Greetings! Got myself a bit busy this week, but moooove on along to our wonderful Kat Apel's place, where she's gathering the herd for the Poetry Friday Roundup and sharing her new book!
Life on the Deckle Edge
Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
I had something else planned for this week, but, alas - glitches and car issues and such, so it can emerge later.
And speaking of plans yet to come to fruition, I had many more Valentine-y items I was going to make for my artsyletters shop this year, but they'll keep, too. I did get some new things in the shop and posted on Instagram, including the freshly baked necklace above with vintage letter charms I couldn't resist working with. (Listing coming this eve.)
On a heavier note, I've tuned in to a fair bit of the impeachment trial this week. I can't imagine the trauma felt by those who were there, as they relive the events of the insurrection and perhaps learn new things themselves about it. I generally keep politics out of my blog posts, but I do not agree with one my state's (SC) vocal US Senators, who recently stated he is "ready to move on." Regardless of the trial's outcome, as a country we need to acknowledge what happened, give voice to lives lost and others forever altered, with gratitude for the amazing courage and bravery shown on Jan. 6 by those who faced the mob. Oh, and make the effort to preserve our democratic republic.
So now that I've changed the tone, I'll share a somber haiku just published in bottle rockets.
one blue feather
then the pile
©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.
bottle rockets Vol. 22, No. 2 (Issue #44)
I was hoping to make this the year I jumped back into Cornell's Great Backyard Bird Count, but that might have to wait another year, too. Or maybe I can participate a little bit?! Anyone can join in and help keep track of our amazing feathered earthly comanions. (I did learn to identify a new visitor to my new bird feeder this week, using The Cornell Lab's wonderful phone app- a pine warbler!)
Thanks for reading along and making safe spaces for the gamut of human (and bird) experiences. Be sure to visit the lovely Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone for this week's Roundup. (She happens to include a Mary Oliver poem about one of my favorite birds, the Carolina Wren.)
Greetings, and - Oops! How'd it get to be February already? I've been busy with Etsy orders and making a bunch of last-minute Valentine items to list in my Etsy shop this weekend, and Friday has snuck up on me.
Someone who IS ready for Poetry Friday is Jone MacCulloch, our lovely and talented host for the Roundup. Enjoy the offerings! I 'll see you next Friday with a *love*-themed post... ;0)
Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
First, HUGE Congrats to some of our hometown poetic heroes... Monday was a big awards day in kidlit-land. THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO, written by our own Irene Latham & Karim Shamsi-Basha & illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, and published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, was named a Caldecott Honor Book! And A PLACE AT THE TABLE, by Saadia Faruqi and our own Laura Shovan, published by Clarion Books, was a Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable Book. CONGRATS, you two, and to all who were recognized across all the categories.
Speaking of nice surprises, I received another New Year Poem Postcard this week! Rebecca Herzog sent this energetic collage/haiku combination above. I was humming along to the excerpted lyrics floating in the art on the front (love those layers!!) before reading her own musical poem on the back.
A QUIET MORNING
REFLECTIONS ON A NEW YEAR
MUSIC TO MY EARS
Image and poem ©Rebecca Herzog.
Thanks for the uplifting mailbox gift, Becky!
And, speaking of haiku, I'm excited to share that I'll be leading a free online two-part haiku workshop for the Oconee County Arts Foundation (Watkinsville, Georgia) at the end of next month, February 23rd and 25th, from 1-2:30 p.m. each day. It's part of a wonderful month-long program, "Small Works Inspired by Poetry."
Click here for more info, and here for the description and registration page. The foundation director says local and non-local folks are welcome to register. (These free workshops will not be recorded by OCAF since participants will be potentially on the screen and permissions would be required, etc.)
Now, tap your toes and warm up your voice - our beautiful Jan at Bookseedstudio has the Roundup today on a theme that Becky's poem and art complement perfectly!
Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
Two more New Year Poem Postcard swap goodies came my way this week. These haiku are a PERFECT way to express and celebrate our country's turning the page to a new chapter this week.
