Poetry Friday

15 Words or Less – PhotoPoetry

Laura Salas is taking the month of July off from blogging. She asked if I would like to host 15 words or less photopoetry for the month and I said sure! This is no pressure, lots of fun. If you’re not familiar with it, you can read the guidelines here.

Here’s this week’s picture.

What does this make you think of? Are you going down or freezing at the top in fear?

If you’d like to play, just choose any topic this image makes come to your mind and write a quick 15 Words or Less poem. Your poem doesn’t have to describe this photo. The picture is just a jumping-off point.  Basically look at the picture and write a poem of 15 words or less inspired by the photo. Please add your byline to the poem so I can include it in the poetry Friday roundup.

Go on. You know you want to.

Thursday, July 9, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , |29 Comments

My Friends Had Fathers

Yes, Poetry Friday is here. Please leave a link to your post here in the comments and I’ll add them to the post throughout the day.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to post for this week’s Poetry Friday. Then a few people sent me their links early and I went and read their posts (and sniffled a little) and was struck with a childhood memory that I had pushed to the back of my mind for over 45 years. I was compelled to try and capture the memory in a poem and then either brave enough or foolish enough to post it here. The poem might upset some people and for that, I apologize.

MY FRIENDS HAD FATHERS

My friends had fathers
who all were soldiers,
who went off to fight
instead of staying safe, at home.

My mother had a father
who did his part,
and an uncle who enlisted
the day he turned 18.

My grandmother had two brothers
who carried guns to battle, side by side.
One came home without a leg.
One never came home at all

I had a mother who shoved me in the closet
when the men in suits, came to the door

Shush now, don’t tell them
where your father went.

Easy enough.
I didn’t know.

I wish my father had been strong enough,
not of body but of heart,
strong enough to do the right thing,
even if he felt afraid

I wish my father had been someone I could be proud of,
someone who fought for us,
someone who believed his family and his country,
were worth protecting.

I wish my father
had been a soldier.

— Susan Taylor Brown
May 21, 2009

© Susan Taylor Brown, 2009

Leave a link to your Poetry Friday post here in the comments and I’ll add them to the post throughout the day. Please remember I am in California for there may be a slight time delay.

NOTE: Please leave your NAME and a PERMALINK  to your post so that I don’t have to go visit every blog just to do the round-up. Thanks!

THE ROUND-UP!

I will continue to add to this throughout the day.

We had a lot of original poems this week. I love that poets are sharing original work on the blogs and I thank them all for letting us see these pieces of their work that may or may not ever appear anywhere else.


ORIGINAL POEMS

I have an original poem about my draft doging father above,

Violet at Book Brew posted her original poem Wisdom of the Scarecrow.

Over at Gotta Book, Greg talks about two of his favorite topics, baseball and poetry, and about a site that mixes them both, including an original poem of his own.

A Wrung Sponge was inspired by it feeling like summer with the neighborhood kids cavorting and posted an original haiku. and Lorie Ann Grover, rgz diva/author has Highlighted, another original haiku.

Kristy Dempsey is in with her own take on hope (a la Dickinson’s feathery version).

There’s an amazing bunch of 15 Words or Less poems–all eggshell-inspired–up today at with Laura Salas.

Irene Latham contributes another original poem in her historical women series, this one about Picasso’s widow Jacqueline.

Mitali Perkins says, “I’m in with a poem about old world parents raising a new world teen — Pathos by 17-year-old Miranda, the third-prize winner from last year’s Fire Escape poetry contest.”

MiaZagora was inspired to rework the words of her nephew into a poem here. (Note, you can’t comment on this poem unless you are a member of the team.)

The theme of loss is strong this week. A husband missing his wife shares his original poem Waiting to Sleep . Another original poem is, Shadow Loss, by Tiel Aisha and Lost is an original poem by Priya Ganesan at Book Crumbs.

Holly Cupala posts a poem she wrote from a workshop with poet Ellen Hopkins.

Melissa D. Johnston shares an original poem about her grandmother.

Serena Woods shares her original poem Genetics

Mer Blackwood says, “I posted an outtake from my major work in progress, a fantasy poem I’ve been working on since 1999. A while back, I had to cut out a subplot. I think this scene, The Endless Echo of Defeat can stand alone as a vignette.

POEMS BY OTHERS

Keep a tissue handy when you read Sara Lewis Holmes post about her poetry and tear filled visit to the Liberty Bell.

Stop by The Write Sisters  Was a Man by Philip Booth,  a poem about introspection.

Celebrations abound this Poetry Friday as Julie at The Drift Record celebrates the appointment of Ruth Padel, to the position of Oxford Professor of Poetry (the first woman to hold the post since it was created in 1708) with Padel’s poem Tigers Drinking Over at Forest Pool.

Jama Marattigan celebrates National Strawberry Month with a poem by Genevieve Taggard and in honor of her niece, Meg, who is graduating from high school today, Carol posted God Says Yes To Me

Kurious Kitty shares Eavan Boland’s Dublin, 1959 and Karen Edmisten introduces us to Barbara Crooker,

Everything’s coming up Roses and Rue by Oscar Wilde, thanks to Little Willow.

Pull on your cowboy books and mosey over to Liz Scanlon and read all about the great big state of Texas.

