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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Poetry Friday, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 3,074
1. Poetry Friday: Just lost when I was saved by Emily Dickinson

Just lost when I was saved!
Just felt the world go by!
Just girt me for the onset with eternity,
When breath blew back,
And on the other side
I heard recede the disappointed tide!

Therefore, as one returned, I feel,
Odd secrets of the line to tell!
Some sailor, skirting foreign shores,
Some pale reporter from the awful doors
Before the seal!

Next time, to stay!
Next time, the things to see
By ear unheard,
Unscrutinized by eye.

Next time, to tarry,
While the ages steal,-
Slow tramp the centuries,
And the cycles wheel.

- Emily Dickinson

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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2. Poetry Friday with a review of Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy riddles in verse

Authors of books for young readers find so many ways to incorporate educational, things-you-need-to-know pieces of information into their writings. The author of today's poetry title has combined poetry, riddles, and nonfiction text in a unique and amusing way to explore the parts of the body. I was truly impressed with the creativity that was tapped to create this very special book.

Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in VerseRandom Body Parts: Gross Anatomy riddles in verse
Leslie Bulion
Illustrated by Mike Lowery
Poetry Book
For ages 7 to 9
Peachtree Publishers, 2015, 978-1-56145-737-3
From an early age children start learning the names of parts of the body. People have even written little songs to help them learn where their forehead, nose, elbows, and toes are. When they get older they find out a little more about their stomach, their teeth, their eyes, their hair and other parts of their bodies, but do they really know as much as they think they know?
   In this wonderful book the author offers young readers clever riddles written in verse to challenge their knowledge of anatomy. Each riddle is accompanied by a nonfiction section of text, which provides the solution to the riddle and offers up interesting pieces of information about the body part being described.
   In a poem called Lunchtime we encounter a “cauldron” in which “Choice ingredients” are mixed. Here “Flesh of fowl,” “Wheat paste,” and “Plant parts” are combined with a “pulverizing rumble.” What on earth could this body part be? It turns out that this rather stomach churning riddle is describing…the stomach, which, we are told, “churns food into a thick, liquidy shake called chyme.”
   Further along in the book we encounter a sonnet that describes something that is cone-shaped and that is protected by a “cage of bone.” Apparently this body part is important, for in some way “the very stuff of life depends” on the way it works. The note that goes with this puzzle tells us that the riddle is describing the heart. This muscular vital vessel has four chambers and it pumps blood throughout the body.
   In this incredibly clever title we see how a riddle can be a work of word art and a puzzle at the same time. Children will enjoy trying to figure out the solutions to the riddles, and they will be astonished to learn how the various body parts work.

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3. Poetry Friday: To Stay Alive


I mentioned in Wednesday's post (about my next-in-the-graphic-novel-series TBR pile) that I love Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, and this one in particular. From my Goodreads review: "The Donner Party story is filled with idiots who make stupid decisions for all the reasons stupid decisions get made: pride, greed, stubbornness...Here's some history we FOR SURE don't want to repeat!!"


by Nathan Hale
Harry N. Abrams, 2014




by Skila Brown
Candlewick, October 2016

Even though I knew the train-wreck of a story line, I was excited to read this novel in verse about the Donners, and excited for another book from Skila Brown, author of Caminar. The story is told from the point of view of 19 year-old survivor Mary Ann Graves. Each poem has its own unique structure, which gives the book a satisfying breadth and depth, and which contributes to the pacing of the story. Because of the first person point of view and the emotional quality of the poems, this is a most human telling of this story -- yes, they were stupid; yes, mistakes were made. But in the end, they were humans who did what they needed to do to survive.


Julie has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at The Drift Record.



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4. Poetry Friday: Study by D.H. Lawrence

Somewhere the long mellow note of the blackbird
Quickens the unclasping hands of hazel,
Somewhere the wind-flowers fling their heads back,
Stirred by an impetuous wind. Some ways'll
All be sweet with white and blue violet.
    (Hush now, hush. Where am I?-Biuret-)

...

