Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blogroll Update

I decided it was time to update my blogroll. Here are the links that I've added in recent weeks:
  • Gracenotes—Grace Lin’s newest blog
  • Painting Bunnies—Anna Alter’s brand new blog
  • Scrub-a-Dub-Tub—The blog of The Reading Tub
  • TubTalk—Musings on reading and literacy
  • Write Time—The blog of Linda Kulp, a writer and teacher
  • Florian Cafe—The blog of Douglas Florian, one of my favorite children’s poets
  • The Drift Record—The blog of Julie Larios, an award-winning poet and author of Yellow Elephant and Imaginary Menagerie

Buying Books for the Holidays

I was so busy cooking, baking, and preparing for Thanksgiving, visiting with relatives, and then cleaning up after the holiday feast at my house that I never got around to writing up a post for Poetry Friday this week at Wild Rose Reader or Blue Rose Girls. I'll be back with an original poem or poetry recommendations next Friday.

I still hope to encourage blog readers to consider buying books for the holidays--especially for children!'s another "I'm Buying Books for the Holidays" post.

What's a better holiday gift for a child than a fine book? This year do consider buying books for a special child or the special children in your life. Why not join those of us who are making a commitment to purchase books this holiday season? Do check out the Buy Books for the Holidays site to find out more about this initiative.

This is my third post of lists of notable and best books for children in case some of you might like suggestions for excellent kids' books that will make the perfect present for a child you know. You might also consider buying books to donate to a school classroom, school library, shelter, hospital, or to a charitable organization that helps out families in need.

Books Lists

From the National Council of Teachers of English: 2008 Notable Children's Books in the English Language Arts

From School Library Journal: Best Books of 2008

From Booklist: 2008 Children’s Notable Books (March 1, 2008)

From Kirkus Reviews: Best Children’s Books of 2008

From The New York Times Sunday Book Review: Notable Children’s Books of 2008

My Previous Wild Rose Reader Posts with Lists & Reviews of Recommended Children’s Books

Buy Books for the Holidays: Book Lists

Christmas & Hanukkah: Book Lists & Book Reviews

Edited to Add:

From the Banbury Cross Children’s Bookshop in Wenham, Massachusetts (my favorite place to shop for children’s books): Book Recommendations from the Holiday 2008 Newsletter

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas & Hanukkah: Book Lists & Book Reviews

I’ve started buying books for the holidays. In fact, I’ve already given some Christmas picture books I bought to a special young lady I know who just turned six years old. I’m planning to order some poetry books by Sherman Alexie for myself and a Fannie Farmer Cookbook for my daughter—because she keeps borrowing mine. Last week, I picked up two other cookbooks for my daughter and a copy of James Bamford’s The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, which I hope to read in December or January.

(BTW, The young lady loved The Toot & Puddle book I'll Be Home for Christmas.)
In addition to my Buy Books for the Holidays: Book Lists post, which includes links to lots of recommended and notable book lists, here are links to some lists and reviews of Christmas and Hanukkah books you may want to get as holiday gifts for children.


Recommended Reading from NYPL


My Reviews at Blue Rose Girls

Christmas Stories in Verse (Reviews of Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree; Santa’s Stuck; and Merry Christmas, Merry Crow)

Winter Lights & Christmas Trees (Reviews of Winter Lights: A Season in Poems & Quilts and A City Christmas Tree)

Review of The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes

My Reviews at Wild Rose Reader

Picture Book Review: Christmas Magic

Friday, November 21, 2008

Poetry Friday: List Poems

Tricia’s challenged us to write list poems for her Poetry Stretch this week at the Miss Rumphius Effect. I went looking through all the original poems I’ve posted at Wild Reader to date to see if I could find some list poems to post for Poetry Friday.

I found ten poems. I wrote the first four poems below specifically as list poems. Among the other poems posted here are a recipe poem, a mask poem, and an acrostic.

by Elaine Magliaro

Crickets sighing
Birds goodbying
Pumpkins growing plump and round

Apple picking
Football kicking
Chestnuts thudding on the ground

Bright leaves falling
Wild geese calling
Honeybees huddling in their hive

Turkey eating
Winter’s waiting to arrive

Who’s on Board the Straight Squawk Express? or Joe the Plumber Et Al
by Elaine the retired teacher

