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Archive for the ‘Poetry Friday’ Category

Poetry Friday round-up is with Christie at Wondering and Wandering

 

Last week I discovered a challenge from today’s hostess, Christie Wyman, to write a bird themed poem.  Just so happened I had attended a poetry reading of Bird Forgiveness by Melinda Palacio of New Orleans. Then I was reading Diane Mayr’s blogpost about a Library of Congress photography show in Los Angeles.  She wrote a note to me to check out the featured photograph for “Not an Ostrich.”  Diane had seen a Facebook video I had posted of my friend’s goose, who absolutely must be a floradora goose like the one pictured.  Diane also challenged us poets to write about a chosen LOC photo.  So I am combining all of these things, Bird Forgiveness, bird themed poetry, and poetry about Library of Congress photos, to bring you this poem.

 

floradora goose loc

Not an Ostrich: ‘Floradora goose.’ Actress Isla Bevan holds a goose at the 41st annual Poultry Show, Madison Square Garden, 1930. Unknown photographer.

 

Precious Things

All things precious, except for this bird, end up buried in a box.
Melinda Palacio from Bird Forgiveness

What things are precious?

When a photograph is precious, it is saved
                           under glass, preserved in a museum,
                                         admired for ages.

When an egg is precious, it is removed
                          by expert hands, gently taken to a lab,
                                          buried with sacred ceremony.

Except for this bird.

This bird is named, released
                        to roam the farm, adorned in fancy feathers,
                                          posed as if fine lace

from a precious box. 

–Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone.

School has started here in the midst of hot, humid August. I’m setting up three classrooms at three schools (quite the challenge!), so lists have become important to me. What do I need at this school that I know I have at that school: tape, markers, glue sticks, etc. The lists go on and on.

But lists can also become poems. And in the midst of this stress, a list poem relaxes me. They release stress much like to-do lists do.

One way I can relax is to peruse Facebook. Tuesday I saw a post from Margarita Engle about sand poetry. I also thought about my promise for writing during the school year and opened to a clean notebook page. And this comment from Cathy Mere made it into the poem as well, “Loved this, Margaret. Your advice to just open our notebooks and put the date on the page to see what happens is among my favorites. I’ve been thinking about this in terms of “margin.” In the summer, we all managed to get a little margin – a little white space – in our lives. How do we maintain that as the busyness of the school year approaches? Figuring out how to maintain space for doing the things we love is something I’ll be thinking more about as the school year begins.”

In the Margins, write a poem

For more list poems, try Georgia Heard’s collection Falling Down the Page or this page on The Poem Farm.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

I spent a long weekend in Boston with my three daughters last weekend. We walked a lot. Boston is a great walking city. We’d stop to shop or have lunch or get coffee. Like my friend, Linda Mitchell, I took some pictures of signs to gather into a found poem.

Take a walk in

Footprints on the Freedom Trail.

Today is the last day of my fun and fabulous Bayou Song Blog Tour. Please check out Dani’s post today.

Friday, June 22:
Michelle Kogan

Tuesday, June 26:
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core

Friday, June 29:
Ruth Hersey at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town

Friday, July 6:
Kimberly Hutmacher at Kimberly Hutmacher Writes

Friday, July 13:
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise

Tuesday, July 17:
Laura Shovan 

Tuesday, July 24
Amanda Potts at Persistence and Pedagogy

Friday, July 27:
Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink

Monday, July 30
Linda Baie at Teacher Dance

Friday, Aug. 3
Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work that Matters

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Catherine at Reading to the Core.

The summer is made so much brighter by the exchange of poems arranged by Tabatha Yeatts.  Mailboxes share a bit of insight (along with the proverbial wasp or two).  I have been pleased to receive two poems so far.  The first sent from our friend Ruth Hersey.  Ruth sent a postcard of a Georges Seurat painting, one we are all likely familiar with.  She also sent this photo that she took of observers of the same painting.  Her poem comes from the wisdom of watching these observers.

 

 

 

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte
“Some say they see poetry in my paintings; I see only science.”  Georges Seurat

On a summer Sunday afternoon in 2018
We look at a painting of a summer Sunday afternoon in 1884.

All those people with exquisite posture
Whom Georges Seurat saw by the Seine
Have been gone for years,
Bustles and parasols packed away,
The monkey’s chittering long silenced.

And all these slightly scruffier people
Looking at his painting by the Chicago River
Will be gone one day too,
Their baseball hats empty
And their phone screens blank.

The sun through the skylight
Illuminates the Parisians and the Chicagoans,
Shines on those millions of dots of paint that will outlast us all.

Ruth Hersey, (c) 2018

 

My second poem exchange came this week.  It slithered like a snake between bills and advertisements to delight me.  Rebecca Herzog wrote a concrete poem (these are so hard to do well) about the Bayou Teche.  I am touched that she took time to research the legend of the Bayou Teche.  Her research comes together in this fabulous snake.

Poem by Rebecca Herzog (c) 2018

 

Thanks to Ruth and Rebecca for taking the sting out of getting the mail!