Somewhere the lamp hanging low from the ceiling
Lights the soft hair of a girl as she reads,
And the red firelight steadily wheeling
Weaves the hard hands of my friend in sleep.

- selected lines from Study by D.H. Lawrence

Read the entire poem here.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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5. Poetry Friday: I Have Them, and You, and This

I Have Them, and You, and This

by Mitali Perkins

Lilacs greet us on our morning walk. "Consider," they urge.

We do. We see it. Neon suits the showy poppies. Lupine dance in purple chiffon. Queen Anne's lace is a stately bride.

Songbirds swaying on stalks trill a welcome, too. "Attend," they sing.

We do. We see them. Hummingbird sips crabapple nectar. Eagle swoops to a rabbit. Pelican hoards a smelly catch. Sparrow's last breath is seen.

We are alone, together, with You. As Water shapes stone. As Light dazzles water. As Stone guards the spring.

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6. Poetry Friday -- Hidden Miracles




Jack in the Pulpit:
unrecognized miracle
pokes up amongst ferns

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016



How many miracles do we walk by every day, not acknowledging them or perhaps not even recognizing them?

May you go through your day today with wide open eyes. What miracles might you witness?

Margaret has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Reflections on the Teche.






And if you're curious, here's what the Jack in the Pulpit will look like in a couple of days (photo from last year):



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7. Poetry Friday: My true love hath my heart by Sir Philip Sidney

My true love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides:
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

- Sir Philip Sidney

Note from Bartleby.com:

This ditty first appeared in Puttenham's Art of English Poetry, 1589, to illustrate the Epimone, or the love burden. The following year it was inserted in the Arcadia, with the six additional lines quoted below:

His heart his wound received from my sight,
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still methought in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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8. Poetry Friday -- Mary Oliver




MESSENGER


My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

~ Mary Oliver, born in 1935, American poet



When what I typically call my work becomes just a bit overwhelming, it's good to remember what my work really is (or should be).

Violet has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Violet Nesdoly | Poems.



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9. Poetry Friday: Our Little House by Thomas Walsh

Our little house upon the hill
In winter time is strangely still;
The roof tree, bare of leaves, stands high,
A candelabrum for the sky,
And down below the lamplights glow,
And ours makes answer o'er the snow.

Our little house upon the hill
In summer time strange voices fill;
With ceaseless rustle of the leaves,
And birds that twitter in the eaves,
And all the vines entangled so
The village lights no longer show.

Our little house upon the hill
Is just the house of Jack and Jill,
And whether showing or unseen,
Hid behind its leafy screen;
There’s a star that points it out
When the lamp lights are in doubt.

- Our Little House by Thomas Walsh

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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10. Poetry Seven Write Tritinas

This month the Poetry Seven crew wrote in the form of the tritina. The tritina is composed of 3 tercets and a final line (envoi) that stands alone. Similar to a sestina, though shorter, it uses a set of 3 alternating end words instead of six. The form is: ABC / CAB / BCA / A, B, and C (final line/envoi).

The words we chose from were selected by Tanita. They were:
sweet, cold, stone, hope, mouth, thread

I think repeating words are hard, so this took some thought. However, it was the final line using all three words at once that proved to be the real challenge. I wrote two poems for this form. The first is a bit melancholy, but that always happens to me at this time of the year. My father’s birthday was yesterday (the 5th). He would have been 90 this year. And tomorrow (the 7th) is the 7th anniversary of his death, so he’s been much on my mind as of late. Therefore, the first poem is for/about him. The second is much lighter.

Without further ado, my tritinas.

Tritina #1 

My father pulled the hook from the mouth
of the bass. I touched its cold
scales, the thrill of catching it sweet.

Memories of my father are sweet,
though sometimes I imagine him, mouth
agape, my mother at his side touching his cold

hands. At the end, the world went cold.
There was nothing sweet
in death. My heart and mouth

slammed shut. Now I fish alone--no dad, no largemouth--just cold, sweet stillness.


