Friday, June 9, 2017


One of my goals for this year was to participate in Poetry Friday every week. Despite that, it's been several months since I posted anything. This summer, I am determined to get back in the groove. Which might be extra good since I am supposed to host next Friday!

This week, our first week off (if you don't count four days of professional development), I went to Tattered Cover, in search of new poetry books. I found OUT OF WONDER, by Kwame Alexander, with contributors Chris Colderly and Margjorie Wentworth. Maybe it's not considered new anymore, because it was actually published in March, but it's new to me. OUT OF WONDER is a collection of poems celebrating poets influential in the life of Kwame Alexander- Naomi Shihab Nye, Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda, Robert Frost, Sandra Cisneros, Gwendolyn Brooks, Emily Dickens, Terrance Hayes, Sandra Cisneros, Billy Collins, e. e. cummings, Judith Wright, Okot p'Bitek, Chief Dan George, and Maya Angelou. Back matter includes additional information about each poet. The illustrations, by Ekua Holmes, are gorgeous.

"How Billy Collins Writes a Poem"

When you first wake up, notice
how your mother's voice calling
you to breakfast, sounds like a fire alarm.
Watch the steam rising off your oatmeal
like tiny clouds and guess where it goes.

Pay attention to the smallest things:
a fly buzzing near the kitchen window,
bright rocks in the driveway,
the handful of marbles in your pocket-
the sound they make when you walk.

Imagine that the leaves spinning in the wind
on the walk to school are alien ships
and that barking dogs belong to a prince.
At night, when the stars seem close,
reach up and grab some.

Our lives are made from these things,
and when you describe them,
you discover magic. It's the way
your pen becomes a wand in your hand
and this may be the only need to see.

Marjorie Wentworth

Celebrating Nikki Giovanni

people forget…poetry is not just words on a page…it is…
a snowflake on your tongue…a tattoo on the inside of your arm… a dashki and a kaftan…
tripping down the streets of Lincoln Heights…shouting from the hills of Knoxville, Tennessee…

poetry is…barbeque…cotton candy…purple skin beets from Daddy's garden…
blues…the Birdland Jazz Club…Sunday morning gospel…chasing justice…freedom…

poetry is remembering the things that matter…the ones you love…
when night comes softly…like ripples on a pond

Chris Colderly


Mary Lee said...

I love this book. When I first opened it, I was expecting poems by the famous authors. What a delight to see the way the three authors PAID TRIBUTE to the famous authors with poems in their style or about them. And the illustrations. Oh, my.

I heard the two of them speak at ALA in January. What a treat to hear Kwame read his poetry!

Linda B said...

I still need to review this, but I do love it, and while I knew some of the poems, others were new to me. Thanks, Carol, both poems are just right. Glad to see you have some time to write again!

Violet N. said...

That tribute to Billy Collins writing a poem is bang-on. This looks like a very fun book. I'm going to see if my library has it. Thank for the heads-up, Carol. I'm sure others have talked about it but you know what they say about how many times one needs to hear something before paying attention... that's me.

Jane @ said...

I'm still waiting to get my hands on a copy of this - it still hasn't arrived in my local library yet, and the wait is just killing me!!

Linda Mitchell said...

I can't believe I don't have a copy of this book yet! I need NEED one. I love the poems posted. Poems about poetry always make me sit up and pay a bit more attention.

Ruth said...

Wow! This looks fabulous!

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

These are wonderful. I must find this book soon and read it.

Kay said...

I am glad I am not the only one who hasn't yet read this book. I do want to find a copy at my library. I suspect this one will inspire to write--and read--in so many ways.