, each letter of the alphabet comes to life in an unexpected way. The Illustrations by Herb Leonhard are colorful and full of expression and movement. (And what a challenge it must have been to visually create, say, a ďharpoodleĒ or an ďorganutan.Ē) For insight into Leonhardís process in bringing to life these ďalphabeasts,Ē which involved traditional and digital painting techniques, see his comments here
on Nancyís website.
Hereís how the story starts:
swing all around,
Mix - one for each letter -
now how do they sound?
Some of Nancyís own favorite characters begin the adventure:
is for alliguitar,
who has his
is for banjaguar,
who plays some
Another of her favorite spreads is one Iím especially drawn to:
is for saxofox,
is for tromboa,
who really can
Iím swayiní to the music, baby.
Nancy adds, ďMy fellow University of Michigan alumni friends get a kick out of the wolbourines
Before becoming a childrenís author, Nancy wrote in some form or fashion throughout her life. As a child, she ďpublished a newspaper written on leaves with Ďinkí from squished berries and charged 25 cents in hickory nut money.Ē
I asked Nancy a couple of questions about this new book.
How did you get the idea for ALLIGUITAR?
ďI was standing on the St. Simons (Georgia) pier, thinking about going to a reunion concert of the youth orchestra I played viola with in high school--all the different instruments and the people who played them. Some tourists on the pier were talking about just having seen an alligator in the water. So, while scanning the water for an alligator and thinking about instruments, my wires got crossed and I said "Alliguitar".
I wondered if I could come up with a combination like that for every letter of the alphabet. Mostly, I did it for my own entertainment. (Some people do crossword puzzles; I set myself these little challenges.) Then I wondered if I could put it all in rhyme, which--this time--came easily. It was a gift.
What fun! What was the most challenging part of the project?
The most challenging part was probably coming up with the animal/instrument combinations. Google was a big help for finding lists of animals and instruments that started with the right letter or sound. It also helped in trying to come up with scenarios to pair the two musical alphabeasts in the same stanza and spread. For instance, googling ibis and jackal, I discovered the Egyptians had two gods, one with the head of an ibis and another with the head of a jackal.
Those ancient Egyptians had some intriguing deities. Thanks for stopping in, Nancy!
Young readers will love the creative letter/instrument combinations that form each colorful "alphabeast" - and they will likely come up with their own! Learn more about Nancy and her work at her website.
And to fill your universe with more great poetry, click on over to visit Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
for this weekís Poetry Friday Roundup. [Next week, the Roundup will be HERE! :0) ]
March 2, 2012
Yesterday the spring-like sun was shining and the wolves (and other animals) were frisky and full of themselves at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve
, and I had a terrific time visiting with them. That put me in a mind to find a good, wild poem for today. I really love Carl Sandburg's "wilderness that will not let (him) go." Here are the first and fourth sections, but you'll want to click the link at the end to read the whole poem:
by Carl Sandburg
There is a wolf in me Ö fangs pointed for tearing gashes Ö a red tongue for raw meat Ö and the hot lapping of bloodóI keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.
There is a fish in me Ö I know I came from saltblue water-gates Ö I scurried with shoals of herring Ö I blew waterspouts with porpoises Ö before land was Ö before the water went down Ö before Noah Ö before the first chapter of Genesis. ...
Please click here
to enjoy the whole poem. (If you have time, leave a comment below with your favorite fun phrase - one of mine is the "saltblue water-gates" above.)
And then run, creep, slither, swim, fly or otherwise get thee to Dori Reads
where Doraine has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup.
February 9, 2012
Iím always curious about how animals are depicted in stories, myths, folktales and art. As well as in the media Ė I havenít yet seen it, but this weekís TIME
has an intriguing cover story about a scientific examination of friendships between animals.
One of my favorite spreads in my WOLVES book is a brief look at ďThe Mythical Wolf.Ē For the illustration, I suggested a human in wolf clothing on one side (an indigenous person wearing a wolf pelt as a sign of admiration), and a wolf in human clothing (think of our Western ďbig bad wolfĒ) on the other. Colin Howard
produced brilliant artwork.