Tritina #2

Speed Dating Introduction ... A 30-Second Tritina

I relish the smoothness of a stone
worn by water, the sweet
smell of freshly mown grass, the cold

slide of ice cream down my throat. I long for winter cold,
summer sun, the skipping of a stone
across the lake, that first buttery taste of sweet

corn. I believe in the sweet
hereafter, going cold
turkey, that some things are set in stone.

I’m stone cold sober, so lay some sweet lines on me.

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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11. Poetry Friday -- Pigs


I visited four first grade classes (two visits -- two classes per visit) this week as the "visiting poet." One of the groups used the above picture as a prompt to start writing nonfiction poems. In my mailbox today, I found this:


And in this envelope was a whole packet of piggy poems! 
Here are a few:


The Pig

I am pink.
My nam is pig.

I am skrd you will
eat me.

I liv in a farm.
And I slep in
mod.

oink oink


(Stanzas!! And how about those pig balloons!!)



Baby Pigs

the pig are pink
they roll in mud
togther as a team
baby pig are piglets 
snort oink snort oink

(I like how this writer improved on the "oink oink" ending!)



Pigs Day

Pigs go
to the
mud to
dres up
in mud
to
celebrate
Pigs!
Day!

(never mind Cinco de Mayo...let's celebrate PIGS DAY!)



Little Pig

I am a pig I play in
mud and I have 2 broths
We play and play all day
but dowte get coos to me!
are I will get you dirty.

(please note the interesting contrast between 
the illustrations and the poem!)


Sylvia has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Poetry For Children.


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12. Poetry Friday: In the Beginning by Harriet Monroe

When sunshine met the wave,
Then love was born;
Then Venus rose to save
A world forlorn.

For light a thousand wings
Of joy unfurled,
And bound with golden rings
The icy world.

And color flamed the earth
With glad desire,
Till life sprang to the birth,
Fire answering fire,

And so the world awoke,
And all was done,
When first the ocean spoke
Unto the sun.

- In the Beginning by Harriet Monroe

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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13. Poetry Friday - Cartoon Physics, part 1

Last week I shared the poem After Reading a Child's Guide to Modern Physics by W.H. Auden. I'm still thinking about physics and poetry this week.

Cartoon Physics, part 1
by Nick Flynn

Children under, say, ten, shouldn't know
that the universe is ever-expanding,
inexorably pushing into the vacuum, galaxies

swallowed by galaxies, whole

solar systems collapsing, all of it
acted out in silence. At ten we are still learning

the rules of cartoon animation,


Read the poem in its entirety.


If you haven't been here before, or haven't been following my National Poetry Month project, here are the posts from this week. Feel free to poke around.

24 - Sky Awareness Week
25 - World Penguin Day
26 - Richter Scale Day
27 - Babe Ruth Day
28 - National Blueberry Pie Day
29 - Arbor Day

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Buffy Silverman at Buffy's Blog. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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14. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What IDid Last Week, Featuring Ken Min and Bob Raczka

— From Bob Raczka’s Wet Cement(Click to enlarge)   — From What Does It Mean to Be an Entrepreneur?   Today over at Kirkus, I write about Bethan Woollvin’s debut picture book, Little Red (Peachtree, April 2016). That is here, and next week I’ll have some art from it here at 7-Imp. * * * […]

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15. Poetry Friday: Animal Poems of the Iguazú/Animalario del Iguazú


April
 is National Poetry Month! All month long we’ll be celebrating by posting some of our favorite poems for Poetry Friday. To celebrate Earth Day, for today’s Poetry Friday, we chose a poem from Animal Poems of the Iguazú/Animalario del Iguazú, written by Francisco X. Alarcón and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez.

Same Green Fate

let’s listen to

the green voice

of the rainforest

the colorful chorus

of so many flowers

trees and birds

let’s learn

the distinct

living alphabets

of so many species

so many insects

and butterflies

let’s be part

of the clamor and

song of this land:

you all belong

to us and we all

belong to you

protect all of us

for the Earth’s fate

for your own sake

let’s make the world

a true Ybirá Retá—

a Land of the TreesAnimal Poems of the Iguazu


Purchase Animal Poems of the Iguazú/Animalario del Iguazú here.

