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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - The Roundup is HERE! So is Tea Time....

My miniature Fiestaware teapot with a couple of artsyletters bookmarks for tea lovers.  


Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  The Roundup is HERE - thanks for dropping by! Welcome to seasoned Poetry Friday-ers and any newcomers, too.


It's quite chilly outside; would you care for a cup of tea?  It's National Hot Tea Month.  (Here is a link with more links.)


Now, right off the bat, I assure you that I realize I'm no Jama Kim Rattigan, with so many steaming posts and accompanying to-die-for art and photos celebrating tea time, HotTEAS, and such. 


But I do enjoy a nice cuppa tea.  


Growing up, it was mainly iced tea... (Florida!).  In middle school, I would come home each afternoon while my mom was working and make tea in the old brown-ish Fiestaware teapot.  We drank it with a fair bit of sugar, every day!  I'm blaming that memory on the fact that I recently bought three little mini Fiestaware teapots - one for me, above, and one each for our kiddos/couples. (I refrained from buying one for my sweet mom, as she's trying to lighten up, not load up, her collections.)  I still have a few tiny tea sets from my childhood. I also have three miniature enamelware teapots sporting Van Gogh art that my husband's mother gave me years ago, and they remind me of her when I see them, and also remind me how swiftly life flows. I also have my mother's mother's Occupied Japan tea set, which I've yet to display in our (newish) home.


And there was our daughter's sixth birthday celebration, a tea party for which we bought mismatched vintage tea cups and sent them home as favors.  (That was 26 years ago - Happy Birthday next week, Morgan!!)


And the two-plus hour drive I made to meet my dearest friend Sue at a tea room, as she was undergoing treatments for breast cancer.  I still have a (now empty) tin with a "Shakespeare Tea" label she secretly bought for me that day and gave to me later. 


In recent years I've turned my morning brew from coffee to tea.  I make a nice cup of something British, and a whole little pot of dandelion root tea.  Then a smaller pot with two bags of green tea and one hibiscus.  I drink on these all day long! Faves include (decaf) Clipper Teas (England); Barry's (Ireland) - a hearty, warm, amber-golden tea; and a light golden Highlands Tea from the Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Company. Sometimes Uncle Lee's (organic) green tea, and Prince of Peace (organic) oolong.  Anything from Yogi Teas, Traditional Medicinals, Numi... oh, and most nights, a cup of tummy-settling peppermint tea from Celestial Seasonings.


What are your favorite teas?


Before all of the British/European versions of tea, of course, Camellia sinensis was cultivated in Asia. (And herbal teas have been around for many centuries, across cultures.) 


For some Japanese flavor, here's a haiku by Issa (1763-1828), translated by David G. Lanoue:


year unknown

hatsu-zora no moyô ni tatsu ya cha no keburi


rising into
the year's first sky...
tea smoke


You can visit David's amazing archive of Kobayashi Issa poems he's translated here.  In the search box, type in "tea" - or whatever subject strikes your fancy!


Here's a tasty English morsel about tea, from Sydney Smith (1771-1845), who lived many of those same years on this earth as Issa.  It's from the memoir compiled by Smith's daughter, Lady Holland:


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? -- how did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea.


Finally, a contemporary nod.  Carol Ann Duffy was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1955 and was appointed Britain's poet laureate in 2009.


Her love poem simply titled "Tea" begins this way:


I like pouring your tea, lifting

the heavy pot, and tipping it up

so the fragrant liquid streams in your china cup....


Enjoy hearing the poet read this poem here.  To learn more about Carol Ann Duffy, click here or here


Now, lift those pinkies and drop your links into the comments!  I'll round up old-school.  (Getting over some bug, so it might take me a wee bit longer than usual.)


Oh, and please pass the scones.... 


[Links to the bookmarks in the photo are here.]


Also, my Authors Guild site is not playing nicely with Irene's computer.  I'll get her post into the Roundup with the other morning posts - but here's the link in the meantime! 

https://irenelatham.blogspot.com/2024/01/heaven-poem-with-mule.html .




Laura Purdie Salas kicks us off this week with an original poem (inspired by Susan Thomsen's overheard snippets poetry) that will have you pondering and smiling long after you read it, "Holding My Own Hand." Out of the mouth of babes, methinks....


Speaking of which, thematically at least, Tabatha has a startling and life-humorous original poem, "Shields Up," at The Opposite of Indifference, based on an early childhood experience of one of her wonderful kids.


The ever-creative Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise offers us a contemplation of war and childhood innocence with a profound ekphrastic golden shovel poem inspired by an Edith Breckwold sculpture she encountered on a recent trip to Germany.


Michelle Kogan never fails to be inspired or to inspire, and this week she brings a fresh perspective on these +BRRRRRR+ frigid temps!  Leave it to her to find beauty in the harsh Chicago winter with her "Icefish" and related poems, and she shares a hauntingly sad/beautiful song by Patty Griffin and a fetching original haiku to boot!


Janice Scully (who also drinks Barry's tea!) has armfuls of love for octopuses today over at Salt City Verse (and a wonderful Winter Swap postcard from Mary Lee Hahn).


If you've never wandered over to Jan's Bookseed Studio, then you might not know you are ALWAYS in for a delight and surprise and often a deep think.  She's taking her (generously bestowed) powers of observation to a fun and whole new level this week - treating us to all kinds of Florida SNOW in pictures and poems.  This Florida girl enjoyed the virtual romp, especially with super-low temps here in the Southern Appalachians this weekend.


