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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Poetry Friday, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 3,028
1. Poetry Friday: The Awakening of Dermuid by Austin Clarke

Sleepy moths fluttered
In her dark eyes,
And her lips grew quieter
Than lullabies.
Swaying with the reedgrass
Over the stream
Lazily she lingered
Cradling a dream.

- the final stanza of The Awakening of Dermuid by Austin Clarke

Read the poem in its entirety.

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: Response to Picasso's Sculpture of a Cat







Response to Picasso’s sculpture of a Cat

She’s pregnant, this cat
or just given birth. She’s muddy;
her tail's been broken.
Look at her neck, stiff

as a stanchion. Look at her compact
head; so ill-made for big thoughts
you fear her tail is pulling
her backwards. She isn’t curled

by contentment, or preying
with merciless grace, or cagily
sinuous. Still—
she is Cat. She disdains

opinion. You can tell
by the vainglorious shine
of her ears, as if she is listening to
an undivided convent

of cats chanting her name
lapping up her blessing
as she passes them. She has lived
fully; they have been holy.

Picasso stretched time between
sculptures; using his brush to pry apart
skulls, turning to his hands only when the Muse
purred to him. He was never trained

to mold clay or pour bronze but
what he made, he kept
close. They fattened
his household. Did he speak

to Cat? Attempt to straighten
her tail, even as she hissed? How do
you feed a Muse who doesn’t need
you? She’s given birth; he stirs mud.

                        ----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)


Thanks to Liz Garton Scanlon for discovering the intriguing Picasso sculptures, which provided the inspiration for this month's ekphrastic poetry challenge. (The Poetry Seven plans to respond to an image or piece of art every other month in 2016.  I'm already researching which artist to choose when it's my turn...)

Here are the links to my Poetry Sisters' poems (each of us chose a Picasso sculpture from a select group, so there's some overlap in the inspiration images, but glorious uniqueness in the response!)

Liz
Tanita
Tricia
Laura
Andi (taking a breather this month)
Kelly

More about Picasso's sculptures.

Poetry Friday is hosted today by one of the Poetry Seven's own, Tricia, at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

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3. Poetry Friday -- Found Object Poem Project


Yes, it feels a little nutso to be writing a poem a day again after only a month off since a haiku a day in December, but in the same way I've learned that if I don't go out and walk in the early morning I will never meet the deer and hear the owls ("Must Be Present to Win"), I know that for every day I don't write, those poems are lost forever.

Laura Shovan cooked up this Found Object Poem project. Here's a description, along with other February poetry projects she's done. Here is a post with links to all the poems the whole crew has written so far, and here's a link to all of my poems.

My favorite poem I've written so far is for this picture of moth eggs on a car window. Laura didn't reveal that's what they were until after we submitted our poems, but I was pretty sure I knew. Not sure enough to write a moth egg poem...although I alluded to a butterfly wing as a nod to my guess! I just left them as a mystery.

photo by Laura Shovan


Mysteries


The mysteries of the world are myriad.
Sometimes they look like little balls of butter.
Sometimes they clump together in the shape of South America.

The mysteries of the world puzzle us.
They make us take our glasses off and look so close
we dust our noses with them.

The mysteries of the world hold hidden ripeness.
Each might contain a new life,
or the possibility to change the weather patterns of the entire world.

The mysteries of the world cast shadows.
Hovering above, they block the sun
and send a chill through us as they pass over.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016



Tricia has today's Poetry Friday roundup at The Miss Rumphius Effect.


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4. Poetry Friday: The Sedges by Seumas O'Sullivan

I whispered my great sorrow
To every listening sedge;
And they bent, bowed with my sorrow,
Down to the water's edge.

But she stands and laughs lightly
To see me sorrow so,
Like the light winds that laughing
Across the water go.

If I could tell the bright ones
That quiet-hearted move,
They would bend down like the sedges
With the sorrow of love.

But she stands laughing lightly,
Who all my sorrow knows,
Like the little wind that laughing
Across the water blows.

- The Sedges by Seumas O'Sullivan

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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5. "I know none of these by name"

Each day my inbox(es) fill with poems-a-day from various sources, and someday I should make a study of how I decide to click and read the comparatively few that I do.  Here's one whose arguably not-very-poetic title caught my eye; I wanted to see where this would go.  My instincts are pretty good, I guess--I loved it.


I Have This Way of Being | Jamaal May

I have this, and this isn’t a mouth
            full of the names of odd flowers
 
I’ve grown in secret.
            I know none of these by name
 
but have this garden now,
            and pastel somethings bloom
 
near the others and others.
            I have this trowel, these overalls,
 
this ridiculous hat now.
            This isn’t a lung full of air.
 