Joe the plumber,
Mack the Knife,
Hal the husband,
Val the wife,
Don the dentist,
Dick the doc,
Phil the farmer,
Hank the hawk,
Gail the grocer,
Ken the catcher,
Pat the daft
Police dispatcher,

Val the vet and
Babs the baker,
Chad the chocolate
Candy maker,
Al the actor,
Sal the singer,
Greg the guy
Who sniffs his finger,
Bud the butcher,
Mike the mayor,
Steve the hunky
Land surveyor,
Peg the pilot,
Bill the banker,
Nell the nightly
News-hour anchor,
Vic who drives
The old age van,
Rob the Roto-Rooter man,
Will the waiter,
Gil the gilder,
Bo the brawny
Body builder
Ted the teacher,
Don the drummer,
George and Sarah--
Dumb and dumber--
Driving over
Hill and dale
Busy on
The campaign trail.

by Elaine Magliaro

What’s in my backpack?
Hmm…let’s see:
a tunafish sandwich,
raspberry tea,
an apple for the teacher…
and one for me,
a pair of scissors,
a stick of glue,
washable crayons…
and markers, too—
three sharp pencils
my Winnie Pooh
a bright red folder,
a paper pad,
a calculator to help me add…
a little love note from my dad!

by Elaine Magliaro

Shoes are full of feet.
Candy’s full of sweet.
A pig is full of slops.
A bunny’s full of hops.
A farm is full of cows,
Chickens, pigs, and plows.
April’s full of showers
That bring us springtime flowers.
Winter’s full of snow
And blizzard winds that blow.
A forest’s full of trees…
Leaves swishing in the breeze.
The sky is full of blue…
And all the oceans, too.
The dawn is full of light
And dark fills up the night.
Bees are full of buzz
And black and yellow fuzz.
A spider’s full of silk.
A cow? Chock full of milk.
Rain is full of drops.
It drips and plips and plops.
Dreams fill up your head
At night when you’re in bed.
“And you?” you ask of me.
WHY…I’m full of poetry.

Earthworms is a mask poem. The first stanza is a list of physical characteristics/parts that earthworms lack/do not have.

by Elaine Magliaro

We have…

No bones
No shells
No teeth, as well—
No lips, no beaks
No chins, no cheeks
No horns, no claws
No talons, jaws
No legs, no wings…
No fancy things
Like fins or scales
Or fluffy tails,
Or blubber like the big blue whales.

We’re soft.
We’re small…
Not much at all.
We’re nondescript—
But we’re equipped
To eat your dirt.
It doesn’t hurt
Us...not a bit.
In fact,
We like the taste of it.
We toil in soil.
We’ve got true grit!

I think one could consider How to Make a Morning to be both a list poem and a recipe poem. What do you think?

How to Make a Morning
by Elaine Magliaro

Melt a galaxy of stars in a large blue bowl.
Knead the golden sun and let it rise in the East.
Spread the sky with a layer of lemony light.
Blend together until brimming with brightness.
Fold in dewdrops.Sprinkle with songbirds.
Garnish with a chorus of cock-a-doodle-doos.
Set out on a platter at dawnand enjoy.

How to Bring Spring is what I call a “how to” poem. A “how to” poem is a lot like a recipe poem. To me, this poem could also be considered a list poem.

How to Bring Spring
by Elaine Magliaro

Wash away clouds of gray.
Paint the sky the color of shadows on snow,
Lightly brush it with strokes of wispy white.
Polish the sun until it shines
like a newly-minted coin.
Summon a bunch of bobbing robins.
Wrap forsythia bushes
in bright yellow boas.
Daub garden beds
with pink and purple polka dots.
Stitch silky apple blossomsto bare brown branches.
Tell tulips and daffodils to muster and stand at attention.
Wake spring peepers from their winter sleep.
Let daylight linger before the shadow of night arrives.

You can read more about “recipe” and “how to” poems by clicking on the two links below:

Do you think the next two poems, April and Bed in Summer, could be classified as list poems?


by Elaine Magliaro

Days crackle with sunlight.

Tree buds burst tight jackets,

Stretch awake.

Jaunty daffodils announce

The return of spring.

Birds string themselves

Like beads along branches

Windows yawn open

And houses breathe deep

The warm green air.

Bed in Summer

by Elaine Magliaro

Dark drifts in when I'm in bed.

Dreams whisper to my sleepy head.

Ice cubes clink into a glass.

Our sprinkler whirs and wets the grass.

Shouts of children still at play

Spark the night...then fade away.