I recently ran across this poem, ďThe Wolfís Postscript to ĎLittle Red Riding Hoodí Ē by Agha Shahid Ali (1949 Ė 2001, credited with introducing the classical form of the ghazal to American readers). In the poem below, I fell in love with the speakerís dry, sophisticated voice. See if you donít agree itís dark and delicious (and rather sad, too):
The Wolfís Postscript to ĎLittle Red Riding Hoodí
by Agha Shahid Ali
First, grant me my sense of history:
I did it for posterity,
for kindergarten teachers
and a clear moral:
Little girls shouldn't wander off
in search of strange flowers,
and they mustn't speak to strangers.
And then grant me my generous sense of plot:
Couldn't I have gobbled her up
right there in the jungle? Ö
for the rest of the poem.
And be sure to check out the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by Laura this week at Writing the World for Kids
December 9, 2011
Greetings! Iím thrilled to be hosting Poetry Friday today.
My Christmas gift this year, a really nice one, is a trip back to Honesdale, Pennsylvania, for another Highlights Founders Workshop in poetry. Iíll be attending Poetry for All
in May (there are still a few spots available!) co-led by poet and friend Rebecca Kai Dotlich
for previous posts featuring Rebecca), David Harrison
, and Eileen Spinelli.
You're looking at the picture and thinking, What does this have to do with spiders?
David Harrison has this wonderful poem in his collection, Bugs Ė Poems about Creeping Things
, illustrated by Rob Shepperson
by David Harrison
on the lawn
Shiny droplets Ė
small oases Ė
To their places.
look and lurk.
Time now for
(Used with permission from the author.)
And Eileen Spinelli has this wonderful picture book, Sophieís Masterpiece,
with gentle illustrations by Jane Dyer
(Simon and Schuster, 2001).
Sophie was no ordinary house spider. Sophie was an artist.
The talented heroine has a hard time finding a place to live and create, however, as she is chased away from corner to corner of Beekmanís Boardinghouse.
By this time, many spider years had passed. Sophie was older. She only had energy to spin a few small things for herselfÖ a tiny rose-patterned case for her pillow, eight colorful socks to keep herself warm.
But mostly she slept.
Until she meets someone who appreciates her and inspires her to create a very special gift - something that takes her all and becomes a loving legacy. I wonít spoil the story, but I will say my eyes were a bit misty by the end. And then, when I read the authorís noteÖ okay, I cried.
In cultural traditions across the world, the spider represents creativity Ė a keeper of ancient wisdom, and sometimes a trickster. (And now youíre thinking of E. B. Whiteís Charlotte
, arenít you?)
Whatever your ďspider workĒ is today, let it be inspired by a World Wide Web-ful of poetry. Include your link in the comments, and Iíll weave them all together throughout the day.
POETRY FRIDAY ROUNDUP:
Julie at The Drift Record
is waking up with a cold snap and the poem, "Icicles," by Todd Boss.
Over at The Poem Farm
shares a terrific original poem, "Umbrella Path," inspired by Alix Martin's colorful painting in the collaborative SPARK 14.
Tabatha,at The Opposite of Indifference
, explores poetry holiday and gift ideas (including a really cool ornament).
Myra chimes in that at Gathering Books
, Iphigene discusses another Joel M. Toledo poem, "Learning to Swim" - beautiful and thought-provoking!
serves up a poignant haibun by Penny Harter, "Moon-Seeking Soup," written after the death of her husband, William J. Higginson, in 2008 (both have made immeasurable contributions to the haiku world).
Heidi's in today at My Juicy Little Universe
with some delightful poetry by her kindergarteners, and a discussion of their poetry collage projects.
Ruth brings us Keats and an original poem describing how a poem idea will not leave you alone at There is No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town.
Need a little romance today? Maria at A Poem a Day from the George Hail Library
brings us Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning - and in the continuing series on sonnets, one from the latter you might not have read before.
is caught up in the spirit of giving. Sheís got a copy of Shel Silversteinís EVERY THING ON IT for some lucky re-tweeter.
