Friday, April 30, 2010

Apostrophe: Poems of Address


I’ve done a number of posts for Wild Rose Reader about mask poems—which I love to write. My elementary school students enjoyed writing them too. My students also enjoyed writing poems of address in which they’d speak to the sun or moon or a planet…to a tree…or to different kinds of animals.

For the last Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month, I’d thought I’d turn to my attention to apostrophe—or poems of address.

Following is a poem of address that I wrote a couple of years ago for my unpublished collection entitled Docile Fossil—which contains poems about extinct animals, fossils, the La Brea Tar Pits, and dinosaur dung. In How Come? I’m talking to a woolly mammoth in hopes of finding out how the huge prehistoric mammal became extinct.

How Come?

Woolly mammoth,
Big
Behemoth
Prehistoric pachyderm,
What did you in,
You hairy hulk?
A teeny tiny
Infinitesimal
Microscopic
Deadly germ?
A minuscule bacterium?
Hmmm?

Elephant is still extant…
Hippo, rhino, tiny ant,
Kinkajou and caribou…
Gnat and gnu are living, too.

How come YOU
And mastodon
Are D-E-A-D
Dead and gone?



And here’s a poem of address in which I talk to a honeybee:

Bee,
busying yourself
in a bright pink peony,
save a sip of nectar
for me.


I originally wrote the following poem, Talking to Giraffe, as a point-of-view/mask poem. I kept tinkering with it—but it didn’t work no matter how much I tweaked it. So, this week, I tried rewriting it as a poem of address. I think the poem's more successful with my speaking to the giraffe rather than my speaking in the voice of the giraffe.
Talking to Giraffe
You are taller than tall.
You’re the tallest of all
The creatures that live on the land.

You can nibble the leaves
From the tip-tops of trees.
Don’t you think being tallest is grand?

Why, your head is so high
That it touches the sky.
You can wink at the birds as they go flying by.

You can you nuzzle the clouds,
Drink the first drops of rain.
You must have a great view from your lofty domain.

Do you like being tall…
The tallest of all
The creatures that live on the land?

With your head at that height
The whole world is in sight!
You MUST think being tallest is grand!


Here’s my Things to Do If You Are a Pencil list poem rewritten as a poem of address:

You’re looking sharp
in your slick yellow suit
and your pink top hat!
Get ready to rock and roll and write.
Get into the groove.
Listen for the right rhythm.
Then tap your toes on the tabletop
and dance a poem
across the page.


More Poems of Address
Hey You!: Poems to Skyscrapers, Mosquitoes, and Other Fun Things, selected by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Robert Rayesky, is a wonderful anthology of poems of address.


Browse inside Hey You! and read the following poems of address:
Invocation by George Ella Lyon
A Mote of Dust by X. J. Kennedy
Sneakers by Joan Bransfield Graham

Monday Poetry Stretch - Apostrophe at The Miss Rumphius Effect

Poetry Stretch Results - Apostrophe at The Miss Rumphius Effect

Old Man Ocean by Russell Hoban

Dinosaur Bone by Alice Schertle

Skyscraper by Dennis Lee


********************

At Blue Rose Girls, I have a Favorite Poem Project video of Theodore Roethke's The Sloth. The poem is recited by a fifth grader named Katherine Mechling.
The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Great Kids Books.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29, 2010: And the Winner Is...

Amy Ludwig Vanderwater is the winner of Every Second Something Happens: Poems for the Mind and Seasons—with poems selected by Christine San Jose and Bill Johnson and illustrations by Melanie Hall.
Congratulations, Amy! Email me your address so I can send you your poetry prize.

Win a Poetry Book!
Every week during April, I’ve been giving away a children’s poetry book at Wild Rose Reader. If you leave a comment at one of my poetry posts during the final two days of NaPoMo (April 29-30), I’ll enter your name in the drawing to win a copy of Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School. The book was written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Steven Salerno. (Note: If you leave comments at two of my poetry posts, I'll enter your name twice...and so on.)


Book Giveaway Schedule
Final Days of National Poetry Month: April 29-30 (Winner announced on May 1st)

Weather Report: A Book Spine Poem


The Book Spine Poem that Mary Lee Hahn posted yesterday inspired me to create one myself.

WEATHER REPORT
A Book Spine Poem
by
Elaine Magliaro
Thanks for the inspiration, Mary Lee!

Fourth Week of National Poetry Month (April 22-28) in Review


Poetry Makers at the Miss Rumphius Effect
April 22—Ron Koertge
April 23—April Halprin Wayland
April 23—Michael J. Rosen
April 24—Hope Anita Smith
April 25—Carmen Bernier-Grand
April 26—Jenny Whitehead
April 27—Brod Bagert
April 28—Kalli Dakos

Thirty Poets Thirty Days at Gotta Book
April 22—Heidi Mordhorst—Smaller Than I Thought
April 23—Charles R. Smith, Jr.—I Speak
April 24—Georgia Heard—Ars Poetica
April 25—George Ella Lyon—Trying to Get Out of My Tree
April 26—Jacqueline Woodson—One of the Many Stories
April 27—Graham Denton—Sounds Delightful
April 28—Francisco X. Alaracon—Listen/Escucha