Poems about animals? Of course we have them. First there is St. Francis and the Sow by Galway Kinnell over at 7-Imp and then over at readertotz you can read Kookaburra.

Susan shares Morning 85 a poem by a local poet she discovered in a literary tour of her hometown.

Semicolon talks about poetry and hymnic research.

The Stenhouse Blog posts What I Know About Epistemology by John Surowiecki.

Amy Planchak Graves shares Green Grass and Dandelions by Margaret Wise Brown.

Another post  dedicated to our heroes in our lives from Stella.

Mary Lee has a poem for teachers by Tracy Vaughn Zimmer for teachers.

Sarah Rettger says, “This week’s poem is a big thank you to all the people who think about race in writing, put themselves out there, and push me to challenge my privilege. Y’all are awesome, and don’t get nearly enough credit. Read it here at  Archimedes Forgets

REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer has an interview and teacher guide for Hope Anita Smith’s book Mother Poems and MsMac has an interview with Sage Cohen, local Portland author who donated her poetry books to the Bridget Zinn auction.

Elaine Magliaro says, “At Wild Rose Reader, I have recommendations for poetry collections and anthologies that are wonderful for sharing with young children–as well as a link to a post about using a “poetry suitcase” to get kids excited about hearing and talikng about poems.”

Kelly Herold (welcome back to blogging, Kelly) is in with a review of  a biography of William Carlos Williams for the youngsters.

But wait, there are more reviews!

John Mutford reviews a collection by Canadian poet Di Brandt called Speaking of Power ,Anastasia Suen talks about Kristy Dempsey’s brand-new picture book debut Me With You and over on Great Kid Books, Mary Ann recommends Tap Dancing on the Roof, by Linda Sue Park. It’s full of funny poems that make kids think.

Kelly Fineman has terrific interview with Ryan Mecum, the author of ZOMBIE HAIKU.

AUDIO AND VIDEO

At Blue Rose Girls Elaine shares a Favorite Poem Project video of Stephen Conteaguero talking about his life and reciting the poem Politics by William Butler Yates in honor of Memorial Day.

Diane Myar takes a look at Today I look at YouTube poetry .

 

Friday, May 22, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems|Tags: |73 Comments

Poetry Friday – Nils Peterson, Silicon Valley's first Poet Laureate

Recently Santa Clara county appointed its first ever Poet Laureate, Nils Peterson. Peterson hopes to help make poetry more accessible to people who otherwise might not "get" poetry. Isn’t that what Poetry Friday is all about?

From a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News about Peterson:

"When you write poetry, you see the world differently, you see it more sharply," muses Peterson, who refers to himself as a coffee shop poet. "If you look at things hard enough, they start to look back at you."

The poet hopes that language can help us catch our breath in the world as change comes fast and hard all around us.

"Poetry takes a snapshot of where we are so we can look back," says Peterson. "We are all moving so quickly that we forget, we begin to live in a perpetual present. Poetry helps us remember."

You can read more about Peterson at the Poetry Center San Jose.

Where Here Is

How will we know where here is
until it tells us, until this oak speaks
its story and these grasses whisper
what their mothers said to them
when they were seedlings? The crow
overhead is not just a carrier of
crowness. It speaks with the caw
of its own life. The air about us
is this air carrying smell messages
from the majesty of this place.
Knowing where here is — is paying
back the world with our attention,
not planting a heavy foot on the shore
of the earth like a conquistador.

— Nils Peterson

The round-up of all the Poetry Friday posts in the blogosphere can be found with Kelly Polark.

Friday, May 15, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |6 Comments

15 Words or Less – PhotoPoetry

Laura Salas is off on another round of school visits promoting her new book STAMPEDE.  She asked if I would like to host 15 words or less photopoetry this week and I said sure! This is no pressure, lots of fun. If you’re not familiar with it, you can read the guidelines here.

Here’s this week’s picture.

What does this make you think of? A window? A tunnel? A trap? Which side are you on?

If you’d like to play, just choose any topic this image makes come to your mind and write a quick 15 Words or Less poem. Your poem doesn’t have to describe this photo. The picture is just a jumping-off point.  Basically look at the picture and write a poem of 15 words or less inspired by the photo. Please add your byline to the poem so I can include it in the poetry Friday roundup.

Go on. You know you want to.

 

Thursday, April 30, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |21 Comments

The Poems (All Locked Up) April 17, 2009

This was the picture I posted yesterday while filling in for [info]laurasalas  on 15 Words or Less Photopoetry. What does this make you think of? Where do you think the keys are for all those locks? Does it make you smile?

 

Here are the poems people wrote as a result.

SHACKLED

I’m all locked up,
I don’t know why…
Better to ponder,
than sit and cry…

– Fred Higgins

PICKLOCK’S FINAL EXAM

From experience
one finds that
the key to
most locks
is not
using a key.

– dmayr

 

LOCKED UP

In this room
feeling locked up
With no key
there’s no escape

– Linda Bozzo

Lockdown!

“They’re having a party.
Can I go?
Oh, don’t be so dramatic.
Just say no.”

– Cindyb

 

First Warm Day of Spring

Lock a year
19 years
all clicked free
Key?
one canoe
you
and
six beers.

– Pat Schmatz

 

Passages

In and out.
Or not out?
Who comes?
Who doesn’t go?
Scattered.

