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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Spring Haiku from Terri L. French


Happy 2nd Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month!

I'm on the road but wanted to share a few lovely spring haiku by my friend, Terri L. French. Terri has been the fearless leader of our Southeast Region of the Haiku Society of America for several years, bringing lots of lively opportunities to our part of the country. I'm taking the reins this year, but she and the organization's powers-that-be have kindly agreed to let me get past a very busy spring first, including planning daughter Morgan's out-of-town June wedding. (Thank you, Terri and HSA!)

Much appreciation to Terri for sharing these poems here this week. Enjoy!



oodles of daffodils--
the beauty of an empty vase


Bottle Rockets, 2011



a succession of sneezes--
forsythia blossoms




gentle rain...
the chant of spring peepers
joins my zen




wind
blowing on the child
blowing on the pinwheel



Poems ©Terri L. French. All rights reserved.



These last two poems are from Terri's collection, A Ladybug on My Words, available from Amazon.

Terri was a guest on my blog three years ago during Poetry Month; click here for a bit of her background and more of her haiku!

Speaking of haiku and Poetry Month, The Haiku Foundation will once again celebrate International Haiku Day with a global "rolling haiku" on April 17. Mark your calendar and click here for more details!


If you're a fan of short poems, you've probably ventured over to Laura Purdie Salas's blog. She's our host today for the Roundup, so make like a ladybug and fly on over to visit Writing the World for Kids.
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Poetry Friday - The Roundup is HERE! Along with Terrific Student Haiku...



HAPPY POETRY FRIDAY!

So glad you're joining the party. I'm delighted to host today. Everyone is welcome - new faces and PF veterans alike.

In addition to the Roundup, it's my pleasure to share a few accolade-winning student haiku this week.

Tom Painting, language arts teacher at The Paideia School in Atlanta and haiku poet extraordinaire, sent along some poems by his eighth-grade students which recently appeared in the "Youth Corner" of The United Haiku and Tanka Society's online publication, cattails. (To read more about cattails, click here to read my interview with its Youth Corner editor, Kala Ramesh.)


The following haiku received honorable mention recognition in cattails in January. Also, each young poet agreed to share a personal thought about haiku, which appear just beneath his or her name.



shower steam
my off key notes bounce
on the tiled walls


©Taylor Clay
"I enjoy writing and reading haiku because of the satisfaction in creating a beautiful scene with only a few words."


setting sun
the scarecrow whistles
in the wind


©Cole McCord
"Haiku allows me to remove a moment from my memory and place it on a page for safekeeping. "


the rocks
water glides down
the river


©Hunter Collins
"I choose the moment that strongly urges to be put down on paper. Then, I let the moment write itself."


bound diary
what secrets do
you hold?


©Naiima Paul
"Haiku is like any art form, one needs inspiration. Anything can inspire you, from the sound of raindrops to a photo of your cousin."


Many thanks to Taylor, Cole, Hunter, and Naiima for sharing their work. I'm always inspired by the haiku of young poets!

And I must share a fun comment from one of my daughter Morgan's third graders this week. (I've been traveling across SC to her classroom for some classroom poetry adventures in recent weeks, tagging wedding planning appointments to these visits in the process.) I told the kids I'd see them in April, after spring break. Out of the blue, one of Morgan's enthusiastic young poets, Krish, made my day. He said, "Spring Break is a great time to write nature haiku!"

Indeed it is. Wishing you warmth and inspiration as the calendar pages turn to spring.

Please leave your links (& a brief description) in the comments below, and I'll round up as we go along. NOTE: We'll actually be on the road again this afternoon, so links left after lunch might not get rounded up until this evening. [I also just bought a laptop I'm trying to figure out how to use. It will go with me - wish me luck!] Thanks for your patience, and feel free to scan the comments to visit everyone's posts today in the meantime.


Onward to Poetry!

At Random Noodling, Diane is generously sharing a pot of fresh coffee to celebrate WORLD POETRY DAY, along with a tray of original coffee-themed poems from recent years. Cheers!