Mosquitoes drone, crickets cheep.

Wrapped in summer sounds I'll sleep.

And finally…how about an acrostic/list poem about the signs of spring?

Soft, scented breezes, kite-catching winds, the
Pitter patter of warm rain on the
Roof, daffodils and daisies and lilacs
In bloom, apple trees wearing snow-white crowns.
Now the sun lingers at the edge of day and
Green…lovely green…has come home to stay.


At Blue Rose Girls, I have another great poem by Sherman Alexie entitled Defending Walt Whitman.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Brimstone Soup.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Historical Fiction by Joseph Bruchac for Native American Heritage Month

Code Talker
A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two

Dial, 2005

This work of historical fiction tells about a young Navajo named Ned Begay, a code talker, and his experiences in the Pacific during World War II. (It is a popular book with middle school boys.) This novel provides much information about the code talker program that remained classified for decades after the end of the war. Bruchac includes an author’s note with information about the Navajos and the code talkers and a selected bibliography that lists titles of books about the Navajos, the code talkers, and World War II.

More Information about Code Talkers

Squanto’s Journey
The Story of the First Thanksgiving

Illustrated by Greg Shed
Silver Whistle/Harcourt, 2000

This picture book is excellent for reading aloud in the elementary grades. Bruchac narrates the story in the voice of Squanto (Tisquantum), a Patuxet Indian. The book opens with Squanto telling about his capture by Captain Thomas Hunt who took him and other Patuxets to Spain to be sold as slaves in 1614, how Spanish friars set Squanto free and helped him to get to England, and his return to America in 1619 when he found that his people had been devastated by a disease. In the rest of the book, we learn about Squanto’s building a friendship with the Pokanokets and Nemaskets; Samoset, a Pemaquid Indian; the arrival of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower; and the relationship between Squanto and the English that helped the settlers at Plimoth make it through their first year in the New World. Includes an author’s note and a glossary.

The Winter People
Dial, 2002

Set during the French and Indian War, this exciting story tells about a fourteen-year-old Abenaki named Saxso whose village of Saint Francis (Odanak) is burned to the ground by the British. Saxso’s sisters and mothers are taken captive. With his father dead, Saxso takes it upon himself to track down the British raiders and bring his family back home. Although Saxso is a fictional character, the story is based on an event that occurred in October of 1759 when “Major Robert Rogers led a force of 200 men, some of whom were Stockbridge Indian scouts, in an attack on Saint Francis.” Includes a map and an extensive author’s note.

The Arrow over the Door
Illustrated by James Watling
Penguin Putnam, 1998

This historical novel is based on the “Saratoga Meeting” or “Easton Meeting”—an event that occurred in 1777 between a group of Abenakis and Friends at a Quaker Meetinghouse just before the battle of Saratoga in New York. The Abenakis arrived to find a congregation of peaceful people and embraced them as friends. The Arrow over the Door is told in alternating chapters by fictional characters Stands Straight, a young Abenaki, and Samuel, a Quaker boy. Both boys are changed by their encounter with each other that day.

The Story of Bird Woman and the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Scholastic, 2000

This is a well-researched and informative historical novel about the young Shoshone who served as a translator, peacemaker, and guide for Lewis and Clark on their historic expedition. The book is told in alternating first person narratives by Sacajawea and William Clark. Includes a map, author’s note, and selected bibliography.
Previous Posts from Wild Rose Reader

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Sun in Me: Poems about the Planet

The Sun in Me: Poems about the Planet
Compiled by Grace Nicholls
Illustrated by Beth Krommes
Barefoot Books, 2003

Every week I spend quite a bit of time trying to decide what to post about on Poetry Friday. Yesterday, I went looking through my extensive personal collection of children’s poetry books. Then I pulled The Sun in Me: Poems about the Planet off the shelf. I hadn’t read from the book in a long time. I thought it would be a good anthology to review this week. Its poems celebrate nature—its beauty, the wonder it instills in us, the feelings it evokes. There are twenty-nine poems about the rain and the sea, about birds and the forest, about winter and snow, about corn growing, about stars and the sun. There are poems about observing the world and about listening to quiet sounds.

