instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Royal Wishes! (& Oscar Wilde)

 

Greetings, Poetry (& Royal Wedding!) Lovers -

 

For those of you on my side of the world, is your alarm set?  My daughter Morgan will rise early in Georgia Saturday morning and I'll do the same here in South Carolina so we can catch the Royal Wedding in Real Time (& text back and forth, I'm sure)! Truth be told, while we're delighted for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, we really just want to see Princess Charlotte as an attendant.

 

The world needs a good ol' happy ritual, and it certainly needs more love.  And there's an American in this wedding… so, it's kind of our patriotic duty to tune in, right? ;0)

 

I've caught bits of the PBS "Royal Wedding Watch" specials this week. I always love it when historian Lucy Worsley shows up.  In the first episode, she popped in to explain how Queen Victoria established so many wedding traditions we still enjoy, wearing white dresses among them.  When the eldest daughter of Victoria and Prince Albert, "Vicky," was wed, she carried some myrtle in her bouquet, from a plant grown from a spray that had been a gift from Albert's grandmother to the queen.  The story goes that sprigs from that very same planting have been used in royal bouquets ever since!  I've come across some accounts calling this last part a myth, but then many others still support it, so I'm going to enjoy the historical and botanical connection.

 

Hunting for a myrtle-infused poem to share today, I found "Flower of Love" by Oscar Wilde.  You remember Oscar (1854-1900), the flamboyant writer who was born in Dublin and pursued his literary career in London? From his lively mind and fraught life he gave us many wonderful quotes, including:

 

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.

- Oscar Wilde

 

Here are the first few and last few stanzas from his "Flower" poem.

 

 

Flower of Love

 

    Sweet, I blame you not, for mine the fault 
was, had I not been made of common clay 
I had climbed the higher heights unclimbed 
yet, seen the fuller air, the larger day.

 

    From the wildness of my wasted passion I had 
struck a better, clearer song, 
Lit some lighter light of freer freedom, battled 
with some Hydra-headed wrong.

 

    Had my lips been smitten into music by the 
kisses that but made them bleed, 
You had walked with Bice and the angels on 
that verdant and enamelled mead.

 

 

    Yet I am not sorry that I loved you - ah! 
what else had I a boy to do, - 
For the hungry teeth of time devour, and the 
silent-footed years pursue.

 

    Rudderless, we drift athwart a tempest, and 
when once the storm of youth is past, 
Without lyre, without lute or chorus, Death 
the silent pilot comes at last.

 

    And within the grave there is no pleasure, 
for the blindworm battens on the root, 
And Desire shudders into ashes, and the tree 
of Passion bears no fruit.

 

    Ah! what else had I to do but love you? 
God's own mother was less dear to me, 
And less dear the Cytheraean rising like an 
argent lily from the sea.

 

    I have made my choice, have lived my 
poems, and, though youth is gone in wasted days, 
I have found the lover's crown of myrtle better 
than the poet's crown of bays.

 

(Find the whole poem by scrolling down here .)

 

I'll say hello to Wilde's statue when we are in Dublin this summer! 

 

I've taken this whole royal wedding thing as artistic inspiration and come up with a few new items in my Etsy shop to celebrate.  Click here to see the necklace in the photo above, and click here to see a few brass royal coats of arms pins/bag tags with antique laundry pins, as well as a couple of Scottish coats of arms glass cabochon key chains (illustrations clipped from vintage books).  Lots more of the Scottish tartan/clan items to come… we'll be visiting some family ancestral sites around Edinburgh before we go to the ones near Dublin!  More on all that soon. 

 

Now, hop in your carriage and go share some royal waves with Rebecca at Sloth Reads. (Psstt... she's got a giveaway of a fanTAStic and oh-so-funny book that my husband and I bought - just for ourSELVES! - a few months ago.) Cheerio!

20 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Get Moving with some Pomelo Books Poetry Picks!

The Spanish Moss Trail, Beaufort, SC.

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

It is downright warm this week in the Lowcountry.  Our little house is on the corner of the road from the historic downtown district to the Spanish Moss Trail, a rails-to-trails-type paved fitness path that goes on for miles. This time of year, our sidewalk plays host to extra walkers, runners, bike-riders and of course lots of strollers and dogs in tow.  (Sometimes even a cat in tow.) All on their way to the trail!  I love seeing folks out enjoying the weather and being active.

 

I'm sure you've consulted your copy of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY® FOR CELEBRATIONS from Pomelo Books and discovered that May is National Physical Fitness & Sports Month

 

And you no doubt found Merry Bradshaw's wonderful poem, "Let's Go" –

 

Stretch High

Stretch Wide

Jump Forward

Jump Back …

 

Enjoy the rest of the poem with Pomelo Books on Pinterest .

 

May is also National Bike Month, and opposite "Let's Go" in the book, you'll find Michael Salinger's "Bicycle Dreams."

 

Speaking of bicycles, hop over to THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY® FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL and catch Irene Latham's poem:

 

 

BIKING ALONG WHITE RIM ROAD

 

 

We jump

    jolt

 

as wheels bump

    bolt.

 

We spin

    descend

 

across mesa-topped

     islands.

 

We loop

    swoop,

 

fly past parched

    arches.

 

We keep pace,

    race

 

chase schooling clouds.

 

 

©Irene Latham.  All rights reserved. Used with permission. (Thanks, Irene!)

 

 

Also check out Irene's "The World According to Climbers" in the same volume!