For a bit more about WORLD POETRY DAY and a poem about what girls wanted 500 years ago, pop in over at Diane’s Kurious Kitty. Mrow.

CB Haneck chimes in with poetic praise for our noses. And, no, not because they can smell.

Michelle joins CB in responding to Amy LV’s TLD Challenge herself at Today’s Little Ditty, ringing in spring with some amorous cicadas.

Speaking of Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, Laura celebrates Amy’s exciting news at Writing the World for Kids. (What? You haven’t heard? Laura’s got it covered, with a couple more wonderful shout-outs, too.) Laura also shares the link to Penny’s post about a project by Ken Slasarik inspired by Laura’s WATER CAN BE. Yes, there’s a lot of mutual poetry love being passed around today!

Matt offers up the “Naani” poetry form from India at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, with an invitation (challenge?) to try one yourself.

What’s the weather doing outside your window, and did it change from five minutes ago? Lovely Linda captures the topsy-turvy-ness of spring’s arrival with an original poem and picture at Teacher Dance.

Carol has rolled out the St. Patrick’s Day green at Beyond Literacy Link - go grab yourself some poetry, and a lovely Irish blessing to boot!

Rubber boots handy? Brenda’s leading us on a mud-luscious puddle romp over at Friendly Fairy Tales. with an original poem and a couple others. Enjoy – you can clean up later!

Jone’s in this week with an appreciative limerick for her assistant and info about how to receive an illustrated poem post card from her students for Poetry Month. Check it Out!

Responding to one of Tricia’s terrific challenges, Catherine shares a moving ekphrastic poem today at Reading to the Core. (Maybe grab a tissue….)

Tabatha joins in today with two powerful poems by Kathryn Stripling Byer from Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia at The Opposite of Indifference. (And a certain beloved Monster gearing up for April.)

Julie’s been busy! At The Drift Record, she presents a list poem by Nobel-prize winner Wislawa Szymborska, and an invitation to write a response poem.

Over at Books Around the Table, she’s exploring phrenology and bumps in the night – you can’t resist clicking on that one, can you? Hmm? What might your skull say about YOU?

At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee shares an original poem, “Bygones,” to announce her fantastic Poetry Month project. (Diane Mayr, you must check this out! Everyone else, too.)

Penny’s collaborative series, A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, continues today with a special treat : Guest poster is Ken Slesarik, in with a whole roomful of first-grade poets! They produced a collaborative work inspired by Laurie Purdie Salas’s WATER CAN BE. Your day will not be the same if you miss this colorful feast.

At Dori Reads, the ever-lovely Doraine is in this week with a perfect-for-spring poem by Abigail Carroll, an adult poet who's stepping into the children's poetry world and shares her thoughts on that, too. [If the air is yellow with pollen where you are, you’ll particularly enjoy! We're swimming in it down South.]

Inspiration wafts from life to life around here. Margaret Simon, at Reflections on the Teche., offers up a poem inspired by an emailed quote from Laura Shovan and a photo Tabatha posted on her blog. Beautiful words and profound thoughts.

Heidi extends an invitation to participate in her Poetry Month project at My Juicy Little Universe. Pass the ketchup, please, and a napkin? (To write poems on, of course!)

Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town generously offers “a touch of sanity” from Wendell Berry today. Yes, please. Enjoy his “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front.”

Irene – yes the same one whose DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST just garnered an SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins poetry honor book designation – shares Don Tate’s amazing book, POET: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate at Live Your Poem.

Ramona’s in the mix with poems from Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s 42 Miles (plus another one) at Pleasures from the Page. Another book for my must-read stack!

Tara’s a woman after my own heart today, sharing Gary Short’s beautiful “Teaching Poetry to Third Graders” over at A Teaching Life. She also shares a way in which poetry ended a very challenging day in the classroom with a bit of affirmation.

