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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Poetry Friday, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,989
1. Poetry Friday: Mr. Darcy by Victoria Chang

In the end she just wanted the house
             and a horse not much more what
     if  he didn’t own the house or worse
                     not even a horse how do we

separate the things from a man the man from
             the things is a man still the same
     without his reins here it rains every fifteen
                     minutes it would be foolish to

marry a man without an umbrella did
             Cinderella really love the prince or
     just the prints on the curtains in the
                     ballroom once I went window-

shopping but I didn't want a window when
             do you know it's time to get a new
     man one who can win more things at the
                     fair I already have four stuffed

pandas from the fair I won fair and square
             is it time to be less square to wear
     something more revealing in North and
                     South she does the dealing gives him

the money in the end but she falls in love
             with him when he has the money when
     he is still running away if the water is
                     running in the other room is it wrong

for me to not want to chase it because it owns
             nothing else when I wave to a man I
     love what happens when another man with
                     a lot more bags waves back

- Mr. Darcy by Victoria Chang

Read the poem in its entirety here.

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 Over the River and Through the Woods: A Thanksgiving Poem

Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and in my household preparations have already begun for the big day. Shopping lists have been made, a menu has been planned, and firewood has been chopped. We plan on doing our shopping tomorrow and then all we have to do is wait for our  out of town guest to arrive and cook the meal.

Being able to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family is what makes the day special for me, which is why I chose to share today's poetry title with you. The poem is more than a hundred years old and yet it still resonates with readers of all ages. It is a wonderful celebration of the times that we spend with the people we love, and the little life adventures that we share with them.

Over the River and Through the WoodOver the River and Through the Woods: A Thanksgiving Poem
Lydia Maria Child
Illustrated by Christopher Manson
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
NorthSouth, 2014, 978-0735841918
A little boy and his parents are setting out for his grandparent’s house on a cold snowy day riding in a sleigh pulled by a "dapple-grey" horse. Bells jingle and as they drive on the well-known road, and the boy sees children playing on the ice, a boy fishing on the ice, a man pulling a load of firewood up a hill, and the blacksmith working in his forge.
   Best of all, the boy soon sees "Grandmother’s cap" and it isn’t long before the family is sitting down together for a delicious Thanksgiving feast.
   Lydia Maria Child wrote this poem in the mid 1800’s and it has remained a firm Thanksgiving favorite since that time. This beautifully illustrated version of the first six verses of the poem brings to life the special celebratory feel that we all enjoy on Thanksgiving Day. The illustrator also gives the reader an intimate look at what life was like in the country on a cold winter’s day in nineteenth century America. The richly colored and textured woodcuts beautifully complement the lyrical rhyming text.

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3. Poetry Friday is My November Guest

Welcome poetry lovers! I'm happy to be hosting Poetry Friday this week. Many of my blogging friends are in Minnesota at the NCTE conference. I hope they'll be sharing goodies with us this day.

Today I am sharing my favorite poet for fall, Robert Frost. "My November Guest" was first published in the November 1912 issue of The Forum, and later was collected in his first volume, A Boy's Will, published in 1915.

My November Guest
by Robert Frost
(Text from Bartleby)

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
  Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
  She walks the sodden pasture lane.      

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
  She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted gray
  Is silver now with clinging mist.      

The desolate, deserted trees,
  The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
  And vexes me for reason why.      

Not yesterday I learned to know
  The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
  And they are better for her praise.      

I hope you'll help me celebrate poetry this week by joining in the round-up and visiting other folks sharing their thoughts. I'm and old-school style host, so please leave a note with a link to your offering in the comments. Happy poetry Friday all!


Original Poetry 
Laura Purdie Salas shares a poetry sampler and an original poem entitled Soap Bubbles.

Diane Mayr of Random Noodling shares a "not-so-celebratory" (her words, not mine!) Thanksgiving poem entitled Thinking of Thanksgiving.

Brenda Davis Harsham of Friendly Fairy Tales shares a poem entitled Season of Thanks.

Poetry of Others
Michelle Heidenrich Barnes of Today's Little Ditty is featuring Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu in the Haiku Garden.

Robyn Hood Black of Life on the Deckle Edge features Becca McCauley of The Paideia School in Atlanta and shares a peek into her personal exploration of haiku and how she's using it with her students.

Over at Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet, Diane Mayr is sharing a poem about Pilgrims from an old holiday anthology.

Lyrics as Poetry
Laura Shovan of Author Amok shares a book review and connects it to song lyrics from a musical.

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4. Poetry Friday: Followers by Rae Armantrout

This blank sky

between parallel wires


for penmanship


- the beginning of Followers by Rae Armantrout

Read the poem in its entirety here.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Add a Comment
5. Poetry Friday with a review of Amazing Places

Most of the poems I read when I was young were story poems of some kind, or they described animals. Not many of the poems I encountered described places. Thankfully, these days poets for young people are exploring all kinds of topics in their writings, and today I bring you a collection of poems that take us to some of the amazing places that we can visit in the United States.