Our Earth Day Poetry Collection is now 25% off! Purchase it here.


Further Resources

Reading for the Earth: Ultimate Earth Day Resource Roundup

Happy Earth Day from LEE & LOW BOOKS

Earth Day: Saving the Pufflings

What We’re Doing to Celebrate Earth Day

Seven Children’s Books to Celebrate World Water Day

Resources for Teaching about Wangari Maathai and Seeds of Change

Turn a Blanket into a Scarf! Book-Inspired DIY Projects

Where in the World: How One Class Used Google Maps to Explore the Vanishing Culture Series

Beyond “Did You Know…”: Teaching Geo-Literacy Using the VANISHING CULTURE Book Series

How to Be an Explorer in Your Own Backyard: The Olinguito Activity Kit and Teacher’s Guide

Twelve Months of Books: April

Poetry Ideas and Resources

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16. Poetry Friday with a review of Mother Goose’s Pajama Party

For many parents the Mother Goose nursery rhymes are the first poems that they explore with their children. Over time Little Miss Muffet, the cow that jumped over the moon, and Wee Willie Winkie all become members of the family. In today's poetry title these characters and others from the Mother Goose rhymes come together to attend a special event hosted by none other than Mother Goose herself!

Mother Goose's Pajama PartyMother Goose’s Pajama Party 
Danna Smith
Illustrated by Virginia Allyn
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Random House, 2015, 978-0-553-49756-4
One night Mother Goose flies out into the night sky on the back of her goose companion. In sparkles she leaves a message in the starlit sky inviting her friends to come to her house at half past eight for a story time.
   The moon is the first to see the message and she shows it to the cow, who then goes on to tell Dish who passes on what she has been told to Spoon. Spoon then tells Cats about the invitation and Cat, being the musician that he is, “fiddled a tune.”
   Mother Goose’s invitation is passed on from character to character, from Jack-a-Dandy to Wee Willie Winkie, and from Georgie Porgie to Little Bo-Peep. Finally Nimble Jack, with his candlestick, leads the way to Mother Goose’s house with all the other nursery rhyme characters following him. Along the way they collect the crooked man and the cooked mouse and they walk along “the final crooked mile,” until they come to Mother Goose’s door promptly at eight o’clock.
   What follows is a wonderful evening that is full of treats that the guests and the hostess alike enjoy.
   Written in wonderful rhyming verse, this picture book brings together some of the most well-known nursery rhyme characters, who take little children on a memorable bookish adventure that is full of joy, warmth, and finally comfort.
   At the back of the book children will find the fifteen nursery rhymes that feature the characters that they met in the book.

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17. Poetry Friday: To the Moon by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven, and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,-
And ever-changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

- To the Moon by Percy Bysshe Shelley

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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18. Poetry Friday - After Reading a Child's Guide to Modern Physics

I'm still reading Auden and thinking this week about the intersection of poetry and science.

After Reading a Child's Guide to Modern Physics
by W.H. Auden

If all a top physicist knows
About the Truth be true,
Then, for all the so-and-so's,
Futility and grime,
Our common world contains,
We have a better time
Than the Greater Nebulae do,
Or the atoms in our brains.

Marriage is rarely bliss
But, surely it would be worse
As particles to pelt
At thousands of miles per sec
About a universe
Wherein a lover's kiss
Would either not be felt
Or break the loved one's neck.

Read the poem in its entirety. You can also listen to Auden read it.

If you haven't been here before, or haven't been following my National Poetry Month project, here are the posts from this week. Feel free to poke around.

16 - National Park Week
17 - National Environmental Education Week
18 - World Heritage Day
19 - National Coin Week
20 - Chinese Language Day
21 - Kindergarten Day
22 - Earth Day

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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19. Poetry Friday: Drs. Sora and Swallow






This month's inspiration was provided by Poetry Sister Laura Purdie Salas. She says "These are two parts of a 7-part ceiling fresco at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. I spoke at a children's literature conference there a couple of weeks ago and loved huge, colorful ceiling in Terrence Murphy Hall. The art is by Mark Balma (markbalma.com) and is called The Seven Virtues (it's a Catholic university). I loved the colors, the surrealness of the images, and the fairy tale oddness of them."