More Tuesday Slice of Life Goodness (I love that PR and Slice of Life collide so often!) from Molly, sharing an original poem, “The Nightly Struggle,” that captures the experience of so many of us I’m sure, yearning to turn another page before turning out the booklight!

Yay – more haiku today! Thanks to the oh-so-talented Elizabeth Steinglass for sharing two gorgeous spring haiku (and a picture of one of the prettiest Poetry Friday cats in the realm) as well as her thoughts about crafting haiku – well worth the short read if you are a haikuist or an aspiring one.

Though no one would blame Amy if she were still up in the clouds after FOREST HAS A SONG just won the inaugural SCBWI Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award.– (!!!) – she’s her usual down-to-earth-self over at The Poem Farm today, with an original poem, “Lesson From a Stone Bowl,” that just proves why her writing is so award-worthy, and how she embraces life as a poet.

Please join Violet (the perfect Spring name!), who is outside with her camera and stellar eye taking pictures and poetic inspiration for her “Spring Journal” she’s sharing with all of us.

Cathy’s been taking inspiration from nature this week, too, at Merely Day by Day. Join a cacophony of blackbirds with her lively original poem, “Bird Games.”

And now up to Maine, where Donna at Mainely Writeshares another delicious slice of life experience-put-to-poetry, “Book Club and a Mug”set against the dark mornings after the time change.

Little Willow’s in this week with “Babylon” by Robert Graves at Bildungsroman - a perfect companion to so many posts today about young poets, and young-at-heart poets inspired by Spring.

Jama doesn’t have a regular PF post today, but she’s putting forth the call to send in YOUR Poetry Month features for her April round-up! She and Mr. Cornelius do a great job keeping track of the many ambitious projects. If you have something special planned (one of these years, I keep saying to myself!) just send your addition to her website email address at jamarattigan.com. Thanks, Jama and Mr. C.!

Over at Teaching Authors, the wonderful JoAnn is featuring an Avis Harley poem from African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways. (Isn’t that a great book title?) She’s also not alone, I’m sure, in her struggle with taking the perfect selfie,which she’s written about in a chuckle-worthy original poem.

At All About the Books with Janet Squires, Janet is serving up Georgia Heard’s anthology of found poems, THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK. (I’m personally partial to this collection, as it includes two poems by yours truly!)

{--We interrupt this Roundup for its host to hit the Road. I'll check back this evening for any afternoon link-leavers! Thanks.--}

Evening Update: I'm having computer AND network connection issues, and my attempts to update keep getting swallowed into a cyber-black-hole. My apologies! PLEASE scroll down to the end of the comments for a few more great poetry links - canine poetry & a challenge from Joy, a post from Karen, and, all the way from Guam, news from Sylvia V! Thanks, and have a great weekend, all!
THEN, check out the posts from Lisa and Fats at the end!
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Poetry Friday - Haiku by Paideia Teacher Sydney Cleland


Hello, Dear Poetry Lovers!

Today we have a special treat, as yet another teacher from The Paideia School in Atlanta has caught the haiku bug from teacher and haiku poet extraordinaire Tom Painting.. I'm happy to welcome Sydney Cleland, whose selections are especially appropriate as we wave a rosy goodbye to February, a month for lovers.

Let's enjoy some of her haiku, and then we'll find out how she fell in love with the form.



new lover
last year’s roses
pressed between pages


he loves me
he loves me not
giri-choko only


Johnny-jump-ups
the earth sends
a valentine


sweet tart hearts
the long married
fight and make up


chocolate on the pillow
romance conjured
by the hotel staff


icicles liquefy
a heart knows
what it wants


cardinal couples
pair up today
hope struts the yard



poems© Sydney Cleland. All rights reserved.

[Confession - I had to look up "giri choco" and Wikipedia tells me it's "obligation chocolate"given by women to men on Valentine's day in Japan... (a) relatively inexpensive type of chocolate women give to male co-workers, casual acquaintances, and others to whom they have no romantic attachment.] Well, how about that?

And now, a few questions for our guest poet:

How has your understanding of haiku changed over the last year?

