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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Rhymes with BirthDAY: Wilder's FEY and Louisa May....

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Grateful to celebrate another trip around the sun over here. 

 

Some literary surprises have helped!  My sister Sharon sent the perfect birthday gift - a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Fairy Poems, compiled by Stephen W. Hines with oh-so-charming illustrations by Richard Hull.  It was published by Doubleday in 1998.

 

How did this little gem of a volume miss our bookshelves when it originally came out?  Morgan loved Little House on the Prairie so much that for two separate Halloweens I was up late stitching prairie dresses, bonnets, aprons....  We read the books and she fell in love with the TV series, too, which I probably still have on VHS tapes around here somewhere.  (She shares this love with her Poppy, her Florida grandfather.  He and my mother probably still have those VHS tapes, too. Some of you might be reading this and wondering, What is a VHS tape?  Don't judge.)

 

Anyway, I'm delighted to have the poems!  Morgan does remember having some little plastic figure fairies that you tossed into the air, and they would flutter wings and spin around... Sky Dancers!  (Anyone remember those?)  She said it hurt when you tried to catch them....

 

Here is a poem from the book describing a particular challenge faced by the fairy Drop O' Dew, as she tries to tend some rather rebellious flowers:

 

Naughty Four O'Clocks

 

 

There were some naughty flowers once,

Who were careless in their play;

They got their petals torn and soiled

As they swung in the dust all day.

 

Then went to bed at four o'clock,

With faces covered tight,

To keep the fairy Drop O' Dew

From washing them at night.  

 

Poor Drop O' Dew!  What could she do?

She said to the Fairy Queen,

"I cannot get those Four O'Clocks

To keep their faces clean."

 

The mighty Storm King heard the tale;

"My winds and rain," roared he,

"Shall wash those naughty flowers well,

As flowers all should be."

 

So raindrops came and caught them all

Before they went to bed,

And washed those little Four O'Clocks

At three o'clock instead.

 

April 1915

 

 

(For a wee bit more on my blog re. fairies, here's a link to a poem by Yeats  and here's a picture of a fairy tree we saw in Ireland summer before last.)

 

Another welcome gift came my way among a few from my hubby Jeff, over birthday cake Thursday night - a TIME magazine/book about Little Women. Have you seen the new movie?  Morgan and I saw it over Christmas break during our Georgia traveling, and we loved it.  Hear, hear for the Oscar nominations.

 

I recently discovered some vintage US postage stamps featuring Louisa May Alcott from the 1940 Famous Americans series.  They have found their way into bookmarks, magnets, and earrings in my Etsy shop.... :0) Go, Louisa May!

 

Finally -- my mother, Nita, and the aforementioned Poppy (Jack) like to spice up birthday cards with original poems now and then.  I'm not sure what overcame them this year, but there was a rather long offering with a rather redneck-y voice to brighten my day.  Well, here is just a short sampling:

 

You see this poem ain't got no rhythm or meter

it just buzzes around like a Florida skeeter.

 

What can I say?  (Really - um, what does one say??!) 

 

Speaking of literary birthday surprises and Florida skeeters, I also received a hefty book from my brother.  Mike and Scott sent a memories-and-smiles-evoking gem called Florida Roadside Attractions History - The Complete Guide to Florida Tourist Attractions Before Disney by Ken Breslauer.  Yes, I will have to share it with you at some point!  The pictures alone are fantastic.  Pirates, giant gators, mermaids - you get the idea.  If mermaids exist, then surely fairies do, too!

 

For less rambling and more coherent poetry-rich blog posts today, visit the always enchanting Jone at DeoWriter for this week's Roundup. (Pssst... she has a giveaway perfect for kindling your imagination in this new year!)

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Poetry Friday - Poem Postcard Swap!

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Can you believe we're sliding into the last week of January?  I can't.  But I sure have enjoyed ushering in 2020 with poetic, artistic surprises in the mailbox.  The postcard poem swap, coordinated by the amazing Jone MacCulloch, is a fun way to celebrate a new decade's beginnings.

 

Jone tossed out a possible prompt/inspiration in the form of the Chinese New Year, and this year the animal star of the zodiac is... the Rat!  The Lunar New Year officially begins this Saturday, the 25th, and celebrations will continue through Feb. 8th or 11th or so.  (Unfortunately, the virus outbreak is curtailing much of the customary travel and plans in China... a logistically awful time for such a crisis.)

 

Here are the wonderful poem postcards which have scurried inside my door - some with whiskers and tails, others not, several in haiku, others not. Enjoy! (All poems are copyrighted by their authors.)

 

 

Linda Mitchell's colorful card features a fetching text-bodied, line drawn literary rat with a bit of fabled history (about the Jade Emporer and the animals seeking to be his guards.)  Boxed in are these lovely words:

 


Some days we dash
to win the race.

 

Others, friends carry us
over dangerous rivers.

 

Each a heavenly gift.

Happy New Year, 2020.

 

 

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Irene Latham brings on some perfect January imagery:

 

 

Blades slice

easy 8s

across ice pond

 

You breathe

teeter 

weave

 

arms tight

flung w i d e

tight again

 

Just you

with your tingly

truths

 

your deliberate

unmittened

heart

 

and a whirl

of white

waiting

 


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A Happy New Year 2020 Fireworks card from Kimberly M. Hutmacher offers these sparkling words:

 

Crackle, fizz, flash, bang!