Poetry Tag at Poetry for Children
April 22—George Ella Lyon is IT
April 23—Marie Bradby is IT
April 24—Nikki Grimes is IT
April 25—Tracie Vaughn Zimmer is IT
April 26—Janet Wong is IT
April 27—Betsy Franco is IT
April 28—Bobbi Katz is IT

Poetry Potluck at Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup
April 22—a word of caution from greg pincus
April 23—friday feast: douglas florian’s french boast
April 24—something sweet from laura purdie salas
April 26—sitting down with kelly fineman
April 27—the always beguiling tanita s. davis
April 28—cultivating beauty with andromeda jazmon

Haiga (Haiku & Photographs) at A Wrung Sponge
April 23—timeless things that last only a brief moment
April 24—Chive Bud Haiku
April 26—garden haiku
April 28—rain on new leaves haiku

Haiku at Liz in Ink
April 22—Haiku 22
April 26—Haiku 23
April 26—Haiku 24
April 26—Haiku 25
April 27—Haiku 26
April 27—Haiku 27

Mary Lee’s Original Poem-A-Day About Teaching Or Learning at A Year of Reading
April 22—Poem #22—Did Someone Say Only 30 More Days?
April 23—Poem #23—Where I’m From Poem (and Poetry Friday)
April 24—Poem #24—Coffee House Sonnet
April 25—Poem #25—A One-Word Poem
April 26—Poem #26—A Fib for Gregory K.
April 27—Poem #27—A Limerick for the Poem-A-Day Writers
April 28—Poem #28—Book Spine Poem

Wild Rose Reader
April 22—Third Week of National Poetry Month (April 15-21) in Review
April 23—More, More, More…Mask Poems!
April 24—Here & There: April 24, 2010
April 26—MUD: An Original Acrostic for Spring
April 27—UBIQUITOUS by Joyce Sidman & Beckie Prange: A Poetry Book Review
April 28—Spring Sings with Yellow: Two Original Poems

Other Bloggers Who Are Posting Original Poems during National Poetry Month
Susan Taylor Brown
Jone MacCulloch
Elizabeth Moore
April Halprin Wayland
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Sings with Yellow: Two Original Poems

I was trying to figure out what my poetry post would be today. I’ve been really busy lately with a couple of writing projects, making arrangements for our reading council’s spring dinner meeting in mid May, and with plans for my daughter’s upcoming bridal shower and her wedding this summer.

I went looking through my poetry manuscripts to see if I could find a “bright” spring poem. It’s really gray and chilly where I live today. Spring seems to be in hiding…again. I decided to post a poem that would brighten my day. I selected POLLEN from my unpublished collection Spring into Words: A Season in Acrostics. Reading POLLEN inspired to me to write another “yellow” poem for the season. My new “yellow” poem is still in its rough draft stage.


Powder
Of life. Yellow…
Like lantern light,
Like butter on bread, like the yolk of an
Egg, like a nugget of gold…or a
New star born of cosmic dust.


Spring sings with yellow—
Daffodils trumpet the color in a world growing green
Forsythia bushes explode into golden clouds
Dandelions light our lawn like little suns
Daisies flaunt their pollen-powdered faces…
Everywhere I look
Yellow is singing out its bright song.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

UBIQUITOUS by Joyce Sidman & Beckie Prange: A Poetry Book Review


Poetry and science are two of my passions. When I was an elementary teacher, I loved connecting poetry with the different science units I taught. I was always looking for poems to integrate with my units on trees and soils, astronomy, animals, and the life cycle of butterflies. I suppose that’s one of the reasons why Joyce Sidman is one of my favorite children’s poets. She is able to weave her knowledge of nature and science seamlessly into her extraordinary poetry.
I was thrilled when I heard that Joyce was publishing a collection entitled Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors this year—especially after I watched the trailer for the book.





Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors
Written by Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by
Beckie Prange
Houghton Mifflin, 2010




Joyce Sidman explains how her book Ubiquitous started at her Web site:

My sister is a biologist who works with insects. One day, on an impromptu nature walk, she snagged a beetle, held it in her hand, and remarked about how successful beetles are--how many species there are in the world. She went on to explain that they had mutated from flies; their forewings had become hardened and armored, allowing them to survive better than flies under extreme conditions. This discussion started me thinking about what allows one group of organisms to stick it out here on earth, while others become extinct. Boy, was it ever interesting to find out! I did more research for this book than any other; but I learned more, too--I basically ended up studying evolutionary history.


I emailed Joyce to ask if she could give me further information about the book. I wrote: “I also saw in your book's acknowledgments all the different scientists you thanked. I was wondering if you'd care to provide me with any other information about the time it took you to complete this book and/or how much research you had to do in evolutionary history.”

Joyce responded: This book took a long, long time to write, because I really had to feel my way. I am not a scientist, and the further I dug into research, the more science seemed to be involved. I started thinking about the idea about eight years ago. I thought it would be fun to find lots of "survivor" organisms to write about, and eagerly listed a whole bunch of them to explore. Then, as I delved deeper into research, I realized that organisms survive for all different kinds of reasons, some of them having to do with disruption by man. In fact, because I didn't want this to be a book about "urban" animals, I deleted poems I'd written about Canada Geese, kudzu (an invasive vine), and pigeons. I wanted to choose organisms that had developed survival mechanisms long before humans showed up. So I went slowly, making sure I was following the right paths, checking in with my biologist sister every once in a while for her comments. Sometimes I put away the book and worked on other things.