 

 

 

 

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.

Maybe if you’d written over a hundred books for children, you could take a break, but not Marilyn Singer. I first met Marilyn at NCTE a few years ago when she was reading from and presenting about her books of reverso poems. Reverso is a brilliant form that I fail at miserably, but Marilyn has at least three books full of them.

This summer at ALA I was able to grab a new copy of Every Month is a New year. Marilyn signed it, “Happy New Years!” Who knew that every month, someone somewhere in the world is celebrating a new year? The extent of Marilyn’s research alone for this book is impressive. There are 77 sources listed in the back matter of the book!

Illustrator Susan L. Roth uses mixed media for the illustrations. You can imagine touching each piece and feeling the soft paper and fabric collaged together.

The experience of this book is different from other picture books because it opens horizontally like a calendar. Actually, I would love to have it as a calendar I could display in my classroom.

I thought I would share July’s poem since it’s July, but I love, love, love September’s poem and illustration. Ethiopia’s new year is celebrated on September 11th with gifts of daisies. I want to start a movement for us to adopt this practice for our commemoration of the tragedy of Sept. 11th. Random gifts of daisies. From the back matter:

Enkutatash, Ethiopian New Year, on the Ethiopic calendar corresponds to September 11 on the Gregorian calendar. Enkutatash is believed to be the day the Queen of Sheba returned to her homeland after her visit to King Solomon in Jerusalem in 980 BCE. She was welcomed with enku, jewels. Enkutatash, which means “gift of jewels,” has another ancient meaning that commemorates the receding of the great flood during the time of Noah. The day also marks the end of the rainy season and the beginning of sunny days.
Today, on Enkutatash, children in new, white, hand-woven cotton clothes offer yellow Meskel daisies, along with pictures they have painted, as gifts to friends and neighbors.

I think I have found a new tradition to start with my students!

illustration by Susan L. Roth for Every Month is a New Year

By Marilyn Singer, Every Month is a New Year

In her poem about the June New Year, We Tripantu in Chile, Marilyn leads me in with simple sentence structure, “The night is cold./ My family is warm.” I love when the simplest of language can tell so much. She continues this pattern with “The air is quiet. / My family is loud.” As a writing prompt, I want to try using the pattern of opposites for my own poem. It could be about a season or a celebration. Would you like to try one, too? Share in the comments.

My own New Year celebration happens on my birthday, August 11th. The peak of the Perseid meteor showers occur around this day every year. This year I should make a point of going outside to dance.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Sylvia today at Poetry for Children.

Rain is falling again.  That’s the way it is here in South Louisiana in the summer.

Rain and green.

Rain and steam.

Rain and gleam.

I could write a bayou poem about it always raining.  In my new book, Bayou Song, I have a few favorite poems.  Like children, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but today I am thinking about the poem There is always…

This poem uses anaphora, a repeated line. I think I stole it from Jane Yolen, but I can’t be sure.  One thing about writing poetry is poetry begets more poetry. For my next writing project, I hope to keep better tabs on where the inspiration comes from.

If you’d like a personalized copy of Bayou Song, I can mail it directly to you with payment using Paypal.  Email me at margaretsmn at gmail.

Bayou Song has had a beautiful blog tour so far.  Today the stop is with my friend and writing critique partner, Linda Mitchell.  Check it out. 

Friday, June 22:
Michelle Kogan

Tuesday, June 26:
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core

Friday, June 29:
Ruth Hersey at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town

Friday, July 6:
Kimberly Hutmacher at Kimberly Hutmacher Writes

Friday, July 13:
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise

Tuesday, July 17:
Laura Shovan 

Tuesday, July 24
Amanda Potts at Persistence and Pedagogy

Friday, July 27:
Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink

Monday, July 30
Linda Baie at Teacher Dance

Friday, Aug. 3
Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work that Matters

 

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol today. Click to see more poetic goodness.

When you are standing in line for a book signing at ALA, you could meet your new best friend. This happened to me on Sunday. I was alone, not really paying much attention, when the woman standing next to me commented on my dress. This, of course, started a conversation. We were looking eye to eye and she could have been my sister from another mother. Her wheat-colored hair was tied in a bun on the top of her head. Her fair face was freckled like mine. And even her dress matched the very one she complimented me on.

I looked at her name tag, “Gienah.” She immediately pronounced it for me, “Gina,” and told me her father named her for a star. I said that sounds like a poem. The star is in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. Gienah and I spent the next few hours together. Our list of signings matched, surprise, surprise. She fan-girls the same authors I do. We became each other’s photographer. We exchanged phone numbers and are still texting each other today. Making a new friend is so much fun.
Here’s the poem I wrote for her.

Her name is a star –Gienah–
eyes that sparkle with familiarity,
“Don’t I know you from somewhere?”
We must have been sisters once,
like the wings of the swan,
balanced and flying the night sky.

Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

 

Bayou Song Blog Tour continues today at Ruth’s blog. She was inspired by my Ode to a Toad to write her own ode about the flamboyant tree. Check it out here.

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