Friday, December 18, 2020

Say This Isn't the End: A Poem for Sunday by Richard Blanco

From poet Richard Blanco: “I say this might be the end we’ve always needed to begin again. I say this may be the end to let us hope to heal, to evolve, reach the stars. Again I’ll say: heal, evolve, reach, and become the stars that became us—whether or not this is or is not our end.”

First stanza of SAY THIS ISN'T THE END:

... say we live on, say we’ll forget the masks
that kept us from dying from the invisible,
but say we won’t ever forget the invisible
masks we realized we had been wearing
most our lives, disguising ourselves from
each other. Say we won’t veil ourselves again,
that our souls will keep breathing timelessly,
that we won’t return to clocking our lives
with lists and appointments. Say we’ll keep
our days errant as sun showers, impulsive
as a star’s falling. Say this isn’t our end …

Click here to read the rest of the poem.


Michelle Kogan has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.

Friday, July 17, 2020

In Celebration of Karla Kuskin


(July 17, 1932 – August 20, 2009)

I love the children's poetry of Karla Kuskin.
Most of it is exuberant and lively...
and perfect for sharing with young children.
Her works were seminal in my development as a children's poet.

Karla Kuskin's ANY ME I WANT TO BE 
is one of my favorite poetry books.
After reading it, I fell in love with mask poems. 

My elementary students loved the poetry in this book, too.
In the poems, Kuskin speaks in the voices of a tree, snow, 
night, a lion, a dragon, a snake, shoes, 
and even a strawberry:

I liked growing.
That was nice.
The leaves were soft.
The sun was hot.
I was warm and red and round.
Then someone dropped me in a pot.

Being a strawberry isn't all pleasing.
This morning they put me in ice cream.
I'm freezing.

From Scholastic:

From No Water River:

From the Cooperative Children's Book Center:

From Poetry for Children:

From Live Your Poem:

From Wild Rose Reader:

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Bookseedstudio.

Friday, June 26, 2020

My Cat Rudy

Last Friday, I posted a poem that my older granddaughter wrote about three baby blue jays that had died on our property. Today, I'm posting a poem that she wrote while I was homeschooling her this spring and her second grade class was doing a unit on writing poetry. Today's poem is about the family cat Rudy who had to be put to sleep last year. He was the sweetest, friendliest, most loving cat. We all still miss him.


My cat Rudy 
Was sweet and lovey.
He rubbed against my legs
When I came home, 
Curled up on my lap and purred,
Snuggled with me in bed.

My cat Rudy
Was mischievous.
He sneaked out of the house
Running fast as a cheetah,
Hunted for mice, 
Scratched our couches.

My cat Rudy
Was my furry friend.
He died last year.
I miss him so much.
I took this picture of Rudy before he was put to sleep.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Karen's Got a Blog.

Friday, June 19, 2020

A Poem for Three Baby Birds

I haven't contributed to Poetry Friday in months. I had had plans for National Poetry Month--but COVID-19 dashed them. When schools closed here in early March, I became my older granddaughter's second grade teacher. I have enjoyed working with her--especially helping her to learn about writing poetry. Teaching, however, has been time consuming. My husband and I have also been providing fulltime daycare for both of our granddaughters as our daughter and son-in-law are considered to be essential workers.

A few weeks ago, three baby blue jays fell out of a tree on our property. We noticed that there was a hole in the middle of the birds' nest. My granddaughters were distraught. My husband, daughter, and I did our best to keep the babies alive. We got information on what to do from our Animal Control Officer. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the baby blue jays died. My husband made a little bird cemetery for them. We gave the birds names and buried them. My older granddaughter wrote a poem for the birds.

A Poem for Three Baby Birds

One day I found you, little birdies,
on the ground beneath a tree.
You fell out of your nest.
Where were your mom and dad?
I took you into my barn.
My grandpa fed you!
You were so cute when you fell asleep.
You little birdies snuggled with each other.
The next morning it was time
to make you a nest in a pot.
My mom put you in the pot.
Then my grandpa
hung you back up in the tree
close to your nest.
Three days later my grandpa 
told us you had died.
We buried you in the ground.
We'll never hear you sing.
We hope you rest in peace, little birdies.

Tricia has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Poetry Friday: Valentine for Ernest Mann

For Valentine's Day, I'm posting a favorite poem by one of my favorite poets.

by Naomi Shihab Nye

You can't order a poem like you order a taco.
Walk up to the counter, say, "I'll take two"
and expect it to be handed back to you
on a shiny plate.

Still, I love your spirit.
Anyone who says, "Here's my address,
write me a poem," deserves something in reply.
So I'll tell a secret instead:
poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes,
they are sleeping. They are the shadows
drifting across our ceilings the moment
before we wake up. What we have to do
is live in the way that lets us find them.

Click here to read the rest of the poem.

Linda has the Poetry Friday Roundup at TeacherDance.

Friday, January 24, 2020

POT ROAST by Mark Strand

Winter is a time for hearty meals like thick soups and beef stew. This got me to thinking about one of my favorite poems: Pot Roast by Mark Strand. In his poem, a plate of pot roast brings back memories of the first time Strand tasted the meal...of his mother serving him a second helping. While everything around him seems bleak, the "power of food"...the "meat of memory" provides him with sustenance.

by Mark Strand

So I bend

to inhale
the steam that rises
from my plate, and I think
of the first time
I tasted a roast
like this.
It was years ago
in Seabright,
Nova Scotia;
my mother leaned
over my dish and filled it
and when I finished
filled it again.
I remember the gravy,
its odor of garlic and celery,
and sopping it up
with pieces of bread.

And now
I taste it again.
The meat of memory.
The meat of no change.
I raise my fork
and I eat. 

Click here to read the rest of the poem.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Reading to the Core this week.