Not a fist full of weeds that rise
            yellow then white then windswept.
 
This is little more than a way...         


************************
Read the rest here, and listen to Jamaal read it himself here.  This poem pleases me because of the tension between the everyday register and the imprecise words on the way to a very deliberate and precise capturing of everything the speaker claims not to know.  (In fact I'm adding this to my collection of "no poems," poems which create their meaning by denying it.)   Wouldn't the title and its stem, "I have this, and this isn't..." be a very interesting poetry prompt for kids?

I also like the feeling of effort in this poem, repeated effort, which must be reminding me of the repeated efforts we are having to make to keep driveway and sidewalks clear,* and "return as sprout" must be about the poor green tips of  a daffodil, which in December thought it must be spring and time to spear up, but which now finds itself smack in the middle of the best path we could forge from the front porch to the sidewalk and is now trampled and muddied but still green.

Catherine is hosting today at Reading to the Core, with Irene Latham's new book in the spotlight--isn't it nice that you can just click to get there instead of digging your way through feet of snow?  Let us be grateful for all that is!

*This morning at 4:15 I stood at the window and watched a noisy little Bobcat bulldozer work its way up our street, hoisting scoops of chunky, icy, frozen snow from the edges of the street and dumping it onto the finally clear, dry sidewalk.  Oof.  More shoveling, with a side of boulder-tossing.


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6. Poetry Friday and Deconstructing a Standard


RL.5.6. Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.

That's the 5th grade reading (literature) standard we're just beginning to work on in my class. So that my students can better understand what's expected of them, we deconstructed the standard, brainstorming around these words: describe, narrator, speaker, point of view, view, and influence. Next, we rewrote the standard in our words. Then, I gave them this poem and a series of scaffolded questions that would lead them to describing how the speaker's point of view influences how events are described.


Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Robbphotos1


FLIGHT

Outside my apartment
is a small patch of grass
and a parking lot.
Beyond that is a ditch
full of dirty snow and trash.

But across the road
are power lines
where a hawk often perches
long enough for me to sketch.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015



Lo and behold, it worked! Not all, but some, realized that the point of view of the speaker is that of an artist, and "they see everything that is ugly but they can make it beautiful." The speaker will "make things better in the picture." And "An artist can see in detail, and they can make art out of whatever they see." Not bad for a first try.

Catherine has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Reading to the Core.

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7. Scaling Wall

Something there is that does love a wall,
That sends the gangly boy-limbs clambering up
And bids the mother not to fuss or call
Out words of caution, not to spoil the bliss
Of racing, arms outspread, along the bricks,
Along the road that crests the world, the whole
Huge world six cinder blocks and seven leagues
Below. The boy is king, is wind, and she
Must hush: just study shrubs in neighbors’ yards,
Imagine herself a Seventies mom, unfazed
By threats to skull, spine, ulna, femur.
He shouts, he leaps; the earth (a mother too)
Shivers, lets loose the cord of gravity
This once, just once, and also on the next
Block, the next wall, each ridge that lures
Him skyward all the long way home.

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8. Poetry Friday: Happy Ending? by Shel Silverstein

Happy ending?
There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.

- by Shel Silverstein

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

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9. Poetry Friday with a review of The Way the Door Closes


The Way a Door ClosesLife is full of unknowns. Sometimes even the things that you feel sure about are not as secure as you thought they were. One of the hardest things for children to cope with is when something happens to a parent. When there is a divorce, when a parent dies, or when a parent walks out, the ramifications for the children in the family can be considerable. Today's poetry title takes readers into the heart and mind of a young man whose father leaves suddenly. The narrative is moving and powerful, and it shows readers what it is like to be a child who is trying to cope with this kind of devastating event.