Yes, me too, Laura! I was also curious about frescos, so I read up on their construction at the University of St. Thomas website. Then I took a gander at the seven sins, and the seven virtues---especially, Temperance, which is the subject of this fresco, and in the end...

...my eyes were caught by those realistic birds in the corners of each fresco. WTH?

Turns out all the birds depicted in the seven frescos are species who take sustenance from the Mississippi River.



Analysis (expositors of sacred writ to the ignorant*)

Drs. Sora and Swallow
don’t know what to make of it

Neither does Herring Gull
called in to consult

nor Golden Plover
(a solid second opinion)

The birds need the river
to flow wrathfully 

slicing the land before snaking,
sloth-like into silty deltas

They envy those who consume
art; not shad or lice

They lust for full communion, 
not half-bodies, imploring

They cannot eat stones
glutton-fed paint by boar’s hair brushes

What of greed? they pick
at the edges. What of pride?

Every stroke is permanent
What is temperate about that?

---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)


*By the way, the title comes from the article on the University site, which explains that ancient fresco makers took their art very seriously, as they were the “expositors of sacred writ to the ignorant, who know not how to read.”


To see what my Poetry Sisters made of this fresco (or the other choice, a fresco about Hope), follow these links:

Liz
Laura
Tanita
Andi
Kelly
Tricia


Poetry Friday is hosted today by Amy at The Poetry Farm.


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20. Poetry Friday: Free Verse by Robert Graves

I now delight
In spite
Of the might
And the right
Of classic tradition,
In writing
And reciting
Straight ahead,
Without let or omission,
Just any little rhyme
In any little time
That runs in my head...

- from Free Verse by Robert Graves

Read the entire poem.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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21. Poetry Friday - Belief

Some days we NEED to believe in fairies. I know this as well as Auden.

Belief
by W. H. Auden

We do not know
if there be fairies now
  Or no.
But why should we ourselves involve
In questions which we cannot solve.
  O let's pretend it's so
And then perhaps if we are good
Some day we'll see them in the wood.

from Collected Shorter Poems 1927-1957, written by W.H. Auden


If you haven't been here before, or haven't been around for my National Poetry Month project, here are the posts from this week. Feel free to poke around.

  1. April Fool's Day
  2. Jazz Appreciation Month
  3. National Frog Month
  4. National Garden Month
  5. Mathematics Awareness Month
  6. National Kite Month
  7. World Health Day
  8. Draw a Bird Day
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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22. Henry



Henry

Dear Iva,
I didn't think Mama
would miss just one.

Guess she knows her flock
better'n I thought.
It sure was fun

to see that photographer's face.
If I hadn't started laughing,
no one would have known I done it.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016





A note to my readers: these stories and these characters are works of fiction. With very few exceptions, I have no idea who the people are in these photos. The names of many of the characters come from my ancestors and their friends. Other names are ones I chose to fit the character. The settings are real. My mom is from Denver and my dad grew up on a farm in Eastern Colorado (although some of these photos could be of ancestors/family friends further back who lived in Nebraska and Kansas). If we could sit down together for a cup of tea and a scone, I'd tell you all the little bits of truth I've woven into this fiction. I'd tell you the biggest surprises I've had, and the poems that took the most/fewest drafts. Like Amy LV commented, sometimes I feel like these people are talking through my pencil.

I did not have this all planned out before Poetry Month began, except that I grouped the photos in sets of seven to have ready to load onto the main page for the project. I had no idea I would be telling a story in verse this month. I'm as surprised and thrilled as you are. I expected to be frustrated by the challenge of writing a variety of poems, and instead, I look forward (and often can't stop myself from writing forward) as I discover the story and figure out ways to fill in the gaps. How will it end? No idea. Stay tuned. (If you want to read from the beginning, go back to the poem for April 1, and read forward to today.)

Over at Poetrepository, I have added (with permission) poems that Steve Peterson and Carol Wilcox have written that seem to me to fit with the flow of the story I've got in my mind. Carol Varsalona has also written some fabulous partner poems using these photos. You can find them here.

