A baby year means there will be baby showers. And baby showers for me mean baby books. Let other people buy the onesies and towels and mama slings. I'm buying books. Usually I buy several- one beautiful picture book and then a couple of board books for the baby to chew on.Often these books are lullaby-ish.
A new-to-me favorite lullaby-ish/animal, beautiful picture book is NAAMAH AND THE ARK AT NIGHT by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. NAAMAH is the Noah's ark story, but it's told from the perspective of Naamah, Noah's wife. Each night, while her family sleeps, Naamah soothes the animals by singing to them. The text, written using a Middle Eastern poetic form called a ghazal is poetic and lyrical. Listen:
"Over the ark, song flows at night.The text is accompanied by Holly Meade's watercolor collage illustrations, sure to be favorites of the toddler and preschool set.
Two by two, eyes close at night.
Two by two, wings furl at night.
Two by two, tails curl at night."
I had never heard of a ghazal, and went looking for more information. Poets.org. says this:
The ghazal is composed of a minimum of five couplets—and typically no more than fifteen—that are structurally, thematically, and emotionally autonomous. Each line of the poem must be of the same length, though meter is not imposed in English. The first couplet introduces a scheme, made up of a rhyme followed by a refrain. Subsequent couplets pick up the same scheme in the second line only, repeating the refrain and rhyming the second line with both lines of the first stanza. The final couplet usually includes the poet’s signature, referring to the author in the first or third person, and frequently including the poet’s own name or a derivation of its meaning.If you want to try writing a ghazal, there's a step by step description on wiki-how. (Unfortunately, there are also a lot of ads- sorry!)
Traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions, ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani musicians.
And if you just want to read more poems, the Poetry Friday Roundup can be found at My Juicy Little Universe.