The way a door closes
Hope Anita Smith
Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Poetry
For ages 10 to 13
Henry Holt, 2011, 978-0312661694
C.J. lives with his Momma, Daddy, Grandmomma, and his younger brother and sister. On the whole they have a happy life together, and C.J. admires his strong grandmother, his beautiful mother, and his dependable father who reminds C.J. to be proud of who he is. He loves Sunday afternoons, when he and his father and brother go out and do something together, just the three of them.
   Then Daddy loses his job and things start to change. Daddy tries not to show his pain and worry, but C.J. still sees it and every day he prays that his father will finally get a job. Every day Daddy comes home without a job. Then, one night, Daddy tells his family that he is going out. Somehow, the way he closes the door makes C.J. feel as if they are “vacuum-sealed inside” the room. Something about the way that Daddy closed that door feels wrong.
   Sure enough, that night and the next day Daddy does not come home and C.J. offers to get a job, to even leave school “until we get things squared away,” but Momma won’t hear of it. In fact she gets angry and slaps her son, only to hold him close and cry. As far as she is concerned C.J is too young “to be a man.”
   As the days go by, the gloom of Daddy’s absence spreads, and it touches everyone in C.J’s household. People start to think that Daddy is just another dead-beat dad who will never come back.
   Written using a series of blank verse poems, this touching book explores how a teenage boy feels when his father abandons his family. Feelings of disbelief, anger and fear swirl through C.J. as he tries to come to terms with the fact that nothing stays the same, and that even strong and loving fathers can get afraid when life deals them a blow.


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10. Poetry Friday -- Double or Nothing


via Unsplash

Because temperatures were in the single digits,
I threw on the old red barn coat
I used to wear for winter dog walks.

I saw you looking at the frayed cuffs,
the faded canvas,
the corduroy collar.

I've owned this coat longer than you've been alive.
What do you own now that will last that long?
Probably nothing.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016




labeled for reuse -- Google Images
I began my day
with thoughts about 
racial and economic 
inequality

and I read the news
of the Afghan woman
whose nose was cut off
by her husband.

Then I spent
twenty minutes
drawing the opening
amaryllis buds

and the only thing
in my mind was this
everyday miracle.
Nothing else.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016



I wrote these poems in response to the Ditty of the Month Challenge that Douglas Florian offered up at Michelle's Today's Little Ditty.

Tara has the Poetry Friday roundup today at A Teaching Life.




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11. Poetry Friday: Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers by Muriel Strode

I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.

Infinitely will I trust nature's instincts and promptings, but I will not call my own perversions nature.

Each receives but that which is his own returning.
Each hears but that which is the echo of his own call.
Each feels but that which has eaten into his own heart.

I do not bemoan misfortune. To me there is no misfortune. I welcome whatever comes; I go out gladly to meet it.

It is no stigma to wear rags; the disgrace is in continuing to wear them.

Say not that this or that thing came to thwart you; it only came to test you.

There is hope for that genius who must overcome poverty, but there is almost none for that one who must overcome wealth.

A great work demands a great sacrifice, and who is not capable of a great sacrifice is not capable of great work.

Wishing will bring things in the degree that it incites you to go after them.

Better than tiaras - the diadem of freedom.
Better than broad acres - a garden of hearts-ease.
Better than mines of gold - a mint of dreams.
Better than bars of molten silver - the silver of a laugh.
Better than strings of pearls - the crystal of a tear.
Better than bands of choristers - a lute in the soul.

I am life's mystery, - and I alone am its solution.
I am the dreamer of dreams, - and I am dreams come true.

- selected lines from Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers by Muriel Strode

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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12. Poetry Friday with a review of A Spectacular Selections of Sea Critters

A Spectacular Selection of Sea Critters: Concrete Poems
Concrete poems give poets a means to entertain readers with word magic and graphic art magic. I encountered this form of poetry relatively recently and have seen first hand how excited young children become when they see how the words in a poem can be used to create a picture. This wonderful book is packed to the gills with lots wonderful concrete poems that tickle the mind and delight the eye.

A spectacular Selection of Sea Critters
Betsy Franco
Illustrated by Michael Wertz
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Lerner, 2015, 978-1-4677-2152-3
Many people love spending time at the seaside, paddling in the waves, and exploring ocean worlds. They are fascinated by the creatures that live underwater; the fish, turtles, jellyfish, stingrays, eels and other animals.
   In this delightful book Betsy Franco’s clever concrete poems are paired with wonderful artwork to give readers a memorable journey into the world of sun, sea, sand, and “sea critters.” The words on the pages are arranged to create shapes and patterns that reflect what is being said in the poems, and these arrangements of words perfectly complement the illustrations to give readers a singular reading experience.
   We begin with a piece of poetry called Sun Mail. The warmth of the sun is sending us an invitation to go “Snorkling today!” and when we dip our heads beneath the ways we see schools of fish where all the fish move in perfect unison to the right, the left, up and down. The fish “shift together in a flash” and as one “they swim together to survive.”
   In the water we encounter box jellyfish, “fascinating” creatures that move around by “undulating” and “pulsating.” We see a sea turtle “row by” with “flippered wings,” and a king angelfish, which is territorial about her space. Among the coral, butterfly fish spend their days “floating, flitting, flickering, fluctuating feeding.” The peaceful harmony of their world is rudely interrupted when they have to flee from a hungry eel.
   Puffer fish, cleaner fish, needlefish, sea horses, Moorish idols, trumpet fish and others cover the pages of this special book. There are poems in rhyming verse, blank verse, a haiku, an acrostic poem, a tercet, a limerick, a riddle and more. Throughout the book Betsy Franco dazzles us with her remarkable word pictures and delights us with her creativity.

