Friday, July 29, 2011

BACKYARD MERMAIDS: An Original Memoir Poem

Here’s another of my memoir poems from my unpublished collection A Home for the Seasons about the happy times I spent at the home of my maternal grandparents when I was young. This poem describes a hot summer day when my cousins Karen and Joyce and I ran through the sprinkler in my grandparents’ yard. (Note: Dzidzi was my grandfather.)

by Elaine Magliaro

An August afternoon,
the air hangs over us like a moist veil.
A cicada stings the silence.
Dzidzi turns on the sprinkler.
Thin ribbons of silver beads
stream upward, glisten in the sun.
We run back and forth through the tiny waterfall,
our bare feet squishing through wet grass,
liquid diamonds cooling our sunburned skin,
seaweed hair clinging to our heads and necks.
We are mermaids of the deep
and the sun, a giant topaz,
floats above us in a sea of sapphire blue.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is over at Book Aunt this week.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Through the Looking Glass: Dale Chihuly's Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

Yesterday, my husband and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see Dale Chihuly's exhibit "Through the Looking Glass." I am so gald we did. It was like visiting a beautiful wonderland–one created in the imagination of glass artist Chihuly.  Fortunately, I was able to take pictures without a flash. Maybe you’d like to come along on a tour of Chihuly's glass art exhibit.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Baby Face & A Poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting as much in recent weeks as I normally do. I have a couple of projects that I've been working on that I have to complete soon. There’s also another reason. I’ve been trying to spend as much time with my daughter Sara and her husband as I can before Sara has her baby. My first grandchild is due by the end of July!

Sara sent me a pre-birth picture of her baby from her cell phone the other day. Seeing my grandchild’s face was a thrill indeed.

Looking at that picture brought back memories of the day my Sara was born…of my only child as an infant and toddler.
Sara on her third birthday

My daughter is a social worker—like her husband. She is the most amazing adult. We have a wonderful relationship.

Sara & I on Mother's Day 2011

I’m posting one of my favorite poems by Naomi Shihab Nye today. I included it in a memory book that I made for Sara when she was graduating from high school.

What is Supposed to Happen
By Naomi Shihab Nye

When you were small,
we watched you sleeping,
waves of breath
filling your chest.
Sometimes we hid behind
the wall of baby, soft cradle
of baby needs.
I loved carrying you between
my own body and the world.

Now you are sharpening pencils,
entering the forest of
lunch boxes, little desks.
People I never saw before
call out your name
and you wave.

You can read the rest of the poem here.

Sara, her dad, & I at Sara's baby Shower in May

Tabatha Yeatts has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Last Friday, I posted a poem titled Fireball about one of my favorite kinds of candy—when I was a kid. I got quite a response. It seems the poem brought back memories of childhood for some of the people who commented about the poem.

I admit that I had a real sweet tooth when I was young. There was a little candy store about a two-minute walk from my house. In my mind today, I can still see the glass case in the store that held all the candy bars and dozens of different kinds of penny candies. I could buy a lot of sweets with a dime back in the 1950s. Candy bars were just five cents. I loved Sky Bars and Malo Cups and Mint Juleps and Squirrel Nuts…and so many other kinds of candy.

One of my most vivid childhood memories is of an early summer evening when a few neighborhood friends and I sat around the stone fireplace that my father had built in our backyard and toasted marshmallows. Back when I was a kid, Campfire Marshmallows came in a little white boxes wrapped in a blue and white paper--not in plastic bags.

Sitting on a crate with my friends just after the sun went down, I enjoyed watching the outsides of the marshmallows blistering and browning. I love biting into the toasted marshmallows as the semi-liquid insides oozed out. Yum! Pure joy for someone with a sweet tooth.

I tried to capture that marshmallow-toasting moment when I wrote the following poem for my unpublished collection of candy poems.

By Elaine Magliaro

I pierce
two candied clouds…
a pair of whipped sugar pillows
with a wooden stick,
toast them over the campfire
till they’re warm and brown
and their insides ooze
sticky white lava
when I bite in.

NOTE: I also did quite a bit of research on the subject of sweets when I wrote the poetry manuscript. I included factual information along with the poems. I thought some of the information that I found was really interesting.

Marshmallow candy was eaten in Ancient Egypt. It was once a honey-based candy with nuts that was flavored with the sap of Althea officinalis, a perennial mallow plant that grows wild in marshes in Europe and Asia. Today, the marshmallow candy we eat is made from sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, water, and starch. Sometimes vanilla and other flavorings are added.

At Blue Rose Girls, I have an original poem titled Cool Pool.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is over at A Year of Reading.


P.S. I published a post yesterday titled Go the F**k to Sleep: What's Your Opinion of This Picture Book for Parents? I'm interested in getting people's opinions of this book that appears destined to become a really big bestseller.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Go the F**k to Sleep: What's Your Opinion of This Picture Book for Parents?

I wrote the following post last weekend for Jonathan Turley's blog. I thought I'd repost it here and see if I could get responses from some of the people in the kidlitosphere.

Several weeks ago, I read some interesting news about a “not yet published” picture book titled Go the F**k to Sleep. The book had begun climbing Amazon’s best-seller list on the strength of preorders that people had placed. According to an article in The New York Times, neither the book’s author Adam Mansbach nor his publisher could account for the “phenomenon.” Galleys of the book had not been distributed. The only people to have seen the work were, purportedly, “a handful of booksellers who received a PDF via e-mail.”