Then I decided to group my chosen organisms according to evolutionary history, and that opened another can of worms. My brain was sorely strained by trying to keep all my epochs straight! I bought a big chart called "A Correlated History of Earth" and hung it on my wall.

Beckie went through similar efforts to achieve dynamic yet accurate illustrations. We went back and forth on many facts, and she spent a tremendous amount of time on the timeline. She also caught some math errors of mine (thank goodness!) when I was translating inches into centimeters in the nonfiction notes. I am thrilled with her vividly beautiful artwork, which is similar to, and yet so different from, Song of the Water Boatman. The book is everything I'd hoped it would be.


The book is also everything I hoped it would be. And more!


Although the Ubiquitous may seem a slim collection with just fourteen poems—it is a substantial book. It takes readers from BACTERIA, the first form of life that appeared on our planet over three billion years ago to HUMANS—who appeared very late in earth’s history. In between the poems about bacteria and Homo sapiens, readers will find poems and paragraphs of factual information about the following plants and animals:
Mollusks
Lichens
Sharks
Beetles
Diatoms
Geckos
Ants
Grasses
Squirrels
Crows
Dandelions
Coyotes


Joyce Sidman has a talent for selecting the best type of poem to express her ideas about a particular subject—be it a pantoum, a diamante, a mask poem, a poem of address, or a shape poem. To my delight, five of the poems in Ubiquitous are mask poems—which I love. Lichens, a scarab beetle, grass, squirrels, and coyotes all speak to us in their own voices. Coyotes extend an invitation to readers. Their three-stanza poem ends with the following four lines:

Come, come with us!
Come kindle the blue twilight.
Come croon in the wild chorus,
come vanquish the tranquil night.


Grass explains that it can grow “in places/others can’t/where wind is high/and water scant…on steppe or veld/or pampas dry.”

In Tail Tale, squirrels speak breathlessly about themselves and their lives. (There’s little punctuation in the poem.) Sidman’s squirrels explain what they like about being who they are. Just imagine if you too had a “free fur coat/and the ability to crack any/safe known to man.”
I doubt there are many poets who would attempt to write a poem told from the point of view of the lowly lichen. Well, Joyce did—and the poem is a gem!

The Lichen We
(after Siegfried Sassoon’s “Man and Dog”)

Who’s this—alone with stone and sea?
It’s just the lowly Lichen We:
the alga I, the fungus me;
together blooming quietly.

What do we share—we two together?
A brave indifference to the weather.
A slow but steady growing pace.
Resemblance to both mud and lace.

As we are now, so we shall be
(if air is clear and water free):
the proud but lowly Lichen We
cemented for eternity.



A detail from Prange's illustration of lichens:

Sidman also includes two excellent poems of address in Ubiquitous. She speaks to a shell in The Mollusk That Made You. The poem begins:

Shell of the sunrise,
sunrise shell.
yours is the pink lip
of a pearled world.

Who swirled your whorls and ridges?



She also interrogates a crow:

What secret orders were you given?
What deeds to do? What plots to thicken?

There are questions in some of the other poems, too, that give readers pause for thought.


Sidman’s poetry about the beginnings of life on Earth…about plants and animals that are survivors who exist here today...both enlightens and engages the reader. It speaks to the wonder of it all. Her prose paragraphs are clearly and concisely written—and contain lots of interesting information.

Beckie Prange’s exceptional hand-colored linocuts serve as the perfect backdrop for Sidman’s poems. They aren’t merely there as decoration. They are an integral part of the book—complementing, supporting, and expanding upon scientific information included in the text. Prange depicts lichens at seven times their life size, provides a close-up look of tiny diatoms as they might appear under a microscope, and illustrates the different stages in the life cycle of beetles. She also gives us a cutaway view of an underground ant colony. This collection is definitely a wonderful marriage of poetry and art…and science!

Ubiquitous gives readers an eloquently condensed and illuminating history of life on planet Earth. I give it my highest recommendation!!!!!

Click here to view a two-page spread about the dandelion from the book.

Click here to read It’s a Long Story: Joyce Sidman’s Ubiquitous celebrates evolution’s winners (article by Rick Margolis—School Library Journal, 4/1/2010)


Beckie Prange Ubiquitous Prints
Giclee prints of Beckie Prange’s illustrations in Ubiquitous are available for purchase at her site. Click here to see them.


Learn More about Joyce Sidman

  • Cybils Interview with Joyce Sidman (Interview by Kelly Fineman, 2/20/2007)
  • Click here to read Jules’s recent interview with Joyce Sidman at Seven Impossible Things.
  • Click here to read all my Wild Rose Reader posts about Joyce Sidman and her poetry books.

Monday, April 26, 2010

MUD: An Original Acrostic for Spring

I'm posting a little late again today. I have lots of things on my list of things to do lately!

Here is another apoem from my unpublished collection Spring into Words: A Season in Acrsotics:
**********
Messy, mushy, mucky
Ucky, oozy, wonderful, wet
Dark chocolate dirt perfect for pie making
**********

Here's a picture of my daughter's Yellow Lab Jack. Jack LOVES mud!!!