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13. Poetry Friday: Wait For It from Hamilton

Love doesn't discriminate
Between the sinners
And the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep loving anyway
We laugh
And we cry
And we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there's a reason I'm by her side
When so many have tried
Then I'm willing to wait for it
I'm willing to wait for it...

Death doesn't discriminate
Between the sinners
And the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep living anyway
We rise
And we fall
And we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there's a reason I'm still alive
When everyone who loves me has died
I'm willing to wait for it
I'm willing to wait for it...

I am the one thing in life I can control
I am inimitable
I am an original
I'm not falling behind or running late
I'm not standing still
I am lying in wait

Life doesn't discriminate
Between the sinners and the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep living anyway
We rise
And we fall
And we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there's a reason I'm still alive
When so many have died
Then I'm willin' to-
Wait for it.

- selected lyrics from the song Wait For It from the musical Hamilton

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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14. cybils poetry finalists I

This month I'll be highlighting some of the top-notch poetry published in the last year--so top-notch that it was deemed by the Cybils Award Round 1 panel to be a finalist for the award.  As a Round 2 judge, I'm going to share some excerpts from each book this month.  Since it finally got cold here in Maryland this week, I'll begin with...

Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold
by Joyce Sidman

WINTER BEES
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014

This book, illustrated by Rick Allen using a complicated combination of linoleum block prints hand-colored, "digitally scanned, composed, and layered," contains just 12 poems.  Some are free verse and some are rhymed and metered.  This collection has received 5 starred reviews and almost a dozen awards, including in 2014, since it was published in November of 2014.




excerpt from "Winter Bees"

We scaled a million blooms
to reap the summer's glow.
Now, in the merciless cold,
we share each morsel of heat,
each honeyed crumb.
We cram to a sizzling ball
to warm our queen, our heart, our home.

excerpt from "Chickadee's Song"

The sun wheels high, the cardinal trills.
We sip the drips of icicles.
The buds are thick, the snow is slack.
Spring has broken winter's back.


How's that for a little taste of the cold?

Please join Tabatha for some more of the muscle and grace of great poetry--she's got the Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference today.

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15. Poetry Friday: The Period Table of Crown Sonnets


When people spark in each other's presence, and shine brighter than alone, we call that Chemistry. The ineffable, mysterious SOMETHING that arises between like souls. How fitting, then, that this Poetry Friday, the Poetry Sisters culminate our year-long poetry project with a Crown Sonnet about....

Chemistry.

The Periodic Table, to be precise. (You might've heard of it. Been in the news lately.)

If you've arrived here, you may have already read the first two sonnets, and the story of how we came to write about the seven rows of the Periodic Table. If not, here are the links to read before you hear about my contribution:

Laura: Row 1
 
Tricia: Row 2

And now, me.
Me and Row Three.
K-i-s-s-i-

Yes. That was about my level of comprehension of my task. Say what? I'm writing about WHAT?

Luckily, I was fortunate to have Tricia's lovely last line, "What other treasures will the chart reveal?" to launch my sonnet. Still, I had to make choices. Write about the entire third row? Feature three elements, one in each stanza? Throw up my hands and say: WHO picked this topic anyway???? (Answer: Laura)

In the end, I was seduced by one element: Argon.

I'm not going to lie. I picked it mostly because I liked the word itself. It sounded noble. Regal. Important. This was confirmed when I waded through cool Argon related trivia on the Internet...

Argon is: (according to the Internets)

a prince from very late writings of Tolkien

a defunct British automobile (1908)

a codename used for the KH-5 Argon reconnaissance satellite (At least 12 missions were attempted, but at least 7 resulted in failure)

a family of Soviet computers (“military real-time computers”)

the fourth ruler of the Mongol empire's Ilkhanate (although it was spelled Arghun.) According to Wikipedia, Arghun "requested a new bride from his great-uncle Kublai Khan. The mission to escort the young Kökötchin across Asia to Arghun was reportedly taken by Marco Polo. Arghun died before Kökötchin arrived, so she instead married Arghun's son, Ghazan."  (Well! There's a whole book of sonnets there, don't you think? )


Sadly, most of this didn't have much to do with the periodic table.