It appears the PDF of Go the F**k to Sleep went viral. Some of the booksellers who received the PDF of the book must have forwarded it to other people…who probably forwarded it to still more people.

Go the F**k to Sleep is a picture book that is not intended for reading to children. It was written for weary parents who lose patience when their young children don’t want to go to bed.

It seems the book has become all the rage. Even Rachel Maddow designated Go the F**k to Sleep a “Best New Thing in the World” on one of her recent shows on MSNBC. Touré, a writer and cultural critic who is the father of two young children, called it an “awesome” book in an appearance on the Dylan Ratigan Show. And actor Samuel L. Jackson recorded an audio-book narration for it. Jackson said that there were times in the past when he was exasperated with his daughter and told her to “go the f**k to sleep.” Nice way to speak to a young child, don’t you think?

Here’s how the text of the book begins:

The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the fuck to sleep.

Maybe I’m an old fuddy duddy. My opinion of the book is different from that of Maddow and Touré. In my opinion, Go the F**k to Sleep is not awesome. While I laughed when I first heard about the book, I found the rhyming text tiresome after the first couple of pages. I got the joke. I thought it wore thin quickly.

What I wonder about is how many mothers-to-be and parents of newborns will receive this book as a gift. I wonder how many parents may now think it’s cool to tell their wee ones who don’t feel like going to bed to “go the f**k to sleep.”

Listen to Samuel l. Jackson’s reading of the book and let me know what your opinion of it is.

I would like to recommend several fine picture books to read to children at bedtime.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Poetry Friday Roundup Is at Wild Rose Reader Today!

Please leave the URL of your Poetry Friday post in the comments. I'll be rounding up the links throughout the day.


Poetry Friday: Morning Edition

Award-winning poet Julie Larios has an original poem for us today at The Drift Record. She says it’s in the spirit of summer’s blowziness and her grandson’s current love affair with the sprinkler. It’s titled Undone by the Sun.

Right here at Wild Rose Reader, I have an original candy poem titled Fireball. It just might will sear your poetry taste buds.

Mary Lee has a post titled Seeing Instead of Just Looking about the “beauty in the ordinariness of life” at A Year of Reading.

Laura Salas says she’s got “some fantastic 15 Words or Less poems inspired by a barbed wire photo at her blog.

Diane Mayr has a passel of poetry posts for us this week. At Random Noodling, she looks at Archy & Mehitabel. Kids of the Homefront Army continues with "I Don't Even Know Him." Kurious Kitty celebrates Gene Kelly. Kurious K's Kwotes' P.F. quote is by Marilyn Hacker. At The Write Sisters you'll find a poem called "Things."

Robyn Hood Black is “remembering a beloved cat with Thomas Gray's humorous 18th-century ode to an over-reaching one...”

Heidi Mordhorst says she’s reflecting on poetry criticism this week and how what she likes helps you figure out what you like.

Katie is revisiting a favorite poem, W.H. Auden's "A Summer Night" in a quick little post on her blog Secrets & Sharing Soda today.

Jeannine Atkins wrote about a great book called Maid as Muse, which is about Emily Dickinson's relationship with servants in the house and yard.

Carol is sharing a poem from Sara Holbrook's book, WEIRD? ME TOO! LET'S BE FRIENDS! She thinks intermediate grade readers are going to love this book of "all things friendship!"

Tara has a post about C.K. Williams, a poet that she discovered through a gorgeous picture book.

Steve Withrow has a poem for us in blank verse that was inspired by a July 4th outing with his wife and daughter.

Over at Gathering Books, you’ll find a poem titled Singapore River.

Charles Ghigna—aka Father Goose—has a post titled What I Learned from Picture Books at his blog.

Karen Edmisten contributes to Poetry Friday with a poem by Beverly Rollwagen titled Essential.

Sara Lewis Holmes gives us a report from her week at Shakespeare Camp, and an original sestina, Play On, in her post What gives us Shape?

Poetry Friday: Afternoon Delights

The talented Amy Ludwig VanDerwater joins in celebrating Poetry Friday with her post First Assignment—Explosions.

The Stenhouse Blog brings us the poem Greguerías by Ramón Gómez de la Serna.

David Elzey, who says he is on the eve of taking off for nearly two weeks, shares an original poem about his current state of mind called Checklist.

Popular children’s poet Douglas Florian shares an Ocean-Of-Consciousness poem/song by DONOVAN over at the Florian Café.

Rasco from RIF writes about Father and Son this Poetry Friday.

Gregory Pincus shares an original poem titled No Poem Today. It’s a “writer’s block” poem.

Janet Squires writes about Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart at her blog.

Ruth gives us a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye titled Trying to Name What Doesn’t Change.

Poetry Friday: Evening Edition

Marjorie is in at Paper Tigers this week with a post about a surprising little book of haiku and its accompanying Activity Book from Katha Books.

Hannah serves up a silly riff on William Carlos Williams—in honor of the peaches that she’s says she’s currently devouring like they're going out of style.

Karissa Knox Sorrell joins the Poetry Friday crowd with a poem titled Oldest Map of the World by poet/memoirist Kelle Groom.

Libby Frankel shares a poem/prayer that she says was inspired by her 13-hour road trip to Pennsylvania with her toddler.

Melissa Wiley shares a few lines from Randall Jarrell's lovely book, The Bat-Poet, which she says she and her five-year-old have been enjoying all week.

At Learning to Go, Judy has a poem by Peter Kane Dufault titled Dear George Eliot.