Friday, February 15, 2019

A Poem for Harriet Tubman


 
More than a decade ago, I wanted to compose a special poem in honor of Black History Month. I wrote a cento in the voice of Harriet Tubman. I used only the titles of books written by African American authors or books about the African American experience…with one exception—Come with Me, a book of poems that was written by Naomi Shihab Nye.


Cento for Harriet Tubman
by Elaine Magliaro

Hush,
My Brown Angels,
Listen to The Distant Talking Drum.
Hear it Spin a Soft Black Song
Under the Quilt of Night
.


I’m Only Passing Through,
Goin’ Someplace Special
To The Other Side
Where there’s A Sweet Smell of Roses
And Freedom Like Sunlight.


I’ve Seen the Promised Land
A place for All the Colors of the Race.
Now Is Your Time
To be Freedom Walkers.
Follow me on The Road North
To Liberty Street.


Come with Me
To The Other Side
Where we will Make a Joyful Sound.
We will Lift Every Voice and Sing
Sing to the Sun.
Sing Free at Last!



THE BOOKS
Hush by Jacqueline Woodson
Brown Angels by Walter Dean Myers
The Distant Talking Drum by Isaac Olaleye
Spin a Soft Black Song by Nikki Giovanni
Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson

Only Passing Through by Anne Rockwell
Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia C. Mckissack
The Other Side by Angela Johnson
A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson
Freedom Like Sunlight by J. Patrick Lewis

I’ve Seen the Promised Land by Walter Dean Myers
All the Colors of the Race by Arnold Adoff
Now Is Your Time! by Walter Dean Myers
Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman
The Road North by Bettye Stroud
Liberty Street by Candice F. Ransom

Come with Me by Naomi Shihab Nye
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson

Make a Joyful Sound: Poems for Children by African-American Poets edited by Deborah Slier
Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson
Sing to the Sun by Ashley Bryan
Free at Last! By Doreen Rappaport
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Jone has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Check It Out.

 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Welcome to the New Year by Eleanor Farjeon



Welcome to the New Year
by Eleanor Farjeon

Hey, my lad, ho, my lad!
    Here's a New Broom.
Heaven's your housetop
    And Earth is your room.
 Tuck up your shirtsleeves,
    There's plenty to do-
Look at the muddle
    That's waiting for you! Dust in the corners
    And dirt on the floor,
Cobwebs still clinging
    To window and door. Hey, my lad! ho, my lad!
    Nimble and keen-
Here's your New Broom, my lad!
    See you sweep clean.
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Sylvia Vardell has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Poetry for Children.
 
NOTE: Be sure to check out Sylvia's 2019 Sneak Peek Poetry List! 
 
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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


Friday, December 21, 2018

Two Christmas Poems


 
IN THE WEEK WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES
By Eleanor Farjeon
 
This is the week when Christmas comes,
     Let every pudding burst with plums,
And every tree bear dolls and drums,
     In the week when Christmas comes.

Let every hall have boughs of green,
With berries glowing in between,
     In the week when Christmas comes.

Let every doorstep have a song
Sounding the dark street along,
     In the week when Christmas comes.

Let every steeple ring a bell
With a joyful tale to tell,
     In the week when Christmas comes.

Let every night put forth a star
To show us where the heavens are,
     In the week when Christmas comes.

Let every pen enfold a lamb
Sleeping warm beside its dam,
     In the week when Christmas comes.

This is the week when Christmas comes.
 
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[little tree]                                            
 
little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see          i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
 
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid
 
look          the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"
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Buffy Silverman has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.
        

 

Friday, November 30, 2018

When the Year Grows Old by Edna St. Vincent Millay




I've selected a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay titled When the Years Grows Old to post today.

When the Year Grows Old

I cannot but remember
  When the year grows old—
October—November—
  How she disliked the cold!

She used to watch the swallows
  Go down across the sky,
And turn from the window
  With a little sharp sigh.

And often when the brown leaves
  Were brittle on the ground,
And the wind in the chimney
  Made a melancholy sound,

She had a look about her
  That I wish I could forget—
The look of a scared thing
  Sitting in a net!


Click here to read the rest of the poem.

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Sorry that I haven't been posting more frequently. I've been reading and evaluating lots of books as I am one of three judges for the 2019 Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Children's Literature--along with E.B. Lewis and Laura McGee Kvasnosky--and a first round judge for the Cybils Poetry Award.

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You'll find the Poetry Friday Roundup at Carol's Corner today.

Friday, October 12, 2018

WHEN I GET ANGRY: An Original Poem

 
Some time ago, I got an idea for a collection of poems titled The Animal in Me. In the poems, children would imagine themselves to be like certain animals at times depending on how they felt. For example, an angry child might feel like he/she was a grizzly bear--or a child being sent to his/her room as punishment might feel like a big cat trapped in a cage. The collection never went too far. Here is one of the poems from it.
 
WHEN I GET ANGRY
 
When I get angry, I’m a bear…
A grizzly bear
With coarse brown hair
And teeth that tear.
You best beware!
 
When I get angry,
I clench my paws
And snap my jaws.
I prowl and growl
Around my room
And fuss and fume
And stomp the floor
And slam my door…
 
Till
I’m not angry anymore.




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