Amazing PlacesAmazing Places
Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrated by Chris Soentpiet and Christy Hale
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Lee and Low, 2015, 978-1-60060-653-3
The United States is a huge country, a country where there are enormous mountain ranges, deep lakes, hot and dry deserts, muggy swamps, bustling cities, and huge forests. It is a place where people can visit museums full of works of art, and where stories from the past are told. It is a land where children and adults alike can visit places where they can play together and watch spectacles that dazzle them. It is a place where the beauty of nature is magnificent and awe inspiring.
   In this wonderful poetry picture book, readers will encounter an array of poems, collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, that give us a picture of just a few of the amazing places that we can visit in the United States. Some of the places are man-made while others a gift from nature.
   We begin in Denali National Park in Alaska, where a mother and daughter are sitting by a campfire next to a lake. The reflection of mountains lies across the water as the mother, who when she was little “could build a fire / with sparks from rocks,” tells her daughter to bring her a stick. Then the mother reaches into a brown paper bag and pulls out a treat. It is time to toast some marshmallows.
   Later on in the book we visit the Watkins Museum of History in Lawrence, Kansas, and see a display that tells visitors about a man called Langston Hughes. Langston once was just a boy delivering newspapers in a small town, but he grew up to become a poet whose poems about “rainy sidewalks and “his dust of dreams,” would one day touch the minds and hearts of thousands of readers.
   Still further in the book we find ourselves sitting in seats at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. This is one of the most famous baseball parks in the world and the oldest in the Major League. Here a child and her grandfather “sip clam chowder / on a crisp fall night,” and then “cheer as a ball / takes off in flight.”
   In all, children who look at this book will visit fourteen places in the United States, all of which are unique and interesting in their own way. Poems written in a variety of styles by Nikki Grimes, J. Patrick Lewis, Linda Sue Park and others are accompanied by marvelous illustrations, and in the back of the book readers will find further information about the Amazing Places featured in the book.

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6. What's a Thanku? A Writing Prompt for Poetry Friday!

Howdy, Campers--and Happy Poetry Friday!  My poem is below, as is the link to PF.

What are you thankful for? Since 2011, we TeachingAuthors have each written a thanku (a haiku expressing gratitude) every November. Join us--use it as today's writing prompt!

Carmela started this round expressing her thanks in a graphically beautiful thanku about being in the middle of a house remodel. Esther's post followed--she's jumping up and down with gratitude for a particular sports team. Now it's my turn.

I was noodling around last week, thinking about which of my many blessings I wanted to write about here: I'm grateful for monthly hikes with five amazing women; for my best friend who taught me that if I ever think about doing something nice, don't question the thought--just do it; for my husband, who taught me that a fork in the sink does not mean he doesn't love me. It's just a fork in the sink.

That's just the tip of the iceberg, the edge of the forest, a lick of the frosting, the preface in my gratitude book, of course.

Just this weekend I was strutting around like a proud you-know-what,

from morguefile.com
congratulating myself that I hadn't gotten a flu shot and grateful that I was just fine, thank you very much, while several of my friends and family who HAD gotten flu shots were sick as dogs. Ha, ha, HA, said the evil green woman inside me!

And then...well, you know what happened.
from morguefile.com
BUT...I'm sure you'll be glad to know that the raging headache has abated and my eyes don't hate bright sunlight this morning.  Yay, health, yay, sunlight (especially the glorious slant of morning sun)!

So...here's my...

by April Halprin Wayland

Bees stopped stinging my
eyes...raise our curtains! The light
now tastes like honey.

poem (c) 2015 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.
(And if you ever want to know anything about REAL haiku, click on over to the wonderful Robyn Hood Black's bounty of haiku resources.)

So, You, reading this...what are YOU thankful for?  Join us in one of FOUR ways:

1. Share a thanku--or simply tell us what you're grateful for--in a comment to any of our blog posts from November 6th through Friday, November 27th.
2. Send them via email to teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com, with "Thanks-Giving" as the subject. (Depending on the number of emails we receive, we may share some of your gratitiudes in our posts.)
3. Post them on your own blog, on your Facebook page, etc., and then share the link with us via a comment or email. Feel free to include our Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving image (above) in your post. On Saturday, November 28, Carmela will provide a round-up of all the links we receive.
4. And NEW THIS YEAR: share them as a comment on our TeachingAuthors Facebook page. While you're there, we hope you'll also "Like" our page.

And thank you, Bridget, for hosting Poetry Friday
on your Wee Words for Wee Ones blog!

posted by April Halprin Wayland, who is grateful she is no longer in bed, but bouncing on her bosu:

photo (c) Jone MacCulloch

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We have had some spectacular November weather up here in Massachusetts. Temperatures have reached into the seventies this week! That certainly isn't typical for this time of year. So happy that I have been able to take my granddaughters outside to enjoy the warm days and autumn foliage that still clings to some of the trees.

So often the poetry we hear/read about November focuses on Thanksgiving/giving thanks. I thought I'd post some November poems that include other aspects/thoughts about the month.

Here is a poem titled NOVEMBER RAIN by Maud E. Uschold. (NOTE: This poem is in the public domain.)

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]-->

This autumn rainfall
Is no shower
That freshens grass
And brings the flower.

This rain is long

And cold and gray,

Yet sleeping roots

Are feed this way.

Trees and bushes,

Nearly bare

Of leaves, now chains

Of raindrops wear

Along each twig.

Some clear beads fall.

A tree could never

Hold them all.


Here is an excerpt from a children's poem written by Dixie Willson about autumn and the month of November:


I like the fall,
The mist and all.
I like the night owl's
Lonely call—
And wailing sound
Of wind around.

I like the gray
November day,
And bare, dead boughs
That coldly sway
Against my pane.

Click here to read the rest of the poem.


Here is the first stanza of a poem about November written by Clyde Watson:

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

Click here to read the rest of the poem. 


Here is a cinquain written by Adelaide Crapsey, the woman who invented the poetic form:


Listen. . .
With faint dry sound, 
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall.

You can read about Crapsey here.


Here is an excerpt from Rita Dove's poem NOVEMBER FOR BEGINNERS:

Snow would be the easy
way out—that softening
sky like a sigh of relief
at finally being allowed
to yield. No dice.
We stack twigs for burning
in glistening patches
but the rain won’t give.

Click here to read the rest of Dove's poem.