The book contains poems written by Emily Dickinson, Sappho, John Updike, David McCord, Ian Serrailler, Issa, and Charlotte Zolotow. It also includes many lovely poems I haven’t seen in other anthologies—poems by Grace Nichols, Jean Kenward, John Foster, Moira Andrew, Zaro Weil, an excerpt from a Passamaquoddy Indian song—as well as poems translated from other languages. Beth Krommes, the illustrator of Joyce Sidman’s award-winning poetry book Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow, did the artwork for this book. Her scratchboard and watercolor illustrations are bold and striking and serve as a perfect complement to the poems selected by Grace Nicholls. (Click here to see an illustration from Butterfly Eyes.)

The Sun in Me opens with the poem Behold. On the double-page spread with the poem, Krommes shows a child in a small plane flying above a planet bursting with life—green trees, colorful flowers, and an ocean teeming with fish and a spouting whale.

Excerpts from selected poems included in the book:

From Behold
by Mary Kawena Pukui

Above, above
All birds in air

Below, below
All earth’s flowers…

Sing out and say
Again and refrain

Behold this lovely world.

From I Spun a Star
by John Foster

I spun a star
Which gleamed and glittered in the night.
I spun a star,
Stood watching spellbound from afar,
Until it disappeared from sight…

From The Snow
by Emily Dickinson

It ruffles Wrists of Posts
As Ankles of a Queen—
Then stills its Artisans—like Ghosts—
Denying they have been—

The book closes with The Sun in Me. Here are the first and last stanzas of the poem.

From The Sun in Me
by Moira Andrew

The sun is in me,
pale morning flames
setting my still-sleeping
heart alight.

The moon is in me,
sad silver beams
painting my dreams
with shadows.

The Sun in Me: Poems about the Planet would make a lovely gift for a young nature lover.


At Blue Rose Girls, I have another poem by Sherman Alexie this week entitled Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World.

Yat-Yee Chong has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Children's Books Written by Native Writers

Debbie Reese has an article in the November issue of School Library Journal. It’s especially apropos for American Indian Heritage Month. In the article, entitled Native Voices, Debbie includes recommendations for books written by American Indians for elementary, middle school, and high school students. She provides a brief summary for each book recommended. This is a good article to have on hand all through the school year—not just in November.

Here’s the first paragraph of Reese’s Native Voices:

"Robert Berkhofer Jr.’s The White Man’s Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present (Knopf) was published in 1979. Though not about children’s literature, the arguments he made apply to the Indians portrayed in most children’s books. In short, they aren’t really Indians. They have little basis in reality. These imaginings, however, have great staying power. As we approach 2009, stereotypical images of American Indians as bloodthirsty savages and tragic, heroic warriors still strike fear and evoke sympathy as they traipse across the pages of children’s books."

Click here to read the rest of the article.

You may also be interested in this earlier post at Wild Rose Reader: Native American Heritage Month: Book Lists & Resources.

In Celebration of Children's Books & Their Creators

November 16th looks to be a great day for lovers of children’s books in Massachusetts. Here's what will be happening at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst and the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton this coming Sunday.

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
125 West Bay Road

Amherst, MA

In Celebration of Children’s Literature
November 16, 2008
1:00 pm
Free with Museum Admission

Join Lolly Robinson, guest curator of Over Rainbows and Down Rabbit Holes: The Art of Children’s Books, in conversation with Kinuko Craft, Jerry Pinkney, Rosemary Wells, and Paul O. Zelinsky as they discuss the art and design of the picture book.

Virtual Tour of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Directions to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

R. Michelson Galleries
132 Main Street

Northampton, MA 01060

19th Annual Children’s Illustration Show
Opening Reception: Sunday, November 16th from 4:00 to 6:00

Artists who will be in attendance at the reception:

Kathryn Brown
Diane deGroat
Tony DiTerlizzi
Jane Dyer
Scott Fisher
Mordicai Gerstein
Rebecca Guay
Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Barry Moser
Chris Raschka
Ruth Sanderson
Mo Willems

I'm hoping to attend both programs with my daughter. Come join us.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Buy Books for the Holidays: Book Lists

What's a better gift for a child than a great book? I give children's books as presents for all occasions. I've already started purchasing gift books for Christmas. Why not join those of us who are making a commitment to purchase books this holiday season? Do check out the Buy Books for the Holidays site to find out more about this initiative.