 

If basketball is your thing, you'll enjoy Avis Harley's acrostic poem, "Future Hoopsters," 

also in the book.  Click here to read it on Sylvia Vardell's Poetry for Children blog.

 

For an Avis Harley acrostic poem for the younger set, this one about baseball, look up "Last Try" in THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY® K-5 Edition.   While you're there, go ahead and hop around like a kangaroo with Allan Wolf!  You can find this jumpy poem featured on Kenn Nesbitt's PoetryMinute website, too!

 

These are just a few poems from Pomelo Books anthologies to get you in shape this month. 

 

As for me, I do a bit of gentle yoga and a good bit of walking, but still …. I was rearranging cool-weather clothes for warm-weather clothes in my closet this week, and this poem  arrived in my head.

   

 

WOMAN OF A CERTAIN AGE WORKS OUT

 

 

My waistline waltzed right out the door…

 

 "Wait!" I yelled. "Whadja do that for?!"

 

It disappeared without a sound

 

except these words – "I'll see you 'round!"

 

 

©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.

 

(PS – My older brother does triathlons.  Sigh. )

 

 

Jump, bike, or otherwise propel yourself on over to Jama's Alphabet Soup, where you'll find this week's Roundup and all kinds of wonderful goodies to work off!

32 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Words Escape from a Student Poem Postcard

 

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  

 

Today I'm delighted to share the postcard I received from Silver Star Elementary School in Vancouver, Washington, during National Poetry Month. Media Specialist Extraordinaire and poet Jone Rush MacCulloch has spearheaded this wonderful project for many years.  Click over to Check It Out and scroll through all the "Student Poetry" posts! I've treasured the postcards from these young, talented writers.

 

This year is the first time I've received a one-line poem, and you all know how much I love reading and writing one-line haiku.  (They look simple.  They are not.)

 

I love how Jahaziel packed so much into eight words:

 

 

          Ice day words escape when cold winds blow

 

  Poem ©Jahaziel R.

 

If you are cozied up at home on a day you're iced in, do words escape from your pen?  Your keyboard?  Do they find their way into poems?  Do words escape from books as you take time to read by a crackling fire, or curled up in bed? 

 

This is the kind of poem that will absolutely return to me each winter.  I'm grateful for the gift, and send hearty congratulations to Jahaziel for this fine writing, and appreciations for sharing it.  The sparse art in winter-chill colors is just right, too.

 

May your cold winds shift to warm ones this May, and here's to escaping words!

 

Enjoy more inspiring words at Friendly Fairy Tales, where Brenda is celebrating spring and rounding up for us this week.  Thanks, Brenda!

17 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - IMPERFECT Insights

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Can't believe April - and Poetry Month - are heading into the last lap for this year. There's been so much poetic goodness across the Kidlitopshere, it'll take me the rest of the year to catch up. Remember to check in with Jama's Roundup of National Poetry Month activities in the Kidlitosphere, and the Progressive Poem, as you savor the poetic celebrations. 

 

One highlight of the month has been the launch of IMPERFECT – poems about mistakes; an anthology for middle schoolers, brought to life by Tabatha Yeatts.  (Click here for Tabatha's blog, and here for the Team Imperfect blog.)     

 

This book contains 70 poems by 50 poets – with several familiar to Poetry Friday regulars. 

 

"In this anthology, you will find poems about all kinds of mistakes," Tabatha writes in the introduction.  And she's right – there are humorous poems about little slip-ups and tissue-worthy poems about wounded relationships.  Poetry helps us find our way.  I wish I'd had this book when I was in middle school!

 

 

ONCE UPON A TIME

 

Once upon a time

there was a girl

who never made a mistake.

 

Which is why

this is

a fairy tale.

 

©April Halprin Wayland.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.  (Click here for more about April.)

 

Succinct and to the heart of the matter – I LOVE April's poem, which she wrote specifically for this collection. (She has a funny poem in there, too.)

 

I have one poem.   It's a lighthearted look at my learning to sew.  Or, not learning, re-learning, learning by no other way than by starting over…. My mother made me many wonderful outfits growing up, and her mother sewed.  Despite the fact that I could never muster the patience to learn from my mother when I was a teenager (though I did let my grandmother show me how to make a knot in thread), I decided when I had my own children that, by bobbin, sew for them I would!  At least as long as they needed Halloween costumes.  I haven't sewn in years, but my little machine is in the back of a closet, waiting for the next generation of pitter-patter-ers.

 

 

HIDDEN IN THE SEAMS

 

Measure. 

Cut.

Pin paper pattern. Pin paper pattern.

Thread machine.

Chikita, chikita, chikita, chikita

chikita, chikita, chikita, chikita

chikita ckiki-chkkktghkCLNK

(Ugh!)

Untangle thread.

Press pieces.

Hold up.

(Argh!)

Seam ripper:

Rip rip rip rip

rip rip rip rip

Pin pin pin pin

Chikita, chikita, chikita, chikita

chikita, chikita, chikita, chikita

Zipper-time

Zippity stitchity

zip zip zip ziGGRRRP

(Ugh!)

Untangle thread.

Zippity stitchity

 

Zip zip zip zip

Backstitch – stitch – back – backstitch

Snip.

Press.

"You made that?"

"Yes!"

 

©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

 

And it's pretty much the same process for every creative undertaking I've ever undertook! ;0)

 

This last Poetry Friday of Poetry Month is being hosted by the terrifically talented and also just generally terrific Irene at Live Your Poem.  Enjoy!