And here is an excerpt from Helen Hunt Jackson's poem NOVEMBER:

This is the treacherous month when autumn days
With summer’s voice come bearing summer’s gifts.
Beguiled, the pale down-trodden aster lifts
Her head and blooms again. The soft, warm haze
Makes moist once more the sere and dusty ways,
And, creeping through where dead leaves lie in drifts,
The violet returns...

Click here to read the rest of the poem.


Here are the first two stanzas of Lucy Maud Montgomery's poem NOVEMBER  EVENING:

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]-->
Come, for the dusk is our own; let us fare forth together,
With a quiet delight in our hearts for the ripe, still, autumn weather,
Through the rustling valley and wood and over the crisping meadow,
Under a high-sprung sky, winnowed of mist and shadow.

Sharp is the frosty air, and through the far hill-gaps showing
Lucent sunset lakes of crocus and green are glowing;
Tis the hour to walk at will in a wayward, unfettered roaming,
 Caring for naught save the charm, elusive and swift, of the gloaming. 


NOTE: I have had trouble formatting the poems in my post this morning. I'll try to fix if I can when I have some free time. Friday is always a really busy day for me.



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8. Poetry Friday: Accounts by Rae Armantrou

Light was on its way
from nothing
to nowhere.

Light was all business

          Light was full speed

when it got interrupted.

Interrupted by what?

When it got tangled up
and broke
into opposite

          broke into brand new things.

          What kinds of things?

- excerpt from Accounts by Rae Armantrout

Read the poem in its entirety here.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Add a Comment
9. Poetry Friday with a review of Here’s what you do when you can’t find your shoe

Creating inventions that solve problems or meet a need is something we humans are good at doing. We have invented machines that transport us over long distances, that allow us to communicate over long distances, that heal our bodies when they are sick or damaged, and so much more. But what about those small problems that drive us crazy almost on a daily basis? Often we do not address these issues, and year after tear people still spend time trying to find missing shoes, and still spend hours trying to keep their gardens free of leaves.

In today's poetry title you will see how some people have chosen to take on these challenging problems, with excellent results.

Here’s what you do when you can’t find your shoe
Andrea Perry
Illustrated by Alan Snow
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2003, 978-0689830679
Every day we are confronted with problems that are infuriating and that take time to resolve. For example, many people lose one of their shoes when they are in a rush to get out of the house, which just happens to be the most inconvenient time to lose a shoe. They spend ages searching the house for that one, irritating, maddening shoe. Then there is the problem that afflicts children all over the world: Their parents insist on buying vegetables at the grocery store. Can nothing be done to stop this horrible behavior?
   Other people have problems that are associated with the work that they do. For example, zoo keepers have a unique problem. They love the animals in their care but no matter what they do the animals tend to create a stink. People won’t come and visit the zoo if “the caribou cage has a stench.”
   Luckily for people with lost shoes, too many veggies, and smelly zoo enclosures there are inventors out there who create devices (or provide services) that take care of these and many other problems. If you are afflicted with lostshoeitis, then all you need is a Sure-footed Shoe Finder and all your problems go away. All you have to do it to place “the shoe that is missing its mate” in the device and it will set off “on its shoe-finding search” on your behalf. Using its Foot-Odor-Sensitive Vent it seeks out the missing shoe.
   To get rid of unwanted veggies in your family grocery cart all you need to do is to spray it with Veggie Be Gone, a “produce repellent you simply spray on.” What could be easier! Once a cart is sprayed with this ingenious stuff any vegetable that is dropped into the cart will “bounce right back out.”
   Zookeepers need not despair about the niff, pong, or stench that comes from their animal’s enclosures. All they need to do is to ring the Stink Stoppers, a tireless team of specialists who will fight all bad smells “until all are ex-stinked.” Armed with cleaning equipment galore they get to work. They “wipe down each walrus again and again,” and will “brush tiger teeth” and “trim hippo nails.” These fearless cleaners will have any zoo smelling sweet and clean in no time at all.
   Children and adults alike are going to laugh out loud as they read the poems in this delightful book. Comical inventions solve twelve problems that readers will immediately identify with. Yes, wouldn’t it be great if we all had a Crumbunny to eat the crumbs that we leave in, around, and under our beds. And yes, of course we would love to have a machine that could really suck up all the fallen leaves in our yard every autumn.
   With wonderfully funny rhyming verse and amusing illustrations, this is a book that will appeal to readers of all ages.

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10. Poetry Friday -- Drip, Drip, Drip

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Praveen

steady drip, drip, drip
annoying, continuous
rain...and sinuses

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

The class cold. Oh, joy. At least I have time to get better before parent conferences next week and NCTE the week after that. Small blessings.

Katya at Write. Sketch. Repeat. is scheduled to have the Poetry Friday roundup today.

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11. Poetry Friday: Growth Spurt

The Poetry Seven's assignment this month was simple: Write a poem inspired by an image.  (Technically, it's called ekphrastic poetry.) We all used the same image, plucked specially for us from the magpie-marvelous collection of Tanita Davis.


(Source: lowpresssure, via baikuken)

Growth Spurt

Hold your tongue, they said.
Unable to grasp how such a
delicate hand as my own could
hold such a large and dextrous muscle,
I laughed.

First discovery:
Laughter is mighty exercise
for the tongue.

Have a care, they said.
But I could not nibble at care—at the metallic whiff
of the bit approaching, my tongue bucked
words, flinging them upright and uncleft
into the wild.

Second discovery:
Language multiplies the reach
of the tongue.

Quit jawboning, they said.
But, by now, my head—enlarged by the excavations
of my tongue—was naught but a bony bloom;
the world, whispering back,

Third discovery:
I was not alone
but one of many tongues.