First up, Margaret gifted the beyond-glorious photo of a blue heron in flight, with these words:
On wingbeats of blue
heron rises unstatued
heralding the new
Image and poem ©Margaret Simon
Heralding the new, indeed!
And then came Mary Lee's wonderful offering. I have to add that it was postmarked the day after Christmas, and it JUST got to my mailbox on Thursday. [I'd say I can't believe it took that long, but after many headaches worrying about Etsy orders getting to recipients on time in December (a few just plain didn't), I do believe it. The USPS was stretched far too thin. Here's hoping we all might be finished with quarantining and such by the time the holidays arrive THIS year.]
Mary Lee's words were worth the wait, and just right for this week in history:
shiny coin of here and now
ready to be spent
(and who doesn't live Rembrandt?!)
Image and poem ©Mary Lee Hahn
For more of Margaret's writing, click here; for more of Mary Lee's writing, click here; and to learn more about the creative pursuits of Jone Rush MacCulloch, who dreamed up the New Year's Postcard exchange, click here!
Thanks to each of these amazing women.
By the way, I noticed Margaret added a handwritten note to her card, and Mary Lee's poem was handwritten, as was the poem I sent out on my cards this month. Did you know tomorrow, Jan. 23, is National Handwriting Day? I'll be celebrating at artsyletters with earrings featuring sterling silver fountain pen charms that I fell in love with. I made a pair to 'test drive' and have been wearing them all week. (Also, earrings with vintage pen nibs coming soon....) ;0)
Tomorrow is also the birthday of an amazing teacher who regularly brings poetry to life in the classroom - my daughter, Morgan! Happy Birthday to our Super Hero!
Now, one more click to check out this week's Roundup - you'll find it at Laura Shovan's place, where there is always something new and wonderful going on.
and... WHEW - We MADE it!
I've been ever so grateful for the Poetry Friday community during such a tumultuous year, and I look forward to what 2021 might bring.
At the risk of "DUH - that's a cliche," the phrase that's been playing in my mind since our ritual family Christmas Eve viewing of It's a Wonderful Life has been the proverbial "cup of kindness." We all need to raise each other's spirits, whether we're raising alcholic spirits or not. So, my obvious poem choice today would be the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne.
You'll remember these late 18th-Century lines are attrributed to Robert Burns, Scotland's National Poet. You can read about previous similar lines/themes/influences in this Encyclopedia Brittanica article. Did Rabbie Burns actually pen them, and exactly thus? Not totally sure. But they're always worth bringing out into the twinkling lights, to wrap ourselves up in like a new holiday robe:
Auld Lang Syne
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
And surely you'll buy your pint cup!
And surely I'll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
We two have run about the slopes,
And picked the daisies fine;
But we've wandered many a weary foot,
Since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
Since auld lang syne.
And there's a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o' thine!
And we'll take a right good-will draught,
For auld lang syne.
CHEERS to you and yours. Or as we learned to say in Scotland, Slàinte mhath (Pronounced slan-ge-var - here's a fun link with some background on meanings & pronunciation & such. OR - just ask Jone MacCulloch, who has had to postpone her trip to Scotland but, when she does go, will be armed with all the lovely Scottish Gaelic she's been learning!)
Warmest wishes all around, and here's to brighter days. Our wonderful Ruth has the Roundup today at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town. Thanks, Ruth!
Greetings, Poetry Lovers! Yep, those elves are not letting up...! I didn't scare up a post this week, but the fabulous Buffy Silverman is hosting the Roundup, and she's got a great behind-the-scenes look at HOP TO IT with a Q&A with Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong!
Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
Well, the Elves have me working round the clock these days, and then some. (Thanks for all the artsyletters love!) So I'm just waving you along this week to our host, who is the host of all hosts keeping Poetry Friday flowing, Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.
She's got the Roundup, AND a peek at the newest amazing project from Irene Latham, illustrated by Jaimie Green. Enjoy!
Greetings, Poetry Lovers! Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Poetry Friday!
Just these few lines from Henry VI Part II today, that my dearest friend Sue posted, and I tracked down and borrowed...
O Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
Henry VI, Part II, Act 1, Scene 1
I had just made this new ornament (with vintage elements, such as the way-cool 1964 US postage stamp celebrating The Bard), and it seemed like a good fit. Well, technically the stamp is deliciously dark with nods to Hamlet, but still.
AND, one thing I am SO thankful for is the news that Janet Wong has received the NCTE Excellence in Poetry Award!! I was so excited when I read the news on my computer last weekend that I jumped up and jammed my toe. (It's all good.)
What a fine recognition for such a Powerhouse of Poetry!!
--Wishing you and yours a safe & happy holiday weekend during these unusual times.
You'll find the Poetry Friday Roundup at Carol's Corner - Thanks, Carol!
Greetings, Poetry Lovers! Welcome to the Poetry Friday Roundup. Everyone's invited! :0)
Do you know about "mast years" when it comes to trees? Oaks, particularly. In a mast year, trees drop zillions of acorns on the ground, on your driveway, on your metal roof making you jump umpteen times a day, on the top of your car.... (That was a scientific description. For a folklore-ish one, click here.)
Here in the Lowcountry this fall, we're crunching acorns underfoot with every step.
Sometimes poets (& editors!) have a mast year. Or at least a mast season.
Take Sylvia Vardell, for example. No sooner did she welcome her wonderful new anthology, A WORLD FULL OF POEMS (DK Children) into the world, than it was time to launch the newest collection from Pomelo Books with co-poetic-superhero Janet Wong, HOP TO IT - Poems to Get You Moving. (Here's the link. And here's a link to my poem in it, and a graphic with the Blog Tour schedule.)
This fun new anthology features a hundred poems designed to get us all up and moving around, or at least to offer some much-needed mini-breaks during a long school day (virtual or in-person), sprinkled with fun facts and inviting illustrations by Franzi Paetzold.
Each poem is complemented by Sylvia's always-terrific activity suggestions, a fun fact nugget, a spot illustration, a teeny language arts or poetry connection, and a book title on a similar subject. But wait - there's more! In the EXTRA! EXTRA! section at the end, you'll find even MORE resources and ideas to keep the poetry, and your body, hopping!
And, speaking of trees, here's a poem from HOP TO IT by our own Margaret Simon, just begging to be acted out:
I am a tree.
A tree is what I want to be.
I spread my branches wide.
I stand tall.
I reach my roots into deep earth.
I grow and grow and grow.
And at the end of the day,
when the sun falls down,
and sprinkles orange all over my leaves,
I wrap myslef in a holding hug.
©Margaret Simon. Used with permission.
I can think of a couple of other folks who are having a mast year when it comes to published books...
Check out Irene Latham's website here, and visit her book pages! So many wonderful new titles, just THIS year, including one co-authored with Charles Waters, DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD, which is a favorite of one of my daughter's students in Georgia.
Then there's Laura Purdie Salas's treasure trove of new titles this year... Find out about them here. And for nonfiction lovers, Laura shared so much goodness in her Small Reads November newsletter, including a long peek at NONFICTION WRITERS DIG DEEP, edited by Melissa Stewart.
All of these books would make FABulous holiday gifts, don't you think?
As would Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's follow up to READ, READ READ. It's called... WRITE WRITE WRITE! (Click here for more.)
And Jeannine Atkins's new title in the footsteps of FIDNING WONDERS, this one about math: GRASPING MYSTERIES - Girls Who Loved Math. (Click here for more.)
If you need book ideas for the wee-est of wee ones, check out Heidi Bee Roemer's books here. What little one could resist a book called PEEKITY BOO - What YOU Can Do!
I've already gifted Morgan, my daughter who teaches third grade, a copy of HOP TO IT, and a few others! And other folks on my Christmas list will be getting some poetry....
The great thing about giving poetry is that it both enriches the recipient, and supports everyone who works so hard to create these treasures.
These ideas are in NO way complete or conclusive! MANY wonderful titles (maybe yours?) have recently made their way into the world and would make a wonderful present for some young, curious soul - or a young-at-heart one! Feel free to mention your own suggestions in the comments, and readers can peruse those, too.
