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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Friday, September 7, 2018

SAVING SUMMER: A Memoir Poem

Anna (Chalupka) Koziski

Today, I'm sharing a memoir poem about my maternal grandmother. She and my grandfather were Polish immigrants who came to America in the early part of the 20th century. Like many immigrants who were peasants, they had a garden and fruit trees and grew much of their own food. Years ago, a childhood image of my Babci preserving tomatoes inspired the following poem:

SAVING SUMMER

In the cellar
Babci sits on an old kitchen chair
made new with glossy gray paint.
Wearing an apron blooming with faded flowers,
she leans over the tub of steaming water,
plucks out plump tomatoes,
and peels off the wet, papery skins.

She fills shiny jars with soft red pulp,
stretches on rubber sealers,
presses down moon-round lids,
clicks closed the metal clamps.
She places the jars in a wire basket
and lowers them into a pot of bubbling water to cook.

On wooden shelves in a corner
she stores stewed tomatoes beside rows of pickled beets,
golden peach slices, green piccalilli,
and carrots the color of October pumpkins.

Standing there in late afternoon,
sunlight shining through a small side window,
I see her harvest preserved:
a rainbow glistening in glass.
Babci is keeping summer alive in jars.


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Carol has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Beyond Literacy Link.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Two Zebra Poems



I LOVE writing animal mask poems! I enjoy imagining what animals might say if they could speak to us. Here are two poems in which zebras tell us something about themselves:

 
ZEBRA 1
I love my snazzy black and white hide.
I wear it with a lot of pride.
My bold stripes help distinguish me
from other zebras that you see.
I'm truly unique--one of a kind.
We're not all the same!
Keep that in mind.

NOTE: No two zebras have the exact same pattern of stripes on their bodies. They are said to be as
different as human fingerprints.
 

ZEBRA 2

I'm black
            and white.
I'm dark
            and light
like night
            and day.

I may look like a horse
            but I never say NEIGH!
 

Which mask poem do you like better?
 
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Christy has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Wondering and Wandering.

 

Friday, July 27, 2018

SCHOOL BAKE SALE



I am happy to tell you that Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong's newest poetry anthology--GREAT MORNING!: Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud--has just been published. I am also thrilled that one of my poems is included in this book!!!

SCHOOL BAKE SALE
by Elaine Magliaro

We're having a bake sale tomorrow at three.
We're raising money for our school's library.
We'll have goodies to sell--goodies galore--
Better than baked goods you buy in a store:
Cranberry muffins and cinnamon rolls,
Pretzels, turnovers, scones, donut holes,
Sweet Danish pastries slathered with jam,
Calzones stuffed with cheddar and ham,
Frosted brownies--fudgy and gooey--
Tart lemon squares--tangy and chewy--
Flaky fruit pies bursting with berries,
Peaches, apples, rhubarb, and cherries,
Coconut cream cakes, cookies, and more!
We'll have goodies to sell--goodies galore.
Come to our bake sale tomorrow at three!
Help us raise money for our school's library.

Check out Sylvia Vardell's post about GREAT MORNING! at her blog Poetry for Children.

You can find out more about this book here.


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Catherine has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Reading to the Core.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Two Bee Poems: Revising for Publication




I had to revise a number of the poems in the THINGS TO DO manuscript that was submitted to Chronicle Books. A few had minor revisions; others required major changes. One that underwent a major change was the honeybee poem, which had originally been a "worker bee" poem.

Things to do if you are a WORKER BEE as it appeared in my manuscript:

Be yellow and fuzzy.
Stay busy. Be buzzy.
Tidy and clean.
Tend to your queen.
Be a working machine—
A syrup collector.
Go forage for nectar.
Reap pollen from flowers.
Don’t spend idle hours.
Don’t sit and relax.
Make honey and wax.
You must toil without end—
Yours is a lifetime of labor,
My friend.

My editor Melissa Manlove thought the poem was too long. She suggested I keep just the first two lines...and leave the poem at that. I decided to add two new lines to the beginning.

The final draft of Things to do if you are a HONEYBEE as it appears in my book:

Flit among flowers.
Sip nectar for hours.
Be yellow and fuzzy.
Stay busy.
Be buzzy.
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Sylvia Vardell has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Poetry for Children.