Jack says:

Rolling in mud is the bestest fun there is!

I don't know about you--but I LOVED making mud pies when I was little.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010: The Year of Grace Lin

GRACE LIN

Well, 2010 certainly looks like it’s going to be a grand year for my good friend Grace Lin. She has already won a Newbery Honor Award and the Josette Frank Award for her wonderful fantasy novel Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. The book was on the NY Times Bestseller List (Feb 4th, March 14th 2010). In addition, it was designated a 2010 Indies Choice Book Awards Finalist for Middle Reader Book of the Year and was named one of Booklist’s Top 10 SF/Fantasy for Youth:2009 and to the 2010 CCBC Choices List.


Now the Association of Booksellers for Children has announced that Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is one of four books shortlisted for The 2010 E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers!
Hooray for Grace!


You can read all about Grace's NEW good news at her post wowee! over at her blog Gracenotes.

MORE GOOD NEWS: Grace is also planning another fabulous “book” birthday party this year for her first early reader—Ling and Ting. Click here to get all the details about the party.

BTW, Ling and Ting has already received a starred review from Booklist, a super review from Fuse #8, and has been named a Junior Library Guild Selection.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Here & There: April 24, 2010

From the National Council of Teachers of English—TYCA National Poetry Month Celebration
From the website: A new poem will be added to this page each day of April to celebrate National Poetry Month. We hope you come back each day to enjoy the poems we post, all original works by community and two-year college English faculty. If you are a poet, we hope you will consider submitting your work for consideration. While we hope to publish at least four poems from each of the TYCA regions, we will be accepting submissions until further notice from all regions.

From the Indiana Humanities Council’s Think. Read. Talk.—National Poetry Month

From the Academy of American Poets—Poem-A-Day Archive for National Poetry Month

From the Poetry Foundation—What Can Poetry Do for Parents? by Elliott Vansilke
Excerpt from the article: Poetry offers other benefits for the beleaguered parent. A large part of parenting consists of mindless repetition—changing diapers again, cutting pancakes into triangles again, saying, “How do we ask for things nicely?” again. But poetry uses repetition to sound new depths of meaning and find nuance in sameness. Think of the way the repeating lines of a villanelle take on new shape and significance with each stanza or the way different echoes emerge from “And miles to go before I sleep” at the end of Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

From the Poetry Foundation—Lunchbox Poems by Julie Danielson & Eisha Prather

From Squidoo—Best Websites for Kids Poems

From School Library Journal—Natalie Merchant, Ghost Ghost: Setting Poems to Music by Rocco Satino (4/19/2010)

From Teaching Authors—Patterns in Poetry! How I Wrote This Poem—A Poetry Writing Workout posted by April Halprin Wayland (4/23/2010)

Friday, April 23, 2010

More, More, More...Mask Poems!

Recently, I did an extensive post about how much I enjoy writing animal mask poems. Click here to read it.

You don’t have to limit yourself only to “animal talk” when you write mask poems though. You can speak in the voices of many different things: a tree, a flower, the ocean, the sky, the sun, the moon, stars, a volcano, a river, a hurricane or tornado, elements of nature. Even inanimate objects like scissors, a pencil, an automobile, garbage truck, kite, or toaster make great subjects for mask poems.

Here’s Sole Song, a mask poem I wrote for Tricia’s Monday Poetry Stretch--Shoes at The Miss Rumphius Effect this week.
********************
Sole Song

We’re the well-worn soles of shoes
reading all the sidewalk news.
As we go along our way
we broadcast headlines of the day:
intermittent
dots of rain
wad of bubblegum
bright stain
of cherry popsicle
that bled
its sticky sweetness
cool and red
concrete cracked
by root of tree
telltale clue
of injured knee
ghost of ant
whose remnants lie
flattened from a passerby
OH NO!
PEW!
Our bugaboo!
We just stepped in doggy do!

********************
I thought I’d take some of my “things to do” poems that I had posted previously at Wild Rose Reader and rewrite them as mask poems for my Poetry Friday post this week.
Things to Do If You Are a Bell

Ride on a reindeer’s harness.
Tinkle in the icy air.
Jingle across the milk-white snow.
Sing with a silver tongue.


Rewritten as a mask poem:
I ride on a reindeer’s harness.
I tinkle in the icy air
And jingle across the milk-white snow.
Listen to me sing with a silver tongue.


********************
Things to Do If You Are a Pencil
Be sharp.
Wear a slick yellow suit
and a pink top hat.
Tap your toes on the tabletop,
listen for the right rhythm,
then dance a poem
across the page.

Rewritten as a mask poem:

I’m sharp!
I wear a slick yellow suit
and a pink top hat.
I tap my toes on the tabletop,
listen for the right rhythm,
and then dance a poem
across the page.

********************
Things to Do If You Want to Be a Snowflake

Fashion yourself:
a bit of lace,
crystalline,
spun in space
of silken ice,
silvery,
fine—
YOU
C R E A T E
your
own
design.

Rewritten as a mask poem:
I fashioned myself:
A bit of lace,
crystalline,
spun in space
of silken ice,
silvery,
fine—
I
CREATED
my
own
design!