Thankfully, Tom has brought haiku into my classroom. I teach poetry by reading contemporary free verse poems with students, focusing on close reading by just spending time with a poem. Haiku is such a short form that at first I found it rather like eating a snack instead of a meal. But now I understand not only the requirements of the form but some of the complex artistry, especially how a haiku poet connects images and lines without forming a sentence.

What do you most enjoy about reading or writing haiku?

The challenge. In the compact haiku space, I don’t have room to elaborate, so I’m learning to begin with an image, rather than an idea. That’s a huge challenge for me because I tend to begin with ideas. I also enjoy how spare it is. The form itself reminds me to slow down my life, to get rid of the unnecessary, to find joy in the simplest things. Writing haiku provides a mental break, almost meditative in nature. I’m a crossword enthusiast and (for whatever reason), writing haiku delivers the same feelings as noodling over the Saturday New York Times puzzle.

How does writing haiku benefit your students?

We haven’t done as much as I’d like, and that’s the biggest obstacle to discovering its potential benefits. We learn about and write haiku during only 4 or 5 class periods a year. But I am seeing some positive effects. For students who have trouble elaborating, the simplicity of haiku can be freeing. Students who are visual artists enjoy finding imagery for the form. We’ve done drawings to accompany the writing, which some students love. Those who, like me, have trouble accessing imagery, begin to do that. But possibly the chief benefit is that I am writing, which I hope makes me a better teacher of writing.

Why haiku?

Short answer: haiku because of my enthusiastic, collaborative colleague Tom, without whom I would not have explored this form. In fact, I feel so grateful at this moment, I’m going off to write a haiku of thanks for him….


Much appreciation to Sydney for joining us today and for sharing her poetry! Don't you want to sit in on her class?

In a few weeks we'll enjoy some more student poetry from Paideia, so stay tuned.

Thanks in advance for leaving your comments below, and apologies in advance if I don't respond right away. I'm back on the road for another poetry/creative writing session across the state with Morgan's third-graders - :0) - but I'll check in later!

Be sure to check out all the great Poetry Friday offerings rounded up this week by our Lovely Liz Steinglass, an all-around-wonderful writer and published haiku poet herself!
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Poetry Friday - Old Haiku Still Rings True!


Greetings! I hope you felt some extra love on Valentine’s Day. My hubby and I were on the same wavelength – we each got each other 1.) a card 2.) a chocolate bar [his vegan, of course] and 3.) a book of haiku! I bought him a collection pertaining to a particular interest of his (another story for another day) and he found me a delightful old book at our wonderful new bookstore featuring old stock, Nevermore Books.

This slim volume is called simply, Japanese Haiku, ©1955, 1956 by The Peter Pauper Press. and compiled by Peter Beilenson (1905–1962). It has a lovely paper cover and simple block print illustrations beside each poem. I cannot speak to the accuracy of these translations, especially compared to others who were publishing anthologies and such mid-century, but I did enjoy the brief introduction. Here’s a liberal sampling:

It is usually impossible to translate a haiku literally and have it remain a poem, or remain in the proper seventeen-syllable form. There are several reasons for this: Haiku are full of quotations and allusions which are recognized by literate Japanese and not by us. They are full of interior double-meanings almost like James Joyce. And the language is used without connecting-words or tenses or pronouns or indications of singular or plural – almost a telegraphic form. Obviously a translation cannot at once be so terse and so allusive.

In the texture of the poems there is a further difficulty: Japanese is highly polysullabic. The only way to reproduce such a texture in English is to use Latinized words – normally less sympathetic than the Anglo-Saxon. For all these reasons, the following versions make no pretense to be literal or complete, and some variations in the five-seventeen-five syllable have been allowed.

... One final word: the haiku is not expected to be always a complete or even a clear statement. The reader is supposed to add to the words his own associations and imagery, and thus to become a co-creator of his own pleasure in the poem. The publishers hope their readers may here co-create such pleasure for themselves!


