|Taken by my friend and fellow teacher/blogger Patrick Allen in his backyard on Wednesday|
First, thanks for all your kind words. We are fine-- totally safe, didn't have to evacuate, and didn't have a flooded basement, although many people did. It amazes me how the storms come and pound and rant for an hour, and then they over. A couple of hours after the storm on Wednesday, I walked the dog. There were lots of puddles, and mud, and broken trees and debris, but aside from that, the neighborhood was pretty much status quo.
And now onto the roundup…
Seems lots of us cannot stop thinking about the constant and ongoing racism in our country…
At Random Noodling, Diane Mayer breaks my mama heart with "Pastoral Politic," an original poem about racism. And on a maybe lighter note (although I also think this poem carries some pretty big truth), check out her review of SERIOUSLY FUNNY: Poems about love, death, religion, art, politics, sex and everything else at Kurious Kitty. Ouch.
Robyn Hood Black reviews BROWN GIRL DREAMING, a National Book Award winner from this year. If you haven't read Jacqueline Woodson's novel in verse, a memoir about growing up in the South and about becoming a writer, you need to pick it up immediately. Robyn lives an hour south of Charleston, the scene of last week's horrific shootings. Our hearts break with you…
Linda Baie returns from several weeks of travel to post Maya Angelou's "Human Family." I love the ending lines, "We are more alike my friends, than we are unalike," that Angelou repeats three times, maybe because she knows they need to take root in our hearts.
In my opening comments yesterday, I said that a lot of the adult poetry I read comes from hunting down poets I meet in Poetry Friday's posts. That was definitely true this week, when I read Pat Schneider's gorgeous, "How the Stars Came Down," on Karen Edmisten's blog. I want to share this poem with our middle schoolers, who I suspect have probably had similar experiences.
Kelly Fineman shares an original poem, 44, that she wrote in 2009, to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama. I agree with Kelly, her poem is perfect for the events, both horrible and wonderful, that have occurred in our country this week.
And could there be a better time for a professional development session on diversity? Sylvia Vardell is at ALA in San Francisco, where she and several others will be presenting, DIVERSITY DYNAMISM. She and her co-hosts have posted a bibliography of over fifty books on her blog today.
Another moment of peace at Gathering Books, where Fats Goula shares a beautiful multilingual (English, Hebrew, and Arabic) children's book, SHALOM, SALAAM, PEACE, by Howard I. Bogot.
Many of us are seeking solace in nature…
Amy Ludwig Vanderwater also celebrates nature in her latest original poem, "Delight." Listen to the first few lines and you will be rushing over to THE POEM FARM to read the rest! Nature does not have/a lost and found table/for summer feathers.
Another one of our multi-talented friends and another Carol, she of the Varsalona variety, is currently compiling her "Spring Symphony," collected from a number of poets. Today she brings us four original art/poetry combinations inspired by a day trip to the beach.
At Year of Reading, the endlessly talented Mary Lee dusted off her sketchbook and found two poems waiting for her. She also has a recommendation for a book about drawing nature, NATURE ANATOMY, shared with her by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, that sounds really terrific.
Brenda Davis Harsham draws on her garden to write "Daisies Dear." Her poem makes me want to run to the garden center to replace a few of the flowers that have taken a horrible beating this summer.
It's always a treat to hear a poet perform her work. Today Violet Nesdoly, a friend from the north, reads her poem, "Canadian Rivers." Be sure to stop by for a listen!
Ramona Behnke is vacationing in Idaho, but managed to steal away to create a peaceful snapshot of an evening outing.
Another peaceful moment at Miss Rumphius Effect. Tricia has been reading Carl Sandburg recently. I'm going to read "Monotone" again the next time we have a pounding, blowing, thrashing storm like we have been experiencing the past few weeks in Colorado.
Lorie Ann Grover taught me a new form, senryu, with her original poem, "Riddance." In case you have never heard this word, a senryu is similar to haiku but focused on family members, relationships or feelings.
Some people are revisiting old favorites…
Make a cup of tea and find a comfortable corner to see Billy Collins interviewing Paul McCartney at Jama's place. And be sure to check out her pictoral essay-- it's beau-tea-ful!