Happily, I found many more facts about Argon that did.  I allowed myself one literary reference (to Portia, choosing suitors from "caskets" or decorated boxes in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice) and then I stuck to science.

Because, really, science and poetry are sisters. They allow us to look closely, to challenge our assumptions, and to boldly go where we haven't before. As sisters should.  (Here's looking at you, Laura, Kelly, Liz, Tanita, Tricia, and Andi.)



A Sonnet Inspired by Row Three 
of the Periodic Table of Elements
and AR (Argon) in particular

What other treasures will the chart reveal,
in double-lettered gilded boxes, fine
as Portia faced? AR has sex appeal,
I think, and choose my fate by noble shine.

A lilac glow when placed in voltage fields!
A barrier, so wine may age sans air!
Unseen, from dust, our Constitution, shields!
Argon, you worthy prince! you mighty heir—

You cheat. Hypoxic in the blood, you dope
to win; and ew! you asphyxiate, too—
a “kinder” end to fowl. “Inactive”? NOPE.
Those who search for matter (dark) target you.

Still, even the unstable can excite
A science lover, choosing in the night.


Thankfully, Kelly was inspired by that last line, and picked up with Row Four.  (Go! Read on!)


Poetry Friday is hosted today by Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference.




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16. Poetry Friday Post Two - Crown Sonnet Concluded

Welcome back! If you haven't been following the crown or have come here directly from the Poetry Friday roundup, do jump over to Laura Purdie Salas's blog where this crown started and then follow the bread crumbs through the blogosphere to each sonnet in the crown. If you do that, you'll end up right back here.

The sixth sonnet in the crown was written by Tanita Davis. She left me with a bit of magic and alchemy to wrestle with. And remember, since this is the last sonnet in the crown, I also needed to end with Laura's first line. Here is the final sonnet in the crown.
A weapons grade plutonium ring by Los Alamos National Laboratory 

Our mettle tested, move from lead to gold
primordial, decaying and man-made
the final row includes the hard-to-hold
radioactive elements arrayed

Most form inside a nuclear playground 
where subatomic particles collide 
synthetics known for scientists renowned
forever by their names identified

A few were given form before the Earth
from ancient supernova residue,
Uranium, Plutonium give birth 
to energy and bombs--I wish we knew  

Pandora’s box we hold now, God forbid.
The world escapes when we unhinge the lid.


**Time out for a bit of science - If you've been following the news, you'll recognize that this last sonnet is about the now complete 7th period of the table. The four new elements “discovered” were, in fact, synthesized in a lab. Actually, all the elements from 95 to 118 are synthetic. Once formed they very quickly decay into simpler elements.


I hope you'll take some time to go back and read once more the contributions of each poet. Here is where you'll find the posts by each participant in the crown, in the order they were written.
Finally, and at the prodding of my sisters, I am sharing the full crown here.

The Poetic Table of Elements

I.
The world escapes when we unhinge the lid
that traps all elements inside a chart
When science won't stay tethered to the grid,
our only hope is knowledge tamed by heart

One proton—One electron orbits round
a simple element: first row, first place
When hydrogen ignites, we are unbound
from earth--a rocket blazes into space

But what results? What comes from being first
Solutions for our planet's fragile life? 
A cancer beat? Malignancy reversed?  
Or data, fused and used, a sharp-edged knife?

Each element, an elegant, sharp key
Will science break us down or set us free?

II.
Will science break us down or set us free?
What bonds secure us here in time and space?
What kryptonite of mind and heart will be,
the downfall of the species and our race?

But all’s not lost if we exploit the chart
manipulating valencies to make
new cures, bold applications, works of art,
in mankind’s quest to keep the world awake

So row by row assembled pure and raw
our lives, our earth composed of bits that spark
organic forms, the very breath we draw
all wrought from heat, from cold, from light and dark

Row 2 gives form to charcoal, diamonds, steel
what other treasures will the chart reveal?

III.
What other treasures will the chart reveal,
in double-lettered gilded boxes, fine
as Portia faced? AR has sex appeal,
I think, and choose my fate by noble shine.

A lilac glow when placed in voltage fields!
A barrier, so wine may age sans air!
Unseen, from dust, our Constitution, shields!
Argon, you worthy prince! you mighty heir—

You cheat. Hypoxic in the blood, you dope
to win; and ew! you asphyxiate, too—
a “kinder” end to fowl. “Inactive”? NOPE.
Those who search for matter (dark) target you.