For the best gift ideas ever, be sure to check out Jama Kim Rattigan's "Nine Cool Things on a Tuesday" posts over at her Alphabet Soup blog. Here's a link to the post from Nov. 3, which I am thrilled and honored to have a mention in! (Thanks, Jama, and Mr. C.)
In fact, a few of us Poetry Friday-ers have Etsy shops. Michelle Kogan offers bright and colorul and inspirational art and products sure to delight a recipient. (Click here.)
Last week's host, Susan Bruck, offers colorful wool wares and more at SoulBlossomLiving on Etsy.
And here's a link to my shop, artsyletters. (By the way, I'll soon send out my little holiday postcard. If you don't receive it already and would like to be added to my real-world mailing list, shoot me an email with your real-world address.)
And, can you keep a secret? It'll have a 15 percent off coupon code good through Dec. 15. Okay, I'll tell you the code, but shhhhh.... please don't post or share widely. It's for my special peeps! You can enter STAR15 in the Coupon Code box, or just use this link directly. I will be listing several new items in the next couple of weeks, so feel free to keep that handy for Cyber Week shopping, or whenever you might need a gift for a reader or writer or POET on your holiday list.
Your post, I know, will be a gift to readers this week! Please include your link in a comment below, and I'll round up old-school-style and list the links right here starting Friday morning. Happy Poetry Friday!
Little Willow starts us off this week with a lovely moonlit offering at Bildungsroman.
Ever-busy Laura Purdie Salas shares a personal post and poem today at Small Reads for Brighter Days. She wrote "When Hope is Not Easy" just before the 2016 election, and revisits it now, with some light from the recent one.
I'm beyond humbled and delighted that Linda Mitchell grabbed some inspiration here last week and shares two original haiku/haiga - one gentle, one sharp - perfect for November. Enjoy at A Word Edgewise!
Heidi, who has been oh-so-busy serving on the NCTE Poetry Awards Committee (!), chimes in with an aubade in response to a Sunday Swaggers challenge. Her poem, and post, brim with "extra unexpected joy" as always, at My Juicy Little Universe.
You might guess from his blog's title, "Poetry Pizzazz," that Alan J. Wright loves alliteration. He shares a fun original alliterative poem today, and some bits of bewitching backstory.
This lifelong dog lover is wagging away at Laura Shovan's offering today... does your dog 'help' you do yoga, too? Enjoy Laura's original poem, a couple of book recommendations and of COURSE - cute dog pix.
Michelle in celebrating World Kindness Day at Today's Little Ditty, with a remarkable poem by psychiatrist Helen Montague Foster. (I'll be sharing this post with my psychiatrists hubby!)
Have you seen the movie, Arrival? Have you lived through a quarantine? And answer to either or both of those will set you up to appreciate Tabatha's offering at The Opposite of Indifference today - a poem by Natalia Conte.
One reason I so love Poetry Friday, beyond the delicious poetry, is that I'm always learning something new! The lovely Janice Scully shares a perfectly peaceful post and picture today at Salt City Verse, with a reflective haiku and an explanation of "meromictic" - what a fun word!
At Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, Matt Forrest Essenwine gives us a sneak peek at a new anthology featuring some poetic and artistic stars from New England - FRIENDS & ANEMONES - Ocean Poems for Children. (Is that a great title, or what?!) One of Matt's poems in the book will have you taking a stern look over the bow....
More moonlight magic awaits over at Teacher Dance today, where the ever-lovely Linda shares a poetic treasure she found in an old book from the beloved bookstore where she helps out. It's Walter de la Mare's "Silver" - how have I lived up to now without this poem? It's pure shimmer.
The sparkle doesn't stop there. Get ready for some serious ooh-ing and ahh-ing at Beyond Literacy Link, where Carol shares poems and GORgeous paintings inspired by her many recent "awe walks" in Autumn.
If your feet are more fidget-y than stroll-y, Kathryn Apel has the poem for you with some more HOP TO IT fun! I was delighted to 'meet' Kat in a recent Zoom gathering celebrating the release of the book. Today, Kat shares her reading of her poem there, "Fit as a Fidget" - along with a writing prompt, too!