Because of her thoughtful sharing and reflections, Kimberly, at I Write in Maine, helps me to reread T.S. Eliot, "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock," which I think I last read in high school, through a whole new lens.
I found a similar theme in Emily Dickinson's "Much Madness is Divinest Sense," posted today at Bildungsroman. Do you ever wonder if the universe/God might be using poetry to speak to you directly?
Julieanne Harmatz heard Naomi Shihab Nye this week at Teachers' College Reading and Writing Project and was inspired to write an original poem, "Naming It." I have to agree with her- naming things through our writing is powerful. And I'm intrigued by using those tiny bits of time to build up big bits of writing. I had the privilege of wandering into a Naomi Shihab Nye reading at a tiny bookstore in San Antonio almost 20 years ago and have been a huge fan ever since.
At A Teaching Life, Tara also gifts us with several snippets of Naomi Shihab Nye's poetry, including, "How Do I Know When a Poem is Finished?"
There are lots of fun poetry activities/clubs/groups/swaps going on this summer…
You'll find many of your Poetry Friday friends over at Today's Little Ditty, where Michelle Heidenrich Barnes regularly hosts the Ditty of the Month Challenge. This month's challenge, based on Corey Rosen Schwartz's new book, WHAT ABOUT MOOSE?, was to write a poem about treehouses, with multi-syllable rhyming words. As an added bonus, this post includes a book giveaway!
Catherine was one of those treehouse poets. You can read her poem, "A Treehouse all Your Own," at Reading to the Core.
Some talented (and also very persistent) folks here at Poetry Friday. Keri is participating in a summer poetry swap and received a very special (and puzzling) poem gift in the mail last week from Donna.
And then waltz over to Tabatha's blog (The Opposite of Indifference) and read "Dancing Margaret," written as a poetry swap gift to Margaret Simon.
Margaret, the recipient of Tabatha's gift poem, is "making" poetry with CLmooc. She started with a kind of acrostic with the letters in her name, and then "built" a poem from that. Another process that looks like it would be fun to try!
Cathy Mere has spent the last few weeks at the Columbus Area Writing Project at The Ohio State University. She's in today with a poem about revisiting her old stomping grounds.
And some not so fun stuff…
Poor Heidi Mordhorst is packing up her classroom and moving to a new grade, and still found time to write a poem. Those of us who are teachers (and keepers-- a term I much prefer to hoarders) can definitely sympathize. Who lives close enough to go help carry a few boxes?
There are some poems and poets for/by the younger set…
As someone who loves a few facts with my poetry, I was totally enthralled (ok and a little grossed out, "Lunchtime," by Leslie Bulion. And I cannot wait to get hold of Bulion's new book, RANDOM BODY PARTS, shared this week by Laura Purdie Salas, who is herself a master at combining facts and poetry.If you don't know Laura's books, A ROCK CAN BE, A LEAF CAN BE, WATER CAN BE, you definitely need to look for those books!
At Author Amok, Laura Shovan's third grade friends finished off the year with a poetry celebration, as well as some odes written in her honor. Terrific examples of what young poets can do (although I do wonder about returning poems covered with ink and slobber!)
Katie, at Logonauts, is also featuring a third grade poet, a very talented guy, who has written a memoir poem about fear. Wow! Katie invites readers to join a Google Group who will be reading Matt Renwick's book, DIGITAL STUDENT PORTFOLIOS. Definitely sounds interesting!
At Teaching Authors, April Halprin Wayland leaves readers breathless with Kalli Dakos' "Call the Periods, Call the Commas, a punctuation poem that I have loved for many years. She also has links to four other punctuation essays. I read "For the Love of the Comma" (love the idea of a comma as a speed bump to slow your reader down) and one about exclamation marks, which I tend to use way too often (but will not use here).
Penny Parker Klosterman, who blogs at A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt, has decided to invite a few friends to join in to her poetry fun. Today she has Rebecca Colby, author of THERE WAS A WEE LASSIE WHO SWALLOWED A MIDGIE and the upcoming IT'S RAINING BATS AND FROGS, writing along with her daughters, Sasha and Alanna. You do not want to read Sasha's poem if you do not have access to some Cadbury eggs (which are only sold in Colorado around Easter!).
Our cat-loving readers are sure to enjoy ITTY BITTY KITTY, a poetic picture book featured today at readertotz.