Welcome! Poetry Friday is here!
I'm a CYBILS Poetry Judge, so each night this week, I've curled up with a novel in verse. Last night I read UNBOUND by Ann E. Burg.
UNBOUND is the story of Grace, a slave girl who has spent her entire life with her mother, her step dad who she calls Uncle Jim, and two toddler brothers. When she turns nine, Grace is sent up the hill to the Big House, to work in the kitchen, with Aunt Tempie. Before she goes, she and her mama have a conversation,
Promise you'll keep
your eyes down.
Promise you'll keep
your mouth closed.
won't talk back.
Grace soon discovers, however, that these promises are difficult to keep, especially given that Missus Allen, the plantation mistress, is incredibly cruel and hard to please. And then she hears some very difficult news....
A terrific historical fiction novel in verse, about a part of history I didn't know at all. According to the author's notes in the back of the book, there really was group of slaves who survived by escaping into the Great Dismal Swamp, an area on the Virginia and North Carolina border.
I can't wait to share this with kids on Monday!
Leave your poems in the comments below (I'm still trying to figure out Mr. Linky) and I'll round them up throughout the day on Friday.
It's not quite noon on Friday, but the comments seem to have slowed. I'll post the roundup so far, then will come back and revisit it later this afternoon.
Michelle Heidenrich Barnes has compiled all of the Today's Little Ditty Poems into a book, which catapulted into Amazon's #1 New Release in Poetry Anthologies! Michelle reminds us that we still have five more days to contribute a poem about refuge and solace to the Today's Little Ditty padlet.
Alan, who is more than a little modest, has just published a new book of poetry, I BET THERE'S NO BROCCOLI ON THE MOON. Today, Alan has a post explaining how he uses alliteration in his poetry. Our fourth grades are studying poets' tools right now and I think they will enjoy learning from a master!
At Crackles of Speech, Cape Cod poet Steven Withrow remembers the advide given by his grandmother as they walked by a cranberry bog.
It's interesting to me how many of us are drawing on the poems and hymns of childhood today. Julie Larios wanted to keep it simple today. I remember saying her poem/prayer when I was a little girl. Heidi Mordhorst offers a hymn she sang to her children when they were little.
Carmela wraps up three weeks of Thanks-Giving at Teaching Authors with a tribute to Katherine Patterson. I'm a long time fan of Paterson's novels, but didn't know she has also published GIVING THANKS: POEMS, PRAYERS AND PRAISE SONGS OF THANKSGIVING. I want to buy this book!
Anyone thinking about leftover pie? Be sure to check out Matt Forrest Esenwine's original poem, "Pumpkin," from the book DEAR TOMATO.
And while we are talking about pumpkins, check out Dori's post, featuring John Greenleaf Whittier's, "The Pumpkin."
Kathryn Apel is hard at work on copyedits for a new book, but somehow still made time to write a quick poem. She made me laugh!
Violet Nesdoly shares, "To Skin," a never published celebration of our fabulous epidermis! One of those practically perfect poems that make me wish I could write this well!
Catherine Flynn says, "the mystery of the moon has offered me a welcome distraction from the turmoil of our world." Her series of original haiku remind me how important it is to look up and trust that all will be well.
Brenda Harsham also reminds us to celebrate nature, with a dragonfly haiku and gorgeous photograph. Wow!
Molly Hogan captures a scene outside her window with her original poem, "Autumn Pendulum."
Margaret Simon drew on a prompt from POETS AND WRITERS, "Make a list of words and phrases that describe the surface textures, odors, and colors that surround you as this year draws to an end… Write a trio of poems, each focusing on one type of sensory input. Select an element–setting, narrator’s voice, repeated words, or a specific object–that stays constant through all three, tying them together" to write her original poem, "Mowing in November."
If you have ever tried to explain to kids why, "And it was all a dream" endings just don't work, or if you have ever struggled with writing a good ending yourself, you have to read Ruth's original poem, "Endings." So true!
Holly's original poem is accompanied an explanation of how Japan feeds its children who are living at poverty level.
Jan Godown Annino is in with two #iamthankful poems. The second one is also an entry in Today's Little Ditty place of refuge. I felt like I was at the beach while I was reading it!
A FEW NCTE POSTS…
Irene Latham, along with Poetry Friday posters Mary Lee Hahn and Heidi Mordhorst, actually drafted a poem in front of an audience at NCTE! She includes "At the Harvest Ball," as well as another poem written by Katherine Bomer. Reading everyone's posts, I'm sad to have missed this fabulous conference again this year.
Jeannine Atkins, whose novel-in verse, FINDING WONDERS: THREE GIRLS WHO CHANGED SCIENCE, is also in my stack of CYBILS nominees, participated in several different poetry panels, including one with Irene Latham, at NCTE. I'm fascinated by the amount of research that goes into so many poetry books and would have loved to hear Jeannine interviewed about her process.
WORDS FOR THESE TIMES…
Mary Lee, describes perfectly how many of us have been feeling for the last few weeks. "My creative spirit… has been sitting out on the porch with her head between her knees for the last couple of weeks." Mary Lee's decided, however, to do something and will be hosting #haikuforhealing during the month of December. Come write haiku with us!
Linda Mitchell reminds me of an old favorite, "New Colossus," by Emma Lazarus. I memorized this poem in junior high, but have forgotten so much. Maybe we should have a day where everyone posts these lines on social media...
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Tabatha Yeatts introduced me to a new website, WOMEN'S VOICES FOR CHANGE: REDEFINING LIFE AFTER FORTY. I'd love to have coffee with Tabatha and the three poets she includes in her post today.
Little Willow has been sharing "thoughtful songs" all month. Today's "Integrity Blues" by Jimmy Eat World is an important one. Be sure to make time to listen to this ballad.
Alice Nine shares one of my all time favorite, favorite poems, "From Mother to Son," made extra special by the reflection by Joe Nathan, a Minnesota school administrator.
SOME COLLECTIONS THAT MIGHT HELP
Jane, a friend from Vancouver, shares "Poem for the Long-ly Wed." In case you want to read the whole poem (I did, after reading part of it), you can find it at Writers' Almanac. This poem is from Garrison Keillor's POEMS FOR HARD TIMES.
A lot of us seem to be finding solace, encouragement, bravery, maybe even a little hope in poetry. Linda Baie reminds me to revisit Joyce Sidman's WHAT THE HEART KNOWS: CHANTS, CHARMS, AND BLESSINGS.
AND FINALLY, IF YOU ARE SHOPPING TODAY…
Robyn Hood Black found some poems in vintage text, then turned them into Christmas ornaments. These would be great Christmas presents!
Be sure to check out Myra Garces-Bascal's review of NOCTURNE: DREAM RECIPES before you go! Looks like a book that's sure to delight even the most reluctant reader!
Tara Smith is enjoying ECHO ECHO, Marilyn Singer's newest book of reverso poems, which features characters from Greek mythology. I totally agree with Tara, who says, "There are those poets who are able to take this craft and create a new invention of the form, which leaves me all the more envious and dumbfounded: such is the invention of reverso poems by Marilyn Singer."