********************
Mask Poem Resources

1. Paul Janeczko’s book Dirty Laundry Pile: Poems in Different Voices is an excellent anthology of mask poems for children. Click here to browse inside Dirty Laundry Pile where you can read the following poems:
Shell by Deborah Chandra
Winter Wind by Judith Pacht
Scarecrow’s Dream by Nina Nyhart
Prayer of a Snowflake by Cynthia Pederson
I’m Up Here (a kite poem) by Karla Kuskin
Being a Kite by Jacqueline Sweeney

2. Let’s Pretend: The Mask Poem—This is an excellent poetry lesson on writing mask poems with children created by children’s poet Laura Purdie Salas. It’s in pdf format—easy to print off for classroom use.

3. Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems—from award-winning poet Kristine O’Connell George’s Teacher’s Guide. Kristine includes an exercise for writing tree poems.

4. Volcano Wakes Up!: A Teacher’s Guide—from poet Lisa Westberg Peters. Peters is the author of Volcano Wakes Up!, a book of mask poems. She provides suggestions for writing mask poems and poems of address—as well as suggestions for science activities.

5. Ubiquitous: Reader’s Guide—from award-winning children’s poet Joyce Sidman. Sidman is the author of Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors. In her reader’s guide, she includes suggestions for writing mask, letter, and diamante poems. She also includes suggestions for reading her book aloud and for discussion topics.
Note: I'll be posting reviews of Volcano Wakes Up! and Ubiquitous in the coming week.
6. Button Up! Wrinkled Rhymes by Alice Schertle—from Wild Rose Reader. This is my review of Button Up!, Alice Schertle’s award-winning book of mask poems. Button Up! contains fifteen point-of-view poems in which the author speaks in the voices of shoes, shoelaces, galoshes, a soccer jersey, bicycle helmet, jammies, dress-up clothes, and undies—all of which have their own personal stories to share. The post contains excerpts from several of the delightful point-of-view poems in the book.


7. Poetry Book Review & Videos: Our Farm by Maya Gottfried
At this post, you’ll find my review of Our Farm, a lovely book of paintings and point-of-view/mask poems that Gottfried wrote from the perspective of some of the farm animals—including sheep, pigs, a donkey, cows—that live at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York.


*************************

At Blue Rose Girls, I have one of my favorite Billy Collins poems: The Trouble with Poetry. The post includes a video of Collins reading his poem.

At Political Verses, I have an original poem entitled A Chicken for a Checkup: A Poem about Sue Lowden.

Anasatasia Suen has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Picture Book of the Day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22, 2010: And the Winner Is...

Jama of Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup is the winner of The Underwear Salesman and Other Jobs for Better or Verse, a collection of humorous verse written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Serge Bloch.


Congratulations, Jama! Email me your name and address and I'll send the poetry book off to you.


Win a Poetry Book!
Every week during April, I’m giving away a children’s poetry book at Wild Rose Reader. If you leave a comment at one of my poetry posts during the fourth week of NaPoMo (April 22-28), I’ll enter your name in the drawing to win a copy of Every Second Something Happens: Poems for the Mind and Seasons—with poems selected by Christine San Jose and Bill Johnson and illustrations by Melanie Hall. (Note: If you leave comments at two of my poetry posts, I'll enter your name twice...and so on.)
Book Giveaway Schedule
Fourth Week of National Poetry Month: April 22-28 (Winner announced on April 29)
Final Days of National Poetry Month: April 29-30 (Winner announced on May 1st)

Third Week of National Poetry Month (April 15-21) in Review


Poetry Makers at the Miss Rumphius Effect
April 15—Deborah Ruddell
April 16—Stephen Swinburne
April 17—Eileen Spinelli
April 18—Charles R. Smith, Jr.
April 19—Kathi Appelt
April 20—Heidi Mordhorst
April 21—Allan Wolf

Thirty Poets Thirty Days at Gotta Book
April 15—Eileen Spinelli—Praying Mantis
April 16—Bobbi Katz—Lesson
April 17—James Carter—Clouds Like Us
April 18—Elaine Magliaro—Things to Do If You Are King Kong
April 19—David L. Harrison—Lookit!
April 20—Brod Bagert—Personification
April 21—Tracie Vaughn Zimmer—Cousin of Clouds

Poetry Tag at Poetry for Children
April 15—Poetry Tag: Marilyn Nelson is IT
April 16—Poetry Tag: Pat Mora is IT
April 17—Poetry Tag: Naomi Shihab Nye is IT
April 18—Poetry Tag: Carrie Fountain is IT
April 19—Poetry Tag: Aimee Nezhukumatathil is IT
April 20—Poetry Tag: Matthea Harvey is IT
April 21—Poetry Tag: Helen Frost is IT

Poetry Potluck at Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup
April 15—charles and debra ghigna stay awhile
April 16—friday feast: practicing rapture with our surprise guest, susan rich!
April 19—apples from the teacher: mary lee hahn
April 20—sweets for the sweet: liz garton scanlon
April 21—jeannine atkins and her friends, laura and rose

Haiga (Haiku & Photographs) at A Wrung Sponge
April 15—National Poetry Month: lilacs
April 16—National Poetry Month: Wisteria Haiku
April 17—National Poetry Month: Dandelion Haiku
April 18—National Poetry Month: lily haiku
April 19—National Poetry Month: crayon haiku
April 20—National Poetry Month: new fig leaf haiku
April 21—National Poetry Month: hyacinth haiku