Hush now, they said. Hear our prayers.
Their too-small devotions brushed my skin,
worms turning dirt. I shot to the sky,
a hot-house flower, all of me muscled as
         my tongue.

Together, we made the

Fourth discovery:
        I knelt; they held
        my heart, thrumming.

                      ---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

I tried not to look at what my poetry sisters wrote for the same image until I was done with mine, but OH! Wow. Go look now:

Tricia (Happy 9th blog anniversary!)

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Katya at Write. Sketch. Repeat.

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12. Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving, 2015 edition

If you've followed our TeachingAuthors blog for a year or more, you know about our tradition of setting aside time in November to give thanks. It started in 2011, with our Ten Days of Thanks-Giving, inspired, in part, by Esther's post about thank-you haikus, also known as Thankus. In 2012 we expanded to Two Weeks of Thanks-Giving, which we repeated in 2013. And last year we stretched our Thanks-Giving posts to a full Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving!

Over the next three weeks, each of the TeachingAuthors will blog about 3 (or more!) things we're grateful for in each of our posts. I'm kicking the series off with a Thanks-Giving Thanku poem below. As in the past, we're also inviting you, our readers (and your students!), to join in by sharing your own "gratitudes" with us. And this year you can participate in one of FOUR ways:
  1. Share your "gratitudes" in a comment to any of our blog posts from today through Friday, November 27.
  2. Send them to us via email to teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com, with "Thanks-Giving" as the subject. Depending on the number of emails we receive, we may share some of your gratitiudes in our posts.
  3. Post them on your own blog and then share the link with us via a comment or email. (Feel free to include the image below in your post.) On Saturday, November 28, I'll provide a round-up of all the links we receive.
  4. AND NEW THIS YEAR: share them as a comment on our TeachingAuthors Facebook page. While you're there, we hope you'll also "Like" our page.  

In an interesting bit of Synchronicity, a friend of mine recently posted a link on her Facebook page to an article on the science of the benefits of gratitude. The article quoted Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director of the Greater Good Science, as saying:
"Speaking of stress, writing thank you notes has been shown to ease stress, reduce depressive symptoms, and encourage people to be more mindful of what makes them happy (just ask Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon), as well as foster better relationships."
I'm definitely in need of some stress relief right now. The past month has been rather nerve-wracking. We're in the midst of a major home remodel project encompassing our family room and kitchen. I'm currently without a working kitchen, and the furniture that used to be in our family room is scattered about the rest of our small house.

In my thank you note for last year's Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving, I expressed gratitude to my family, my writing friends, and to all our TeachingAuthors' readers. Of course, I'm still grateful for all three groups of people, but I'd like to add three more groups this year. I'd like to thank:
  1. The students of my COD class, Beginnings, Middles, and Ends, for their patience with me if I was a bit distracted/frazzled during the last two weeks of class.   
  2. My family members and friends for all their help and support during this time. In particular, for my husband's siblings and their families for providing temporary homes for my father-in-law. (He normally lives with us, but his bedroom is currently storing some of our family room furniture.) And also to the dear friends who allowed my husband and me to stay with them for two nights while our new hardwood floors were stained and finished.
  3. The wonderful craftspeople carrying out our remodeling project. They've been careful, courteous, and punctual throughout the whole project AND they're doing marvelous work!
The target completion date for the kitchen/family room remodel is Saturday, November 14--the same day I'll be attending the SCBWI-Illinois Prairie Writer's and Illustrator's Day. We'll still have lots to do afterward, but if all goes well, I should have my kitchen back then. I'm definitely looking forward to that!

The other day, my husband and I were eating dinner in our makeshift kitchen (in our dining room) when the Passenger song "Let Her Go" came on the radio. In case you're not familiar with the lyrics, the song begins:
Well you only need the light when its burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go . . .
I began singing a revised version that went something like:
Well you only need the kitchen when it's been torn out
Only want to cook when there's no stove about
Only miss the cupboards when you must do without . . .
I thought of turning this into a poem for Poetry Friday, but decided to go with a Thanku instead:

I invite all of you to also participate in our Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving by sharing your "gratitudes" with us in one of the four ways I listed above. And don't forget to also check out this week's Poetry Friday round-up over at Write. Sketch. Repeat.

And if you're looking for more resources about gratitude and its benefits, see the links on the resource page of Gratefullness.org.

Happy Thanks-Giving to all!

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13. Poetry Seven Write Ekphrastic Poems

Our year-long journey of writing poems together is coming close to the end. It’s hard to believe we’ve been at this for 11 months. I take full responsibility for changing this month’s form from epistle to ekphrastic, but am not remotely connected to the choice of image. I’ll blame Tanita and my sisters for that one. Here it is.

I try to take a very “in the moment” approach to writing ekphrastic poems. I don’t study the images for too long. I look closely for a moment and then write a list of the thoughts that come to mind upon first glance. Usually what emerges is a very odd collection of ideas. Here’s the list that came from first glance at what my sisters called the goddess.
  • the glass ceiling
  • caged women
  • corsets
  • a bird in a gilded cage (cue Tweety bird swinging and singing “I’m a tweet little bird in a gilded cage. Tweety’s my name but I don’t know my age. …)
  • crouching tiger, hidden dragon
  • woman warrior 
  • The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus (Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,/With conquering limbs astride from land to land;/Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand/A mighty woman)
  • the trappings of womanhood
  • paper doll
As you can see, this list is quite random, but starting in this way always sets the wheels turning in my brain. In the end I wrote a number of different poems in different forms, but this is the one that took hold and stuck with me.