Join Laura today here
for Janet Wongís yoga poem, ďTree,Ē and here
for her 15-words-or-less poem, also tree-related, and a photograph you just have to see for yourself.
Diane has an original poem, ďPie Town Family Ė 1940Ē inspired by a historical photograph, at ďRandom Noodling
Her Kids of the Homefront Army
features a poem about one reality of war, ďCertain Advantages.Ē
And, Kurious Kitty
is asking with Aileen Fisher, ďDo Rabbits Have Christmas?Ē featuring one of the sparkly poems from the book, published five years after Fisherís death.
K Kís Kwotes
has a quote by Truman Capote.
Linda at TeacherDance
helps us to remember those for whom the holidays are a lonely time, with ďThe Transparent ManĒ by Anthony Hecht.
How about some Ogden Nash? Sallyís got you covered at The Write Sisters
with ďEverybody Tells Me Everything.Ē
At Picture Books and Pirouettes
, Kerry shares Doreen Croninís picture book, Wiggle
, sure to get you moving this morning.
takes another look at giving with the poem ďAltruismĒ by Molly Peacock.
Feeling a little batty? Join Joyce at Musings
to enjoy thoughts about Randall Jarrellís The Bat-Poet
(and a few verses from the poetry).
Sally at Paper Tigers
brings us Oh, Grow Up: Poems to Help You Survive Parents, Chores, School and Other Afflictions
by Florence Parry Heide and daughter Roxanne Heide Pierce.
Check out The Stenhouse Blog
for a reverse poem, ďFraming My Future,Ē written by Rebecca, one of Kelly Gallagherís students.
Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
encourages us to ďHave a _________ Day.Ē (You have to click to find out!)
At Dori Reads
, Doraine shares a Tennyson poem that still perfectly captures difficult emotions.
Over at Wild Rose Reader
, Elaine keeps the spirit of giving going with another terrific e-book from Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, Gift Tag
, and a fun, original poem to fit the theme.
Brace yourself to face the animal life in a hoarder's home with Mandy's original poem at Write on the World
has a thought-provoking original poem, "how great?" - which he describes as "a found poem, a cross-out poem, a little bit of random poem." Check it out!
Lorie Ann at readergirlz
also features the Gift Tag
e-collection from Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, and shares her poem in it, "Tucked Between Branches." If you enjoyed/enjoy those little pudgy trolls as much as I did/do, you'll love it!
At All About the Books
, Janet is all about Douglas Florian's wonderful volume, mammalabilia
Shelley at Dust Bowl Poetry
shares many different poems about families facing hard times.
Tara is celebrating libraries today with a couple of terrific poems and pictures. Go join the party at A Teaching Life.
Like a little moonshine with your Chicken Spaghetti?
Susan has an original found poem and a review of Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition
by Karen Blumenthal.
Over at A Wrung Sponge
, Andromeda (Andi) has a very clever idea for combining nature and learning to read! And, after my own heart, a haiku written on rocks. Really!
Mmmm... Smell cookies baking? Follow your nose to Twinkling Along
and enjoy an original poem cooked up by Carlie. And some very cute pictures.
The talented Liz over at Liz in Ink
is thankful for the change of seasons (brrr!) and offers "Relearning Winter" by Mark Svenvold.
If you're hosting family for a holiday meal, do check out Kelly's original "Holiday Dinner To-Do List" at Writing and Ruminating
Martha Stewart make of it?
Joy has lots of fun holiday poems and prompts at her blog
. Grab a mug of hot chocolate and head over!
Just in time for supper, Jone has a review of Katherine B. Hauth's What's For Dinner?
over at Check It Out
October 30, 2011
I've had the pleasure of hearing Caldecott medalist Eric Rohmann speak a couple of times, most recently at the fantastic Advanced Illustrators Highlights Foundation workshop last month. (See Sept. posts.)
In Honesdale, in addition to enjoying the incredibly fun relief printing workshop he offered, I chatted with him for a few moments about his new book, Bone Dog
(Roaring Brook Press, 2011). The Highlights folks were gracious to provide a copy of the book for attendees, but I'd already brought one in my suitcase.