Haiku at Liz in Ink
April 15—National Poetry Month—Haiku 15
April 16—National Poetry Month—Haiku 16
April 17—National Poetry Month—Haiku 17
April 18—National Poetry Month—Haiku 18
April 19—National Poetry Month—Haiku 19
April 20—National Poetry Month—Haiku 20
April 21—National Poetry Month—Haiku 21

Mary Lee’s Original Poem-a-Day About Teaching Or Learning at A Year of Reading
April 15—Which of the Top Hundred have YOU Read?
April 16—Poem #16—Google Search Story Poem
April 17—State Test Simile Poem
April 18—Poem #18—Sunday Night Teacher Haiku
April 19—Poem #19—“If-You-Were” Metaphor Poems
April 20—Poem #20—Lightning Thief Metaphor Poems (and a testing poem)
April 21—Poem #21—Haiku Response to Literature

Wild Rose Reader
April 15—Second Week of National Poetry Month (April 8-14) in Review
April 16—Things to Do If You Are the Moon: An Original List Poem
April 17—Three Animal Mask Poems
April 18—Chick Chatter: An original Mask Poem
April 19—IT’S RAINING: An Original Poem & Repetition in Poetry
April 20— The Princess Speaks to the Frog Prince in Condescending Language: An Original Fairy Tale Poem
April 21—SHOWERS: An Original Acrostic for Spring

Other Bloggers Who Are Posting Original Poems during National Poetry Month
Susan Taylor Brown
Jone MacCulloch
Elizabeth Moore
April Halprin Wayland
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

SHOWERS: An Original Acrostic for Spring

My contribution for the 21st day of National Poetry Month is Showers, a poem from my unpublished collection Spring into Words: A Season in Acrostics.


Softly, raindrops come to call. Can you
Hear them gently tap-tapping
On the
Windowpane, on the roof with an
Even, steady beat…
Repeating the song that April loves to
Sing?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Princess Speaks to the Frog Prince in Condescending Language: An Original Fairy Tale Poem


Sorry that I'm posting so late today. At this time, my list of "things to do" has gotten very long.

Here's another poem from my unpublished poetry collection entitled Excerpts from the Fairy Tale Files. In the poem, an exasperated princess speaks to the "still a frog" prince while they're eating dinner.


The Princess Speaks to the Frog Prince in Condescending Language
by Elaine Magliaro

Amphibian, you’re slimy, green…
The most repulsive thing I’ve seen.

Oh, woe is me! Is this my fate—
To have you hop around my plate…
The golden plate I got from Papa?
You’re leaving footprints in my supper!
And while the minstrel sings a ballad,
You flop your webbed feet through my salad.
I know you fetched my golden ball,
But you should follow protocol
And dine out in the kitchen where
The servants do. You’ll fit in there.
You’re sooooo disgusting, little frog.
I think I’ll feed YOU to my dog.

Monday, April 19, 2010

IT'S RAINING: An Original Poem & Repetition in Poetry

I wrote the following poem a couple of weeks ago—inspired by a long period of rainy days. It just kept raining and raining and raining…and sometimes pouring. It seemed as if the rain would never stop. In my poem, I tried to capture the thoughts of a child who feels his/her world has been inundated with rain.

It’s Raining

It’s raining…
Raining all around.
It’s raining puddles
On the ground.
It’s raining
On my booted feet.
It’s raining
Rivers in the street.
It’s raining cats.
It’s raining dogs.
It’s raining ponds
For polliwogs.
It’s raining
Drop by drop by drop…
A billion trillion—
It won’t stop!
It’s raining buckets
From the sky.
Don’t think the earth
Will EVER dry.

You can see that I repeated the words “It’s raining” many times in my poem. I’m sure you can figure out why—to emphasize the point that it’s raining…a lot!

You will see that Mary Ann Hoberman repeated the word “snow” many times in the following poem:

SNOW

Snow
Snow
Lots of snow
Everywhere we look and everywhere we go
Snow on the sandbox
Snow on the slide
Snow on the bicycle
Left outside
Snow on the steps
And snow on my feet
Snow on the sidewalk
Snow on the sidewalk
Snow on the sidewalk
Down the street.



Here’s a poem I posted previously at Wild Rose Reader. I use the same sentence as the first line of every stanza of my poem I Am Lion. Repetition doesn’t serve the same purpose in this poem as it did in the previous two poems.

Do you think I Am Lion would have been a better poem if I hadn't used repetition? Let’s see.

I AM LION

I am lion.
See my mane?
I am king
And here I reign
On the Serengeti Plain.

I am lion.
See my paws
With their sharp
And pointy claws?
See my teeth and mighty jaws?

I am lion.
Hear my roar?
I’m a cat
Of legend…lore.
I’m a fearsome predator!

I am lion.
Who are you?
You’re my prey!
How do you do?
You look plump…and juicy, too.

I am lion,
Royal beast.
Sorry that you’re
Now deceased.
You were
one delicious feast!


Let’s eliminate the first line in four of the stanzas and see how the poem reads.

I am lion.
See my mane?
I am king
And here I reign
On the Serengeti Plain.

See my paws
With their sharp
And pointy claws?
See my teeth and mighty jaws?