Still, even the unstable can excite
A science lover, choosing in the night.

IV.
A science lover, choosing in the night
to ponder periodic elements
that cross the bounds of fields of study might
do well to mine fourth row intelligence.

The first row with transition metals, it
is last with elements completely stable.
Though some are poisonous — like arsenic —
radioactivity is down the table.

These minerals derived from the earth’s core,
compose the human body. With their aid,
one can work jewelry, craft circuit boards,
make stainless steel and artificial legs.

So much depends on calcium—like bone—
It’s odd to think it’s metal, and not stone.

V.
It’s odd to think it’s metal, and not stone
that we bite down on, gnash and grind at night.
Fine silver mixed with tin, its pauper clone,
alloyed with other charms to fend off blight. 

The way these chemicals transist, set in --
you’d never know they weren’t a part of us.
Perhaps they are as native as our sins
the framework for our aches, the messy truss.

Rubidium -- are we made up of you?
And cadmium and antimony too?
Unstable ores that blow the earth askew 
so there’s no fault, no consequence undue.

But what if we own up, apologize:
Don’t blame the elements for our demise.

VI.
Don't blame the elements for our demise.
What doesn't kill us - staid in chemist's hands,
Transformed through science into health's allies -
Will strengthen, if the cure we can withstand.

We scientists approaching this sixth row
Both toxic radon and earth magnets find.
Radiant metals, some with half-life glow
Can manufacture health for humankind.

The intellect, that bright quick silver streak
Of those who sought the elements to tame
Theory to fact, persistence scales the peak
Of ignorance, lends wings to wisdom's flame

so heirs of strength, persist in courage bold
our mettle tested, move from lead to gold.

VII.
Our mettle tested, move from lead to gold
primordial, decaying and man-made
the final row includes the hard-to-hold
radioactive elements arrayed

Most form inside a nuclear playground 
where subatomic particles collide 
synthetics known for scientists renowned
forever by their names identified

A few were given form before the Earth
from ancient supernova residue,
Uranium, Plutonium give birth 
to energy and bombs--I wish we knew  

Pandora’s box we hold now, God forbid.
The world escapes when we unhinge the lid.


I can't begin to tell you how much fun this year of writing has been, and capping it off with a crown has been such a treat. Perhaps most exciting is that even though the year has ended, we've all signed on to continue this crazy adventure. Thank you, my sisters, for one of the best birthday gifts ever.

I do hope you'll take some time today to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected by Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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17. Poetry Friday Post 1 - Crown Sonnet Second Poem

My poetry sisters and I are wrapping up our year of writing with a crown sonnet. This particular project holds a special place in my heart because the very first sonnet I ever wrote was because I was invited to participate in the first crown project with this group. All these years later, I'm still energized, excited, humbled, and honored to work with these women. I'll also admit to being just a bit giddy over the topic of the crown. I never imagined my sisters would choose the periodic table!

The first sonnet in the crown was written by Laura Purdie Salas. She kicked things off beautifully and left me a terrific final line to begin with. Without further ado, here is the second sonnet in the crown.

Rough Diamond by USGS Employee

Will science break us down or set us free?
What bonds secure us here in time and space?
What kryptonite of mind and heart will be,
the downfall of the species and our race?

But all’s not lost if we exploit the chart
manipulating valencies to make
new cures, bold applications, works of art,
in mankind’s quest to keep the world awake

So row by row assembled pure and raw
our lives, our earth composed of bits that spark
organic forms, the very breath we draw
all wrought from heat, from cold, from light and dark

Row 2 gives form to charcoal, diamonds, steel
what other treasures will the chart reveal?


Sara Lewis Holmes took over from here. I hope you'll head to her blog next to see where this goes!

I'll not conclude my Poetry Friday contribution yet, as you'll circle back around to me when this thing comes to a conclusion. I hope to see you back here soon!

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18. Poetry Friday -- Haiku Gifts




When I saw these little 2"x2"x.5" canvases at Michaels Arts and Crafts, I couldn't resist them, even though I had no idea what I'd do with them.

During my Haiku-a-Day in December, one of my brainstorming pages had these rich 5-syllable opposites: eventually/in the nick of time and truth abandons them/we discover truth. I added two different concrete 7-syllable lines, and realized that by mixing and matching, my 9 phrases could make multiple haikus.