I don't have an official interview to offer, but I do have to keep shouting out about how much I LOVE this book. Eric joked during that weekend about how it was standard procedure, when writing a picture book, to kill off a main character by the second or third spread. That's actually what he did in this touching (but not sentimental), humorous, heartfelt story about a boy and his dog.
Gus's beloved old dog, Ella, dies. He goes through the motions of daily activities but is grieving this loss.
"And when Halloween came around, Gus didn't feel like trick-or-treating. But he pulled on his costume and trudged out the door."
He's dressed as a skeleton, he is, and let's just say that as he makes his way home later, some real skeletons appear and they are up to no good. The text and illustrations cause just enough tension that a young reader will be wide-eyed and worried, but not terrified.
The skeleton characters are goofy and wicked and full of themselves, and the reader can sense that they might just be too big for their nonexistent britches.
I won't spoil the story by revealing how things are resolved, but Ella appears in a new form and helps to set things right, with a brilliant idea from Gus. (The book is called Bone Dog
, after all - not really a spoiler there, is it?)
Some hilarious spreads ensue, followed by a satisfying ending. Not a "happily ever after," mind you, or something tidy and sweet - but something very rich and honest. Death is a heavy subject, and this book looks it straight in the eye - but with such fun, expressive illustrations and a wacky sense of humor that readers young and old will enjoy the tale.
To learn more about the book, click here
for Eric's interview with Vicky Smith posted a few days ago on the Kirkus Reviews blog.
And to learn more about Eric, check out his brand new website
With all the starred reviews for this one-of-a-kind book, my two cents' might not amount to much - but it's Halloween and I couldn't resist sharing my favorite recent picture book treat. Go dig it up!
October 20, 2011
To celebrate Wolf Awareness Week
(Oct. 16-22), I thought Iíd celebrate with some pack-related poetry. I have the privilege of volunteering with a couple of wolves at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve
in Dahlonega, Ga. In light of the news this week, Iím sure Iím not the only one with a heavy heart for the senseless loss of animal life in Ohio, and also for the law enforcement officers who had a terrible but unavoidable task to protect the public. Surely laws in that state regarding the keeping of exotic animals will be strengthened now.
If you happen to be in north Georgia, I'll be presenting a session for kids featuring wolf information next month on Sat., Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. at the Dahlonega Literary Festival
Here are a couple of poems I wrote a while back about the captive wolves Iíve been honored to know.
The Bottom Line
I hold a piece of cheese above her nose.
Her back end hits the ground.
But she knows and I know:
A wolf only sits if she wants to.
© Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved
flits and floats outside the pen.
Gray wolf leaps and prances inside -
up and down,
following buttery wings.
© Robyn Hood Black, all rights reserved
Note: In Women Who Run With the Wolves
, Clarissa Pinkola Estes describes a solo tribal dance in New Mexico called the ďButterfly Dance.Ē Traditionally, Hopi youth perform a social dance called ďThe Butterfly DanceĒ in late summer.
Attempts are ongoing in the Southwestern United States to reintroduce the Mexican Wolf, the most genetically distinct type of gray wolf. Efforts have not met with the same success as the reintroduction of wolves in the greater Rockies. For updated USFWS Mexican wolf information, click here
And for wonderful poetry, go see what Jamaís got cookiní for the
Poetry Friday Roundup
September 29, 2011
© Robyn Hood Blackdetail from my illustration in the March 2011 issue of Berry Blue Haiku
My Master Naturalist Class yesterday at Elachee Nature Science Center Center
was one Iíve been looking forward to Ė Peter Gordon led a session on birds, followed by all of us heading out with binoculars and optimism to see what we could see! Despite the warm afternoon and shifty winds, we checked off about 18 species in our short trek by the lake.