Hear my roar?
I’m a cat
Of legend…lore.
I’m a fearsome predator!

Who are you?
You’re my prey!
How do you do?
You look plump…and juicy, too.

I am lion,
Royal beast.
Sorry that you’re
Now deceased.
You were
one delicious feast!

As you can see—the rhythm was definitely affected. Of course, I could have written a different four-syllable line to begin each stanza. But I didn’t. I chose repetition. I thought it worked well in I Am Lion. What do you think?

*************************

More on Repetition in Poetry

Here are some quotes from postings about repetition in poetry that I found on the Internet:

“Repetition of a sound, syllable, word, phrase, line, stanza, or metrical pattern is a basic unifying device in all poetry. It may reinforce, supplement, or even substitute for meter, the other chief controlling factor in the arrangement of words into poetry.”
Read more here—http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/repetition.html


“Repetition, however, is perhaps the most basic idea in poetics. There are all sorts of repetition: the repetition of rhythmic elements (meter); the repetition of sounds (rhyme, etc.); the repetition of syntactic elements (often a lineation device in open form); the repetition of stanzas (terza rima, for example), and so on.”
Read more here—http://www.uni.edu/~gotera/CraftOfPoetry/repetition.html

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chick Chatter: An Original Animal Mask Poem

The mask poem below, Chick Chatter, made its debut at Jama Rattigan’s blog Alphabet Soup. It was the first poem she posted in her Poetry Potluck Series celebrating National Poetry Month 2010.

Click here to read her post peck peck, peep peep, yum yum: here's elaine magliaro!

As I wrote in an earlier Wild Rose Reader post, I really love writing animal mask poems. I enjoy pretending to be a lion or a grizzly bear or a blue whale or a snake or a snail or a monarch caterpillar—any kind of creature—and taking on their personalities...in poems.


In Chick Chatter, I tried to imagine what an unhatched chick might be thinking and saying to itself as it was trying to break out of its shell.


CHICK CHATTER

I’m pecking, pecking
On this dome.
I’m cramped inside
My little home.
Can’t spread my wings,
Can’t run…or walk.
Can’t see the sun.
Can barely talk!
Oh, I’ve been pecking
Since last night.
This shell is really
Really tight!
I just can’t stand it
Anymore!
Oh where? Oh, where
Is my front door?!


Things to Do If You Are King Kong: An Original List Poem at GottaBook


Gregory Pincus is featuring my list poem Things to Do If You Are King Kong over at GottaBook today. I am honored to be one of the writers who was asked to participate in Gregory's Thirty Poets Thirty Days project for National Poetry Month this year.



Saturday, April 17, 2010

Three Animal Mask Poems

Last week, in my Great Animal Mask Poem post, I invited blog readers to write and submit their own animal mask poems to Wild Rose Reader.

Here their submissions—in which a kitty cat and bugs speak to us in poetic voices.

********************

Brimful Curiosities wrote:
After reading your post with my preschool daughter, she decided to try her hand at dictating a mask poem today. Thought you might enjoy.


I am a kitty cat
with sharp claws to scratch you.
I have a lovely little purr,
and I'm just a baby.
I can fit through little cracks
and cuddle in a little comfy box
where you can never find me.
I am a girl kitty cat,
and I love you.


A BUG'S VIEW
by Jill Corcoran

Stop squishing. Stop swatting. Stop stepping on us.
Why do all you big people make such a fuss?
We're just little bugs try'n to live our short lives.
Why don't you go pick on some bug your own size?


And from Amy Ludwig VanDerwater:

Lover’s Lament

I’m a lone potato bug
who loves a leggy ladybug
who doesn’t know a pillbug
from a winter afternoon.

I long to give that gal a call
whisk her from the garden wall
polka dance her to a ball
underneath the moon.

Dot-to-dot
she’s red.
she’s hot.
She and I should tie the knot.

But camouflaged I’m hard to spot.
She cannot see
what’s dirt
what’s me.

Pillbugs are a lonesome lot.

I'm in love.
The lady’s not.


© Amy Ludwig VanDerwater


Thanks, all, for your fine submissions!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Things to Do If You Are the Moon: An Original List Poem

I’ve written a collection of poems titled Things to Do. Most of the poems in the collection are list poems. I’ve posted a few of them—including Things to Do if You Want to Be a Snowflake, Things to Do If You Are a Bell, and Things to Do If You Are a Pencil—at Wild Rose Reader. I’ve submitted the collection to just one publisher (in 2006)—who rejected it. In her rejection letter, the editor wrote the following:

There are some lovely poems here—I especially like “Things to Do If You Are a Mole.” But the “things to do” theme struck me as a bit loose. I felt I had to make big leaps moving from King Kong to nature to a pencil, and found a little puzzled by the whole.

Yes, the “things to do” poems ARE about various and sundry things: a bus, a snail, an acorn, the grass, a mountain, the rain, the ocean, a castle, a grandfather clock, scissors—and King Kong. After I received the rejection letter, I tried to think of ways to keep all the poems that I’d already written and still make Things to Do seem like a more cohesive collection. That’s when I wondered if I should organize the poems into different categories—and include three or four poems in each category.