– Becky Levine

My brain
Without coffee
Locked
In disarray

– Jeannine Garsee

Key to Her Heart

He searched for the key to her heart
Like so many others before him

– Rick Wainright

Friday, April 17, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , |5 Comments

15 Words or Less – PhotoPoetry

Laura Salas is off on another round of school visits promoting her new book STAMPEDE.  She asked if I would like to host 15 words or less photopoetry this week and I said sure! This is no pressure, lots of fun. If you’re not familiar with it, you can read the guidelines here.

Here’s this week’s picture.

What does this make you think of? Where do you think the keys are for all those locks? Does it make you smile?

If you’d like to play, just choose any topic this image makes come to your mind and write a quick 15 Words or Less poem. Your poem doesn’t have to describe this photo. The picture is just a jumping-off point.  Basically look at the picture and write a poem of 15 words or less inspired by the photo. Please add your byline to the poem so I can include it in the poetry Friday roundup.

Go on. You know you want to.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |23 Comments

Where Do I Go?

I woke up thinking about libraries and how much they have meant to me over the years. I have often said the books saved me until I was strong enough to save myself. And the idea for this poem came to me….rough around the edges as I just wrote it an hour ago.

 

WHERE DO I GO?

Where do I go
when home is not enough
or becomes too much
to bear?

Where do I go
to find myself
when I am lost
to find others
who are just like me
or not like me
or from a place
I wish I could call
my own?

Where do I go
to take a chance
to follow my dreams
to learn to believe
who I am
is more than enough
for me to be?

I go to books
and find
new worlds

I go to books
and find
new friends

I go to books
and
find myself.

Susan Taylor Brown
@copyright Susan Taylor Brown 2009

The full Poetry Friday round-up is with Julie Larios at The Drift Record.

If you love books and libraries as much as I do, please consider backing up one post in the blog and making a comment to help the cause.

Friday, March 27, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday, Susan's Original Poems|Tags: , , |16 Comments

The Poems – February 27, 2009

The uber busy Laura Salas, aka laurasalas is battling the elements and off on a round of school visits. (Lucky schools.) She asked if I would like to host 15 words or less photopoetry this week and I said sure! This is no pressure, lots of fun. If you’re not familiar with it, you can read the guidelines here.

What does this make you think of? A dog fight waiting to happen? Making friends? Staying as far away as possible? Your allergies?

If you’d like to play, just choose any topic this image makes come to your mind and write a quick 15 Words or Less poem. Your poem doesn’t have to describe this photo. The picture is just a jumping-off point. If you’ve never played before, check out the guidelines in the sidebar. Leave your poem in a comment and I’ll include it in my post of poems tomorrow. Have fun with it!  

 

Here are yesterday’s poems:

PEANUT BUTTER
by C Federoff

Stuck.
To my nose.
To my lips.
To the roof of my mouth.
Peanut Butter.

~ardentreader

 

WHEN DOGS MEET

Nose to nose
to nose
quivering
whining
one by one
by one
tails
wag.

–Diane Mayr

 

give the ball
to the little guy
no one will suspect
the halfback sneak

–halfmoon_mollie

 

First one
to the rotting, stinking bone
wins.

Huh! Two! Three!

GO!

–Becky Levine

 

Winnie the poohi
A circle of three,
Air, earth and sea;
Strength, justice and spirit
Love, hope and dreams..
The holy trinity

–mylifeinrhymingwords.blogspot.com

 

Synchronizing smells
Meeting of minds
Evolving telepathy
Life in community
We can all get along

–vlpalmquist

 

Trio of trouble
We’ll always be
Friends times three,
You, her, me.
Let’s go shopping, Whee!

Cindyb

 

Old Friends Meet
After
A
long
absence
Introductions are needed
but
someone
is facing
the wrong
Way

— hulabunny

 

Staring contest
You’re right in front of me
Gazing, contemplating, scrutinizing
But you can’t really see me

— smokingtoaster

 

A SHORT TAIL
Barking stories.
Territories.
Dogs are staring.
Nostrils flaring.
Lots of sniffing.
No more tiffing.
Friends in making.
Tails are shaking.

— by Kelly Polark

 

You may be big
I may be small
But our noses
Feel just
the
Same

— Jen Lehmann

 

Spun the bottle
Twice,
Now there’s three
Nose to nose
Kisses.

— Marianne H. Nielsen

Move Over

You’re in my way.
Why don’t you move?
Can you not see?
I’m ignoring you.

— Judy
Detente is over

Diplomacy unraveled
Tried sniffing butts
Now the only solution left
Is war between the mutts

Rick Wainright

Friday, February 27, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |4 Comments

15 Words or less photopoetry

The uber busy Laura Salas, aka laurasalas is battling the elements and off on a round of school visits. (Lucky schools.) She asked if I would like to host 15 words or less photopoetry this week and I said sure! This is no pressure, lots of fun. If you’re not familiar with it, you can read the guidelines here.

Basically look at the picture and write a poem of 15 words or less inspired by the photo. Please add your byline to the poem so I can include it in the poetry Friday roundup.

Here’s this week’s picture.

What does this make you think of? A dog fight waiting to happen? Making friends? Staying as far away as possible? Your allergies?