What fun to distinguish a turkey vulture from a black vulture, the Cooperís hawk from the more familiar red-tailed hawk, and the persistent chatter of a red-bellied woodpecker from the almost as persistent calls of a blue jay. We saw a flycatcher and a kingfisher, both having very good luck, and more common grackles than could be counted as they moved in and took over treetops.
Fall is such an exciting time to look for birds. Each year, ten billion birds leave the northern hemisphere to head south. And a whole bunch of them fly through my state, Georgia.
By the way, if youíre looking for an excuse to read poetry this weekend rather than do yard work, here it is: ďBirds abhor a clean yard.Ē So forget the pristinely trimmed lawn if you want to attract them. Migrating birds appreciate the simple things: space, food (feeders, or berry-filled dogwood trees and the like Ė even poison ivy!), water (they really love a misting feature), and shelter (unkempt trees, and dead snags if they donít threaten your property, are wonderful).
Today I found the perfect poem for this subject and this time of year Ė ďThe BirdsĒ by Linda Pastan.
excerpt from The Birds
by Linda Pastan
are heading south, pulled
by a compass in the genes.
They are not fooled
by this odd November summer,
though we stand in our doorways
wearing cotton dresses.
We are watching them
as they swoop and gatheró
the shadow of wings
falls over the heart. Ö
Do click here
to read the complete poem Ė the second half is my favorite part!)
Wishing you uplifting winds and welcome spots to rest along your journey this week. Fly on over to Read Write Believe
for today's Poetry Friday Roundup.
September 23, 2011
Georgia's state herpetologist John Jensen holds a king snake. I held her, too - she was quite lovely!
I am loving the Master Naturalist class Iím taking this fall at Elachee Nature Science Center
. Yesterday, the Georgia Department of Natural Resourceís chief herpetologist, John Jensen, led us through a litany of reptiles.
I didnít realize my state housed the largest venomous snake in the U.S. (the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, which is also the worldís largest rattlesnake), as well as the smallest (the Pygmy Rattlesnake), as well as the largest snake in general in the U.S. (the gentle Eastern Indigo), as well as the smallest native snake (the Florida Crowned Snake) and the countryís smallest /shortest snake, though not originally a Georgia resident (the Braminy Blind Snake). Those lengths, by the way, range from 8-and-a-half feet or more to just six inches.
In searching for an appropriately slithery poem to share this week I stumbled upon one which does mention a snake, but is so much more. Here are a few lines from Jane Hirshfield:
excerpt from ďThe EnvoyĒ
One day in that room, a small rat.
Two days later, a snake.
Who, seeing me enter,
whipped the long stripe of his
body under the bed,
then curled like a docile house-pet.
I donít know how either came or left.
Later, the flashlight found nothing.
For a year I watched
as somethingóterror? happiness? grief?ó
entered and then left my body. Ö
(For the complete poem, and a moving reading of it by the poet, please click here
Now, speaking of Jane Hirshfield, Iíd also like to put in a good word for her wonderful article, ďThe Heart of Haiku,Ē
available on Kindle for just 99 cents. I downloaded it to my PC. Itís a terrific introduction to the life and poetry of BashŰ.
And speaking of BashŰ and haiku, let me offer a shout-out that submissions are welcome over at the Berry Blue Haiku
blog, now a general online journal celebrating fine haiku. Click here
Finally, for this weekís Poetry Friday Roundup
, please wriggle your way to Picture Book of the Day
with Anastasia Suen.
August 19, 2011
This is Just to Say from the Critter that Raided my GardenÖ
Can you smell how sweet it was? At least somebody enjoyed it...
- apologies to William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
that was in
you were probably
it was delicious
and so (mmmmmÖ) juicy
Was it a raccoon? Groundhog? Rat? Something else? Well, Iím glad someone enjoyed it. But it smelled oh-so-sweet, freshly open there on the ground (what was left of it). I did scoop up some seeds for next time.
Perhaps in a few months Iíll be able to discern from claw marks and such just which critter had been there. Next week I begin a ďMaster NaturalistĒ program at our local nature/science center
. Iíve wanted to take the course for a while, but last yearís torn Achilles set me back from hiking.