Since I had two poems about objects in space—Things to Do If You Are the Sun and Things to Do If You Are a Star—I thought it might be a good idea to include a poem about the moon…so I wrote Things to Do If You Are the Moon. But I didn’t like it! It was too prosaic. No matter how much I fiddled with it—I didn’t hear any music. So I put the poem aside…for a long time.

Then, on Wednesday, while I was taking a shower—the beginning of a “things to do” moon poem popped into my head. I worked on the poem on Wednesday and Thursday. It still needs some work—but I think it’s much better than my first moon poem. Here is my second attempt:


THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE THE MOON

Live in the sky.
Be bold…
OR
be shy.
Wax and wane
in your starry terrain.
Be a circle of light,
just a sliver of white,
or hide in the shadows
and vanish from sight.
Look like a pearl
when you’re brim-full
and bright.
Hang in the darkness
and dazzle the night.


********************

Jules has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Seven Impossible Things.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010: And the Winner Is...

Rebecca of Rebecca’s Writing Journey is the winner of The Tree That Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination, selected by US Children's Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman and Linda Winston.



Congratulations, Rebecca! Email me your name and address and I'll send the poetry book off to you.


Win a Poetry Book!
Every week during April, I’m giving away a children’s poetry book at Wild Rose Reader. If you leave a comment at one of my poetry posts during the third week of NaPoMo (April 15-21), I’ll enter your name in the drawing to win a copy of The Underwear Salesman and Other Jobs for Better or Verse, which was written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Serge Bloch. It's a wonderful book of light verse for all ages.


(Note: If you leave comments at two of my poetry posts, I'll enter your name twice...and so on.)

Book Giveaway Schedule
Third Week of National Poetry Month: April 15- 21 (Winner announced on April 22nd)
Fourth Week of National Poetry Month: April 22-28 (Winner announced on April 29)
Final Days of National Poetry Month: April 29-30 (Winner announced on May 1st)

Second Week of National Poetry Month (April 8-14) in Review


Poetry Makers at the Miss Rumphius Effect
April 8—Nikki Giovanni
April 9—Charles Ghigna (Father Goose)
April 10—JonArno Lawson
April 11—Patricia Hubbell
April 12—Kurt Cyrus
April 13—David Harrison
April 14—Juanita Havill

Thirty Poets Thirty Days at Gotta Book
April 8—Ralph Fletcher
April 9—Alan Katz
April 10—Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
April 11—Charles Waters
April 12—Kathi Appelt
April 13—Kurt Cyrus
April 14—Arthur A. Levine

Poetry Tag at Poetry for Children
April 8—Joyce Sidman is IT
April 9—Marilyn Singer is IT
April 10—Kristine O’Connell George is IT
April 11—Alice Schertle is IT
April 12—Jane Yolen is IT
April 13—Heidi Stemple is IT
April 14— Lesléa Newman

Poetry Potluck at Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup
April 8—a tail of tubby tabbies with j. patrick lewis
April 9—friday feast: julie larios spices things up
April 12—kelly polark turns up the volume
April 13—sara lewis holmes and her biscuit boys
April 14—kristy dempsey goes to the dogs

Haiga (Haiku & Photographs) at A Wrung Sponge
April 8—sorbet haiku
April 9—pear trees
April 10—Tulip Haiku
April 12—soccer haiku
April 12—shoe haiku
April 13—what to do when you find a bug in the flowers
April 14—maple key haiku

Haiku at Liz in Ink
April 11—Haiku 8
April 11—Haiku 9
April 11—Haiku 10
April 11—Haiku 11
April 12—Haiku 12
April 13—Haiku 13
April 14—Haiku 14

Mary Lee’s Original Poem-a-Day about Teaching Or Learning at A Year of Reading
April 8—Poem #8—When Recess Duty Becomes a Blessing in Disguise: A Haiku
April 9—Poem #9—More about Those Xs
April 10—Poem #10—Life Lesson
April 11—Poem #11—Sunday Night Inertia
April 12—Poem #12—On the Way Home from School
April 13—Poem #13—Definito
April 14—Poem #14—After the Concert

Wild Rose Reader
April 8—TULIP: An Original Poem
April 9—The Great Animal Mask Poem Post & An Invitation
April 10—A List Poem & A Concrete Poem
April 11—Spring Flower & Poetry Video
April 11—Here & There
April 12—Brand New Day: An Original Poem
April 13—Poetry from A to Z…Not!
April 14—Big Bad Wolf at the Beauty Shop: An Original Poem

Other Bloggers Who Are Posting Original Poems during National Poetry Month
Susan Taylor Brown
Jone MacCulloch
Elizabeth Moore
April Halprin Wayland
Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Big Bad Wolf at the Beauty Shop: An Original Poem

I haven’t posted one of my poems about fairy tale characters in some time. In the following poem, the Big Bad Wolf doesn’t seem so intimidating. He’s sitting back in a barber chair and talking to his hairdresser/beautician—giving orders about what he wants done. There’s nothing like a good hairstyle and "pawicure" to make a wolf feel like he’s a real hunter ready to prey on little pigs and a wee lass who’s bringing goodies to her Grammy.


Big Bad Wolf at the Beauty Shop
by Elaine Magliaro


Snip the burrs from my back paws.

Sharpen all my blunted claws.

Shape my tail and tint the tip.

Trim my fur…but please don’t clip

The long hairs on my chinny chin.

They make me look SO masculine!