Sonnet for a Kept Woman

You cannot hold my soul it won’t be bound
Inside a cage I heed sweet freedom’s call
Throw back my head and cry a mournful sound
Though trapped by ceiling, floor, unyielding walls

How to break free when others box me in
Is what I ask myself each day anew
I fight the battles, though I rarely win
But onward push to change your point of view

The corset of the past constricts me still
In places where I dare not dream to go
And yet I breathe and move against its will
Refuse to be sucked in its undertow

Someday the chains you’ve put me in I’ll break
And standing tall I’ll leave you in my wake

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2015. All rights reserved.

Today is a particularly fortuitous day to be sharing poems with these ladies, as today The Miss Rumphius Effect celebrates its 9th anniversary. Without this blog I never would have waded boldly into the writing pool with these amazing women. I'm so grateful to have found them through this medium. 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 Katya at Write.Sketch.Repeat. Thanks to all of you who stop by to read, write poetry, and share in the love of children's literature. Happy poetry Friday friends! 

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14. Internet Wonders and Woes

For this brief series of posts, we Teaching Authors are celebrating Internet Day. April started last Friday with a little history, a Paul Simon song, and a thought-provoking poem. On Monday, Mary Ann discussed movies, marriage, and misinformation. Heres my take: Like all technology, the Internet is wonderful when it works. Unfortunately, it can’t do everything.

Take my brand-new Dell Inspiron laptop—please. I bought it during a back-to-school sale and used it just long enough to invest in and install some new software, create a couple of conference presentations, and transfer a few files. Last weekend, the entire left half of the keyboard went dead.

At Dells Technical Support center in New Delhi, technicians work at night so we can reach them during our daytime hours. My email got no response and the chat option was unavailable, so I finally called. Two hours later, after the technician took control of my computer from halfway around the world, I had a diagnosis (faulty motherboard), a promise that a shipping label would be on its way as soon as I hung up (It was.), and multiple reassurances that my computer would work just fine in five to ten days if I sent it to a service center. (I did.) I hope the old one, which now shuts itself off spontaneously, lasts that long.

I went for a walk. Stomping through the park, I started thinking in haiku. Short, curt lines expressed my frustration but didn’t give me enough room. Back at home, I decided to explore the tanka form. I started (of course) with a Google search.

Tanka have syllable counts similar to haiku: five lines of 5, 7, 5, 7, and 7 syllables. Many poems have a turn or pivot in the third line. Other than that, as this helpful article by Michael McClintock points out, “in form, techniques, and subject matter, the modern English-language tanka shows wide variation and invention, and appears disinclined to observe any rigid set of ‘rules’ or conventions.”

                    Fancy new laptop
                    diagnosed from India
                    but not fixed. Oh, well.
                    I’ll write with paper and pen
                    and flaming leaves streaming by.

I’ll play with the form some more while I wait for my laptop’s return. Wish me luck!

[Note from JoAnn: Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup? Not where I thought it would be. I'll post an update when I find it.]

JoAnn Early Macken

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15. Poetry Friday: Unbidden by Rae Armantrout

The ghosts swarm.
They speak as one
person. Each
loves you. Each
has left something


Did the palo verde
blush yellow
all at once?

Today's edges
are so sharp

they might cut
anything that moved.


The way a lost

will come back

You're not interested
in it now,

in knowing
where it's been.

- Unbidden by Rae Armantrout

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16. Poetry Friday with M is for Monster: A Fantastic Creatures Alphabet

Happy almost Halloween everyone. In honor of tomorrow I decided to review a poetry picture book that celebrates monsters of all kinds. Halloween and monsters seem to go together!What is interesting about this title, and the others in this book series, is that all the poems in the book are accompanied by sections of text which gives readers further information about the topics explored in the book. If you have fondness for monsters then this is definitely a book for you.

M is for Monster: A Fantastic Creatures AlphabetM is for Monster: A Fantastic Creatures Alphabet
J. Patrick Lewis
Illustrated by Gerald Kelly
Picture Book and Poetry Book
For ages 7 to 12
Sleeping Bear Press, 2014, 978-1-58536-818-1
All around the world there are stories about creatures that are beautiful, magical, monstrous, terrifying, or that are some combination of all of these things. Russia’s Baba Yaga is a horrific witch who flies around in a mortar using the pestle as a “steering wheel.” She seeks out children when she eats, and she lives in a horrible house that sits on chicken legs. In Scotland, a plesiosaur-type creature is said to inhabit Loch Ness, and though many people think that Nessie is a not real, many others love to believe that she really lives in the cold, dark depths of the lake.
    These are just two of the “Fantastic Creatures” who live on the pages of this splendid alphabet book. The author takes us through the alphabet, pairing a monster, creature or being with every letter of the alphabet. For each topic, readers are given an illustration, a poem, and a section of text describing the creature featured on that page.
   Some of the creatures we meet are found only in one place. Nessie is only found in Scotland, though sea serpents are said to live in other places as well. The Inuit people tell of Amarok, which is a fearsome wolf that will prey on any animal that is foolish enough to venture into the forest at night. The state of New Jersey even has its own monster, known as the Jersey Devil. The creature is said to have “batlike wings, a forked tail, and a piercing scream.”
   Other creatures are found all over the world, creatures like vampires, dragons, zombies and werewolves.
   Most of the beings and monsters that we meet in this book are, without a doubt, quite terrifying and are often dangerous to humans, but there are a few that are peaceable and maybe even friendly. Unicorns are usually portrayed as being beautiful ethereal animals that have “magical powers to cleanse poisoned water and heal sickness.” Elves can be friendly, but in some cultures they are often mischievous and when roused to anger they can be unpleasant. The phoenix is also a benign creature that lives out its bizarre life cycle quietly. It is often considered to be a “sign of renewal, / symbol courageous.”
   This splendid book, one in a series of alphabet books published by Sleeping Bear Press, can be enjoyed on many levels. Little children will enjoy looking at the beautiful artwork as the poems are read to them, while older children will be intrigued by the sections of text that are full of lore and stories about the creatures that are featured in the book.

