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Posts Tagged ‘Lee Bennett Hopkins’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Amy at The Poem Farm

The children’s poetry community lost a friend and a mentor when Lee Bennett Hopkins died on August 8th. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but in everything I’ve read about him, he was a gentle leader and proud father of poetry.

Among his many anthologies, I have Amazing Places on my classroom shelf. In it, Lee Bennett Hopkins collected poems about places around our country. His contribution was a poem titled Langston.

Though his professional writing was successful, it was the death of poet Langston Hughes in 1967 that proved to be a spark for Hopkins’s career of anthologizing poetry for children. 

By Shannon Maughan | 
Aug 13, 2019
Amazing Places: Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Lee & Low Books, 2015.

While borrowing a few lines as well as the form of this poem and reading his obituary on Publishers Weekly, I wrote this poem for Lee.


His Dusts of Dreams
after Lee Bennett Hopkins “Langston” 
for Lee Bennett Hopkins, 1938-2019

Who would have known
a young boy
of divorce,
a poor student
inspired by a teacher
would find his footing
in education–

from student
to teacher
to collector of poems,
With greetings to all
Dear Ones,
he left 
his dusts of dreams. 

Margaret Simon, 2019

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National Poetry Month 2018

Poetry Friday round-up is with Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge.

 

Today the Kidlitosphere is celebrating Lee Bennett Hopkins’ 80th birthday.  Click the Poetry Friday button to go to Robyn Hood Black’s site to see more posts for this celebration. How fun to light up cyberspace with candles and confetti!

 

Lee Bennett Hopkins is well known as an anthologist.  He collects the best children poets and puts them together in unique ways.  His most recent collection is World Make Way. 

World Make Way

This book is a collection of ekphrastic poetry, poetry about art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The book opens with the following quote:

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.

Leonardo da Vinci

This month I’ve been writing poems about my father’s art and this quote speaks to what I believe to be true;  My father’s art is poetry that is seen.

Lee’s poetry collections are a canvas for poets, a place to find words that can be felt rather than seen.  To write my poem today, I have chosen a line from Early Evening by Charles Ghinga.

Steamboat by John Gibson

 

Coming Home

We are coming home
stretched across a canvas of time
waiting for steam to rise

into still humid air.
We carry a load
of dreams from far

away where seas meet rivers.
We are born of the river,
her muddy banks birthed

strength to carry us
through toil and trouble
all the way home.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

 

 

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