At her Alphabet Soup, Jama offers the most delicious post featuring a delightful, diminutive kitchen diva and her multi-legged kitchen crew, who star in The Tiny Baker by Hayley Barrett and illustrated by Alison Jay. This rhyming picture book will have you looking at any wayward bug that lands in your kitchen with a new eye!
I don't know exactly what time it is in Switzerland right now, but you'd have to get up pretty early to keep up with Bridget and her ever-clever way with words. Today she enlightens us about the many mushrooms popping up all over, with plenty of puns and a fun wee poem! (Is it a mast year for mushrooms over there?) Hopo on over to Wee Words for Wee Ones and see for yourself.
Michelle Kogan is readying for an art show and also an online poetry reading through the Poetry Foundation, but she's got a few goodies to savor in the midst of the flurries, including some original haiku and art. Good luck with all, Michelle!
At Lit Bits and Pieces, Fran extends the tree theme this week with a rich post of wonder, poetry, images - and even some science behind tree communication - it 'leaves' me both challenged and nourished.
And twist my arm to share another post featuring haiku! At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee brings us haiku from her daily diary (even if they all didn't make it onto Twitter). You'll recognize our 'present moment' in many of them, with nods to current events.
At Nix the Comfort Zone, Molly offers some thoughtful photographs and haiku, and an inadvertent life lesson on perspective. Thanks, Molly!
Kimberly Hutmacher brings us words from one of the geographical front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a somber haiku and a hopeful haiku. (I share Kimberly's frustration, as our family and extended family has experienced illness and loss because of the virus.)
Margaret, at Reflections on the Teche, reflects on another big news story, the election - with her couldn't-help-herself poem in response to events with inspiration from other poetic voices.
Yay - Rose at Imagine the Possibilities is Hopping to It as well today, with a post featuring her oh-so-fun "Can You Wriggle Like a Worm." Well, can you? ;0)
Our Dear Jan of BookSeed Studio has a Mast Year of a post today - with her responses to the election, and history, and Veteran's Day, and her beloved. Grab a second cup of tea and enjoy all the thoughtfulness and links. She also offers up a GREAT suggestion for a book for these times, Georgia Heard's THIS PLACE I KNOW - Poems of Comfort. (Jan has excerpts.)
At There is No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town, Ruth shares a poignant and powerful poem by Miroslav Holub from Naomi Shihab Nye's anthology, THIS SAME SKY.
True to Irene's bountiful year this year, her post today at Live Your Poem is a buffet: she's highlighting three poetry books (including HOP TO IT!) which would make wonderful holiday gifts, and she's got a poem as part of her ArtSpeak series, which is a gift across space and time.
Karen Eastlund is in this week with more beautiful fall photographs and an equally lovely poem. How many shades of yellow can you think of? :0)
The amazing Myra brings us a voice I look forward to learning more about: Vidyan Ravinthiran. She has his poem "As a Child" at Gathering Books today - so powerful.
--I am off to keep shop a bit - running late! - but will return this afternoon. Thanks to all for participating!!--
And... Closing out the day (well, the Eastern time one here!) is Jone Rush MacCulloch! What a treat to get to go on so many walks in Fall woods with you folks this week, and peek at journals, pictures, art. Jone shares all three this week, part of her #Autumn Gratiku series. AND, you can sign up for her New Year's Poem Postcard Swap, too!
WAIT - There's more! Carol at The Apples in My Orchard brings us along on a trip to their beautiful cabin celebrating the warmth of this cozy getaway with some hiaku. Ahhhh.... AND, Carol is a long time Etsy seller, too! Check out her lovely handmade jewelry and unique face masks at CarolsJewelryOrchard on Etsy.
And don't miss Susan's post at Soul Blossom Living. It made me slow down and tear up. She takes us on a prairie walk, with a rich long look at gratitude this November, and her poem about it. (It's multi-sensory - she has video links, too!)
I am so grateful for you all.