36 Comments
Post a comment

2018 Kidlitopshere Progressive Poem Parks HERE today!

 

Happy Saturday from the Lowcountry, where jasmine is in bloom all over town! Welcome to today's edition of the 2018 KidLit Progressive Poem.

 

Heidi posted a "Pre-Progressive Poem Post" this year with some background and visiting with Progressive Poem creator Irene.  Liz dropped by, too!  They challenged each contributor to jot down responses to Liz's first line, put them away, and then bring them back out to see how close or far the poem had meandered from initial impressions. 

I was way off! ;0)

 

Here is Liz's first line:

 

Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched.

 

Here were my notes:

 

--Perhaps she does not know what she'll become?  Kind of Ugly-ducklingish.  There will be growing pains – and sun, rain, wind, insects and spiders and the padding of feet, each new day a bit longer than the one before.  She might be acres inside of an untouched wood, or perhaps she is being tended by someone.  Perhaps she will be loved like the Little Prince loved the rose. She is fragile now, but curious.  She will find her way.

 

Turns out our main character Jasmine actually likes night life best!

 

Here's the poem with my line added.  Linda Kulp Trout left me with a lovely line, which I ended with a comma to help modify its first part in my addition.

 

 

Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched.

 

Oh, what wonderful dreams she had!

 

Blooming in midnight moonlight, dancing with

 

the pulse of a thousand stars, sweet Jasmine

 

invented a game.

 

"Moon?" she called across warm honeyed air.

 

"I'm sad you're alone; come join Owl and me.

 

We're feasting on stardrops, we'll share them with you."

 

"Come find me," Moon called, hiding behind a cloud.

 

Secure in gentle talons' embrace, Jasmine rose

 

and set. She split, twining up Owl's toes, pale

 

moonbeams sliding in between, Whoosh, Jasmine goes.

 

Owl flew Jasmine between clouds and moon to Lee's party!

 

Moon, that wily bright balloon, was NOT alone.

 

Jas grinned,

 

           stretched,

 

                        reached,

 

                                wrapped

 

                            a new,

 

around          tender

         rootlet

 

a trellis Sky held out to her, made of braided wind and song.

 

Her green melody line twisted and clung.

 

Because she was twining poet's jasmine, she

 

wiggled a wink back at Moon, and began her poem.

 

Her whispered words floated on a puff of wind,

 

filled with light and starsong.  "Revelers, lean in –

 

 

 

With the poem about two-thirds of the way finished, I wanted to offer a little push-glide on its way toward the end of the month. I had printed out the poem and took with me to my studio Friday.  My Muse works best if I'm not trying to stare her down, but if I make myself available in the periphery.  I had also heard that the Lyrid Meteor Shower would be at its peak on April 22-23, and this image wanted to come play in my line.  Of course, there was really no room for it, except that I imagined Jasmine's words, after floating in Linda's line, showering down in some sparkly display. 

 

And now it's Tabatha's turn – if you didn't get a chance to join the IMPERFECT release celebration yesterday when she hosted Poetry Friday, I'm sure there's still some lopsided cake left!

 

Here is the poem's complete path:

 

April

 

1 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian

3 Laura at Writing the World for Kids

4 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty

5 Jan at bookseedstudio

6 Irene at Live Your Poem

7 Linda at TeacherDance

8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem

9 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

10 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme

11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales

12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink

13 Linda A Word Edgewise

14 Heidi at  my juicy little universe

15 Donna at Mainely Write

16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle

17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a Godforsaken town

18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering

19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan

20 Linda at Write Time

21 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

22 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

23 The Poem Farm

24 A Year of Reading

25 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge

26 No Water River

27 Buffy's Blog

28 Kat's Whiskers

29 April atTeaching Authors

30 Doraine at Dori Reads

 

Thanks for visiting!

19 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Haiku - Pair, Pare, Pear

Greetings, Poetry Lovers! 

 

Here's hoping you enjoyed International Haiku Poetry Day on Tuesday (April 17).  Perhaps you joined in the worldwide Earthrise Rolling Haiku Collaboration over at The Haiku Foundation? Jim Kacian mentions there that it was "another record-breaking showing" and that a "complete version will be made available shortly and announced on the blog." 

 

Here is a pair of haiku of mine in the current issue of Frogpond:

 

 

bone tired

the maze

of hospital halls

 


graduation cords our empty nest

 


Frogpond, Vol. 41:1, Winter 2018

poems ©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved. 

 

 

While I think a solid haiku resonates with a reader independently of its author's experiences - and sometimes for very different reasons - when I re-read my own haiku, I'm transported to the moment they came to me, or their first unedited versions anyway.  Both of these are snapshots of my life in the last year. 

 

Regarding the first poem, I made several trips back and forth to Florida beginning last summer as my mother was undergoing surgery and then months of chemo for colon cancer.  Happy to report that she is doing well now, and has even been doing some cleaning and yard work of late.  (Mom, if you're reading this - don't overdo! )

 

With the second poem, I was moving around some stuff in Seth's room (our youngest) and came across the bag of college graduation accoutrements from last May.  (And also happy to report we'll get him home for several weeks this summer, after he finishes his internship and before he starts grad school/seminary in August. Yay!)