Over at Poetry Pizzazz, Alan J. Wright reminds us Northern Hemisphere folks that summer is turning into a brand new school year in Australia.  His original poem, "We Start Out Fresh and Shiny," will have you sitting up a bit straighter and smiling as you read along. 


Karen Eastlund is also all about the snow this week, the real kind.  She's had a tease of a dusting but wants MORE.  Grab your mittens and sled and go join her for some great photos from years past, and a short original poem, "Waiting for Snow: An Elfchen," packed with the cold stuff.  (See what I did there?)


Now, you KNOW our Buffy Silverman knows a thing or two about seasons and poetry.  She recently took an online class from our ultra-talented buddy and teacher, April Halprin Wayland, and she's sharing the drifts.  I mean, drafts.  Which are all about the birds in her back yard this winter - you'll look at your own yard birds with new eyes after reading these!


Speaking of birds, over at Chicken Spaghetti, Susan Thomsen introduces us to a literary journal called Birdfeast with a human-condition poem for the new year called "Anniversary" by Maria Nazos.  Make sure to join the Poetry Friday flock at her place next week.


Ruth is chiming in from Uganda, and There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town, and her back porch at sunrise with two glorious poems - "Fifty-Fifty" by Patricia Clark and her own take, "Fifty-Fifty in Kampala." 


At Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, our busy Matt has taken a word-playful poem out of the freezer to share again, "January Shoreline."  Brrrr!


There is much to CHERISH at Denise Krebs's Dare to Care digs this week, including her golden shovel based on a line from "Begin Again" by Jeannette Encinias. She also has several links, including one for the Staffford challenge, and some aDORable pictures of adventures with her wee grandson who visited recently.


Carmela Martino checks in from Teaching Authors this week with a poetic bounty of LIGHTER fare for the new year - you're guaranteed to leave her post with a little less baggage and a smile on your face!  Also, she shares some fun publication news.  (Insert clapping hands emoji here.)


Of course, poetry helps us express and understand the wide berth of emotions. Karin Fisher-Gorton shares a beautifully personal poem today, honoring her father who died in September.  She offers wonderful and accessible definitions of ekphrastic and golden shovel poems as well.  The images, in a special photograph and in her words, will stay with you.


And yet, the geese in Karin's post - or their cousins - have taken a trip to Linda Baie's TeacherDance for some more pondering. Linda's post and poem remind us to #getoutside while we can, between these frigid periods for those of us here in the States!


At Tangles & Tails, Tracey has a letter of apology to the (former) star of many of our holiday living rooms - the Christmas tree, in January.  (Add your thoughts to the thoughtful comments taking root beneath her post!)


Friends - Did you know our own Amy LV at The Poem Farm is offering a wonderful new video series perfect for young (& young-at-heart) poets, perfect for the classroom? This week marks Week 3 in her "Coaxing Poems" videos!  If you know a teacher, get them there forthwith! Using three of her own short poems as examples, today she gets out some Legos and leads eager learners in how to "make and break a pattern."


Take a deep breath and enjoy a small but imagery-filled tribute to a task I doubt many of us do... but I might start, after reading Mary Lee's pillowcase poem post at A(nother) Year of Reading.


At Imagine the Possibilities, Rose has a white-on-white treat for us today - two orginal poems featuring their charge for a couple of weeks, a Great Pyranees named Anna, and - snow!


Marcie Flinchum Atkins treats us to a new haiku for the New Year (and gorgeous photo), an educational shout-out to Thank You, Garden by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Simone Shin, and a little personal writing progress report! 


Heidi will remind us, as we chat about the weather, that we can not forget the CLIMATE. She has a thought-provoking poem by Kate Cell (who happens to be on staff at the Union of Concerned Scientists) from an anthology Heidi herself has a poem in. Also, check out some of creative, tech-savvy, innovative folks on the forefront of climate action! All this and more at Heidi's My Juicy Little Universe


You never know what you'll find at Unexpected Intersections - Elisabeth is rallying from a busy writing year and being under the weather for some of this one to embrace a fun challenge. She's using Story Cubes as poem prompts.  Go join the fun!


Irene's ekphrastic adventures seris, Artspeak, is exploring a folk art theme blooming with poetic surprises.  I'm only giving you the title of her poem today; you will not be able to resist clicking to learn more! Visit Live Your Poem to read "Mule Ringing the Doorbell in Heaven."


JoAnn Early Macken invites us for an early morning view outside her window in a lovely poem with a clever twist.  This is another one for the birds!


Patricia's got us all in a web of connection at Reading, Writing Wondering, with words that stick in a provocative, personal poem. Well done!


No, you have NOT had enough snow - yet.  Jane has some amazing photos, chilly travel memories, and perfectly suited words from Robert Louis Stevenson to add to the magic at Rain City Librarian.


Find an elfchen and some adorable grandchildren enjoying the snow over at Beyond Literacy Week, where Carol has emerged from a very demanding week with a sigh and a pause for tea and poetry.  You'll leave her post with a smile on your face, and probably a snowflake on the tip of your nose. 


At Reflections on the Teche, Margaret serves up another elfchen and a gracious peek into her own writing journal, with another nod to the Stafford Challenge. Also, a can't-miss-it peek into her amazing heart as a creative teacher. 


Thank you to Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone for sharing a personal poem of grief with us today, "Sucker Punched." She's living out the name of her blog with this touching poem which will surely strike a chord with many readers. 

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