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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - "Prose and Rhyme"... Looking Toward May!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Can you believe we've almost reached the end of another Poetry Month? I have lots of catching up to do on so many of the wonderful month-long projects conjured up and celebrated around the Kidlitosphere.  Fortunately, Jama's round up post of all the April goodness can guide us even after Sunday has passed.  

 

With the heaviness and stress of the daily news, I thought I'd offer up another old poem from the "Poems in a Playful Mood" section of NARRATIVE AND LYRIC POEMS FOR STUDENTS edited by S. S. Seward, Jr., published by Henry Holt and Company in 1909.  (Seward was evidently an assistant professor of English at Stanford University.)

 

Here's a "playful" poem that seems just right for our perch on the far edge of April. National Poetry Month wasn't launched until 1996, so April did not have such a designation more than a century ago. 

Let's just carry on the poetry love into May, shall we?

 

 

PROSE AND RHYME

 

by Austin Dobson

 

When the roads are heavy with mire and rut,

   In November fogs, in December snows,

When the North Wind howls, and the doors are shut,

   There is place and enough for the pains of prose; --

   But whenever a scent from the whitethorn blows,

And the jasmine-stars to the casement climb,

   And a Rosalind-face at the lattice shows,

Then hey!-- for the rippple of laughing rhyme!

 

When the brain gets dry as an empty nut,

   Whenthe reason stands on its squarest toes,

When the mind (like a beard) has a "formal cut,"

  There is place enough for the pains of prose; --

  But whenever the May blood stirs and glows,

And the young year draws to a "golden prime," --

   And Sir Romeo sticks in his ear a rose,

Then hey!-- for the rippple of laughing rhyme!

 

In a theme where the thoughts have a pedant strut

   In a changing quarrel of "Ayes" and "Noes,"

In a starched procession of "If" and "But,"

  There is place enough for the pains of prose; --

  But whenever a soft glance softer grows,

And the light hours dance to the trysting-time,

  And the secret is told "that no one knows,"

Then hey!-- for the rippple of laughing rhyme!

 

 

    ENVOY

 

In the work-a-day world, -- for its needs and woes,

There is place enough for the pains of prose;

But whenever the May-bells clash and chime,

Then hey!-- for the rippple of laughing rhyme!

 

 

Follow the poetry ripples over to the Poetry Friday Roundup, hosted this week by the ever-talented & generous Jone Rush MacCulloch.

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Poetry Friday - Joyeux Jour de la Terre! (Armchair April in Paris...)

 

Bonjour!  

 

One thing I love about being an Etsy seller is that sometimes I send my artsyletters offerings to the four corners of the world.  I've had customers in close to 20 countries. This week I received an order with a special request from France, and the message was sent via email rather than through Etsy, so there wasn't an option to translate on the spot.  However, I was delighted to realize that my four years of French in high school and one in college were sufficient for me to make out its meaning!  [I still used an online translator just to make sure, and sent my reply in English and via a copy from an online translator, though I did "check" that it looked right.]

 

And while items in my shop have a definite British Isles bent - I mean, my target market really is nerdy English-major types like myself - somewhow a few items for Francophiles continue to surface from my work table. Especially since I was able to procure some gorgeous letters and postcards and bank notes and such from centuries past, from a seller in France.  (I often buy supplies from other corners of the earth, too.) 

 

I am especially smitten with postcards and business receipts and such with layers of interesting text or handwriting in different hues of ink, all jumbled together - ahhhh.  And while I do reproduce some antique maps etc. for items I make that I need more than one of (tourist-friendly items at a local shop here in Beaufort, etc.), I do prefer to just capture the actual text or image under glass as a one-of-a-kind snippet of history, such as the items in the picture above.  I'll wrangle these into finished pieces and get some listed today, to join a few French items already listed.

 

I don't have an actual French poem to share today, but when I think about French writing, Le Petit Prince always come to mind.  (I do have a copy in French somewhere...!)  I have always adored this book, and even read it out loud to eighth graders - eighth graders! - back in the day when I briefly taught middle school English. 

 

My love affair is shared  by the world, evidently - did you know there was a The Little Prince theme park in France, near the German and Swiss borders?  (See https://www.thelittleprince.com.) There's also a foundation. And closer to home, evidently a Broadway play just opened? 

 

If you haven't read the story, it's just a treasure of creativity, love, loss, and hope.  In fact, I read that aside from religious texts, it's the most translated book in the world. It features a pilot, stranded in the Sahara desert, who encounters a little prince requesting a drawing of a sheep. Throughout the tale, the young prince describes his journey across planets, and amusing and touching encounters which evoke universal themes. 

