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.
February 4, 2016
Greetings, Poetry-Friday-ers! Ah, the weather. Last week I recounted being snowed in at my daughter’s the weekend before (always a big deal in the South), and now we've had a steady chilly rain here on the coast, followed by chilly temps. But Tuesday, Groundhog Day, was glorious.
I let our tiny dog out on the screened-in front porch and couldn’t resist a break for me, too. Ms. Betty was busy just up the street, and she inspired a poem.
Ms. Betty inspires admiration from a lot of folks. She’s always on the go defending green space or Little Free Libraries or helping with some church project. When I first moved here, she called from her walk with her dog – “Do you like potatoes? I just picked a basket. They’re on the steps. Go help yourself.”
Not one to turn down such kindness, or yummy red potatoes, I did go grab a few and scrawled a little thank you note to leave in their place. They were delicious, and I told her so later. I learned it was the first time she’d attempted a vegetable garden without her husband, who had passed away not long before I moved here.
Three mornings a week, Ms. Betty gets up at 5:30 to drive herself to go work out. Rain or shine, she makes sure Buddy, the rescue dog her daughter gave her after the loss of her husband, gets in all his walks.
She is always quick with a kind word, witty observation, or handwritten note.
Yep, I want to be just like Ms. Betty when I grow up.
You’d think it spring -
sunny and 74.
(88, give or take)
smartly dressed as always
ties her scruffy dog to a tree
wields a shovel in her
stoops to adjust a root
straightens, then stomps
on the blade’s end
to scoop the earth.
Her white cat
around leg, tree
plops herself on the grass
to roll and paw at the dog.
You’d think it spring.
©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
No matter the weather, go stock up on lots of great poetry today with the ever-energetic Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect.
January 28, 2016
Confession: I was just looking online for a few fun, classic verses on snow to go with these silly pictures from last weekend, when I'd gotten snowed in in upstate South Carolina with my teacher-daughter Morgan (whose birthday happened to be last Saturday).
I ended up stumbling upon John Greenleaf Whittier's "Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl"
(1866). If I ever read it in college, I forgot it. Is this one you remember?
Since I've been somewhat stuck in the mid-nineteenth century lately (hence my Industrial Revolution haiku and Bill Bryson book gift to Diane Mayr in the Winter Poem Swap a few weeks ago), I fell right into this long and layered Whittier poem.
Now, I was certainly rewarded with some wonderful snowy imagery just a few stanzas in:
Unwarmed by any sunset light
The gray day darkened into night,
A night made hoary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
As zigzag, wavering to and fro,
Crossed and recrossed the wingëd snow:
And ere the early bedtime came
The white drift piled the window-frame,
And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts. ...
--but there is oh-so-much-more. The poem opens with a dedication:
"To the Memory of the Household It Describes
This Poem is Dedicated by the Author"
and excerpts from Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's Occult Philosophy, Book I
and Emerson's poem, "The Snow Storm."
And then there are 700-plus lines of Whittier's observations, reminiscences, abolitionist philosophy, character sketches of family members and associations, plus musings on religion (Quaker and otherwise), time, death, and hope for reunion in the afterlife. We even see "witches making tea"
whispered from an old rhyme (and many allusions I didn't fully get but fully recognized as allusions).
Sounds overwhelming, but I found myself floating through it, meeting these endearing earth-bound folks from Whittier's memory, alive in their quirks and capacities through his words - though he is now long gone, too.
No wonder the Poetry Foundation has this vast collection of subjects listed under the poem: Family & Ancestors, Religion, Living, Youth, Nature, Home Life, Winter, Relationships, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Weather.
to read the poem in its entirety, and be prepared to fetch a second cup of coffee or tea in the process! But if there's snow on the ground outside, what better way to spend the day than in some cozy corner reading poetry?
When you do come up for air again, drift like snow over to Reading to the Core
, where the lovely Catherine has the Roundup, and a perfect-for-winter interview with my amazing bud, Irene Latham. (And if you need a break from all this substantive fare, be sure to catch Michelle's roundup of "nothing" poems this month at Today's Little Ditty
December 17, 2015
Opening my Winter Poem Swap
goodies from Diane Mayr
was like having my own little sleigh of perfectly personalized poetic treasures. (Hearty thanks as always to Tabatha Yeatts for organizing the Swap!)
I was lucky enough to be Diane's Swap partner again. More lucky than she - all she's gotten from me this week is a groveling email or two about how I'm running late with hers... :0! (I have high hopes for getting her packet to the P.O. today.) She has responded with nothing but graciousness.
Here's what Diane sent:
A package tied up not with string, but taped with purrrfectly delightful cat tape - the kitty expressions have an edge, as Diane's own poetry sometimes does! Inside...
--a poem I'll post below. It''s presented on a photo collage in sepia with other subtle, aged-looking tones. No random photographs here - Diane researched Beaufort, SC (my new-ish hometown) and included wonderful pictures and images of ephemera from Beaufort's rich history! She even put in a photo of the The John Mark Verdier House (a Beaufort landmark since the 1790s), which she remembered is right next door to the building where I have my art studio. I look through my windows at the side of the Verdier house many times each day.
--A hot-off-the-press edition of NEST FEATHERS - a collection of haiku from the first 15 years of The Heron's Nest
. I almost bought this for myself this fall, but restrained myself since we're on a "wedding budget" around here til June. But I REALLY wanted it. Jackpot!
--An intriguing postcard with an original poem paying tribute to the New Year. That's all I'm saying at the moment, because I want to share it for A New Year's post in a couple of weeks!
Here is Diane's wonderful poem from the historical montage she created.
WE CANNOT CHANGE HISTORY
WE MUST RESEARCH IT
WE MUST NOT FORGET HISTORY
WE MUST PRESERVE IT
WE SHOULD NOT REPEAT HISTORY
WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE IT
LEARN FROM IT
AND NEVER FORGET THE WHY OF IT
©Diane Mayr. All rights reserved.
I especially love that last line, don't you? Such a poignant poem for my neck of the woods. On the way to my studio, I pass both the "Secession House" (where the decision for South Carolina to secede from the Union was put into motion - now a private residence) and also the grave and historical marker of Robert Smalls - escaped slave, Civil War hero, and five-term United States Congressman.
Speaking of Diane the Amazing, guess who is rounding up Poetry Friday this week? Yep! Click on over to Random Noodling
and enjoy all the offerings.
December 21, 2012
My husband, Jeff, carved this beautiful moon and village scene from a pattern he found this year. [photo ©Robyn Hood Black]
Happy Winter Solstice! My husband and son will actually be leading a winter solstice ceremony Friday evening at a friend’s farm. Should be interesting!
I was thrilled to participate in Tabatha’s
“Winter Poem Swap” this month and doubly thrilled to be her swap partner. Her poetic gift to me is perfect to share as we welcome the slow return of light to a darkened world. (Her work is shared here with permission.)
In the Great Book of Winter
by Tabatha Yeatts
In the Great Book of Winter,
The vast gray pages
Are covered with steadfast brown branch words.
Black bird apostrophes swoop into place,
And snowflakes spiral down
To end sentences with chilly white periods.
Cardinals surprise with red question marks,
And squirrels skitter through with their
Exclamation mark tails.
The Moon turns the pages
Of the Great Book of Winter,
Reading til Spring.
©Tabatha Yeatts. All rights reserved.
I love these delicious natural images – and on the Solstice today, I particularly love the Moon turning the pages.
Wishing you and yours love, light, and peace this holiday.
To turn more pages of light-filled poetry, visit Heidi, shining brightly today at My Juicy Little Universe
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