Happy Poetry Month Poetry Friday! Laura has the roundup at Writing the World for Kids.


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23. Poetry Friday: I Am the Wind by Zoe Atkins

I am the wind that wavers,
You are the certain land;
I am the shadow that passes
Over the sand.

I am the leaf that quivers,
You the unshaken tree;
You are the stars that are steadfast,
I am the sea.

- from I Am the Wind by Zoe Atkins

Read the rest of the poem.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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24. Poetry Friday with a review of Boris


I used to be more of a dog person than a cat person, but then I adopted Katie, a tiny black and white kitten, who had been literally thrown away. Katie, who never weighed more than five pounds, taught me to appreciate the true nature of cats. Despite her rough start in life, she was loyal, strong-willed, sensitive, and loving, and I am grateful that she was part of my life for more than a decade. Though she was very small and not very strong, Katie never let anything get her down. She was an inspiration.

Today's poetry title explore one woman's relationship with her cat Boris, and through her narrative we get see how Boris shaped her life and how he helped her understand herself better.

Boris
Cynthia Rylant
BorisPoetry
For ages 14 and up
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006, 0-15-205809-5
Not that long ago her last cat died, and she decided that she would not be getting any more cats. She would be a dog person from here on out and spare herself all the trials and tribulations that come with cat ownership. No more hairballs, no more worrying that the cat has been eaten by a coyote, and no more “howling, spitting fights.” No, cats will no longer be a part of her life.
   Then the local shelter puts a storefront in town and she has to walk past that storefront every day; she has to see the cats sitting in the window, all of whom so badly want a home. She holds out for two months and then she goes into the store. She says that she will get one female cat “and no more.”
   Not long after, she walks out of the store with two cats, a male and female. The cats are siblings and she could not bear to separate them. The male is Boris, a beautiful grey fellow who in his own quiet way promises that he will “be good.”
   It isn’t long before Boris is a member of the family. The dogs accept him and when they go too far they get a swat across the nose to keep them in line. Of course it also isn’t long before she is worrying that the eagles might try to harm Boris. She asks him to never “stand on a beach / beneath them,” for surely if he does they will be measuring and assessing him to determine if he is too big and heavy from them to carry him off.
   Boris is full of surprises. She knows that his former name was Hunter and imagines at first that it is a “designer-label sort of / name.” It turns out that Hunter was not some preppy name at all. The name describes what Boris is. He is a hunter and soon he is bringing her all kinds of furry and feathered gifts.
   When a new cat moves in next door she is sure that Boris is going to take grave exception to the cat using the next-door deck that he has claimed as his own. She full expects to see fur flying, and yet this is not what happens at all. Boris takes the newcomer in hand, adopting him and treating him like a little brother who needs someone to show him what is what.
   This magnanimity is not offered to an elderly cat that Boris and his owner meet when they are out one day. This time the hunter in Boris comes to the fore and he bowls over the poor old fellow without a thought. She is embarrassed, and the encounter gets her thinking about aging and what waits for them both in the future. Will they two be like the old cat who dared to walk on Boris’ path? Will they two stand against younger whippersnappers who try to bully them?

   In this remarkable book, nineteen free verse poems take us into the world of the narrator and her cat. Through her interaction with Boris we find out about her own fears, worries and insecurities. We laugh with her as Boris watches, and bats at, birds that he sees on the TV screen. We laugh too when she describes how much she enjoys playing “spinnies” with her cat companion. Her pain is tangible as she tells us what it was like when Boris went missing for ten days, and we understand why she worries about moving to a new house that Boris might not approve of. Being owned by a cat is not for the faint of heart, but the experience teaches us a lot about ourselves, and through our cats we learn a great deal about love, patience, and compassion.

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25. Poetry Friday: Heartsease by Walter Savage Landor

There is a flower I wish to wear,
But not until first worn by you -
Heartsease - of all earth’s flowers most rare;
Bring it; and bring enough for two.

- Heartsease by Walter Savage Landor

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