 

The whole book seems poem-like to me, with its fairy tale qualities and compression into a deceptively simple form.  (Saint-Exupery did write poetry and other works.) Plus, the art is charming. So for a taste of the book's voice, I'll just share a few sentences from the beginning, as the narrator, before meeting the book's subject, explains how he left a career in art at the tender age of 6, after an unsuccessful (according to others) couple of drawings. 

 

The grown-ups then advised me to give up my drawings of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside, and to devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic and grammar. Thus it was that I gave up a magnificent career as a painter at the age of six. I had been disappointed by the lack of success of my drawing No. 1 and my drawing No. 2. Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves and it is rather tedious for children to have to explain things to them time and again.

 

So I had to choose another job and I learnt to pilot aeroplanes.

 

[Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de. The Little Prince (pp. 10-11). GENERAL PRESS. Kindle Edition.]

 

The book was written while Saint-Exupery was in the United States.  It was published in 1943, only a year before the author's plane disappeared on a mission in World War II.

 

Earth Day wasn't around in the 1940s, but I have a feeling The Little Prince would agree with its aims of nurturing this planet. And speaking of this planet, and of France, the world will be keeping an eye on the presidential election there this weekend I'm sure, with ramifications not just for France but for the war in Ukraine and political relations beyond. 

 

Merci for joining me in this very rambling post today - be sure to pilot on over to see Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for this week's Roundup, and to catch up with the Kidlit Progressive Poem! Thanks for all the hosting, Margaret. 

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Poetry Friday - Hooray for Pens!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Last week in a comment, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater asked about the glass pen in the picture with my little journals, and if I wrote with it.  Actually, that pen was an exquisite gift brought back for me from Italy from my very dear friend and fellow kidlit-folk, Paula Puckett. I have written with it, but mostly use it for Etsy photos.  It has a metal nib. 

 

I did, however, purchase an all-glass pen not very long ago.  I hadn't tried it, but since Amy asked, I finally gave it a wee scribble. I think I'm in love! It's fun to hold and terribly smooth.  The line is a bit wider than I'm used to writing or drawing with, as I usually use smaller nibs (especially the metal hawks quill or crow quill for drawing).  But I'm envisioning a lovely future with this pen, especially if I can keep from breaking it. 

 

The one I have is from Herbin; you can see a demonstration at their website here.  The side of the box explains, "Glass pens were very trendy in 17th century Venice." Because the nib has grooves, you can write several words before having to take the pen for a dip in the inkwell. 

 

I've always loved the physical act of writing.  As a kid, I took to cursive like a bee to nectar.  I have a vague memory of my second grade teacher letting me "teach" writing on the chalk board one day.

 

I've shared this haiku before, but I did write a poem about writing with a dip pen, before my daughter's marriage in 2016:

 

 

wedding invitations
the press and release
of the nib

 

©Robyn Hood Black

 
Third Honorable Mention, Harold G. Henderson Haiku Awards, Frogpond, Volume 39 Number 3, Autumn 2016

 

dust devils - THE RED MOON ANTHOLOGY OF ENGLISH-LANGUAGE HAIKU 2016, edited by Jim Kacian & The Red Moon Editorial Staff, Red Moon Press, 2017

 

For a longer poem with a pen reference, rich in imagery and family dynamics, here's a link to a treasure from Seamus Heaney's Death of a Naturalist (Oxford University Press, 1966):

 

 

Digging

 

by Seamus Heaney


Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

...

 

Click here for the poem. 

 

 

If you're a fountain pen fan, you might enjoy this 2016 article by Elizabeth Vogdes that I stumbled upon.  It's from the Swarthmore College Bulletin, "The Poetry of Pen and Ink."

 

What's your favorite way to commit poetic inspirations to paper - or, are you all electronic?  Or is a vintage typewriter your mode of literary record? My aforementioned friend Paula loves itty bitty ends of pencils! I'll grab whatever is handy, but I do love real pens.  Dip pens are best, but  Pigma Microns come in handy if I need a narrow line in a jiffy, or a way to write tiny text on little stained price tags for my items in local shops.

 

Do you like bold color? India ink? Do you end up with all the pens in the universe in the bottom of your purse (for those who carry purses)? Would you be caught without a pen?