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17. Poetry Friday -- Wild Wows

This Wednesday was the perfect day for Environmental Club to stay indoors, look through our observation notebooks, write poetry, and paint with watercolors. Outside, the wind blew, dark clouds moved so quickly across the sky that at one point we could see both a downpour and bright sun out the window. 

After snack, I gave a quick demonstration lesson on using words and phrases from my notebook to write haiku

spiderwebs glisten
between green and yellow leaves
sun warms my shoulders

and Fifteen Words or Less poems

The back
of the milkweed leaf
is as soft
as velvet.

Here are a few of the students' creations (made in 45 minutes, please excuse the lack of editing):

Jone has the Poetry Friday roundup today at Check it Out. I'm hoping she didn't forget...she's in Pacific Time, so hopefully the roundup post will be up soon.

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18. Poetry Friday - Poems Children Will Sit Still For

I recently picked up this 1969 publication ...

I had to laugh when I read the back cover, though I wholeheartedly agree with the sentence I've highlighted.
When a favorite aunt is reading to her favorite nephew (and she has her arm around him) she can read Shakespeare's sonnets or Milton's epic verse or T.S. eliot's Wasteland and still hold - if not the child's attention, as the leas the child himself. 
In the classroom, as every teacher knows, it's different. Each of the 106 poems in this this book was chosen with this difference in mind. They were chosen expressly for a teacher to read aloud to -- and with -- her class. Every selection invites the listeners' participation -- vocal, physical, or emotional. 
The selections cover an extensive range of primary-grade children's interests and experiences. There is plenty of nonsense and humor, and there are some sad poems too. 
For many of the poems, we have offered a few suggestions for reading, of for audience participation, or for possible discussion. But it is well to remember that a poem doesn't have to lead to discussion , or art activities, or anything at all. A poem can simply be enjoyed for its own sake. We hope this little book will help you transmit to your boys and girls the joy of poetry.
This text is actually excerpted from the introduction to the book. There are a few additional sentences, some of them about how to actually read a poem. But I thought this one was most interesting.
The only rule we would like to insist upon is: If you don't like a poem, don't read it. (Enthusiasm and boredom are equally contagious.)
When I read a poem and at first glance (or listen) don't like it, I actually re-read it, multiple times. I want to know what doesn't work for me. Why don't I like it? It becomes a puzzle I need to figure out. Is it the rhyme? Or meter? Is it the subject?

This book is divided into the sections (1) Fun With Rhymes; (2) Mostly Weather; (3) Spooky Poems; (4) Story Time; (5) Mostly Animals; (6) Mostly People; (7) Seeing, Feeling, Thinking; (8) In a Few Words; (9) Mostly Nonsense; and (10) Numbers and Letters. I will admit I found it odd the Frost's poem Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening was in the Spooky poems sections!

I suppose I decided I needed this one because it contained Sanburg's Arithmetic, as well as poems by Mary Ann Hoberman, Karla Kuskin, John Ciardi, Eve Merriam, Myra Cohn Livingston, and others.

Today I'm sharing two poems in this book by Karla Kuskin, from the sections Spooky Poems and Mostly Nonsense.

Knitted Things
by Karla Kuskin

There was a witch who knitted things:
Elephants and playground swings.
She knitted rain,
She knitted night,
But nothing really came out right.
The elephants had just one tusk
And night looked more
Like dawn or dusk.

If I Were A . . . 
by Karla Kuskin

If I were a sandwich,
I'd sit on a plate
And think of my middle
Until someone ate
End of the sandwich.

Not sure these are worth sitting still for, but I enjoyed them.

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 -- The Belly of the Whale

Wikimedia Commons

Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
by Dan Albergotti

Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days.
Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires
with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals.
Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices.
Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way
for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review
each of your life’s ten million choices.

If "the belly of the whale" is the point of no turning back in a hero's journey, then that is definitely what October is like in the classroom. Except I think someone forgot the supernatural aid...unless those are the literacy and numeracy coaches!!

I like the attitude of the speaker in this poem. If you've got to be in the belly of the whale, then at least you should kick back and rest...maybe even get a little work done!

Amy has the Poetry Friday roundup today at The Poem Farm, and remember, Jone will have the roundup on the 30th, not me.

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20. Poetry Friday: Week-night Service by D.H. Lawrence

The silver moon
That somebody has spun so high
To settle the question, yes or no, has caught
In the net of the night's balloon,
And sits with a smooth bland smile up there in the sky
Smiling at naught,
Unless the winking star that keeps her company
Makes little jests at the bells' insanity,
As if he knew aught!

- selected lines from Week-night Service by D.H. Lawrence

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21. Poetry Friday with a review of Pieces: a Year in poems and quilts

Pieces: A Year in Poems and Quilts
I used to make quilts and loved taking dozens of small pieces of fabric and turning them into a beautiful piece of art that people could snuggle under on a cold day. I was therefore naturally drawn to this poetry book, and was amazed to see how the author created picture quilts that so perfectly complemented her image-rich poems.