If you’d like to play, just choose any topic this image makes come to your mind and write a quick 15 Words or Less poem. Your poem doesn’t have to describe this photo. The picture is just a jumping-off point. If you’ve never played before, check out the guidelines in the sidebar. Leave your poem in a comment and I’ll include it in my post of poems tomorrow. Have fun with it!  

 

Thursday, February 26, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |29 Comments

The Love Song of Wolfgang Puck (with apologies to T.S. Eliot) by Eileen Tse

Eileen Tse, aka hulabunny , posted this last month but I didn’t think it got the attention it should have so I am, with her permission, reposted it for Poetry Friday. For your reading pleasure I present a parody of T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”  (click here if you want to read the original first.)

The Love Song of Wolfgang Puck
(with apologies to T.S. Eliot)

by Eileen Tse

Mettez une tasse de farine dans la sucre.  Ajoutez
une petite cuillere de vanille et deux oeufs, frappe.
Melangez bien.  Enfin, ajoutez une demie tasse de
chocolat amer.  Frappez avec un CuisinArt. (1)

Let us go then, you and I,
When the neon stretches out across the sky
Like a turkey laid upon a carving board;
Let us go, through certain over-crowded dining halls,
The shopping malls
Full of rundown Dairy Queens and Taco Bells
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Aromas that smell of a hearty bouillabaisse
Waft down alleyways
To lead you to an overwhelming question…
Do not ask, “That scent!  Oh, what is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

The women dine on macaroni
Talking of Caffe Borrone.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellowtail that lies atop a bed of rice,
Garnished with pickled ginger on the side;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a luncheon to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to cook and bake,
And time for all the types and sorts of gadgets
That frost and decorate your cake;
Time for fish and time for veal,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of the mid-day meal.

The women dine on jumbalaya
Talking of La Pastaia.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Tuna ahi?” and “Quiche Lorraine?”
Time to take the pasta out to drain,
With the sauce just a little bit too plain –
[They will say: “My, but her recipe is faulty!”]
My salad dish, croutons seasoned but not too salty,
My chowder rich and creamy, accented with a hint of poultry –
[They will say: “But how her food is paltry!”]
Do I dare
Disturb the cheese souffle?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which in a minute can go either way.

For I have known these meals already, known them well:
Have known the dinners, breakfasts, lunches,
I have measured out my life by weekend brunches;
I know the scallops steaming in the half-shell
Beneath the herbs and spices from the Indies West.

So how should I digest?

I should have baked the king crab’s claws
Scuttling across the floors of Lucky’s.

No!  I am not Julia Child, nor was meant to be;
I am an amateur chef, one that will do
To grill a lamb chop, toss a salad or two….

I grow full… I grow full…
I shall unzip my trousers to let my belly roll.

Shall I indulge in dessert?  Do I dare eat a peach?
I shall try the white chocolate mousse, then work it off at Reach.
I have heard the waitresses singing, “Tip us!  Tip us each!”

We have lingered in the chambers of the feast
By bus-boys clad in aprons red and brown
Till indigestion shakes us, and we drown.

(1) This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens, which features various dessert recipes.  This is taken from the recipe for Nuages au Chocolat, a fluffy chocolate dessert not unlike a chocolate souffle.   “Put one cup of flour in the sugar.  Add a teaspoon of vanilla and two eggs, beaten.  Then, add a half cup of bittersweet chocolate.  Beat in a CuisinArt.”

Eileen’s original post on the poem can be found here.

The roundup today is at The Holly and the Ivy

Friday, February 20, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |19 Comments

Cloudy, With a Chance of Poems by Lawrence Schimel

We are actually enjoying some much needed rain here in San Jose this week so this poem by Lawrence Schimel, aka[info]desayunoencama , appealed to me. It originally appeared here in the Christian Science Monitor. It is reprinted here with Lawrence’s permission.

Cloudy, With a Chance of Poems

The Weatherman predicts
a partially sunny day.
But the Poet doesn’t care
if it rains or if the sun shines;
there’s poetry in every kind of weather.

An idea for a poem
blows in like a sudden storm,
words dropping into the Poet’s mind
in a clear, quick rhythm
like the pitter-pat of rain
against the rooftop.

An image seen in the shadow of a cloud
suddenly sparks another poem
quick as lightning forking the sky.

Fair weather or foul,
the Poet welcomes all possibilities.

The Poet predicts today will be
a day with a chance of poems.

by Lawrence Schimel

The Poetry Friday roundup is with[info]laurasalas  today. Read more Poetry Friday posts or add your link here.

Friday, January 23, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |9 Comments

Lost by David Wagoner

I came across this poem today while looking for poems to use at juvenile hall next week. I was searching for several "identity" types of poems to cut up and let the students rebuild. So often the hardest thing to do is to just stay still, be quiet, be who you are so the world can find you.

Lost

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

David Wagoner

Learn more about this poet here.

This week’s round-up of all the Poetry Friday posts can be found here, with thanks to Anastaia Suen

Friday, January 9, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |6 Comments

Now I Become Myself by May Sarton

I haven’t done Poetry Friday in a long time but I have been rereading this poem a lot of late. I printed it out to keep near me in my office to remind me of my most important goal for the coming year, to be here, be now. I need to become closer to the me that others see and realize that person is a person of value. I want to be comfortable in my skin, whatever shape it may be at the moment.