I've compiled a list of notable and best book lists for children in case some of you might like suggestions for excellent kids' books that will make the perfect present for a special child in your life. You might also consider buying books to donate to a school class, school library, shelter, hospital, or charitable organizations that help out families in need.
Note: Last year my husband and I adopted two DSS families in Massachusetts for Christmas. In addition to the requested toys and clothing, we got the families lots of great children's books.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

PAS North Shore Council: 2008 Fall Dinner Meeting

I have had a few busy weeks of late. First, Grace Lin and I attended the fabulous Rabbit Hill Festival of Literature in Westport in late October. (You can read my write-up here.) The following weekend, I was up in New Hampshire for the Keene State College Children’s Literature Festival. I haven’t even had a chance to post about the Keene Festival yet--which was wonderful. On election night, I was at a gathering of Obama supporters at the restaurant of a friend in Salem, Massachusetts. (There was a lot of loud cheering when the winner of the election was announced.) Then, on November 5th, it was the fall meeting of the PAS North Shore Council. And I’m the person responsible for making all the arrangements for the dinner and speakers.

At our council's fall dinner meeting in 2007, the panel discussion with the Blue Rose Girls was such a big hit with our members that I thought it would be a good idea to have another panel discussion this fall. This time we invited three male children’s authors and illustrators: Matt Tavares, Daniel J. Mahoney, and Wade Zahares. (Wade recently launched his brand new website. Check it out!)

Matt Tavares, Wade Zahares, & Daniel J. Mahoney




Matt, Dan, and Wade told us about how they got started in children’s publishing, how they developed their own distinctive artistic styles, and the media they choose to work with. They explained their processes for making book dummies, for illustrating books, and told us how long it usually takes them to complete the art for a picture book. Matt and Wade, both of whom have illustrated nonfiction books about the Statue of Liberty, explained about all the research they had to do for the books. All three panelists described what types of school presentations they do--and spoke about projects they are currently working on. The panel discussion was great!

Thanks, gentlemen, for a wonderful evening!!!

From Left to Right: Dan, Me, Matt, Matt's Wife Sarah, and Wade

To learn more about the 2008-2009 PAS North Shore Council Speaker Series click here.

A Veterans Day Poetry Post

My father and father-in-law were army veterans of World War II. My uncle Benny, who tried to enlist in the navy, was rejected because he had been burned as a child. He joined the Coast Guard and trained--and later detrained--dogs that were sent to Europe. After the war, my uncle brought one of the dogs home--a sweet-eyed German shepherd named Sadie.

This post is dedicated to my father, father-in-law, and uncle; to the memory of my good friend Steve who was killed in Vietnam; and to all the veterans who have served their country so well.

by William Stafford
(September 24, 1947)

The little table by the big entrance
is for veterans.
If you can present a card
you qualify for Heaven.
Though temporarily of course
you are housed in Hell.

by Eve Merriam

I dream
giving birth
a child
who will ask,
what was war?”

You may want to check out the website of Poets Against War. Here is the mission of Poets Against War as stated on the website: “Poets Against War continues the tradition of socially engaged poetry by creating venues for poetry as a voice against war, tyranny and oppression.”

Here are excerpts from and links to two poems I found at Poets Against War:

by Natasha Maldonado

To tell you the truth,
when my brother was over there,I
hated talking about it.
Just simple facts:
He’s alive.
He is keeping a good attitude.
He’s coming home
any day now.

I tried to find a way not to think
of him being over there.
My nights were consumed with parties
and Keystone filled kegs.
I searched for a solution
at the bottom of every beer filled red cup
and found nothing.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

by Benjamin Arda Doty

Cradle civilization
In your arms, the way
Your mother did,
Hand under head,
So your neck
Wouldn’t break.

Put the child in the crib.
Rock it back and forth, gently,
Because you know
It will soon have nightmares
That will never go away.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Native American Heritage Month: Book Lists & Resources

Here is my new updated list of links for Native American Heritage Month: Books & Resources for Native American Heritage Month 2009

Book Lists

Native American Book Lists (National Education Association)

Children's Books By and About Native Americans: An Annotated Bibliography (ALSC)

Our Stories: Native Americans in Books for Children (San Francisco Public Library)

Children’s Books with Native American Themes (

Recommended Books about Thanksgiving (Oyate)

Books to Avoid (Oyate)

Resources and Activities for Native American Heritage Month

From the Library of Congress: Native American Heritage Month--Celebrating Tribal Nations

From the National Museum of the American Indian: Native Words, Native Warriors (Honoring Code Talkers)

From the Smithsonian: American Indian Heritage Teaching Resources

From Education World: Activities to Celebrate Native American Heritage and Lesson Planning Article