 

Thanks for visiting, and be sure to check out all the luscious lines rounded up by Matt this week at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme. (He's got an interview with Leslie Bulion, and a giveaway!)  Thanks, Matt. Also, follow along with our annual Kidlit Progressive Poem - here's a link to it from Jama's Alphabet Soup, and while you're there, check out Jama's roundup of Kidlit Poetry Month goodness! 

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Poetry Friday - Hooray - It's National Poetry Month!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Happy NATIONAL POETRY MONTH 2022!  (Click here for the poets.org link.)

 

So much goodness is planned for our Kidlit corner of the online universe; be sure to check out Jama's Roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  And be sure to follow along with this year's Kidlit Progressive Poem, kindly hosted again by Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

 

As for my own little corner of the corner, I plan to get a little jump on celebrating 10 (!) years of artsyletters later this year with some 'perfect-for-poets' gift ideas each Friday. I'll share poetry each week, too, of course!

 

When I ponder poetry, I often let my mind wander to the privilege I had of meeting Nancy Willard decades ago at a writer's conference.  (You might recall her A VISIT TO WILLIAM BLAKE'S INN won the Newbery Award in 1982, and the Provensens received a Caldecott Honor for it.)  One of my favorite books about writing is her TELLING TIME - Angels, Ancestors, and Stories. I've mentioned it before, I know.  (Willard was born in 1936 and died in 2017; you can read more about her here.)

 

I especially love her first chapter, "How Poetry Came Into the World and Why God Doesn't Write It."  This essay includes some banter between Adam and Eve, and both find that poetry helps them to communicate.  Here are a couple of treasures Willard includes from The Rattle Bag, by anonymous authors:

 

 

I will give my love an apple without any core,

I will give my love a house without any door,

I will give my love a palace wherein he may be

and he may unlock it without any key.

 

 

and

 

 

It is late last night the dog was speaking of you;

the snipe was speaking of you in her deep marsh.

It is you are the lonely bird through the woods;

and that you may be without a mate until you find me.

 

 

If all this talk of love has your heart a-flutter, take it over to my juicy little universe, where Heidi has much more to love in the Roundup this week.  Thanks for hosting, Heidi!  And here's to a Happy Poetry Month to all.  I look forward to starting off mine with an online Haiku Society of America Southeast Region workshop on Saturday. :0)

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Poetry Friday - a blue haiku

 

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 another

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.)

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Happy Thanksgiving/Happy Poetry Friday!

 

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.
William Shakespeare
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!

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Poetry Friday - The Roundup is HERE! :0)

 

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:

 

 

ZEN TREE

 

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.

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Poetry Friday - Helping Hand Haiku and a World of Thanks

I've got the anthology link on Amazon below, and here's a link to my Antique Map "A World of Thanks" cards. (I also have those as part of a pack with USPS Thank You Forever stamps, and gold swirl seals.)

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

What a week.  In the midst of the chaos and anticipation and general global angst, bright spots have been found.  First, a big THANKS to Jama Kim Rattigan, who kindly included some of my artsyletters wares in her "Nine Cool Things on a Tuesday" post - she does find the COOLest things, with help from Mr. Cornelius, of course. I enjoyed the delightful diversions!

 

Also, I've just started perusing the latest haiku anthology from Robert Epstein, THE HELPING HAND HAIKU ANTHOLOGY (Including Senryu, Tanka, and Haiga).  The collection includes poems about kindness between humans and non-humans alike.  It's hot off the press, and I've not had time to read much yet. But it's a refreshing tonic for these stressful days!

 

Robert was kind enough to include three of my haiku:

 

 

sorting darks and lights

my love note

in his pocket

 

HSA Members' Anthology, 2019 - A Moment's Longing, edited by Tanya McDonald.

 

 

 

blue mask she smiles with her eyes

 

 

 

hatchlings - 

beyond orange tape,

the sea

 

Frogpond 42:3, Fall 2019

 

 

And, finally, I'm running around trying to get my shop ready for our November First Friday event.  (Masks required!)  As we did last month, we'll have a table set up with cards and pens for folks to write holiday notes to deployed service members.  I was running shy of the total Thank You cards I wanted to send this month, so I asked my daughter Morgan if her third graders might want to write some. 

 

They were excited to participate, she said, and wrote them this week.  (She made a lesson out of it.)  That daughter of mine also enlisted fellow third-grade classrooms, so she'll be mailing me a whole bunch to send!  I can't wait to receive them and send them on with others I've been collecting.  Now I can get the December batch going.

 

I am grateful for TEACHERS, for all the active duty MILITARY who serve, and for our VETERANS (Happy Veterans' Day next week!).  I'm grateful for kindnesses great and small.  I'm grateful for poetry.  And, for YOU!