I recognized names of the “masters” throughout, but there are some names I didn't know that I need to explore. Here are a few of the poems from the pages pictured above (click the photo to see all), from three of the major four names associated with the development of early haiku. [I didn’t include any from Issa, as there weren’t any on this spread and I usually turn to David G. Lanoue’s translations for those!] The 17 syllables make some poems in this volume sound forced, but these I particularly enjoyed:



SILENT THE OLD TOWN . . .
THE SCENT OF FLOWERS FLOATING . . .
AND EVENING BELL

Basho



DEEP IN DARK FOREST
A WOODCUTTER’S DULL AXE TALKING . . .
AND A WOODCUTTER

Buson



VENDOR OF BRIGHT FANS
CARRYING HIS PACK OF BREEZE . . .
OH! WHAT AWFUL HEAT!

Shiki



VOICES OF TWO BELLS
THAT SPEAK FROM TWILIGHT TEMPLES . . .
AH! COOL DIALOGUE

Buson



Okay, this last one I’m sharing (by the Venerable ‘Anonymous’) cracks me up this week, because I live in South Carolina, and you can imagine all the political ads running rampant here lately, and the politicians, too! ;0)


FRIEND, THAT OPEN MOUTH
REVEALS YOUR INTERIOR . . .
SILLY HOLLOW FROG!

Anon.



I do hope you “co-created pleasure” reading those! I’m exploring haiku and other types of poetry today with third and fourth graders at Morgan’s school in Greenville, SC. (Got snowed in on our earlier attempt last month, but sunny skies prevail right now.)

We'll round out February here next week with some lovely, love-themed haiku from another of Tom Painting’s fellow teachers at The Paideia School in Atlanta. Be sure to circle back! (I’ll be on the road AGAIN that day – continuing a poetry-writing project with Morgan’s class and attending a wedding shower for her. Poetry and love all month long….)

Thanks for coming by, and please visit the wonderful Donna at Mainely Write for more poetry-love in this week’s Round Up. Also, remember to check out Laura Shovan's lively "found object" poetry project this month - lots of great poems!
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Poetry Friday - Happy New Year! Sharing Diane Mayr's Postcard...


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Just stepping in for a wave and a wish that you and yours are having a joyful start to 2016. Diane Mayr kindly said I could share her "Year of the Monkey" postcard she created and included with my Winter Poem Swap goodies. For more about the postcard project she's participating in, please go visit her blog!

Poetry Friday is ringing in the New Year with our fearless leader/PF host rounder-upper Mary Lee at A Year of Reading .

Here's to a CREATIVE 2016 all around.... Cheers! Read More 
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Poetry Friday: Welcome to Paideia Teacher and Haiku Poet Becca McCauley




Greetings, Poetry Friday-ers! A special treat today. We often feature the fine work of young haiku poets at The Paideia School in Atlanta, Ga., under the guidance of Language Arts teacher and seasoned haiku poet Tom Painting. Today, we welcome one of Tom's colleagues, someone who has embraced haiku as something much more than "a nature poem written in 5-7-5."

That was initially the way Becca McCauley taught haiku, but when she learned there was more to it, she embraced the opportunity to learn and even to write some herself. In fact, Tom recently initiated a monthly haiku "contest" for Paideia students, staff and parents called HaiC (Haiku Challenge), and she has been recognized each of the first three months.

“One of the greatest challenges the haiku community faces is getting informed and inspiring educators on board,” Tom says. "Becca is an inspiration to her 5/6 graders. All 32 of her students write and enter the contest."

We asked Becca a few questions about her exploration of haiku, but first - let's enjoy a handful of her poems.


silent moon
the scarecrow’s shadow stretches
on a barren field


pulsing through
the warm, damp night
cicada symphony


tiny shadows
skitter across the lake
the moon's reflection shattered


pink flamingos
littering the lawn
my fiftieth


parking lot
under the full moon,
a newborn's head emerges



Poems©Becca McCauley. All rights reserved.