I got out my water color colored pencils and made up this set for my brother for Christmas. He had sent me Jane Reichhold's WRITING AND ENJOYING HAIKU: A HANDS-ON GUIDE for my birthday, so it seemed like an appropriate gift. (I'm not all the way through Reichhold's book yet, but I'm loving it!)

Here's to the joy of creating art with words and visuals!

Tabatha has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at The Opposite of Indifference.




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19. Poetry Friday with a review of Little poems for tiny ears

It is so wonderful to share poetry with little children. The rhyme and rhythm feels natural to them, and they are happy to enjoy poems without need to understand the exact meaning of every word. Theirs is an organic appreciation which anyone who loves the written word can appreciate.

Today's poetry title was written just for little children and it is delight to share.

Little Poems for Tiny EarsLittle poems for tiny ears
Lin Oliver
Illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Poetry Picture Book
For babies and toddlers
Penguin, 2014, 978-0-399-16605-1
Sharing poetry with babies, crawlers and toddlers can be so much fun as children who are this young have a natural affinity for the sing-song cadences of verse. Even if they are too young to fully understand the words, there is something about the sounds in poetry - which are similar to the ebb and flow found in music - that little children love.
   In this book Lin Oliver gives his readers a delightful collection of poems that were written with very young children in mind. On these pages we will meet a little girl who sees a baby in the mirror and who marvels at the way in which the mirror baby copies everything she does. Another little one tries walking and he is not discouraged when he falls down. After all, if he does fall down all that happens is that he lands “on my behind.”
   Further along in the book we encounter a little baby who is going out for a walk in his stroller. From his vantage position, being pushed by a grownup, the baby sees two cats and a dog. He sees a girl jogging and waves to her.
   Other poems talk about noses, toes and tongues. We hear about dogs, who “give me love that never ends,” and cats, who are “silky, soft and furry.” There are poems about bath time and diaper time, a poem about a blankie and a poem about “daddy’s beard.” In short, on these pages readers will find poems that perfectly capture a little child’s world.
   Throughout the book Tomie dePaola’s warm and cozy illustrations perfectly complement Lin Oliver’s poems.

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20. Poetry Friday: A Mood by Winifred Howells

The wind exultant swept
Through the new leaves overhead,
Till at once my pulses leapt
With a life I thought long dead,
And I woke, as one who has slept,
To my childhood,-that had not fled,
On the wind my spirit flew;
Its freedom was mine as well.
For a moment the world was new;
What came there to break the spell?
The wind still freshly blew;
My spirit it was that fell.

- A Mood by Winifred Howells

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21. Poetry Friday -- The Roundup is HERE!!


Flickr Creative Commons photo by Brett Bolkowy

Have you read LITTLE TREE by Loren Long? Franki reviewed it here. (Go ahead and click over. I'll wait. Make sure you watch the 1.5 minute video by Loren Long at the end of her post. )

My poem for today is the late 1800's version of LITTLE TREE. Both Long and Thomas remind us that change is hard, but necessary.

It might be time for you to let go of some leaves. Have faith that some sort of spring will come. Believe that you can (you will!) continue to grow.

Have a happy new year. And a brave one.


Winter Leafage
by Edith Matilda Thomas (1854-1925)

Each year I mark one lone outstanding tree,
Clad in its robings of the summer past,
Dry, wan, and shivering in the wintry blast.
It will not pay the season’s rightful fee,—
It will not set its frost-burnt leafage free;
But like some palsied miser all aghast,
Who hoards his sordid treasure to the last,
It sighs, it moans, it sings in eldritch glee.
A foolish tree, to dote on summers gone;
A faithless tree, that never feels how spring
Creeps up the world to make a leafy dawn,
And recompense for all despoilment bring!
Oh, let me not, heyday and youth withdrawn,
With failing hands to their vain semblance cling!






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22. Poetry Friday - Fra Giovanni's Letter To a Friend

Fra Giovanni Giocondo was a priest, scholar, architect, and teacher. You can read more about this renaissance man at the Catholic Encyclopedia. This letter was written to his friend, Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi, on Christmas Eve, 1513.

Letter Written by Fra Giovanni

I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!
Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.
Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.
And so, at this time, I greet you, not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and shadows flee away.

This is the version of the letter I've been acquainted with for some time. Bartleby has a similar version of the letter with this interesting note.
The British Museum stated in 1970 that it had “proved impossible” to identify Fra Giovanni, the purported author of this letter. This was published, probably in the 1930s, “with Christmas Greetings” from Greville MacDonald, son of novelist George MacDonald, and Mary MacDonald.

