Thursday, June 25, 2015


Welcome to the Poetry Friday Roundup!
Welcome to Denver!
It's been a crazy summer here.
After several years of drought, this summer
we have had lots and lots and lots of rain.
I haven't set up the hose to water even once!
OK, maybe to water the flowers on the porch, but that's all. 

This is what my neighborhood looked like last night, as captured by drivers
tweeting photos into CBS News.

This is at 14th and Kearney, about ten blocks south of my house
almost exactly 24 hours ago. 

City Park, where I often walk my dog.
There is a lake at the park, but this isn't it.

After the storm…

And now for a little poetry. This week, I checked out Billy Collins' book, AIMLESS LOVE, from the Denver Public Library. I read lots of adult poetry, usually what people post on Poetry Friday, and then others that I hunt down after I read what people post. I don't very often check out book of adult poetry, and I'm thinking I need to do it a little more often. One of my favorite poems from AIMLESS LOVE is "The Trouble with Poetry."

"The Trouble With Poetry"  
The trouble with poetry, I realized
as I walked along a beach one night--
cold Florida sand under my bare feet,
a show of stars in the sky-- 
the trouble with poetry is
that it encourages the writing of more poetry,
more guppies crowding the fish tank,
more baby rabbits
hopping out of their mothers into the dewy grass. 
And how will it ever end?
unless the day finally arrives
when we have compared everything in the world
to everything else in the world,
and there is nothing left to do
but quietly close our notebooks
and sit with our hands folded on our desks. 
You can read the rest of the poem here.

And here is Billy Collins reading "The Trouble with Poetry."

I look forward to your poems multiplying like guppies and rabbits in the grass. Leave your link in the comments below and I will roundup the poems throughout the day. 


jama said...

Wow, that's a lot of rain! Hope you didn't have any property damage. Did you have to evacuate?

We're on the same wave length this week with Billy Collins. For my last post before taking a summer blog break, I'm sharing a video of Billy interviewing Sir Paul McCartney at Rollins College in Florida:

My link goes live at 6 a.m. Friday morning.

Thanks for hosting this week, Carol. Have a nice summer!

Keri said...

Oh Carol! I hope the water receded quickly and you are safe, sound, and dry!

My post this week is a tale of mystery, puzzles, and a seriously determined poet named Donna Smith -- I'm sharing her gift to me from the first round of the summer poem swap.

My link goes live in the wee hours of Friday morning:

Many thanks for hosting!

Author Amok said...

Those pictures are pretty terrifying, Carol. I hope things return to normal soon.

Isn't it a wonder how Billy Collins' poems seem to meander through thought to such stunning conclusions? I love the lines: "to break into the poems of others/ with a flashlight and a ski mask."

I'm continuing my "In Residence" series with student poems from third grade. These odes to poetry and poetry teacher simile poems were a gift. In one, I am described as an owl who is hungry for poems.

Diane Mayr said...

Wow, Carol! I didn't realize you were having such problems in Denver! And we in NH were just complaining about the ferocity of a recent cloudburst. Shame on us!

At Random Noodling I have an original poem titled, "Pastoral Politic."

Kurious Kitty shares a poem from the anthology, Seriously Funny.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Carol, Carol, Carol...First--thanks for hosting today. Second--can we find some way to pipe your overflow to thirsty California, please?

My fav line from Billy's poem is that flame from the tip of his pencil.

At TeachingAuthors we've been doing a series on punctuation. I'm in with, “3 Things About Commas to Make You Smile” post includes that fabulous poem by Kalli Dakos written without any punctuation whatsoever (I dare you to read it in one breath!)—and a poem I wrote for the post:

(link goes live Friday morning)

Robyn Hood Black said...

Oh goodness, Carol - I hope you all dry out soon. Thanks for hosting in the midst of all that. And thanks for Billy Collins today!

I'm featuring some thoughts about Jacqueline Woodson's beautiful BROWN GIRL DREAMING, which I was in the midst of reading when the tragedy in Charleston occurred last week.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Holey moley, Carol! And you still have internet service? I hope you haven't suffered personal damage and that things become more stable weather-wise. Thanks for hosing PF today and for sharing the Billy Collins poem– I always enjoy hearing him read.

At Today's Little Ditty, we've been writing rhyming poetry about treehouses all month long. Check out the results and also be sure to enter the giveaway for a copy of WHAT ABOUT MOOSE?.

Julieanne said...

A poem inspired by a week at TCRWP and Naomi Shihab Nye.

Julieanne said...

I forgot to comment on your post! I love, love this Billy Collins poem. I can't help but think when you give a mouse a cookie when I read it. I love the image of more guppies in the fish tank! Thank you Carol for hosting!

Karen Edmisten said...

Oh, Carol! I'm so sorry about the flooding! Hope you are okay. You sound amazingly upbeat. I guess Billy Collins can make anyone feel better. :)

I'm in this week with Pat Schneider and the beautiful "How the Stars Came Down." It's here.

Donna Smith said...

That is an amazing poem. Thanks for sharing it. I think it would probably be my favorite, too.
At midnight my link goes live to my page -
I am linking to a couple of places where I have a poem, and I am sharing a PERFECTLY SCRUMPTIOUS poem written by Keri Collins Lewis that she sent to me for the Summer Poetry Swap.

Donna Smith said...

PS - Do not send that weather this way! I don't like the looks of it! Hope you are high and dry somewhere besides these locations.

laurasalas said...

I love Collins! Sorry for your flooding:( I'm in with a Leslie Bulion poem from RANDOM BODY PARTS at

Carol Varsalona said...