 

The pare part of this post is about two things:  the paring of words and ideas involved in writing haiku, and sometimes the paring of responsibilities needed to meet life's curve balls.  When my mother was diagnosed with cancer last year, I wanted to be free to make those trips, so I handed over the reins as HSA (Haiku Society of America) SE Regional Coordinator to the very able Michael Henry Lee (one of my favorite poets, by the way).

 

A few weeks ago I took a tentative step back into the volunteer world for a local Habitat for Humanity art project here, but then found out a friend might be facing a significant health challenge.  Last year's lesson of being somewhat available revealed itself again, and I emailed that coordinator to bow out before fully jumping in.  She kindly emailed back, "Wow, life does come at us fast- right?" My art business is small, but it takes loads and loads of time, not to mention writing, my first hat! I appreciate her understanding. 

 

The pear I have tossed in here in conclusion.  (And with a nod to IMPERFECTion, as you'll see at the end of this post and around Poetry Friday-Land today.) We have an old, not particularly impressive tree in the middle of the back yard.  Did not even know it was a fruit tree, until one year I found some scraggly odd-shaped green orbs on the ground.  Apples?  They didn't quite look like the apples we used to have back on our little farm years ago.  Pears?  Didn't quite look like pears either.  I even brought some inside and tried to see if I could eat or cook with them, but I still wasn't quite sure what they were.  That was a couple-few years ago.

 

Then this week, I was paying better attention I guess, and caught them in an earlier state of being.  The branches are dripping with them! Some branches, anyway.  The surprise and delight of these pendulum baby pear drops just made me smile.  I hope they make you smile, too.

 

Speaking of smiling, HUGE thanks to everyone who participated in our online SURPRISE Birthday Party for Lee Bennett Hopkins here last week.  I know all your love and warm wishes touched our guest of honor.  

 

Remember to check in with Jama's Roundup of National Poetry Month activities in the Kidlitosphere, and the Progressive Poem, too.  Not caught up?  No worries - read through line by line, with no delay of gratificiation!  Unitl the current date anyway.  I'm up - gulp! - on Saturday.

 

Check out all of TODAY'S poetic wonderfulness with the inspiring Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference - and keep those party hats out, because her IMPERFECT Mistakes Anthology hits online bookstores TODAY!!! I'm honored to have a poem included and can't wait to read everyone else's. Here's to life's imperfections!

24 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday Roundup - Happy Birthday, LEE BENNETT HOPKINS!!!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers - Happy Poetry Friday!  The Roundup is Here.

 

And, SURPRISE! - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEE BENNETT HOPKINS!

 

Welcome to your Poetry Friday Birthday Party!

 

****************

 

A few weeks ago, the clever and generous Linda Kulp Trout (Write Time) noticed that Lee's birthday fell on a Poetry Friday this year, the one I'd signed up to host.  Let's have a party, she suggested.  Let's do, said I.  Amy Ludwig VanDerwater (The Poem Farm ) jumped into the planning posse and away we went.

 

Lots of folks in the Poetry Friday community enthusiastically came on board.  See the trail of sprinkles? EVERYONE is welcome to celebrate – leave some birthday wishes below, and/or celebrate on your blog with a link in the comments, too!

 

I'll round up links throughout the day, and everyone can go from one party room to another, with some other fun poetry posts mixed in. Enjoy them all!

 

Lee, folks will be leaving you wishes in the comments today, and many will have links to party posts.  A few other special folks have dropped by here with their greetings.... 

 

The lovely and talented Heidi Bee Roemer (heidibroemer.com) beautifully captures the kind of relationship many poets have experienced with Lee:

 

 When I first met Lee in 1999 (thereabouts) at the Butler University Children's Conference, Rebecca Kai Dotlich's LEMONADE SUN was popping off bookstore shelves. On this pivotal day, Rebecca introduced me to my poetry idol, "the world's most prolific anthologist of poetry for children," Lee Bennett Hopkins. Little did I know what a far-reaching influence he would have in my life. In a career that has spanned decades, Lee has championed numerous aspiring poets, just like me. Moreover, he has captured the adoration of his readers, young and old, who find delight and oftentimes, epiphanies, in the words of a simple poem. Lee's passion for poetry is truly contagious. Allow me please to borrow the title of his brand-spanking new book-- WORLD MAKE WAY! as we celebrate Lee Bennett Hopkins' extra-special birthday!

 

Yes - World Make Way!  Speaking of Rebecca Kai Dotlich (rebeccakaidotlich.com), she wasn't about to miss an opportunity to send along some sprinkled wishes.  Here are her words for you, Lee:

 

I know how much you love birthdays.  How much you love any celebration at all.  Being your friend IS a celebration.  Chocolate is a given, but I hope your day is filled with a little shopping, a little art, a little tapioca pudding and maybe an ice cream cone. And I hope one line of a poem comes to you, because I know that, alone, will bring you joy.  Always know how much you are loved. How lucky I am to have you as my friend for so many birthdays, and for so maaaaannnnnnny more.

 

How old is Lee, you all ask?  Well, let's just say 80 candles means he's still HOT, wouldn't you agree?

 

Wait - I hear a knock.  Why, it's Rebecca M. Davis, senior editor extraordinaire at Boyds Mills Press & Wordsong!  She's here with these words for you, Lee.  (Please imagine some of them in a vibrant purple; my blog wouldn't play nice with colors.)

 

Dearest Lee,

 

Happy 80th birthday to you!

 

Hooray for Lee—friend, poet, friend of poets! Let's call you the poet's poet. You have made and continue to make our world brighter, more joyful, more wonder-filled through your work every day.

