Posts Tagged ‘Naomi Shihab Nye’

A gathering of poetry can be found at Liz Steinglass’s site.

The Winter Poetry Swap has arrived. Our friend Tabatha Yeatts matches us up for a rich exchange of poetry inspired gifts. This year I was paired with Tricia Stohr-Hunt. This week I received her gift.

Tricia spent some time on my gift. That impresses me because these days, especially in December, time is precious and small. She cross-stitched my favorite line of poetry from Naomi Shihab Nye. Now to know this, she had to read my blog posts. Then design and stitch.

And to top it all off, she wrote a wonderful golden shovel using the line.

Golden Shovel for Advent

It is not the season of me or I.
nor the season of greed and want.
It is time for reflection, time to
prepare for the guest. We must be
ready to reach out to someone,
anyone who needs, anyone who
asks. Let us draw nearer to what makes
us whole. As the year crowns, it is music
that fills the air and our hearts with
expectation. Stars keep watch. My,
how they shine! Rejoice, for the Lord is coming.

Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019

Read Full Post »

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

Naomi Shihab Nye has been named the Young People’s Poet Laureate of the US. I can’t think of anyone better. I’ve met Naomi on a few occasions, most recently when I moderated an NCTE presentation in November, 2018. Her gentle manner and down-to-earth style is just right for these times. She’s comfortable and makes you feel comfortable, too.

One of my favorite young people’s poetry book by Naomi Shihab Nye is A Maze Me. For one, this is a great title with multiple meanings. It’s a book of poems specifically for girls. The poems comfort, amaze, and give readers a sense of the timelessness of childhood.

My favorite line of poetry appears in the poem Ringing that seems to be about all the sounds of ringing a child may hear. The vegetable truck, milk truck, and the ever-ringing ice-cream truck. “They are all bringers.”

The last line reads “I want to be someone making music with my coming.”

Along with all the luscious on the lips m-sounds is a deeper meaning. A longing we can all relate to. We want to be expected. We want to be adored. We want to be loved. Naomi captures this universal longing in one simple line. That is the genius of her poetry.

I sing lullabies to my grandson. I am embarrassed if anyone hears me. But I shouldn’t care. I want to be the someone in his life who makes music with my coming. This is love.

Read Full Post »

National Poetry Month 2018

Moon Song by Lisa Kattenbraker

Seven Ways to Touch the Moon

Be still.
Ride the tide.
Climb on a branch.
Read a moon story.
Look beyond horizons.
Play your instrument for her.

–Margaret Simon

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day. Are you carrying a poem?  Today I will carry two poems, one in each pocket.  I hold Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem Kindness.

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things...

I will also hold a poem from one of Kim Douillard's students, Avi.  
She posted this poem on her blog, and it touched me.

Poetry Is

Poetry is like the last rays of sun on a sunset

it leaves with beauty and sadness at the same time

poetry is like a song that sings forever

and when you forget

it will always whisper back.






Read Full Post »

Poetry Friday is with Dianne at Random Noodling

I think one of the most enjoyable things about writing poetry is playing with words. I’ve been known to have multiple tabs open on my computer to dictionary and thesaurus sites as well as research sites. I’ll Google a word and get lost in the direction it takes me.

This week one of my self-assigned poetry writing activities was to play with the juxtaposition of words. Inspired by activities in the book Rip the Page: Adventures in Creative Writing, I filled a few pages in my notebook with “words that need a friend.”

Then I wondered what I should do with these lists. I found more inspiration from Naomi Shihab Nye’s book A Maze Me. The poem “Where are You?” included this line that I borrowed, “I’m tucked inside each fresh paper page.” My friend Dani calls this “Taking a line for a walk” from her recent institute with the Montana Writing Project.

By giving myself the discipline of writing a poem every day, I am finding new and innovative ways to encourage my students’ writing when school begins again.