Now, a few questions for Becca....


How has your understanding of haiku changed over the last year or so?

[Tom] has definitely honed my understanding, especially the idea of it being conversational in tone, and the importance of including, rather than excluding articles, along with the emphasis on showing rather than telling.

What do you most enjoy about reading and or writing haiku?

I love playing with words, both meanings and sounds, and I just love words in general. I probably enjoy writing haiku more than reading it, but I love hearing the kids' haiku, and I really enjoy ones that surprise me. I am very impressed by some of their contributions.

How does writing haiku benefit your students?

Again, playing with words and vocabulary and sounds is just a great thing to do. It's creative, it's accessible, and it is not too intimidating. Experimenting with synonyms is also both fun and beneficial. We actually do not do all that much with the haiku -- I would like to carve out a bit more time here and there for them to share with each other. I love being able to see another side of a kid -- and the twists and turns of how they are thinking and feeling.

What is the biggest challenge to either you or your students in writing haiku?

Fitting in the time to talk about it -- we are doing so much already....

To sum up with one of our favorite questions for haiku poets: Why haiku?

I have really been enjoying working with haiku this year because life is incredibly busy and hectic. It is very relaxing to mull over words, and it can be done in the odd moments here and there. I have to do this series of stretches and back exercises every morning, and it can be tedious, though it is definitely essential. There is one stretch which does not involve counting or much mental focus, and I often find myself in those moments pondering the next haiku topic, searching for images in my mind that might inspire me, and starting to manipulate words and phrases that might fit together to bring the images to life. Haiku is short enough to capture in some of the small moments that I have available. Also, each word really matters, and I enjoy that idea greatly.

Becca also likens haiku to photography.

I love photography, and sometimes haiku fits it with those mental snapshots, even though they are still in slight motion because they are breathing.

This world is so fast paced, and I think it is really healthy for both me and the kids to have to slow down and and focus on a single moment.

I love to see the kids' humor when it comes out in their haiku as well as their poetic side. The twist, the "aha" moment, allows for that, another reason I enjoy the twist. I also love trying myself to figure out how to arrange the lines to best set up a scene to make an aha possible.


Many thanks to Tom and Becca for this inside peek into how a teacher has embraced haiku, for herself and for her lucky students!

For more inspiring poets and poems this week, be sure to check out the poetic cornucopia over at The Miss Rumphius Effect, where the ever-delightful Tricia has the Roundup.

Pssst.... PS - HUGE thanks to our amazing Jama for featuring me and everything you'd ever want to know about artsyletters Monday at Jama's Alphabet Soup Thanks to so many of you for stopping by!
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Poetry Friday: A Poem to Wear, Perhaps?



Happy Labor Day Weekend, Poetry Lovers!

I'll be busy laboring today, with Beaufort's First Fridays After Five downtown tonight. I usually open my studio and serve a few goodies on First Fridays.

I've discovered a new little item to make in my studio (because, Lord knows, I need another project.) I've been trying to get some more haiku in there, as the few haiku cards I made when I opened sold out. (I know, I need to make some more!)

I wanted to try something with a short poem of mine published in Acorn back in 2012. While this haiku was originally written on a trip home to visit family in Florida, where I grew up, it's taken on new significance for me here in our still-somewhat-new digs in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where there is Spanish moss aplenty.

home again
twists and turns
of the live oak


©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.


First I put the poem on an "Art Bites" 2-inch X 2-inch panel, attaching a little brass chain for hanging. (Third picture.) I plan on making more of these miniature art pieces.

Then I thought it would be fun to try a haiku poem to wear. I discovered metal bezel trays with glass cabochons sized to fit, perfect for pendants. Oh, dear - if you ever start making these, let me warn you, it's addictive. For the first one I wrote and illustrated the same poem, and then experimented my way through several steps with various glazes and drying times in-between to get the art and metal and glass to play nicely together. But the result was fun!