With love and admiration,

 

Rebecca (Davis)

 

Thank you for joining us, Rebecca! 

 

Is that someone behind you?  Behind the camera?  Ohh - it's Stephanie Salkin!  She and Jude Mandell spearheaded the effort to have Lee inducted into the Florida Arts Hall of Fame last year.  Stef is busy with her camera settings, so she just sends HUGS AND KISSES, Lee!

 

ENDLESS appreciations to Tomie DePaola  (Tomie's website) for such incredible art, and for joining the celebration.

 

Thanks to everyone for draping streamers from blog to blog today, and special thanks to Charles Egita for keeping the secret! ;0)  

 

Finally, from me,  a haiku for you, Lee -- inspired by Charles: 

 

 

blooming orchids -

the poem he knows

by heart

 

                                                                                                     Robyn Hood Black

 

Now, I know EVERYONE wants to get on with the party… Enjoy clicking through all the birthday posts and poetry – what better way to celebrate?

 

WE LOVE YOU, LEE!

 

**************

 

(Remember to drop in on the 2018 Kidlit Progressive Poem when you can, and check out all the Kidlit Poetry Month projects and feasts rounded up by Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup!  Want to keep up with Lee's latest books and poetic adventures?  Click here for his website!)

 

The Roundup -

 

*From the Night (Before) Owls:*

 

At Write Time, Birthday-Party-Idea-Originator Linda (Kulp Trout) gets this celebration off the ground with balloons, a beautiful personal tribute to Lee featuring one of his poems, and a special giveaway!

 

Linda Mitchell continues the party with today's line in the 2018 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem over at A Word Edgewise.   Oh, you'll never believe where she's taken our poem's flowering protagonist, Jasmine.

 

Off to Maine we go with Donna at Mainely Write….  She has the perfect "L" day celebrations for Lee… Go See!

 

An ekphrastic poetry master, Diane at Random Noodling offers a cherita in Lee's honor based on a painting, "The Poet's Voice" (1923) by Alice Bailly [1872-1938].  (She also includes a link to Lee's terrific NPR interview for World Make Way.) 

 

Diane's Kurious Kitty gives readers a glimpse into the breadth of Lee's many, many (many) works!

 

And, speaking of World Make Way, Karen Edmisten is highlighting this special book today, with some special wishes for Lee, too.

 

Matt chimes in from Radio, Rhythm, & Rhyme with an interview with Louie Chin, illustrator for Don't Ask a Dinosaur, which Matt co-wrote with Deborah Busse.  He's also got some Poetry Cubed #5 entries, and birthday wishes for Lee!

 

At Teaching Authors, Bobbi shares a fulsome post about "The Crowned Prince of Poetry" (our guest of honor, of course)with more about World Make Way as well. 

 

Alice Nine shares two poems inspired by Lee's… "Crows" and "A Deet-ed Tick"!  (I know, you have to go check them out – poems are the best gifts!)  

 

Buffy shares a "Spectacular Lee" post in honor of his anthology, Spectacular Science.  The book inspired her original poem, "Spring Questions."  (Hoping Spring makes its way to all of you in chilly climes!)

 

At Reading to the Core, Catherine shares an original, celebratory poem made from some of Lee's book titles. (Well done, Catherine!) She shares a video of Lee as well. 

 

Brenda is celebrating Lee at Friendly Fairy Tales with a poem after this Lowcountry gal's heart – "Why Salt Marshes?" – with another nod to Spectacular Science. 

 

At Today's Little Ditty, Michelle has a delightful poem for our guest of honor, "Don't Ask a Hopkinsaurus" – I dare you to get to the end without smiling.  Catch up on her current giveaways (including Don't Ask a Dinosaur by Matt Forrest Esenwine and  Deborah Bruss) and poetry projects, too!

 

Grab your party hats and blowers to go visit the Gathering Books crowd.  Fats is celebrating Lee today with some favorite poems from different anthologies.  

 

At TeacherDance, Linda B. is celebrating up a storm!  She has two poem-gifts for Lee, a haiku as part of her Poetry Month project and a colorful poem featuring lots of his book titles.   

 

You MUST check out the festive birds celebrating Lee over at Michelle Kogan's place – and her original poems for Lee.  She shares a couple of his poems, too! 

 

At Writing the World for Kids, Laura shares a poem she wrote to celebrate Lee 10 years ago, "Recipe for a Poetry Book." It still perfectly fits! 

 

Alan J. Wright at Poetry Pizzazz would like to know, "Where's the Poetry Section?" in bookstores.  Will you join him in asking?  

 

Jama, who has kindly rounded up Kisdlitopshere Poetry Month offerings at Jama's Alphabet Soup, has a celebration of World Make Way AND a giveaway! 

 

Ramona is checking in from Pleasures From the Page with warm recollections of how Lee's books have touched her over the years, and with a 13-line poem created with some of her favorite LBH book titles.  Perfect for the 13th!

 

Laura Shovan has a fascinating celebratory post sharing Lee's "Final Score," with connections between that poem and her new book, TAKEDOWN.

 

Jone Rush MaCulloch  offers a gorgeous haiku and photo honoring Lee today at Deowriter.

 

Jone is also featuring some wonderful Student Poetry at MacLibrary.  Enjoy! 

 

Raincity Librarian Jane shares a poem excerpt from "Druid Hill Park" by British Columbian poet Heidi Greco, part of the local "Poetry in Transit" program.