Now I Become Myself

Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
“Hurry, you will be dead before—”
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

May Sarton

http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/52015-May-Sarton-Now-I-Become-Myself

The round-up for Poetry Friday can be found at A Year of Reading,
http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2009/01/poetry-friday-roundup-is-here.html

Friday, January 2, 2009|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |5 Comments

Wistaria by Witter Bynner

I am still seeking poetry of the air, the clouds, the freedom of flight. I found this one when searching on “clouds” and while it may not be about the freedom of flight, any poem which mentions the poppy is all good in my book. 🙂

Wistaria

Clouds dream and disappear;
Waters dream in a rainbow and are gone;
Fire-dreams change with the sun
Or when a poppy closes;
But now is the time of year
For the dark earth, one by one,
To show her slower dreams. And nothing she has 
                       ever done
Has given more ease
To her perplexities
Than the dreaming of dreams like these:
Not irises,
Not any spear
Of lilies or cup of roses,
But these pale, purple images,
As if, from willows or from pepper trees,
Shadows were glimmering on Buddha’s knees. 

~~~ Witter Bynner

Read more about this poet at Wikipediia.
 
The round-up for this week’s Poetry Friday is at Check It Out.

Friday, December 28, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |9 Comments

The Poet’s Secret by Eizabeth Stoddard

So often the words of a poet seem both mysterious and magical to me. This poem seemed to captured my thoughts about the elusiveness of painting pictures with our words.

The Poet’s Secret 
 
 
The poet’s secret I must know, 
  If that will calm my restless mind. 
I hail the seasons as they go, 
  I woo the sunshine, brave the wind. 
 
I scan the lily and the rose,         
  I nod to every nodding tree, 
I follow every stream that flows, 
  And wait beside the steadfast sea. 
 
I question melancholy eyes, 
  I touch the lips of women fair:        
Their lips and eyes may make me wise, 
  But what I seek for is not there. 
 
In vain I watch the day and night, 
  In vain the world through space may roll; 
I never see the mystic light          
  Which fills the poet’s happy soul. 
 
Through life I hear the rhythmic flow 
  Whose meaning into song must turn; 
Revealing all he longs to know, 
  The secret each alone must learn.         
  
by Elizabeth Stoddard 

The round-up this week is over at http://ginasblogging.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 21, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |2 Comments

Sheep by C. Kennett Burrow

I don’t know much about this poet but I loved the image this poem brought to my mind. 

Sheep
Huddled, rain-drenched, forlorn they stood,
Their fleeces blown one way;
The wet wind cried in solitude
About the failing day.

Leaves whirled below, aloft; the sky
Sagged like a sodden shroud;
No stir of life, no pleading cry,
Came from the draggled crowd.

Sudden the western portals wide
Opened on that gaunt fold;
Then lo, a flock beautified
With fleeces dripping gold!

C. Kennett Burrow  

Friday, December 14, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |3 Comments

Chapter Heading by Ernest Hemingway

One doesn’t often think of Hemingway as a poet which is why I like this little gem. (Okay, we also share a birthday.) It also matches how I feel with going to work the day job when I would so much rather be home working on my next book.

Chapter Heading

For we have thought the longer thoughts
And gone the shorter way.
And we have danced to devil’s tunes
Shivering home to pray;
To serve one master in the night,
Another in the day.

Ernest Hemingway

The round-up this week is over at Becky’s Book Reviews.

Friday, December 7, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |2 Comments

nobody loses all the time by e.e. cummings

I discovered e.e. cummings at a very young age, much younger than I was probably ready to understand or appreciate him. It was a rebel time in the 70s and his unconventional formatting appealed to me. So much so that I appropriated the style for my own poems for a while. (Probably longer than I should have.)

nobody loses all the time

i had an uncle named
Sol who was a born failure and
nearly everybody said he should have gone
into vaudeville perhaps because my Uncle Sol could
sing McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve like

Hell Itself which
may or may not account for the fact that my Uncle

Sol indulged in that possibly most inexcusable
of all to use a highfalootin phrase
luxuries that is or to
wit farming and be
it needlessly
added

my Uncle Sol’s farm
failed because the chickens
ate the vegetables so
my Uncle Sol had a
chicken farm till the
skunks ate the chickens when

my Uncle Sol
had a skunk farm but
the skunks caught cold and
died and so
my Uncle Sol imitated the
skunks in a subtle manner

or by drowning himself in the watertank
but somebody who’d given my Uncle Sol a Victor
Victrola and records while he lived presented to
him upon the auspicious occasion of his decease a
scruptious not to mention splendiferous funeral with
tall boys in black gloves and flowers and everything

and
i remember we all cried like the Missouri
when my Uncle Sol’s coffin lurched because
somebody pressed a button
(and down went
my Uncle
Sol

and started a worm farm)

e. e. cummings

 

Whoops – I forgot to add that The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Two Writing Teachers today.
Friday, November 30, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |10 Comments

The Sky by Alfred Kreymborg

I went looking for a poem that I could connect to my current WIP which is about flying and this one caught my eye because of the title. While I can’t connect it in the way I wanted to, I felt moved by it enough to share it. Alfred Kreymborg was an American poet, the son of a couple who ran a cigar store and a lifelong friend of the more famous poet, Carl Sandburg. You can read more about Kreyborg here at Wikipedia.