 

Fellow Etsy shop owner Susan has our Poetry Friday Roundup over at Soul Blossom Living today - thanks, Susan!  (You can find her on Etsy at SoulBlossomLiving - she even has a fun felted mouse kit! And circle back here next week, where I'll be Rounding Up with some HOP TO IT fun & poetic holiday gift ideas.)

 

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Poetry Friday - Found Poem Collage & How-To!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  This week I had the wonderful opportunity to present a workshop for the young creators of the 2020 Camp Conroy. Pat Conroy was a devoted and lifelong teacher at heart, as you might know about the acclaimed author, beloved around the world as well as here in his own Lowcountry. For the third year, the Pat Conroy Literacy Center has assembled a team of top-notch creative teachers  who spend a couple of weeks in intensive workshopping and creating with eager participants.  An extra person is brought in here or there, and I got to be one of those folks this year!  Of course, when I signed on months ago, who knew we would all be doing these things v-i-r-t-u-a-l-l-y.....?  

 

But Center Director Jonathan Haupt and his fearless Camp Conroy team - Miho Kinnas, Lisa Anne Cullen, and Robin Prince Monroe - (three amazing published writers, poets, teachers and visual artists - look 'em up!) embraced the challenge and have been offering a lively and nurturing experience via Zoom.  One bonus of this arrangement this year is that a few young creators are chiming in from other parts of the world, contributing their own creations to what the local Campers will produce as group projects and collections. 

 

"This is our chance to share a little bit of Camp Conroy's Great Love with all of those sheltering and educating at home this summer," they say. Plans are for local participants to gather in July for an in-person event celebrating the unveiling of this year's "Camp Conroy Book."

 

I led a Found Poem Mixed Media Collage workshop, much like the one I led for Poetry Camp out in Bellingham, Washington, a few years ago, and have since offered in Beaufort, too.  But how to do this from a distance?  Now, that was a little trickier. 

 

First, I made supply kits for each participant and added them to the big pre-Camp mailing the Center was doing. Check.

 

Then, I recorded a how-to video - my first time trying such a thing. Should be a piece of cake, I thought, having posted all those poem-reading videos on my Robyn Hood Black YouTube Channel in April.  Right?  Well, the recording part took a while (this is usually a 90-minute to two-hour workshop, after all), but thanks to my new little phone tripod, I got it done. 

 

Then I put all the pieces parts together, editing and chopping, editing and chopping.  Then I tried to upload the video. 

 

"Mwaaa - haaaa - haaaaa" laughed all the invisible techno-gods in unison at my hubris. I tried uploading to YouTube, on my heretofore unused artsyletters Channel.  Hours and hours (a couple of different overnights, even....) - No Go.  Stuck at 99 percent and then - failure.  I tried uploading to the Center's Dropbox.  Hours and hours... well, you get the picture.  

 

So here's a tip, stumbled onto after bleary-eyed days of looking for some magical virtual key - worth your reading of this post, if nothing else:  to upload a video longer than 15 minutes to YouTube, you have to have a verified account.  What's a verified account?  You go to settings (I think - it's all a blur) and look around for the "Verify account" option.  Then, you simply type in your cell phone number or email address and wait for one of those handy six-digit codes banks often use to make sure you are you and not a robot.  Type in the six numbers, and  - poof!  You're verified.  And your - cough-cough - 48-minute cinematic feat might just upload in less than two hours, and process fairly quickly after that.  (Insert emoji with hand slapping forehead right about here.)

 

Back to poetry.  So the video was made accessible, and the young campers had a day or two to work on their collages before we all "met" on Wednesday afternoon.  As always when working with kids, I was amazed at their creativity and fresh perspectives.  Some were still working on theirs, but several pieces were to a finished or at least share-able stage.  Such talented writers and artists!! I'm always energized seeing what creative young folks come up with. Oh, and the three teachers played along in a closing found-poem activity, too - I can tell they are all having as much fun as the kids.

 

Above you see the collage I made as a sample.  The text is from a 1960-ish EduCard featuring a science experiment.  I "found" a poem about balance because:  1.) There's a wonderful yoga studio above the Literary Center; 2.) I've been inspired by so many people taking a Stand lately; and, 3.) I probably - nope, definitely - need a little more balance in my life.

Anyway, here is the poem:

 

 

 

Keep in Balance

 

 

 

earth pulls       everthing

 

     to center.  This place

 

    will not fall

 

when your body is 

 

    "base"

 

  You will

 

Stand

 

         bring your center 

and see what happens.