 

At Beyond Literacy Link, Carol has… well – Shhh!  It's a Surprise! ;0)

 

Hear those voices of happy kids?  Those are  Teacher Ann Marie Corgill's  first graders from Shades Mountain Elementary in Hoover, joining the LBH Birthday Party at The Poem Farm with Amy.  You'll also find Amy's Poetry Month project poem for today, which is something like a simile. ;0)

 

*Next Up:  The Early Birds:*

 

Our bella Renée is wishing Lee Happy Birthday via Facecbook.  At No Water River, she continues her Community Collections series for Poetry Month with Elizabeth Acevedo, renowned slam poet, presenter, educator, and verse novelist – powerful poetry!


It's almost a book birthday, too – Tabatha Yeatts's Mistakes Anthology is about to make its way in the world!  At the Team Imperfect book blog today, she's got mini mistake poem riddles by Molly Hogan.  These would be great to share with kids!

 

Craving more of that?  At The Opposite of Indifference, Tabatha is sharing more mini mistake-maker riddles ("Thieves, Fairies and Hearts") and birthday wishes for Lee!

  

Greg Pincus is in the party spirit, sharing a seasonally appropriate poem from Lee that he first featured several years ago at Gottabook.  

 

You can't have a party without Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy, and she sends colorful art and Joy-ful poetic greetings for Lee from her Hawaiin islands. (Is that a ukulele I hear?)

 

At There is no such thing as A God-forsaken town, Ruth continues the celebration with some of Lee's own words about his work life.  She also has a poem by Tony Hoagland that is guaranteed to stretch your poetic senses. 

 

Drift on over the The Drift Record, where Julie has some appreciative words for Lee along with one of his poems, and a shout-out for one of his next books! 

 

Mary Lee at A Year of Reading shares a student experience and a golden shovel poem about conquering a math problem, along with birthday wishes. 

 

Molly Hogan is out and about looking for Spring, taking gorgeous photos and documenting the outdoors in poetry.  She shares Lee's "Spring" poem, too!

 

At My Juicy Little Universe, Heidi takes us back to 2009, and the poem she read when Lee received the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children.  Meander through her "Stanza Means Room" and enjoy a poetic house that grows sturdier with time.

 

Irene continues her ARTSPEAK series featuring Harlem Renaissance personalities, with a poem for today written specifically for Lee, "The Birthday Birds of Bonaventure Island." 

 

At Reflections on the Teche, Margaret celebrates Lee and World Make Way, with an original poem, "Coming home," inspired by her father's artwork.  It includes a line from "Early Evening" by Charles Ghigna.   

 

The ever-enchanting Jan at Bookseed Studio has a post that – well, the whole thing is just a work of poetic art.  Enjoy her singular way of telling a touch of Lee's story with love and panache. Lee makes the world "a whole lot brighter," and Jan does too. 

 

I double-dog dare you to get through Christie's post at Wondering and Wondering without smiling.  She's got Lee's "Under the Microscope" as inspiration for her response poem, "Under Our Stereoscope."  She's got kindergarteners!  Fairy shrimp!  And more!  The perfect birthday tribute.

 

At Wild Rose Reader,  Elaine has two poems about nighttime – one which made it into her new book, THINGS TO DO, and one which didn't.  Which one do you like best?  Either would be good inspiration for our current Kidlit Progressive Poem! She has birthday wishes for Lee, too.

 

Head over to Poetry for Children for three perfect quotes from Lee in Sylvia's Poetry Quote-a-thon series this month.  Hear, hear! 

 

Kay at A Journey Through the Pages lets us follow along on a poetic journey through her recent family vacation!  Your heart rate will slow to a smooth, steady beat reading her poem.  (And then will perk up again with birthday wishes for Lee.) 

 

Over in her Corner, Carol has created a poem inspired by Lee's "Storyteller (For Augusta Baker) from Jumping Off Library Shelves.    A tribute tucked into a tribute!

 

Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect shares the ways her path has crossed with Lee's, in the classroom and beyond, and she offers a poem in his honor.  

 

At Bildungsroman, Little Willow offers up a deliciously dark poem today, "Dark Matter and Dark Energy " by Alicia Ostriker. Thanks for joining in!

 

Lisa at Steps and Staircases has some Spring-inspired paint chip poetry to celebrate Lee today.  What colorful fun! 

 

JoAnn Early Macken has a fun poem about "poetic license"  to share for Lee and all of us today.  She's also got a drawing every day this month for copies of her book, Write a Poem Step by Step.  Teachers, get thee hence! 

 

--Noon Whistle!  I must get myself hence to my Studio to open for the afternoon.  I'll be back later to Round up Afternoon post-ers.--

 

*...And now, Happy Hour:*

 

At Evolving English Teacher, Poetry Friday newcomer Glenda shares a terrific golden shovel using a line from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, in which she contemplates her long teaching career.  Many will relate to "I Have Seen Myself in Prufrock." Welcome and thanks for sharing, Glenda!

 

Welcome to Cheriee, too, who has also been posting poems each day this month at Library Matters.  Sometimes that can be a challenge, as she explores with a big dash of humor in "Another Poem." 

 

*And, Last Call...*

 

At Merely Day by Day, Cathy chimes in with wishes for Lee and a poem about black pants!

63 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - H IS FOR HAIKU Visit with Amy Losak

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers - Happy first Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month!