THE SKY

Is that beautiful old parchment
In which the sun
And the moon
Keep their diary.
To read it all,
One must be a linguist
More learned than Father Wisdom;
And a visionary
More clairvoyant than Mother Dream.
But to feel it,
One must be an apostle:
One who is more than intimate
In having been, always,
The only confidant—
Like the earth
Or the sky.

Alfred Kreymborg (1883–1966)


THE ROUND-UP

If I missed you, please leave a note in the comments and if you are late to the party, never fear and still leave a note so I can add you to the final round-up.

Well I’m in above with “The Sky” by Alfred Kreymborg.  🙂

The Shelf Elf starts things off with a  look at Genevieve Cote’s illustrated edition of The Lady of Shalott.

Stacey from Two Writing Teachers shares an original list poem about being thankful.

In with another original poem, Cloudscome at A Wrung Sponge is following Miss Rumphius Effect’s poetry stretch in writing an apology poem.

After a very strange encounter with a spider poem this morning Mary Lee shares “A Noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman. 

TadMack brings “Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden to the table for us to feast upon.

I’m loving all the creativity Poetry Friday is inspiring. It seems like we are getting more and more submissions of original poems.

John Mutford joins those sharing original poetry with “Written Up: A Novice Poet Down On Paper.” 

D.H. Lawrence can be found with Tricia at Miss Rumphius Effect where she shares his poem “At the Window.”

Kelly Fineman has some great information about the very poetic Rossetti family including two poems, “Heart’s Compass” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and “Sonnet” by Christina Rossetti.

Jules at 7-Imp has not-shopping and Thomas Merton on the mind today.

Liz Scanlon is in with a little gratitude, a sonnet announcment and a little Rumi.

Charlotte of Charlottes Library has a plea for help from those familar with the oddities of blogging at blogspot.com. She also shares “Epistle to be left on Earth,” by Archibald Macleish.

Westminster Phase is “Playing” with Mary Oliver.

Ruth challenges you to look at the world through different eyes with  with her post  linking to “Man in a Parking Lot” by Catherine Jagoe and her thoughts on Gwendolyn Brooks poem, “To an Old Black Woman, Homeless and Indistinct” at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town.

Sheila at Greenridge Chronicles shares a found poem (found on her desk, that is.)

Another original poem very appropriate for Poetry Friday is Magic of Ink by Becky Laney at BLBooks.

Writerjenn has a discussion of a great Marge Piercy book on poetry (and much more).

A pair of Thanksgiving Poems: “I Ate Too Much Turkey” by Jack Prelutsky and “Giving Thanks” by Eve Merriam courtesy of Shannon Cole at The Cole Mine

Becky at Farm School has Paul Engle’s “A Modern Romance”, about “a packaged life”, which seemed just right for Black Friday.

Michele at Scholar’s Blog is in with her favourite poet – Shakespeare to get us in the mood for winter weather.

You can read “November” by Elizabeth Coatsworth thanks to Suzanne at Adventures in Daily Living. Did you know that each week Suzanne also posts the code for the round-up to be linked to the lovely Poetry Friday button? Thanks, Suzanne.

Crooked House sweetens the day with “Gingerbread Children” by Ilo Orleans.

Marcie at World of Words shares some E.E. Cummings poetry, inspired after reading Catherine Reef’s biography of Cummings.

Don’t foget to check out Lisa Chellman’s review of F E G: Ridiculous Stupid Poems for Intelligent Children, by Robin Hirsch.

A few more late editions (I love this – having them all in one place – so please let me know if you posted something,)

Kelly at Big A little a is in with some academic haiku.

You can giggle at the The Elf and the Dormouse by Oliver Herford over at Slayground.

And Slyvia Vardell tell us all about the NCTE poetry blast at Poetry for Children.

If I’ve made any goofs – please let me know so I can correct them.

Friday, November 23, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |36 Comments

Hillaire Belloc and The Microbe

Yesterday was the last day at work for my boss. It was hard to say goodbye to him as he was the one who brought me on board when I came back to California from New Orleans many years ago. Harder for him as he had been with the company over 21 years. All the poems I found about saying goodbye were about people dying which was not at all appropriate. However he is a delightful Frenchman (who has never lost his accent) and this is a delightful poem by a Frenchman with just the sort of attention to detail I think he’d appreciate.

This is from More Beasts for Worse Children by Hillaire Belloc. Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was a French born writer who became a naturalised British subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. More on Belloc at wikipedia

The Microbe

The Microbe is so very small
You cannot make him out at all,
But many sanguine people hope
To see him through a microscope.
His jointed tongue that lies beneath
A hundred curious rows of teeth;
His seven tufted tails with lots
Of lovely pink and purple spots,
On each of which a pattern stands,
Composed of forty separate bands;
His eyebrows of a tender green;
All these have never yet been seen–
But Scientists, who ought to know,
Assure us that they must be so….
Oh! let us never, never doubt
What nobody is sure about!  

The round-up for Poetry Friday is over at the hostess with the mostess, Kelly at Big A litte a. Next week’s round-up will be HERE!

 

Friday, November 16, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |6 Comments

How a Cat Was Annoyed and a Poet Was Booted by Guy Wetmore Carryl

I went looking for a poem about a little rhino and came up with this one instead by Guy Wetmore Carryl.