 

 

Poem found by Robyn Hood Black. 

 

 

If you're looking for a creative project to wile away a summer day, or if you need an activity for kids or grandkids or such, feel free to have a look at the video I made! There's a mini studio tour at the beginning.  It's a bit choppy, with my crazed efforts at making it shorter so it would load somewhere, etc., but you'll get the steps.  You can adapt this project to materials you have handy, and improvise away, too!

Here's the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVo_d5CqgBs

 

Wishing you a balanced weekend during which you find lots of poetry... you can start over at The Miss Rumphius Effect, where the lovely Tricia has our Roundup this week!  (Program Note - I'll be taking a wee little break for the next couple of Fridays, but see you in July!  And, if you don't get my quarterly(-ish) artsyletters newsletter, I'll be sending one out soon; you can sign up here. )  Thanks, and take good care!

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Poetry Friday - Now That You Have Time to Read and Write... David G. Lanoue's HAIKU GUY OMNIBUS (& More!)

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Happy Spring!  It's a comfort that the seasons still appear in turn.  

 

"Surreal" is definitely the word which keeps popping up like the daffodils.  I hope you and yours are well. 

 

If you're shuttered and going a little stir-crazy, maybe you're tackling that big pile of books on the bedroom nightstand?  Or ordering new books?  You might recall being curious about David G. Lanoue's HAIKU GUY series, after reading about it here somewhere, or maybe even half a dozen years ago in a column I wrote on Janice Hardy's Fiction University blog.  Well, good news!  To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series, David has JUST released the HAIKU GUY OMNIBUS!  

 

This hefty, handy paperback features HAIKU GUY, LAUGHING BUDDHA, HAIKU WARS, FROG POET, and DEWDROP WORLD, all in one place. 

 

The back cover copy explains it well:

 

Five interconnected narratives explore the art of haiku by following the adventures of Buck-Teeth, a fictional student of haiku master Cup-of-Tea (the historical Issa).  Sliding easily back and forth between Old Japan and contemporary New Orleans, between the unfolding stories and the author's writing group commenting on those stories, the five meandering narratives reflect on the meaning of life, the purpose of poetry, and the search for enlightenment.  Though each little novel stands alone, together they form parts of a greater whole that, author David G. Lanoue suggests, can be discovered in the same way that one finds shapes in midsummer clouds - hence his advice to the reader with which he ends his Preface, "Squint hard."

 

These stories are both entertaining and inspiring, and unlike anything you've read before!  If you haven't read them, I know you'll enjoy the journey. 

 

Many of you know David through his "Daily Issa" contributions to your inbox. I don't know about you, but in these more-than-challenging times, I lap these up like a hummingbird at a trumpet flower. Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) is beloved as one of the early haiku masters who found beauty in and connection with all living things despite a life full of hardships. (Here is info about David's Issa books.) 

 

David teaches English and world literature at Xavier College in New Orleans and is a translator of Japanese haiku as well as a writer. He was president of the Haiku Society of America from 2013 to 2015.  In addition to poetry and these unique haiku/fiction combinations, his books also include scholarly criticism, and the wonderful WRITE LIKE ISSA how-to guide, which I'm thrilled to have a poem in. 

 

Thursday's "Daily Issa" haiku was perfect for the first day of Spring:

 

 

at my dinner tray

a sparrow chirps...

spring rain

 

 

I featured a few of David's Issa haiku on some seasonal business-card-sized poem cards in my Etsy shop, including this one for Spring:

 

 

the mountain sunset

within my grasp...

spring butterfly

 

 

(I've also featured this particular card in a Send Spring Cheer pack I've just come up with. My idea is to encourage folks to send notes to those who might be feeling especially isolated right now.  The pack includes my wren and book note cards, eight first-class flower Forever stamps, eight spring Issa cards, and a sheet of sparkly red heart stickers.  It's listed at just a feather above my cost with free shipping, ready-made with all that's needed for sending, except the writer's personal note and the walk to the mailbox.)

 

Many thanks, and hearty congratulations, to David for the new book!  And much appreciation for the beauty and kindness added to the world through so many works. 

 

Sending love to all in these trying days.  I hope the chatter of birds and the surprise of new blooms can cheer your heart as you venture out for some fresh air and Vitamin D each day.  (And for those of you in snow, I hope Spring arrives soon!)

 

For more poetry (and art!) to help you through, please visit the lovely and talented Michelle Kogan for this week's Roundup.

 

All in this together. XO

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