Friday, February 22, 2019

YELLOW SONNET: In Honor of Paul Janeczko


Many of you may already know that the poet and anthologist Paul B. Janeczko passed away earlier this week. He was a friend and an inspiration to me. I have dozens of his books. I have selected a poem to post in his honor today. It's from his book The Place My Words Are Looking For--which is one of my favorite poetry books.

Paul Zimmer wrote Yellow Sonnet after the death if his beloved mother. He said that writing the poem gave him an opportunity "to present a loving tribute" to his mother. I'm presenting the poem as a loving tribute to Paul Janeczko--who introduced me to many of America's finest children's, young adult, and adult poets.

By Paul Zimmer

Zimmer no longer wishes to write
About the dimming of his lights,
Recounting all his small terrors.
Instead he tells of brilliance,
Walking home from first grade
In springtime, light descending
To hold itself and dazzle him
In an outburst of dandelions...
Click here to read the rest of the poem and Paul Zimmer's explanation for why he wrote this lovely poem as a "love gift" to his mother. He tells readers that he felt "dismal" after her passing and wrote some sad poems. He said that he had many "warm and bright memories of her"--and "wanted to make a warm and bright poem in her memory."

Robyn has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Life on the Deckle Edge.



jan godown annino said...

Elaine, Thank you for this heartfelt remembering & for reminding me of this generous book Paul Janezcko created of interviews of poets. I know I have it, just can't locate it at the second. I'm so glad you could pull out this spot-on brief elegy that so fits. I have a feeling we in Poetry Friday will be spending much good time with each other in Spirit, as we go through our P.B. books this weekend. More appreciations.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I have two copies of the book. My older copy has seen a lot of use. The book was recommended to me by a friend who owned a children's book store. Paul compiled wonderful anthologies!

Robyn Hood Black said...

A beautiful tribute, Elaine - thank you for choosing and sharing this special poem in remembrance.

Linda B said...

Well, you know that this book is a favorite of mine, too, and those Zimmer poems, so full of life's sweet moments. It's a lovely tribute to Paul, Elaine.

Mary Lee said...

It's so true how those small "yellow" moments can help us bear the loss of loved ones. I'm coming up on the two year anniversary of my mom's death, and I'm learning to focus on the bright times rather than my sadness and longing for her voice just one more time.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Yellow Sonnet has been a favorite poem ever since I first read THE PLACE MY WORDS ARE LOOKING FOR. I can really relate as a mother and a former teacher who often had my daughter and students bring me a handful of dandelions as a gift.

Mary Lee, my mother passed away in January 2017. A picture that I had previously posted of her on Facebook showed up on my memories feed today. I reposted it. My mother looked so beautiful in that picture that it brought a smile to my face.

Michelle Kogan said...

Thanks for this warm, sensitive, and sunny tribute poem for Paul B. Janeczko Elaine, I think it's very fitting.