May your own steps be sure, and the fruits of your labors sweet! Indulge in some great poetry at todayís Poetry Friday Roundup
, hosted by fellow Georgia peach Doraine Bennett.
July 8, 2011
A few days ago I buried one of our beloved cats. Heíd been with us a good decade or so, and Iíve shed my share of tears.
I was on the hunt for a good cat poem this week and stumbled upon this humorous, poetic, pseudo-cautionary tale written by Englishman Thomas Gray (1716--1771):
ďOde on the Death of a Favourite Cat Drowned in a Tub of GoldfishesĒ
I mean, who can resist a title like that?
Silver would forgive my light touch after a heavy heart. He was much too grounded and savvy to have ever gotten himself in the following situation:
Still had she gazed; but 'midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The genii of the stream;
Their scaly armourís Tyrian hue
Through richest purple to the view
Betrayed a golden gleam.
The hapless nymph with wonder saw;
A whisker first and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish,
She stretched in vain to reach the prize.
What female heart can gold despise?
What catís averse to fish?
For what comes before and after, read the whole poem
And for the rest of the Poetry Friday Roundup, please visit Elaine at
Wild Rose Reader
May 24, 2011
Just a quick shout-out to folks who might know youngsters in the Dahlonega, Ga., area who are crazy about wild animals - There's about a week left to sign up for the "Zoofari" Summer Camp at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve. The camp is for kids ages 7 to 12 and is scheduled for June 13- 18, 9:30 to 3:00 each day. Click on over to the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve
website and find the "Summer Camp" tab to learn the details.
I'll be there sometime during the week presenting a session on wolves. Arrwooooooo!
April 8, 2011
1.) Paula Puckett 2.) some of her fiber creations........... 3.) Riley, 5, shares some carrots
Who did? Paula B. Puckett: my dear friend, SCBWI conference travelling buddy, fellow writer and illustrator and critique group member. I know today is Poetry Friday (click here for Roundup
), but I'm interrupting strictly poetic posts to share something fun.
Today, Paula's family hosted what's becoming an annual "alpaca shearing and pot luck lunch" for family and friends at their beautiful farm nestled in the North Georgia mountains.
I've always had a thing for alpacas and have enjoyed getting to visit hers. Today's shearing was interesting. The animals are laid out one at a time on special mats, and then the shearers go to work, removing the gorgeous, thick fleece with skilled hands. The process only takes a few minutes, and then the animal is trotting off to rejoin the herd. I'm thinking Paula's alpacas are going to be thankful come Sunday they're in short coats - we're supposed to have temps in the 80s! (more…)
February 28, 2011
It's been a fun month of featuring nonfiction nature writers! For our last visit, I'm happy to host Scotti Cohn. I ďmetĒ Scotti online when her fellow Sylvan Dell author and my good friend Gail Karwoski told me about Scottiís gorgeous rhyming picture book, ONE WOLF HOWLS (illustrated by Susan Detwiler). Needless to say, Scotti and I discovered we are pretty much from the same pack! The Illinois writer, who is planning to move to South Carolina in a few months, tackles a wide range of subjects for readers of all ages, and you should check out her great blogs. Today we welcome her for a sneak preview of her new book from Sylvan Dell, also illustrated by Susan Detwiler, BIG CAT, LITTLE KITTY.
Welcome, Scotti! We share a lot of passions, including members of the canine and feline families Ė wild or domestic. Tell us about your new book, BIG CAT, LITTLE KITTY. What does it have in store for young readers, and how did you come up with the idea for it? (more…)
July 28, 2010
Mine certainly has been lately! This past week, I found out the Intervisual Animal Vault series has been discontinued, including WOLVES. I have some copies I'll reserve for school visits, since I like to donate one of each of my books to school media centers. But I'm sad it's out of print. However, I'm happy that I could help collect and send off some copies for use in a very worthwhile and innovative arts in education program in West Virginia.
In cheerier news (is cheerier a word?), take a look at the photo to the left. (more…)
Explore a poem or two or five....
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!
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.
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
bio, photos, interview links, etc.
(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