Friday, June 29, 2018


Vail, Colorado, July 2016

So today I think we will start the round up with celebrations. There are quite a lot, big and small. 

At "There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Country, " Ruth is celebrating the publication of our own Margaret Simon's brand new book, BAYOU SONG: CREATIVE EXPLORATION OF THE SOUTH LOUISIANA LANDSCAPE. Ruth begins by sharing her thoughts on a podcast, "Nature, Joy, and Human Becoming," which helped her think about how we might use Margaret's book to help children appreciate the natural world. (The podcast sounds absolutely wonderful, and I'm definitely going to go back and listen to it this weekend). Ruth then uses Margaret's "Ode to a Toad," to write her own "Ode to a Flamboyant Tree."

While Ruth is celebrating Margaret's book, Margaret celebrates a new friend, Gienah, that she met in a line at ALA, by writing a poem especially for her.

And then Molly Hogan celebrates the beginning of summer. First she celebrates a new month with an Elizabeth Coatsworth poem, "July Rain." And then she celebrates a really special gift she received in the mail from Margaret, as a part of the Summer Poetry Swap.

At A TEACHING LIFE, Tara Smith is definitely in a season of celebrating endings and new beginnings. She's very recently (last week, I think?) retired from teaching, and is packing her house, in preparation for a big move to a beautiful farm. In going through her children's drawers, she's uncovering lots of memories. She celebrates her son's early years in school with William Trowbridge's poem, "Taking My Son to His First Day of Kindergarten."

Catherine Flynn has a lot to celebrate this week! First, she had two original poems published in Linda Rief's new Quickwrites Handbook. Second, Catherine found a vintage Aileen Fisher book, FEATHERED ONES AND FURRY, (illustrated by Eric Carle) in a culled books box at her school. Catherine shares "Wrens"with us today.

Our favorite Aussie, Kathryn Appel, also has lots to celebrate this week. Her book, BULLY ON THE BUS, is making its way across the ocean, and will be published in the United States by Kane Miller.

Over at Teacher Dance, Linda Baie has two original poems. The first captures the desolation we are all feeling in these days, and the second, somewhat like the Lynn Ungar poem I shared today, reminds us to celebrate life's small goodnesses. Thank you, Linda!

From The Water's Edge, Erin brings us "Sunset on the Spire" by Eleanor Wylie, another collection of the small and lovely.

Donna Smith celebrates the power of the water with "Pulse," an original poem that she wrote earlier this week. Today she has photographs from a family trek to Camden, Maine, which is where poet Edna St. Vincent Millay comes from.

Kay McGriff's original poem, "How to Float Down a River," reminds me of how the water refreshes my spirit. Thanks for reminding me that I need to find some water time really soon!

Carol Varsalona wrote her first ever cherita to celebrate the colorful palette she finds every day in a garden. It's extra special because she waters her flowers with an heirloom watering can, owned by her grandmother!

Another theme that showed up today was big life truths. 

Tabatha Yeatts, the first poster last night had a found poem in a Harry Beston quote." I love thinking about how people are "sometimes very lovely flowers and are always more than flowers." Thinking her poem might be perfect for my sixth graders to read as they get to know each other and become a community this fall.

At Gathering Books, Fats Suela introduces us to more big truths in the poetry of Andrea Gibson. I can't help but imagine Lynn and Andrea talking to each other; I think they would have great conversations.

Michelle's entry, around the theme of responsibility and freedom includes original art and an original poem, which captures perfectly how so many of us are feeling about the situation on our southern border. Then, as if that was not enough, she also includes art from Charles' White's exhibition in Chicago.

Liz Steinglass visited the Holocaust Museum yesterday, then wrote "Shoes of the Dead." If I had to describe her poem, I'd use words like stunning and heartbreaking.  Do not miss it!

And then there are some terrific poems that don't fit into either of these categories...

After several days of record breaking temperatures in Denver, it's refreshing to read Laura Purdie Salas' poem, "A Thousand Nicknames for Snow." I love all of the different perspectives Laura brings in and am hoping she will say I can use it with my sixth graders this year.

I'm always intrigued by the journey people take in writing a poem, so reading about that was an added bonus to Keisha Shepard's original poem, Summer Wind, which was born after she heard a line in a song last week.

I have not yet tried writing a cherita, mostly because I think it would be really hard to shape a story in that way, but over at Random Noodling, Diane Mayr is continuing her series of ekphrastic cherita, this week's are about the circus. And at Kurious Kitty, Diane celebrates the life of Poet Laureate, Donald Hall.

Heidi Mordhorst helped kick start Taylor Mali's metaphor dice project, and she used her set to create a full length metaphor poem, "funhouse," in which she compares her heart to an "unruly mirror." Alas, those of us who didn't get a set of dice in the kickstart have to wait until November.

Little Willow has a really interesting poem, "Story," by Nayyirah Waheed. The last two lines:
            just because you were not writing
            does not mean you were not writing
intrigue me. I wonder, are there some genres, e.g. fiction, that I am always writing, whether it be in my head or on paper; and other genre, such as poetry, that are more elusive, and that I have down on paper more quickly, before I lose them.

Wishing you a terrific week!

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Ruth said...
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