Carol, Denver looks like it is under siege but that rainbow is amazing. Billy Collins is a favorite of mine. I heard him read from his poetry collection at the state conference in a small banquet room. His voice and words are mesmerizing. I am offering a piece called Inspired today at I am blending original poetry with one from the Poetry Foundation along with a notice about Spring's Symphony Gallery that I working on this weekend. Feel free to send me an offering if you have one ready. Thank you.

Violet N. said...

Thanks for hosting, Carol! And oh my - what a lot of water! I can only imagine the aftermath of dealing with soaked houses and cars. After having a couple of minor (in comparison) floods, my sympathies to the people drying out with industrial fans and then the massive reno's. I hope you're not one of them, Carol.

My poem today is "Canadian Rivers"--and they could use some topping up. We're very dry here in southwestern B.C. (Canada) and gearing up for an early and expensive forest fire season, I'm afraid.

Tabatha said...

Thank you for hosting today, Carol! Your photos are frightening...I hope the water recedes soon.

I am sharing a poem for Margaret:

Mary Lee said...

I'm glad that picture wasn't in front of your house! We had cars up to their doors in places here last Saturday. We got 2.5 inches of steady, pounding rain. Crazy weather. I wish we could send some to CA!

Love Collins, and especially that one! Good pick!!

Yesterday, I opened my sketchbook for the first time in 3 years (I am getting in touch with my inner doodler these days) and I found a couple of lost poems.

Thanks for rounding us up!

Kimberley Moran said...

Billy Collins is fabulous. Your pictures bring so much to life. Flooding screams damage to me. I hope you are well. My Poetry Friday is up at

Penny Parker Klostermann said...

Oh those pictures! I sure hope you didn't have any damage to your property. Thanks for sharing the Billy Collins poem. Delightful! Today I have guests Rebecca Colby and daughters on A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt.

Thanks for hosting.

Margaret Simon said...

Ah, Billy Collins does it again. Despite his arrogance, I do love his poetry. He does believe there is too much bad poetry out here, but I am joyfully adding to it.
Sorry about all the flooding. As someone who has experienced too many floods myself, Floods Stink!, literally.

Thanks for hosting. I have unmade the letters in my name to create a random poem about kindness. I love how randomness can lead to clarity.

Linda B said...

I want to sneak around and steal lines of poetry often, too, Carol. Billy has it right! I have a poem today by Maya Angelou, in memory of the sad loss last week. I just returned home yesterday, my lawn is filled with leaves, but luckily my basement is not filled with water. What a storm it must have been!

Tricia said...

Those pictures are frightening. I hope that the waters have receded and that you are safe and sound.

Thank you for hosting and for sharing Collins. He always makes me smile.

Today I'm sharing a bit of Sandburg.


Tara said...

This is just to thank you and post before I run out the door, Carol, but I'll be back later to savor your post:

Ramona said...

Carol, so glad you're okay. I'm vacationing and not staying up with the news, so these pictures were shocking.
Love the phrase - "a show of stars in the sky." I'm guilty of that longing to steal.
I'm linking today with a poetic remembrance yesterday's evening on the water with dear friends.

Fats Suela from Gathering Books said...

Hi Carol! First off, thanks so much for hosting the round-up today despite the crazy Denver rains. I've been getting "flood" and "severe thunderstorms" notifications on my phone but so far the roads are clear.

Thanks for sharing Billy Collins's poem. Poetry is food for the soul and, whether is good or bad poetry, it will always be there and people would keep writing poems. At GatheringBooks today, I share excerpts from a lyrical picture book that reflects on peace. Here is the link:

Hope you have a good weekend, Carol! Keep safe! - Fats

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks for hosting! This week, I'm highlighting an upcoming session at the ALA conference with a sneak peek and a booklist!

Sylvia Vardell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Little Willow said...

Good morning! Thanks for hosting!

Emily Dickinson at my blog, Bildungsroman, today:

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thank you for hosting after such a season! Here is one more guppy, a senryu at my blog On Point: Riddance.

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

Wow, from drought to deluge. How Biblical in its extremes. I like guppies and baby bunnies. There are worse comparisons.

I'm sharing a quiet fanfare:

To me the problem with poetry it that there's never enough time to read all of it.

Thanks for hosting, Brenda

Lorie Ann Grover said...

And at readertotz we are celebrating Itty Bitty Kitty. Adorable, yes? Thanks again!

Amy LV said...

Gosh, Carol. That is just crazy. I hope you are ok and cozy and that this will not cause too much heartache or trouble for too many.

Thank you for the Billy Collins poem and for hosting today. I needed that.

At The Poem Farm, I have a poem about something lovely that I found this week -

Take Care, xo, a.

Katie TheLogonauts said...

Yikes, that rain! Hope things are calming down now for you all.

Today, I shared a student-written memoir poem as part of my reflection on students and technology.

Anonymous said...

After the rain, the rainbow. Hoping you have saner weather to come. (And I love that Collins poem!)

Here's my post for today, an original poem entitled "44":

Ruth said...

Wow! Stay dry! Here's my contribution for today:

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Howdy, Carol--I'm a late arrival today but it's never too late to consider the trouble with poetry. That poem always makes me want a uniform with pockets in which to carry Lawrence Ferlinghetti's book!

jan godown annino said...

I appreciate B. Collins & this post.
By now these newsmaking images are history.
But you are a real Host With The Most for finding internet connection & laughing at the severe weather to carry on with the show.
And I am the latest arrival - ever, I think.
Happy summertime of writing, reading & adding to the poetry soup.