You can find an excerpt of this letter in a beautiful print in the form of an illuminated manuscript at Prose and Letters.

I do hope you'll take some time this weekend to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected by Mary Lee at A Year of Reading. Happy new year to all and happy poetry Friday friends!

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23. Poetry Friday: What If I Fall? by Erin Hanson

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask "What if I fall?"
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”

- by Erin Hanson

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24. permission to judge!


It's true--I'm a judgy person.  It can hardly be helped when it's a strong quarter of your personality.  This trait can be problematic in everyday life, but I'm diving into 2016 with a new project that positively requires me to be judgy! This year I am serving as a Round 2 Judge for the Cybils Poetry Awards--if you're not familiar with the Cybils, read all about them here.  The process is quite formal, and after a longer period of Round 1 review performed by panelists, I and my fellow Round 2 judges (Linda Baie, Rosemary Marotta, Diane Mayr and Laura Shovan with leadership from Jone MacCulloch) have about 6 weeks to choose a winner from the seven finalists....and here they are!


Product Details

HOUSE ARREST 
by K. A. Holt (Chronicle)

Product Details 
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BOOK OF NATURE POETRY
edited by J. Patrick Lewis (National Geographic Children’s Books)
 Product Details

FLUTTER AND HUM/ALETEO Y ZUMBIDO
by Julie Paschkis (Henry Holt)
Product Details

PAPER HEARTS
 by Meg Wiviott (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Product Details

THE POPCORN ASTRONAUTS AND OTHER BITEABLE RHYMES
by Barbara Ruddel, illustrated by Joan Rankin ((Margaret K. McElderry Books)

Product Details 
FULL CICADA MOON 
by Marilyn Hilton (Dial Books)
Product Details
WINTER BEES AND OTHER POEMS OF THE COLD
 by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen (HMH Books for Young Readers) 
Congratulations to all the authors and their publishers! Here is my starting point: I own one of these books already; I know quite a bit about two more, and nothing at all about the other four. Oh what fun it is to look forward to deep reading (for which I have less time than I ought to these days. How is it that parenting teens is so much more time-consuming than parenting toddlers?)

The Poetry Roundup for the first day of the new year is with Mary Lee (and Franki, celebrating TEN years of blogging) at A Year of Reading. All the best to everyone is what we all--I hope we ALL--fervently wish for the world...simple kindness and deep respect.  Poetry is always a part of that.

Bonus video: President Obama tells Kid President how kids and adults can work together to change the world. It's a couple of years old now, but it applies just as well today.


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25. Poetry Friday with a review of Bow-Tie Pasta: Acrostic Poems

Bow-tie Pasta: Acrostic Poems
I had never seen an acrostic poem until my daughter wrote one at school and proudly showed me her creation. She went on to write many more such poems, and still occasionally writes acrostics, which she illustrates with her own drawings. This wonderful title shows young readers how these poems are written, and provides them with examples to read and enjoy.

Bow-Tie Pasta: Acrostic Poems
Brian P. Cleary
Illustrated by Andy Rowland
Poetry
For ages 6 to 8
Millbrook, 2015, 978-1-4677-8107-7
For many children, an acrostic poem is the first poem that they write. To create these poems poets use a word, written down the page instead of across it, to form the building blocks of their word creation. They then begin to write phrases that begin with the letters of that word that explore, in some way, what that chosen word means. For example, the first poem in this is book is built off the word “Acrostic.” The first letter of the first line is an A, the second a C, the third an R, and so on. The poem begins thus: “All kinds of poems are / Cool, but this type is / Really interesting…” Since rhyme and meter patterns are not required in poems of this type - though some of them do rhyme - acrostic poems are wonderfully simple to create. 
   The author of this book begins by explaining what acrostic poems are and then he gives us some wonderful examples to read and explore. Some of the poems use only one word, words like piano, Halloween, and library. Other poems use several words. For example, the author creates a poem called Bow Tie Pasta and the poem explores what it is like to eat pasta that is made out of bow ties of all colors. Not surprising, the meal is “Awful tasting.”
   Many of the poems are written without any kind of rhyme or pattern, but there is one that has rhyme and a balanced meter. The poem is called Rainy Day, and as the verse unfolds we read about a child who makes “cookies by the sheet / Next they cool. I dunk and eat.” Thanks to books, treats, and games, this is a boy or girl who loves “the great indoors!”

   Children who have been afraid to try writing poems of their own are going to be inspired when they look through this book. They will see how easy it is to write acrostic poems, which can be funny, tell a story, or be contemplative, depending on the writer’s mood.

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