 

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Haiku Society of America.  I'll be celebrating by teaching an introductory haiku writing class for our local OLLI program (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) in November.  But what better way to share haiku NOW with young readers and writers than with a brand new picture book to be released Tuesday, a week before International Haiku Poetry Day (April 17)?

 

If you visited Sylvia Vardell's Poetry for Children last Friday, you read about H is for Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z, by Sydell Rosenberg,  illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi  and published by Penny Candy Books. This book has come to be because of the dedicated efforts of Amy Losak, daughter of the late author.  

 

I'm delighted that Amy has dropped by for a cup of coffee and to tell us more about the book. Grab your own mug and enjoy!

 

Welcome, Amy!  Your mother, Sydell Rosenberg, was a charter member of the Haiku Society of America in 1968 and served as secretary in 1975.  She had poems published in many anthologies during her life. Tell us a bit about her haiku.

 

Mom's haiku are akin to what I call "word-pictures." I consider them more sketch-like, or little stories. They don't follow the "rules" of haiku today. In the classic 1974 text, The Haiku Anthology, she called her poems "city haiku." Mom was a New York teacher, so I believe she may have written much of her haiku/senryu with kids in mind. Her style changed over time too and some of her later work became more spare. She had a pretty straightforward, conversational "voice," but I think some of her work is gently lyrical, as well. And while her poems reflect her NY surroundings, they are "universal," as well.

 

How did you find a publisher for your mother's work?

 

I am grateful to poet Aubrie Cox, who first told me about Penny Candy Books, started by poets Chad Reynolds and Alexis Orgera. I then researched Penny Candy Books and was delighted with their story and the variety of books they are dedicated to producing.

 

What did you most enjoy about this process, and what was most challenging?

 

Marshalling the commitment to fulfill Syd Rosenberg's decades-old dream of a traditionally published picture book, years after her death in 1996, was a joy. It took years for me to gather the stamina, and when I finally got underway a few years ago, I felt a sense of accomplishment – and relief. The actual process of organizing and reviewing Syd's work (some of it previously published in journals), and retaining her "voice" as I made some edits I felt were necessary specifically for a children's book … this was, of course, difficult, even draining. I've never done anything like this before and I felt a deep sense of responsibility, on several levels. This has been a novel, exciting – and nerve-wracking, even sometimes painful -- process. Overall, I'm overjoyed.

 

How does haiku speak to you, as a reader and as a poet?

 

Years ago, I never imagined that I would be writing my own haiku and senryu. But clearly, Mom had an influence on me, and I hope she knows. Haiku is wondrous. Sometimes, it intimidates me. But it has opened a new world for me – a different way of being, of seeing. I'm a late beginner, and I always will be a beginner. That's OK. I continue to learn from this wonderful community.

 

Amy also adds,

 

I wish I knew more about Syd's process/approach, and her own views about haiku when she was writing and interacting with other haijin via HSA, etc. Alas, I don't. I didn't pay much attention back then. I regret this now, of course (so many questions!). But I know that the haiku community meant the world to her. It had a rich, deep, lasting impact on both her personal and literary life.

 

Thank you again for joining us today, Amy!

 

Students will enjoy the poetic images in H is for Haiku, as well as the bold, inviting art by Sawsan Chalabi.  This image definitely "caught my eye":

 

GLEAMING IN PROFILE

SPOILING ITS OWN CAMOUFLAGE –

THE IGUANA'S EYE

 

My favorite poem (today, anyway!) is this one:

 

UP AND DOWN THE BLOCK

HOMEOWNERS MATE THE COVERS

OF GUSTED TRASH CANS

 

I've enjoyed sharing the book with my third-grade-teacher-daughter Morgan, here for a couple of days on Spring Break.  I'll reluctantly part with my copy so she can share with her students and order a new one for me.

 

I did have to remind myself that these haiku were written decades ago.  You all know I am in the camp of contemporary haiku poets who avoid 5-7-5 construction because it's not an accurate "translation" of Japanese sounds into English syllables and can sometimes make for clunky poems.  I also think of haiku in present tense, and this collection includes poems written in present and in past tense.

 

H is for Haiku includes a lovely introduction and bit of context by Amy, and a beautiful short passage, "What is Haiku?" by the author. This excerpt from the latter is exquisite to me:

 

Haiku is that fledgling moment,

when the wingstrokes become sure – when the

bird has staying power in the air.

 

Book Text ©Amy Losak; Illutrations ©Sawson Chalabi

 

Congratulations to Amy and Sawsan Chalabi and Penny Candy Books. Raising my coffee cup to Sydell Rosenberg, with wishes that this collection has staying power, and also with gratitude for the vision of those who formed The Haiku Society of America those many years ago.

 

Now head on over to see another Amy, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, for today's Poetry Friday Roundup at one of my favorite places in the world, The Poem Farm.  Remember to drop in on the 2018 Kidlit Progressive Poem when you can, and check out all the Kidlit Poetry Month projects and feasts rounded up by Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  (& Special thanks to Jama for featuring some artsyletters items on her "nine cool things on a Tuesday" post this week!)

 

Circle back HERE for next week's Poetry Friday Roundup!  (Extra note for today - my studio will be open for our town's Spring ArtWalk this eve., so I'm whirling-dervishing a bit and might not be as timely as I'd like responding to comments.  I'll get back soon and I appreciate your visiting!)

35 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - "Wonder" - a Found Poem by a Young Poet

 

Last week I had the fun privilege of leading a found poem/mixed media workshop here in Beaufort, at Coastal Art Supply (Thanks, Jennifer!).  Among the folks around the table were three mother-daughter pairs.  How fun!

