I'm a CYBILS first round poetry judge, so I've been reading a lot of poetry for the past few weeks. I found my poem for today in National Geographic's Book of Nature Poetry, edited by J. Patrick Lewis. The book features "more than 200 poems with photographs that float, zoom, and bloom!" and includes many, many poets you will recognize from Poetry Friday. The poems are grouped roughly by subjects- topics like Sky, Sea, Land, Seasons, Distress and Splendor.It would be a perfect seasonal gift for any child or adult who loves nature, poetry, or photography.
The bottoms of autumn
wear diamonds of frost;
the tops of the trees rue
the sweaters they've lost.
Red squirrels, busy packing
oak cupboards for weeks,
still rattle their branches
with seeds in their cheeks.
Grey clouds go on promising
winter's first storm
while we stay inside by
the fire to keep warm.
Home biscuits are baking,
the gravy is stirred,
two pumpkin pies cool
by the thank-you bird.
- Muriel Bede
FRIDAY NIGHT ROUNDUP
It's a good thing this was a pretty slow Poetry Friday, because it ended up being a crazy day on the home front. I hate shopping, but my sons were convinced we could get great deals on technology stuff if we ventured out to Black Friday, so we did. First I went with Son #1. Then I went with Son #2, who forgot something critical, so we had to go twice. And then Son #1's purchase didn't work and had to be returned. Yikes!
And then this afternoon, I returned home to hear about yet another shooting in Colorado. This one hit especially close to home because it was at a shopping center where my mom and I had shopped less than 48 hours ago. Thank heaven for poetry…
POEMS ABOUT NATURE
· For a different take on November, check out Elizabeth Coatworth’s poem at Miss Rumphius’ Effect. Tricia gives us all a huge present with ideas for six different websites that deliver daily poems to your inbox! Poetry every day! Woo Hoo!
· Great minds must think alike! At Gathering Books, Iphigene has an original poem, “What Does Nature Know?” Listen to my favorite lines, “Broken, a branch scarred, heals/And upon it a new leaf emerges…”
· Donna Smith’s “Coyote Moon” captures the music of the night, in a reverso no less! And her notes on her writing process made me laugh! I can’t tell you how many perfect poems I have “written” while walking the dog, but have never actually gotten down on paper. We’re looking forward to your turkey poem, Donna!
· Laura Purdie Salas celebrates nature with a Thanksgiving villanelle. I especially love this line, “Thanksgiving drains the darkness out of me.”
· Margaret Gibson Simon is a first round CYBILS judge with me, but somehow, she is finding time to write poetry. Her original poem, “Cat Whispers a Poem,” was inspired by Rebecca Lehmann’s, “Natural History.”
· Joy is preparing for a big move to Kaui, but today she is enjoying the dove-y, coo-y call of the birds on her front wall. She invites readers to write about a time they have missed something. Hmmmm…
· CB Hanek celebrates the beauty of fall found out her back door, in a poem she has submitted to Carol Varsalona’s Autumn collection.
· Then there’s that last leaf, that just refuses to fall. Brenda Harsham honors the persistence of that leaf in her original poem, “Last Leaf.”
· Speakers at NCTE inspired Julieanne Harmatz to push out of her comfort zone and try her hand at poetry. In “A Brief Visit” she celebrates the delight of an early morning rain.
- Carol Varsalona was fortunate enough to hear one of my all time favorite poets, Marilyn Singer, at NCTE. This inspired two moon poems.
· Violet Nesdoly lives in Saskatchewan, where they celebrated Thanksgiving about six weeks ago. Her original poem, “Thanksgiving Lunch at the Mennonite Church,” makes my mouth water. I want pie!
· The very talented Robyn Hood Black not only found a poem in an 1880’s business forms book, she created art from it! And it’s about writing!
· It’s the final week for Matt Forest Esenwine’s Poetry Cubed Contest and today he’s featuring entries by Julie Larios, Karen Eastlund, and Jessica Bigi. If you haven’t entered yet, you need to get busy because the contest ends on Monday.
· Molly Hogan participated in Matt’s Poetry Cubed challenge. You can read her original poem, “A Seasonal Game” on her blog, NIX THE COMFORT ZONE (I love your blog title, Molly!)
· And speaking of challenges (actually not sure they should be called challenges, maybe invitations is a better word), Michelle, at Today’s Little Ditty, invites us to submit a poem about kindness. There are already almost twenty original poems and another 15 or more published poems. This one also closes on November 30th.
· Linda Baie’s poem about the kindness she experienced during her husband’s illness is published on Michelle’s page, but you can also read it on Linda’s blog, Teacher Dance. Having experienced many of these same kindnesses during my mom’s recent illnesses, I think it’s a perfect for this Thanksgiving weekend.
· Mary Lee’s been away for a couple of weeks. Today she is back with an original haiku about the carousel in her hometown of Burlington, Colorado.
· Dianne Mayr is creating a sketchbook project that focuses on angels. Today’s poem, “The Better Angels of Our Nature” was actually written in 2009, for the inauguration.
OTHER POEMS AND POSTS
· After reading Ramona’s review, I can’t wait to get hold of ONE TODAY, the poem Richard Blanco delivered on the National Mall for Barack Obama's inauguration for second term as president of the United States. I was surprised to learn that the book was illustrated by Dav Pilkey, of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS fame.
· I can always count on Tabatha Yeatts to offer something interesting. Today it’s Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love,” performed by Tom Hiddleston. Don’t miss this feast for the soul!
· Along similar lines, Little Willow shares Sara Bareilles’ song, “Beautiful Girl.” Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post to listen to the song.
· Tara celebrates querencia, that place where the heart is most at home, with Jane Kenyon’s poem, “Here.”
· From down under, Aussie Contributor Sally Murphy shares a favorite poem, My Country by Dorothea Mackellar. She tells us this poem is often parodied in Australia, and shares one of her favorites.
· Heidi Mordhorst talks turkey about her experience last week at NCTE. She shares a number of links that I definitely want to check out!