Pieces: a Year in poems and quilts
Anna Grossnickle Hines
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
HarperCollins, 2003, 978-0060559601
Writers and illustrators have, over the centuries, found many ways to describe and celebrate the seasons. Poetry is often a format that writers are drawn to using, as the lyrical nature of poems seems to so beautifully ‘fit’ what they are trying to say about the seasons. Often these poems are paired with artwork or photographs that help encapsulate the image or feeling that the poet is trying to capture.  Anna Grossnickle Hines has done something a little different. She pairs the poems she has written with photos of quilts that she has created, and the effect is quite astonishing.
   The poet begins in spring with a poem called Ballet. In the blank verse poem she describes how a crow lands on a cedar branch and how the weight of the bird causes the branch to bounce and the bird to dance. A beautiful quilt shows the crow about to land on the branch, rectangles and triangles of sewn fabric in tones of green forming the fronds at the ends of the branches.
   Green plays a big role in another poem, Do you know Green? Here we see a scene that perfectly captures the colors and textures of spring. The poem describes how “Green sleeps in the winter,” until, with the warming of the sun it, “comes… / tickling the tips / of twiggy tree fingers.”
   In summer we see cows in a field. With a “Scrunch, / crunch, / munch,” they eat their lunch, their tails twitching. Summer is also a time when there is “a mass of wild confusion” of flowers blooming. The “rousing-raucous” celebration of colors and scents stirs us “to jubilation.” During the warms days, hummingbirds “zip zip” and “sip sip” amongst the flowers of the honeysuckle vine.
   Then the tone of the poems and the colors of the quilts shift for fall. Now the green has been replaced with reds, golds, and rusts. We see leaves drifting down singly or in groups, “swirling / and whirling / twisting / and twirling.” Other leaves “skip-a-dip” and others “just drop / flop.”
   Winter brings the greys and blacks of tree branch silhouettes, the pale yellow of a winter sun, and the whites and blues of snowfall. We read about how sometimes, when the author is sleeping at night, “outside / the world is turning / white.”
   At the back of the book the author explains how she created the remarkable quilts that illustrate her poems. We learn how much time and careful effort goes into creating the quilts, and how the author designs them. We learn too that often seams have to be taken out and redone to get the effect the author is looking for.

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22. MIRACLES AND WONDERS: Happy Internet Day! (It All Began with Leonard Kleinrock)

Howdy, Campers!  Happy Poetry Friday...and Happy Internet Day on October 29th!

The P.F. link and my poem are below (and trust me--today's host posts a tasty Poetry Friday!)

The Internet: it all began 46 years ago with Leonard Kleinrock

With this post, TeachingAuthors launches a short series celebrating the birth of the internet.  And we want to hear from you: has the internet changed you? In what ways? What comes to mind when you think of the internet?

According to TheInternetDay.com, on October 29, 1969, under the supervision of UCLA computer science professor Leonard Kleinrock, the first message was sent over an internet connection.(Click here for the sound of connecting to the internet via dial-up...)

When I think of the internet, I think of moving to a new town, into our new house and connecting to the internet, in 1994. Not long after, my friend Barney Saltzberg (whom we've featured several times on this blog) and I began to email each other. We could read each other's thoughts--instantly! We could complete each other's sentences!  We could talk deep into the night without speaking! We could collaborate on stories through the air! It was A-freakin'-MAZING.

My. Brain. Exploded.   Were our lives ever going to be the same again?

from morguefile.com

Mine was not. Not long after, I met Courtney Campbell, who regularly tours schools in Europe. She was incredibly generous, sharing the contact information of her host in Germany. If she had simply given me his snail mail address, I may have stuck that note in my desk and never done a thing about it. Instead, she gave me magic: his email address. I emailed him that evening: "Hello! Would you be interested in having an author visit your schools?"

In the morning, his reply arrived: "How soon can you come?"

And so began several years of my touring schools in Europe. Yup. My life had changed forever.

When I think of the internet, I also think of how each freshly-baked email, each amazing link, each post by every dear friend is a pretty shiny thing which grabs my attention...again and again and again...

...wait, what was my point?
My brain on the internet.
from www.gifbay.com

...and I see how the very structure of my life has changed since that initial euphoria Barney and I tasted, splashing in the shallow end of the 'net.

When I think of the internet, I also feel weighted down.

Off to chop down a few emails...

Do you?

These days the internet is an unending desire to send a friendly and intelligent reply to every message in my inbox.

It's perpetually polishing my shiny online portrait.

It's forever unfinished homework.

How did we go so quickly from "Oh, WOW--this internet thing is AMAZING!" to "I can't drive with you to the party tonight--I'll meet you there. I need to finish my blog post and I have too many emails to answer" which--and I swear this is true--I just said five minutes ago (paraphrased) to my husband.

Still, when I think of the internet, I also think of Paul Simon's stunning song (co-written by Forere Mothoeloa), The Boy in The Bubble, on Simon's Graceland album, 1986.

Here is the chorus:
These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long-distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all
The way we look to a distant constellation
That’s dying in a corner of the sky
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don’t cry baby don’t cry
Don’t cry
(here are the rest of the lyrics)

(If you'd like to simply listen to the song, then you can stare at a static image of the Graceland album's cover as you listen here.  On the other hand, if you'd like to see Simon's official music video--i.e. pretty shiny stuff--here 'tis.)

In the spirit of that song, here's a poem I wrote in April 2012--which I rewrote last night and again (and again) today--thank you, Bruce and ADR, through the miracle of the internet!

by April Halprin Wayland

"The average farmer’s wife is one of the most patient and overworked women of the time." ~ The American Farmer, 1884

Illinois, spring,
I am descending fifteen flights of stairs
from my lonely hotel room
to a breakfast of buttered toast and eggs.

Each empty floor’s the same:
the same metal stairs,
the same smell of dust and cleanser,
the same beige walls...

so I pull my cell out of a zippered pocket,
dial my sister to say hi, to keep me company,
and as her phone rings in California, 
I am descending in time.