So, I went treasure hunting in some of my late 1800s books, and found some gorgeous illuminated initials, as well as a darling illustration of a house opening a story about Charlotte Brontë's home. Out came the knife, and into pendants they went.

Then I sojourned through one of my old typewriter manuals (this one about 100 years old) and discovered I could "find" words or phrases to highlight in the typing exercises, much like I would do when coaxing a found poem from an old text.

All these I need to make into necklaces, but you can see the finished pendants in the pictures. And you can see that I am out of control.

The last picture is a necklace I made from an illustration out of a German encyclopedia from 1887, the Meyers Konversations-Lexicon, Vol. 7 (G), Fourth Edition, Leipzig, Verlag des Bibliographischen Instituts. It's snipped from a geological illustration, so I added some vintage Czech agate beads from the 1920s, and a fetching brass key. Or key charm? Honestly, I don't know where this hearty little beauty came from, but it had the right patina and size.

Thanks for indulging my poetic and artistic meanderings. If you'd like a little more haiku with your morning coffee, I had a short guest post over at the Grog Blog on Monday.

And for more poetry of all kinds this week, please visit the ever lovely Linda at Teacher Dance.

See you back here next week, when I'll have the Roundup!  Read More 
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Poetry Friday: ONE SMALL CANDLE: Enlightening Haiku from Young Paideia Poets


It's always a pleasure to share the work of young haiku poets from The Paideia School in Atlanta. You've grown to look forward to our Student Haiku Poet of the Month each school year, n'est-ce pas? Have no fear - we'll be doing that again this year!

This week, however, is a special treat, featuring work from some talented fifth-graders. They are in sixth grade now, but these poems were composed for a project this past spring.

Creative writing teacher Tom Painting teamed up with Kate Murray and her 5th grade chorus class at The Paideia School in Atlanta.

“The idea was to have students perform their haiku to music as part of the spring choral concert” he says. “The book, one small candle, features one haiku from each of the 40 students in the class."

Stanford M. Forrester (Sekiro), publisher of haiku, senryu and other small poems at bottle rockets press, designed the small book and published it under buddha baby press.

It features the lovely line art of Ajanta Ferrell on the cover.

The title comes from this entry by Audrey Felske:


one small candle
warms the room
cold shivers down my back



Here is a larger sampling of the many fine poems:



sunset glowing
cows in the field
chewing their cud


Sean Zheng



autumn afternoon
sun burning
the golden field


Duncan Kelly



autumn
wrapped in a blanket
by the candlelight


Morgan Cobb



autunm day
golden leaves fall
on the dirt road


Luna McCauley



leaves fall
I sweep them
from my shoulders


Reid Celestin


In addition to the poems above, the following four haiku received recognition in the United Nations International School Haiku Contest this year:



smell of pine
lingering in the air
faint whisper of the woods


Ajanta Farrell



winter’s night
an owl hoots
through the silence


Jesse Chang-Friedan



the flower
opening up
shared secrets


Emma Delman



winter’s end
ice on the river
gives way


Sean Zheng


All poems © their respective authors. Posted with permission.

Congratulations to each student poet, whether highlighted here today or not. Your haiku warms the room and helps light the darkness!

For poetry of all temperatures today, please visit the incredible Sylvia at Poetry for Children for this week’s Roundup. Sylvia has recently returned from South Africa, where she’s been sharing and receiving all kinds of poetic light.
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Poetry Friday - Back to School and Love in the Air...


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

Many of you are just back in school - in classrooms and media centers - or getting ready to return to school, or sending kiddos off to school, or otherwise in the balance between summer and early fall - perhaps in your first year of retirement after years of teaching!

My daughter Morgan is hosting "Meet the Teacher" today for her second year wrangling third graders in upstate SC. AND (drumroll...) she's receiving her Masters in Education Saturday evening at Furman University. AND (fireworks, canons, bird murmurations...) she JUST GOT ENGAGED! It's been a busy week and a half. She and long-time honey Matt have their eyes and calendars set on a June wedding.