 

One of these included my friend Jill and her amazing teenager, Sierra, also a friend of mine.  I'm delighted that Sierra said I could share her work; she came up with such a lovely piece.  I gave participants a choice of two kinds of mid-century Edu-cards as their inspiration and "substrate" (surface to create on).  They could pick one about shells or one about butterflies, and then I supplied some vintage bookplates and postage stamps for cutting up and collaging, and bits of bling in the form of brass stampings. 

 

Seeing Sierra's creation here, you won't be suprised to learn she's quite creative and is a talented photographer.  What an eye! I love the way her color choices and composition make this found poem come to life, in a silvery, magical way.  

 

The words read:

 

 

           WONDER

 

grace        beauty                perfect

strange     

oriental

But, let's stop and think.  Maybe it is

a builder

for 

ideas

 

©Sierra W.

 

 

"Wonder" as "a builder for ideas" - that is just brilliant!

 

Would you like to see more? Click here for workshop highlights and more examples over at my artsyletters blog.  

 

My Authors Guild site here just migrated to new software Thursday.  I'm still figuring out, but it seems to be pretty smooth.  Migrate yourself on over to My Juicy Little Universe, where the ever-wonderful Heidi is going to help usher in Poetry Month, and this year's Progressive Poem! 

(PS - Once again, Jama is rounding up Kidlit National Poetry Month blog events over at Jama's Alphabet Soup!) 

[Fri. a.m. Note - I'm having a little challenge trying to respond to comments from my end... it's only semi-working, but I've emailed the Cavalry, so they should help me straighten out. Thanks! EVENING UPDATE - Apologies if you had trouble trying to leave comments as well.  The AG Cavalry did come to the rescue, and they got it fixed during the day Friday.]

20 Comments
Post a comment

Poetry Friday - Look What I Found - the Poems You Left!


Hello from the sunny Southern coast!

It's Spring, you know, though I'm afraid many of you are eyeing snow that has perhaps worn out its welcome this year. So I brought you some azaleas.

Last week I made a found poem celebrating spring from an antique magazine passage about a different kind of spring. In an inspired moment, I asked if anyone else would like to give it a go - with that passage, or another one from the fashion section.

Some of you brave souls answered the call!

I'll re-post both passages here again, so you won't have to click hither and yon and back.

The first describes a "submarine spring" in CASSELL’S FAMILY MAGAZINE, Illustrated, Cassell and Company, Limited – London, Paris & Melbourne, featuring all the monthly issues from 1890. It's an article from a section called, “THE GATHERER: AN ILLUSTRATED RECORD OF INVENTION, DISCOVERY, LITERATURE, AND SCIENCE.”

It explains:

A submarine spring forms the water supply of the
inhabitants of Bahrein Island, in the Gulf of Persia.
The climate is very hot, no rain falls, and the people
draw their fresh water from the sea-bottom by
means of divers, who fill it into goatskins. Owing to
the force of the spring, the diver uses a drag weight
to keep him down, and after having filled the skin,
he slips the drag and is floated to the surface.


And look what some of you folks came up with!


Spring
floats


©Brenda Davis Harsham. All rights reserved.

Thanks, Brenda! That one makes my haiku look wordy. (Find a few more words from Brenda here).


Next up, Kay Jernigan McGriff!


water supply forms
inhabitants of hot climate
no rain falls


©Kay Jernigan McGriff

Thanks, Kay - your poem makes me worry about those folks!


Michelle Kogan came up with something entirely different:


spring Island goats
draw from fresh
rainwater.


©Michelle Kogan. All rights reserved.

Thank you, Michelle. I'm certainly happy those goats found something to drink. I love goats!


Linda Mitchell (who has a found poem post today!) and and Matt Forrest Esenwine took the fashion bait and found a poem in the feature, WHAT TO WEAR IN APRIL. First, here's the article excerpt:


The long cloak savors of spring; it opens at the
neck and trims with close feather bands, instead
of fur. It is composed of ribbed silk and embroidered
velvet, the velvet is cut as a Bolero jacket, elongated
into panel sides over which fall the long pointed
sleeves, embroidered on the outside of the arm, and
edged like the jacket with ball fringe in character
with the hat. It is a mantle that completely covers
the dress. The muff matches the hat, and I notice
women are wearing them well on to summer, partially
because they are so infinitesimal. The floral muffs
are often carried by bridesmaids; they are made of
satin and covered with flowers so that little but of
the foundation is seen. They let the odour of the
flower be easily enjoyed by the holder, and are more
to be desired than bouquets because they have a
raison d’être.


From Linda:


Feather bands
Compose a
Bolero Ball


©Linda Mitchell. All rights reserved.

Oh - I want to go to the Bolero Ball, don't you? Thank you, Linda!


And appreciations, Matt, for offering these lovely images and little story in yours:


Spring opens,
edged with character;
summer bridesmaids' flowers,
little bouquets'
raison d’être.


©Matt Forrest Esenwine. All rights reserved.


Isn't it delightful to see the variety that can be mined from the same passages? Many thanks again to these poets for playing along! I'll catch up on Poetry Friday later; today I'm leading a found poem/mixed media workshop downtown. It'll be a full room, and I can't wait to see what folks conjure up!

But you go on over and start enjoying the Roundup at Writing the World for Kids, where the amazing Laura is gathering all the goodness this week.
 Read More 
15 Comments
Post a comment