I imagine a prairie wife,
one who helped lace the land with barbed wire,
churned butter, gathered eggs, fed the fire,
birthed and buried babies.

No time for mourning.
As winds scratched the plains,
she murmured to the hens.
She had no other company.

She might have called her sister
if she had had a phone,
might never have wandered off,
head tilted back, mumbling to the wide sky.

Each day was the same,
the same metal horizon,
the same smell of dust and scrub,
the same beige crops...her solitary lot.

If only a phone
instead of a lonely yearning;
with a single cell she might have kept 
her own fire burning.

poem and drawing (c) 2015 by April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.

So now,when I think of the internet--when I think of any technology--I may be overwhelmed (a dilemma which the next generation of users will undoubtedly solve) but I'm also singing about Miracles and Wonder.

Are you?

These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don’t cry baby don’t cry
Don’t cry

And now click on over to Jama's Alphabet Soup for a delectable array of poems!

posted in waves of wonder by April Halprin Wayland

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23. Poetry Friday

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Dave Lawler

Please Don't
by Tony Hoagland

tell the flowers—they think
the sun loves them.
The grass is under the same
simple-minded impression

about the rain, the fog, the dew.
And when the wind blows,
it feels so good
they lose control of themselves

and swobtoggle wildly
around, bumping accidentally into their
slender neighbors.
Forgetful little lotus-eaters,

hydroholics, drawing nourishment up
through stems into their
thin green skin,

high on the expensive
chemistry of mitochondrial explosion,
believing that the dirt
loves them, the night, the stars—

Oops. I think it's too late. Our first killing frost has told the flowers the cold hard truth of it all. (But don't you love how Tony Hoagland describes them: "solar-powered / hydroholics"? 

Jama has the roundup today at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Next week, Jone will have the roundup at Check it Out.

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24. Poetry Friday: Epilogue to the Breakfast Table Series by Oliver Wendell Holmes

A crazy bookcase, placed before
A low-price dealer's open door;
Therein arrayed in broken rows
A ragged crew of rhyme and prose,
The homeless vagrants, waifs, and strays
Whose low estate this line betrays
(Set forth the lesser birds to lime)

This is the opening stanza from Epilogue to the Breakfast Table Series by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Here are two of my favorite stanzas from the poem:

What have I rescued from the shelf?
A Boswell, writing out himself!
For though he changes dress and name,
The man beneath is still the same,
Laughing or sad, by fits and starts,
One actor in a dozen parts,
And whatsoe'er the mask may be,
The voice assures us, This is he.


And his is not the playwright's page;
His table does not ape the stage;
What matter if the figures seen
Are only shadows on a screen,
He finds in them his lurking thought,
And on their lips the words he sought,
Like one who sits before the keys
And plays a tune himself to please.

Click here to read the Epilogue in its entirety.

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25. Poetry Friday with a review of 28 Days: Moments in Black History that changed the world

When I was growing up my parents bought me a book that was called something like "On this day in history." I loved the book because I could open it on any day of the year and find out what interesting event happened on that day through history. Today's poetry title reminded me a little of that book, though I think this title is more meaningful in many ways. I say this because it carefully explores events that took place on only twenty-eight days, and the information that we are given about those days is, in effect, focused. The narrative also describes events in history that many people might know about, and it gives voice to the accomplishments of African Americans, accomplishments that are still not getting their due in many history books.

28 Days: Moments in Black History that changed the world
Charles R. Smith Jr
Illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Poetry and Nonfiction Picture Book
Roaring Brook Press, 2015, 978-1-59643-820-0
Throughout history there have been moments that have had an enormous impact on what came after.  Often the moments we learn about feature white people, the stories of black people all too often being forgotten or removed from the record. In this very special title the author tells us about twenty-eight days when black people did things that left a lasting impression on the world long after that moment was over.
   The first day described in the book is the day when a free African-American man called Crispus Attucks was shot by British soldiers on March 5, 1770.  Crispus was a patriot who “struck / the first blow for liberty” on that day, standing up to the redcoats and getting shot for his audacity. He was the first casualty of the American Revolutionary War.
   By day nine we have moved forward in time to the First World War. Here a poem tells the story of Henry Johnson, who fought off a platoon of Germans single-handedly to protect a friend. Henry was one of the Harlem Hellfighters, an all-black regiment that served with courage with the French military. Though he was shot and injured, Henry kept on fighting until the enemy finally withdrew.
   For day ten we are presented with a eulogy which tells the story of Madame C.J. Walker. Madame Walker was the first free child to be born in her family, but for many years her life was incredibly difficult and full of hardship. Due to the stress of her life, Madame Walker started to lose her hair when she was only in her mid-twenties. Wanting to look her best, Madame Walker looked for a beauty product that would help her, and she then went on to found a company that made and sold beauty products that were created just for African-American women. Madame Walker worked very hard and her company became so successful that she became the richest black woman in America.
   Day 16 brings us to December 1, 1955, the day when Rosa Park decided enough was enough. When ordered to “move to the back” of a bus, Rosa refused, and her act of defiance inspired others to peacefully demonstrate against the Jim Crow laws that made life so hard for African- Americans.
   Poems, quotations, and sections of nonfiction text are brought together in this book to give readers of all ages a sense of how black people, even though they have been marginalized, have had a big impact on world history. To supplement the poems and quotations, additional material has been added to the pages for every day, providing readers with background information about the event or person being featured.  Some of the people mentioned in the book will be known to readers, people such as Martha Luther King Jr., Barak Obama, and Malcom X. Others will be new to readers and they will get to “meet” all kinds of people from history who were athletes, astronauts, scientists, politicians and more.

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