Pixabay photo

A Poem is Waiting

I’m tucked inside
each fresh paper page–
feathery poems
softly drizzled on Tuesday,
a perfumed whir,
blink in the sunshine
of your imagination.

A poem is salty chatter
of newly hatched chick-a-dees
twittering in the nest of cloud-joy.

A poem is a twister of whispers
rising on the weather front
of waving slurps of watermelon.

A poem is a show-off peacock
emerging from the bush
of brain bellows,
a scented thunder
from afternoon rain

sprinkling my face,
touching my hand,
this page.
Open gently.

–Margaret Simon

Read Full Post »

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Catherine Flynn, who blogs at Reading to the Core, recommended a book for writers, Rip the Page: Adventures in Creative Writing by Karen Benke.  I bought the book.  On page 31, one of my favorite poets, Naomi Shihab Nye, wrote a note to the writer.  She writes, “Nothing is too small to notice.” So I take notice.



I notice the light,
how today
the first day of spring,
the light is brighter

reflecting off the shiny Grumman canoe
propped against the satsuma tree,
reddening the shasta daisies
that just opened today
in time to say “Welcome spring.”

This light
intensifies the green,
illuminates Spanish moss
that hangs like abandoned spider webs.

This light ripples the bayou
in gentle wrinkles.
No rain in days,
so I water.

The spray from the hose

I remember…
how she loves rainbows.

That’s how this light is:
full of itself, showing off,
making love with life.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved



Read Full Post »

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

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


Naomi Shihab Nye visited our classroom this week.  We watched her video of Valentine for Ernest Mann.  Showing the video made it feel like she was right there with us having a conversation.  Then we read the poem again and again, talking about it at length.  This poem can start a classroom controversy over whether or not skunks are really beautiful.

I asked my students to re-read the poem again and find some words that speak to them and try out their own poem.  I shared my poem. (posted here)

Sometimes poetry magic happens.  It happened for Lani.  She sat quietly with her notebook for a while and came to me to share this poem. She was proud that she wrote the poem from the point of view of the poem.  I think she caught the golden fish on the first try.


You can try to look for me
and I won’t be there
I won’t be in a drawer or
in your pocket. I won’t be
on a shiny plate ready to
share. Since you can’t order
me like you order a
Big Mac at McDonalds
You will have to search for
me like archeologists search
for bones. It will take a
while to find me and
it won’t be easy if
I’m in your hair or in
a skunk’s eyes. You
just have to look. I can
be anywhere from the
outside to inside your home.
The most likely place that
I will be is in the back
of your mind, ready to
happen and be shared.

–Lani, 5th grade (after Naomi Shihab Nye’s Valentine for Ernest Mann)

Read Full Post »

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

This long Labor Day weekend was just the time I needed to clean out.  Usually it’s a summer chore, but this summer I traveled quite a bit, so I put it off.  In a month, my daughter is getting married.  We are hosting the rehearsal dinner at our house.  I want things to look nice.

Obviously, no one will be looking in my drawers, but I’ll know they are neat and organized.

Cleaning out also leads to memories.  I found this Thanku poem written by Kylon when he was in third grade.  I think he’s in 8th grade this year.


I was thinking about the little gems and memories today when I wrote poetry with my students.  We were discussing Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem Valentine for Ernest Mann and how poems can hide.

Note: Kylon wrote this poem, but Kieran was the boy who cried on the last day of school.  Both were gifts in their own way.


Poems Hide

Sometimes when you aren’t even looking, you find them,
tucked into the junk drawer, sticking out,
saying, “Here I am; Read me aloud!”

That’s where I found this poem.
I was looking for something else,
a roll of tape maybe,
but what I found was this gift
from that last day of school
when you cried into your mother’s lap
because you would never be in third grade again
with me,
with Mr. Pants, the class guinea pig,
or with that desk
that had become your sacred space.

Things change, Kieran,
but memories live on,
Like poems
in the junk drawer.

–Margaret Simon







Read Full Post »

Older Posts »