From PBS: Programs for Native American Heritage Month November 2008

Recommendations and Sources for Native Children’s Books (Northern Arizona University’s American Indian Education)

Links to Resources (American Indian Library Association)

Thanksgiving Resources (Oyate)

American Indians in Children’s Literature (Debbie Reese’s Blog)

Teacher and Librarian Resources for Children's and YA Books with Native Themes (Cynthia Leitich Smith)

From Crayola: Craft Ideas & Lesson Plans

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thanksgiving Book Lists, Crafts, & Activities

Thanksgiving Book Lists

2007 Reviews of Thanksgiving Books from Wild Rose Reader

Thanksgiving Resources for Teachers and Parents

Friday, November 7, 2008

Poetry Friday: An Autumn List Poem

Two years ago, I was practicing writing list poems. Here’s one of my mediocre efforts. I have hundreds of poems like Autumn--poems that I’ll probably never see published anywhere but my blog. Still, I find that working on such pieces is like doing poetry calisthenics. It helps pump up my writing muscles. There are times, however, when I revisit old poems like Autumn and find a kernel of something I like in them that I can rework into a different and a better poem.

by Elaine Magliaro

Crickets sighing
Birds goodbying
Pumpkins growing plump and round

Apple picking
Football kicking
Chestnuts thudding on the ground

Bright leaves falling
Wild geese calling
Honeybees huddling in their hive

Turkey eating
Winter’s waiting to arrive


At Blue Rose Girls, I have a Poetry Friday post with two poems by Sherman Alexie in honor of Native American Heritage Month.

Jone has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Check It Out.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Blog the Vote

A Poetry & Prose Post on the Monday Before Election Day

Collen Mondor of Chasing Ray has a master list of the Blog the Vote posts here.

My Blog the Vote Post
I’ve made a few online donations to the presidential candidate that I’m voting for tomorrow. It’s the first time in my life that I have ever done it. The only other time I’ve felt a presidential election was of such import was in 1972 when George McGovern ran against the incumbent Richard Nixon. That November, I stood outside the polling place with my McGovern sign. Needless to say, my candidate lost the national election. My state, Massachusetts, was the only state to “go” for McGovern. Later, after the Watergate scandal broke, people could be seen driving around my state with bumper stickers on their cars that read: Don’t blame me, I’m from Massachusetts.

Both my husband and I know that even if we don’t vote tomorrow, Obama will win by a comfortable margin here in Massachusetts. Still, we are eager to cast our votes. My husband even delayed an important business trip so he could participate in this historic election.

I take my right to vote and my right of free speech seriously. I’m a first generation American. My father and all of my grandparents were born in a country (Poland) that was often occupied or under the control of more powerful nations. Fortunately, my father and grandparents emigrated from Eastern Europe before WW II--but they heard tales of how relatives suffered during and after the war under the domination of Nazis and Communists.

Being a “sixty-something,” I remember, too, watching on TV as peaceful marchers and freedom fighters were beaten, and hosed, and attacked by dogs. I remember the killing of Civil Rights workers. I am hoping that tomorrow every person who has registered to vote will have the opportunity to do so--and that every vote will be counted.

Here is a poetry post for the Monday before Election Day.

From I, Too, Sing America
by Langston Hughes

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--
I, too, am America.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

From 1977: Poem for Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer
by June Jordan

You used to say, “June?
Honey when you come down here you
supposed to stay with me. Where
Meanin home
against the beer the shotguns and the
point of view of whitemen don’
never see Black anybodies without
some violent itch start up.
The ones who
said, “No Nigga’s Votin in This Town . . .
lessen it be feet first to the booth”
Then jailed you
beat you brutal
you blue beyond the feeling
of the terrible...

You can read the rest of the poem here.

From the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (1960-19660): Read about Fannie Lou Hamer.

From Children of Our Era
by Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by Joanna Trzeciak

Here are the first three stanzas and the last two stanzas of Szymborska’s poem:

We are children of our era;
our era is political.

All affairs, day and night,
yours, ours, theirs,
are political affairs.

Like it or not,
your genes have a political past,
your skin a political cast,
your eyes a political aspect.

Or even a conference table whose shape
was disputed for months:
should we negotiate life and death
at a round table or a square one?

Meanwhile people were dying,
animals perishing,
houses burning,
and fields growing wild,
just as in times most remote
and less political.

You can read the rest of the poem here.