How a Cat Was Annoyed and a Poet Was Booted

A POET had a cat.
There is nothing odd in that—
(I might make a little pun about the Mews!)
But what is really more
Remarkable, she wore
A pair of pointed patent-leather shoes.
And I doubt me greatly whether
E’er you heard the like of that:
Pointed shoes of patent-leather
On a cat!

His time he used to pass
Writing sonnets, on the grass—
(I might say something good on pen and sward!)
While the cat sat near at hand,
Trying hard to understand
The poems he occasionally roared.
(I myself possess a feline,
But when poetry I roar
He is sure to make a bee-line
For the door.)

The poet, cent by cent,
All his patrimony spent—
(I might tell how he went from verse to werse!)
Till the cat was sure she could,
By advising, do him good.
So addressed him in a manner that was terse:
“We are bound toward the scuppers,
And the time has come to act,
Or we’ll both be on our uppers
For a fact!”

On her boot she fixed her eye,
But the boot made no reply—
(I might say: “Couldn’t speak to save its sole!”)
And the foolish bard, instead
Of responding, only read
A verse that wasn’t bad upon the whole.
And it pleased the cat so greatly,
Though she knew not what it meant,
That I’ll quote approximately
How it went:—

“If I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree”—
(I might put in: “I think I’d just as leaf!”)
“Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough”—
Well, he’d plagiarized it bodily, in brief!
But that cat of simple breeding
Couldn’t read the lines between,
So she took it to a leading
Magazine.

She was jarred and very sore
When they showed her to the door.
(I might hit off the door that was a jar!)
To the spot she swift returned
Where the poet sighed and yearned,
And she told him that he’d gone a little far.
“Your performance with this rhyme has
Made me absolutely sick,”
She remarked. “I think the time has
Come to kick!”

I could fill up half the page
With descriptions of her rage—
(I might say that she went a bit too fur!)
When he smiled and murmured: “Shoo!”
“There is one thing I can do!”
She answered with a wrathful kind of purr.
“You may shoo me, and it suit you,
But I feel my conscience bid
Me, as tit for tat, to boot you!”
(Which she did.)

The Moral of the plot
(Though I say it, as should not!)
Is: An editor is difficult to suit.
But again there’re other times
When the man who fashions rhymes
Is a rascal, and a bully one to boot!
Read more about this funny poet who died too young at Wikipedia

Friday, November 9, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |6 Comments

The Little Elf by John Kendrick Bangs

I needed a poem to make me smile today so here’s a little one by John Kendrick Bangs.

The Little Elf

I MET a little Elf-man, once,
Down where the lilies blow.
I asked him why he was so small
And why he didn’t grow.

He slightly frowned, and with his eye
He looked me through and through.
“I ’m quite as big for me,” said he,
“As you are big for you,”

John Kendrick Bangs

Read more about Bangs
(sorry – no time to do a summary)

The round-up is over at Mentor Texts & More this week. Don’t forget that the round-up of all the Poetry Friday round-ups can be found here.

Friday, November 2, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |6 Comments

Here there be fairies & William Allingham

William Allingham (March 19, 1824 or 1828 – November 18, 1889) was an Irish man of letters and poet. He was born at Ballyshannon, Donegal, and was the son of the manager of a local bank who was of English descent. He obtained a post in the custom-house of his native town and held several similar posts in Ireland and England until 1870, when he had retired from the service, and became sub-editor of Fraser’s Magazine, which he edited from 1874 to 1879, in succession to James Froude.

In 1874 Allingham married Helen Paterson, known under her married name as a water-colour painter. He died at Hampstead in 1889, and his ashes are interred at St. Anne’s in his native Ballyshannon. You can read more about him in Wikipedia

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Fairies

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We darent go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owls feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

William Allingham

This week’s Poetry Friday round up is at Literary Safari

Friday, October 26, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |11 Comments

My First Memory (of Librarians) by Nikki Giovanni

My wedding anniversay was Wednesday and I pulled out a gift we had a received, a book of love poems by Nikki Giovanni. None of them seemed quite right for Poetry Friday but this one seems just perfect!

My First Memory (of Librarians)
by Nikki Giovanni
This is my first memory:
A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky
wood floor
A line of green shades—bankers’ lights—down the center
Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply
too short
For me to sit in and read
So my first book was always big

In the foyer up four steps a semi-circle desk presided
To the left side the card catalogue
On the right newspapers draped over what looked like
a quilt rack
Magazines face out from the wall

The welcoming smile of my librarian
The anticipation in my heart
All those books—another world—just waiting
At my fingertips.
From Acolytes by Nikki Giovanni.
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19505

 

Check out the round-up of all the Poetry Friday postsat

Friday, October 19, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |12 Comments

The Pobble That Has No Toes by Edward Lear

A side note – I know I am not the first person in the history of the world to move but I must be one of the last to ever get settled. Soon, I hope, to be back to more regular posting. Thanks for those who have written to check on me. So for Poetry Friday, a little nonesense seems to be in order.

THE POBBLE WHO HAS NO TOES

The Pobble who has no toes
Had once as many as we;