We were thrilled that Matt arranged to propose while we were all together last week, at the beach and bopping around Beaufort. I hid my camera in my purse and behind my back until he popped the question at the waterfront, then was so excited that I kept accidentally turning it off between snapping shots! But I still got a bunch of good pictures. Seth, who returns to the mountains next week for his junior year of college, took some great video. And Matt pulled off a surprise - hard to do with our aforementioned teacher-daughter, who is usually on top of everything.

In unrelated but coincidental news, Jeff was cleaning out some boxes and came across an old notebook from our early married days. I'd had the grand idea that we should start a collection of "Poems for Sundays," in which we'd each present the other with a poem or two each week. We seem to have kept up with that for, um, about three weeks.... But for some reason we still have that notebook from 1987.

We were hopeless romantics for sure. My first entry was Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famous love song from Sonnets of the Portugese:


How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.



And, to my surprise and delight I'd included this the next week:


old pond
a frog leaps in
water's sound


Basho


Confession: I have NO recollection of any familiarity with Basho those few decades ago! Where did I come across his most famous poem? What spoke to me then? The seeds of my love affair with haiku in recent years were planted long ago, it seems.

Another poem I included was Wordsworth's "Intimations" Ode, still one of my favorite poems ever, and one which I quoted in response to a question our pastor posed recently about what we believe, but that's another story.

Jeff included a poem he found in the front of Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine, author unknown. "Days when it all gets too busy/I drift away to the sea/or where sunshine filters through trees..." (anyone know this one?) and an excerpt from "These Things Are Ours" by Gwen Frostic - "The sun reflects upon the moon.../the moon upon my heart..." I looked her up online. Though she died in 2001, her block prints and words live on. I MUST go savor that website! On the "About Gwen" page, it reads:

Long before her death she wrote her epitaph:

"Here lies one doubly blessed.
She was happy and she knew it."


That's quite profound, if you think about it for a moment. And that's the kind of happiness I wish for Morgan and Matt, and for you!

For more great poetry to help you pivot toward new seasons of life, visit the incomparable Heidi - teacher, poet, and leader of the Mighty Minnows, at My Juicy Little Universe for our Poetry Friday Roundup.
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Student Haiku Poets of the Month Place in UN Contest


Greetings! Apologies for the earlier confusion, but here are the UN International School haiku contest winners from our featured student poets of the month, announced last weekend in New York. I’d like to thank so many of you for supporting another year of our “Student Haiku Poet of the Month” feature, wherein we celebrate promising young poets from The Paideia School in Atlanta each month with examples of their poetry and some of their thoughts about haiku.

This monthly treat is made possible by the efforts of Tom Painting, an award-winning haiku poet and teacher or former teacher of these wonderful young writers. [Click here for a post about Tom from my blog in 2013.]

Several of them recently won awards in a big international contest – the 2015 Student Haiku Contest hosted by The United Nations International School, the Northeast Council of Teachers of Japanese, and the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations.

Of our featured poets from this year and last, the following students were recognized in this year’s competition:


First place, Junior High division - Olivia Graner


creak of the door
the attic's smell
floods the hallway



©Olivia Graner. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Olivia’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Honorable mention, Junior High division - Cole McCord


spring cleaning
the smell
of expired milk



©Cole McCord. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Cole’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Second place, High school division - Marisa Schwartz


boardwalk
the taste of the ocean
in a pretzel



©Marisa Schwartz. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Marisa’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Third place, High School division - Emma Jones


sliding over
grandma's rough hands
soap bubbles



©Emma Jones. All rights reserved.

[Click here for Emma’s Student Poet of the Month feature.]



Paideia had winners in the elementary division and several more honorable mentions in the junior high/high school divisions. Congratulations to all these young poets, and hats off to each student who entered from all over the world.

The judge for English poems for the Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Teacher categories was John Stevenson . Submissions in the English Division came from 19 different schools/programs in the US and around the world. Finalists came from schools in New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and also from Belgium, Kenya, and Japan.
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