Bold dreams bursting from the sky.

New hope springing forth!

 


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Rebecca Herzog is up to a little mischief:

 

little snow angel

with snowballs in mittened hands

devious device

 

 


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Margaret Simon takes on a triolet (I love triolets!)

 

 

In New Year's arms, we find a space

open for our thoughts to inspire,

dreams seeded in winter with grace.

In New Year's arms, we find a space

to refresh a lost sense of place,

and find hope for what we aspire.

In New Year's arms, we find this space

open for our thoughts to inspire.

(Margaret's words have been inspiring to me as I've been trying to wrangle order out of chaos in my studio, and also in my wee home office, where my computer is.  Thanks for the timely encouragement, Margaret!)

 


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More literary collage fun from Kay McGriff!  Her card features the image of a stack of books, against a backdrop of text from a Harry Potter volume....

 

stacks of books, rivers

of words beckon adventure

through the new year

 

(A little book spine poetry sandwiched in there, too?) :0)

 


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Jone MacCulloch shares her gorgeous photography along with this comforting poem:

 

incoming tide brings

words on waves

throughout the decade

 

 


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And Robert Ertman has a little fun in the natural world:

 

winterberry--

among fifty shades of brown

 

 


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I'm grateful to begin a new year - and new decade - with these fabulous people and lively poems!  (A couple of folks on my "list" aren't represented; here's hoping nothing has gotten lost in the mail.  We've had a few delivery mishaps this month....)

 

Our wonderful Kat Apel is hosting Poetry Friday this week; continued prayers and light to Autstralia and all her inhabitants, including Kat, and Sally, who hosted earlier this month. 

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Poetry Friday - (Postcard Nod) and Go See Catherine!

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  This weekend finds us with an extended family get-together, so this post is just a skipping-stone to next week.  But I did want to mention I'm loving the wonderful postcards gracing my mailbox as part of the winter poem postcard swap courtesy of Jone MacCulloch. What an inspiring bunch of creative souls you are! I am getting my postcards mailed today, in my typical life-on-the-edge, deadline-taunting fashion.... ;0)  

 

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday weekend as we celebrate the life of one of our country's heroes.  For all kinds of great poetry for any occasion, head on over to Catherine's at Reading to the Core for this week's Roundup! 

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Happy Janiveer.... with Birds

 

Greetings and Happy Janiveer, Poetry Lovers!

 

After a few weeks of being slammed with Etsy orders before the holidays (thanks to anyone who contributed to those late nights! :0) ), and then the better part of two weeks road-tripping to visit family hither and yon, I'm still "starting" my New Year.  I SHOULD have spent every free hour this week restoring order in my studio (not to mention house/home office).  Somehow, I also took little detours into a local thrift shop or two to see what new (old) things might call my name.

 

I found a hardcover edition of a book I love, THE COUNTRY DIARY OF AN EDWARDIAN LADY by Edith Holden.  I've professed my affections for this tome before, as Jeff gave me a cherished paperback copy early in our marriage.  But for a buck going to a good cause, I succombed to bringing home this larger version, too.  

 

Our Dear Edith opens her January pages with  notes on Janus, and Epiphany (Jan. 6), and an excerpt from Spenser's Faerie Queen, and mottoes such as:  "If the grass do grow in Janiveer/It grows the worse for it all the year."  Her illustrations of Blue Tits, a Cole (Coal) Tit and Great Tit are delightful. 

 

What exactly are these birds, you ask?  Well, good thing that my Christmas gift from my son, Seth, was a copy of Collins Bird Guide - the Most complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. (Here's a British link to that bird family in case you were not similarly gifted.  It describes these charming feathered friends as "small birds with plain or colourful plumages, stout legs and strong feet and short, triangular bills," noting that some have crests, and all are frequent visitors to bird feeders.)  Last February I included a photo of one from our 2018 trip to Scotland in my Poetry Friday Roundup post here.

 

Edith Holden includes one more spread of January musings - two poetic selections and an illustration of dead leaves - before her daily entries for the month.

 

Here is her excerpt from "Frost at Midnight" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), the last stanza:

 

 

  Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the night-thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

 

 

(You can read the whole poem here.)

 

(I'm quietly swooning at the quiet last line.)

 

The always-shining Sally Murphy hosts our Roundup this week; so glad to "see" her as I know we are all worried about our Australian friends.  (Continued prayers for everyone through those fires, Sally and Kat.)  Click over to see what she's been up to, and to enjoy all the poetry links!  

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Happy New Year - of Poetry!

Greetings on this first Poetry Friday of 2020!  We just got back last night from a long and wonderful trip at several stopping points seeing both sides of the family, so I didn't get a real post together for today.  But I was delighted to see lovely Linda's post featuring the Winter Poem Swap goodies I sent her way right  before the holidays. :0)  As I'm now getting my studio ready for First Friday downtown this evening, so I'll jump back in for good next week. Visit the wonderful Carol's Corner for this week's Roundup. :0)

Happy New Year!

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