When they said “Some day you may lose them all;”
He replied “Fish, fiddle-de-dee!”
And his Aunt Jobiska made him drink
Lavender water tinged with pink,
For she said “The World in general knows
There’s nothing so good for a Pobble’s toes!”

The Pobble who has no toes
Swam across the Bristol Channel;
But before he set out he wrapped his nose
In a piece of scarlet flannel.
For his Aunt Jobiska said “No harm
Can come to his toes if his nose is warm;
And it’s perfectly known that a Pobble’s toes
Are safe, — provided he minds his nose!”

The Pobble swam fast and well,
And when boats or ships came near him,
He tinkledy-blinkledy-winkled a bell,
So that all the world could hear him.
And all the Sailors and Admirals cried,
When they saw him nearing the further side –
“He has gone to fish for his Aunt Jobiska’s
Runcible Cat with crimson whiskers!”

But before he touched the shore,
The shore of the Bristol Channel,
A sea-green porpoise carried away
His wrapper of scarlet flannel.
And when he came to observe his feet,
Formerly garnished with toes so neat,
His face at once became forlorn,
On perceiving that all his toes were gone!

And nobody ever knew,
From that dark day to the present,
Whoso had taken the Pobble’s toes,
In a manner so far from pleasant.
Whether the shrimps, or crawfish grey,
Or crafty Mermaids stole them away –
Nobody knew: and nobody knows
How the Pobble was robbed of his twice five toes!

The Pobble who has no toes
Was placed in a friendly Bark,
And they rowed him back, and carried him up
To his Aunt Jobiska’s Park.
And she made him a feast at his earnest wish
Of eggs and buttercups fried with fish, –
And she said “It’s a fact the whole world knows,
That Pobbles are happier without their toes!”

— Edward Lear

Friday, April 20, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |6 Comments

Notice What This Poem is Not Doing by William Stafford

Okay, I’m editing this entry to add a couple of comments I didn’t have time for this morning. I have no idea what the answer is to the question asked in the title of this poem. The only thing I came up with was that it didn’t rhyme which is what some people think makes something a poem. Other people are responding with their own thoughts but I must confess that I feel better knowing I’m not the only one a wee bit perplexed by it.

NOTICE WHAT THIS POEM IS NOT DOING

The light along the hills in the morning
comes down slowly, naming the trees
white, then coasting the ground for stones to nominate.

Notice what this poem is not doing.

A house, a house, a barn, the old
quarry, where the river shrugs–
how much of this place is yours?

Notice what this poem is not doing.

Every person gone has taken a stone
to hold, and catch the sun. The carving
says, “Not here, but called away.”

Notice what this poem is not doing.

The sun, the earth, the sky, all wait.
The crowns and redbirds talk. The light
along the hills has come, has found you.

Notice what this poem has not done.

— William Stafford

Friday, April 13, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: , |9 Comments

The Candle by Edna St.Vincent Millay

Not that I would know a thing about burning my candle at both ends, mind you, but this short poem spoke to me today.

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–
It gives a lovely light! 
— Edna St.Vincent Millay

 

Friday, April 6, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |28 Comments

Serious Omission by John Farrar

For this week’s Poetry Friday I give you John Farrar and dragons, or a serious lack of.

Serious Omission 

I know that there are dragons, 
St. George’s, Jason’s, too, 
And many modern dragons 
With scales of green and blue;

But though I’ve been there many times 
And carefully looked through, 
I can’t find a dragon 
In the cages at the zoo! 

 John Farrar

Friday, March 30, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |2 Comments

Sick Fish by Kenn Nesbitt

Trying to get back into the Poetry Friday habit I went looking for a poem to make me laugh. I found this one by Kenn Nesbitt on his site http://www.poetry4kids.com

Sick Fish

The fish in our aquarium
are looking rather ill,
and most of them are turning
kind of green around the gill.

I might have fed them too much food,
forgot to clean their tank,
or maybe they’re allergic to
the toys and junk I sank.

Perhaps I broke the thermostat.
I could have cut their air.
What’s certain is they’re sickly
from my downright lack of care.

But even though they’re looking ill
I still have cause to gloat;
they’re obviously talented–
they’re learning how to float!

–Kenn Nesbitt

Friday, March 23, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |15 Comments

Home, Sweet Home by John Howard Payne

Home, Sweet Home 
 
Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,  
Be it ever so humble there ‘s no place like home!  
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,  
Which, seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere.   
    Home! home! sweet, sweet home!          
    There ‘s no place like home!  
  
An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain:  
O, give me my lowly thatched cottage again!  
The birds singing gayly that came at my call;—  
Give me them,—and the peace of mind dearer than all!   
    Home! home! sweet, sweet home!  
    There ‘s no place like home!  
  
How sweet ‘t is to sit ‘neath a fond father’s smile,  
And the cares of a mother to soothe and beguile!  
Let others delight mid new pleasures to roam,   
But give me, oh, give me, the pleasures of home!  
    Home! home! sweet, sweet home!  
    There ‘s no place like home!  
  
To thee I ‘ll return, overburdened with care;  
The heart’s dearest solace will smile on me there;   
No more from that cottage again will I roam;  
Be it ever so humble, there ‘s no place like home.  
    Home! home! sweet, sweet home!  
    There ‘s no place like home!

John Howard Payne
 1791–1852
From the Opera of “Clari, the Maid of Milan”

Friday, February 2, 2007|Categories: Poetry Friday|Tags: |4 Comments