Archive for the 'Poetry Friday' Category

A Stretch for a Poetry Friday Post

h1 Friday, January 15th, 2010

Yup, a stretch. Sorry: No poetry today. But my post can sort of wedge its way into Poetry Friday, given that I’m simply linking to a list of resources posted over at The Poetry Foundation’s web site.

At their blog, Harriet, Don Share’s got some information on the best ways to help out those who are suffering in Haiti, given this week’s tragic earthquake. The information is here.

If you want some actual poetry, the round-up is being hosted today by Mary Ann at Great Kid Books.

Poetry Thursday-Slash-Friday:
If These Walls Could Speak . . .

h1 Thursday, January 7th, 2010

{Note: You can click on that spread to enlarge and see it in more detail; you’ll just have to wait a bit for the download.}

On this Poetry Friday I highlight a book published by Creative Editions (hubba whoa, they make some beautiful books) in August of ’09, written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Italian illustrator Roberto Innocenti. It’s an over-sized, lovingly-designed book (as many of Creative Edition’s books are), called The House, which chronicles—via quatrains—the life of a stone-and-mortar house, the “House of twenty thousand tales,” constructed in 1656.

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Poetry Friday: Mary

h1 Friday, December 18th, 2009

Mary, depicted as Our Lady of GuadalupeA friend who made me a holiday mix CD put a version of Patty Griffin’s “Mary” on it, sung live with Shawn Colvin, and I was very pleased to hear it. It’s one of my favorite songs in all the universe, and it’d been a while since I’d heard it. I’ve been listening all week and wanted to share it today in this brief Poetry Friday entry.

This is a song about Griffin’s grandmother (or so I’ve read, or maybe heard, since—as Eisha can tell you—I like to rub it in how many times I’ve seen Patty Griffin live, mwahaha). It’s also about the Mary, and it’s a song that ran (happily and constantly) through my head during my honeymoon stay in Rome and Florence almost ten years ago, having seen a lot of early Medieval art depicting the Virgin Mary. I’m a Big Sap: This song makes me well up every time I hear it. I mean, EVERY time. To me, it’s many things — but primarily a nod to the complicated art of motherhood. I don’t know what defines a mother better than Patty’s line “and always you stay.” (That brings to mind this from Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, which I’ve shared before: “Walking to the honey house, I concentrated on my feet touching down on the hard-caked dirt in the driveway, the exposed tree roots, fresh-watered grass, how the earth felt beneath me, solid, alive, ancient, right there every time my foot came down. There and there and there, always there. The things a mother should be.”)

Here she is performing it live with Natalie Maines. (I know little to nothing about Maines, but this is the best live video version out there, and she does a fine job of singing back-up harmony here.)

Some of the lyrics: Read the rest of this entry �

Poetry Late-Thursday-Night: On High

h1 Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Spread from Julia Durango’s Angels Watching Over Me, illustrated by
Elisa Kleven; Simon & Schuster, 2007

I’m going to keep it simple this Poetry Friday with a brief excerpt from, of all the things, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” a poem and Christmas carol written mid-nineteenth-century by Edmund Sears, pastor of a Unitarian Church in Weston, Massachusetts.

I’ve been listening to some holiday tunes lately, as perhaps many of you are. As one of 7-Imp’s esteemed readers—who regularly runs after his hat “with the manliest ardour and the most sacred joy”—told me in an off-blog conversation, “Christmas music seems pretty much unambiguously glorious to me. It’s like good songwriters and hymnalists lose all the artifice and bombast and sentimentality they’re prone to the rest of the year.” To that, I say—rather uneloquently—word. He nailed it.

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Poetry Thursday and Friday:
Rhyming with Mac Barnett and Adam Rex

h1 Thursday, November 12th, 2009

“Who’s furry, scurries, and has fleas?
Who climbs our counters and eats our cheese?
We’ve set up traps all through the house
But still can’t catch that pesky…
{page turn, of course}

(Click to enlarge spread.)

I was going to post a poem for grown-ups today, but then Mac Barnett and Adam Rex had to up and make one of the funniest books I’ve seen all year and foiled my plans. (This is a book-in-verse, so voila: Poetry Friday post for this week.)

I contacted Adam in my ongoing attempt to check in with the Men of Children’s Lit Who Have Previously Visited 7-Imp and showcase what they’re up to now. (See Sean Qualls here and Lane Smith and David Ezra Stein here.) Adam is one of my top-five, y’all — as in, the We Can Thank Our Lucky Stars They’re Making Books for Children list. Like, der. Regular readers know this, as I often bug him to come stop by 7-Imp and share some art. But, ah well, I’m pointing this out for any new readers who may be out there. And Mac? Thank goodness he’s come along, too.

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Poetry Friday: One Impossibly Quick—But Fun—Q & A Before Breakfast with Bobbi Katz

h1 Friday, November 6th, 2009

Bobbi Katz; photo credit: Jennifer MayWhy is my Q & A with Bobbi Katz—accomplished poet, writer, activist, and workshop-conductor extraordinnaire (that is, writing workshops for children, teachers, and librarians)—so impossibly quick this morning? Well, I talked a bit about—and featured some illustrations from—her newest title, the ever-so creepy yet also strangely beautiful The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme, released by Sterling in September, in my recent breakfast interview with Adam McCauley, the book’s illustrator. I had been presented the opportunity to ask Bobbi some questions as well, which I was all about, and I figured I’d work her interview responses into Adam’s interview, making it a sort of joint interview over coffee. Well, then I decided to separate their interviews. Adam had sent so much beautiful art that I didn’t want Bobbi’s answers to get drowned out by all the images. So, yeah. Her interview now comes across as rather brief, and consarnit it all, we don’t get to find out such things as her favorite sound or noise with that wacky Pivot Questionnaire. But maybe she can stop by again another day. I’m happy she’s here, if only briefly, this morning. And I thank her for stopping by. (Don’t miss Tricia’s late-October interview with Bobbi at The Miss Rumphius Effect.)

You still haven’t seen this book yet? Okay, here’s my last attempt to get you to see one of the most beautifully-designed children’s titles of 2009. (I’ll be sure to re-post in this interview some of the spreads from the book that also appeared in Adam’s interview.) It’s also one of the Most Fun of ’09.

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Poetry Thursday-Slash-Friday: Drawing the Moon

h1 Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Welcome to my hybrid Poetry Friday (A Bit Early) and Picture Book post. I’ve got a poem to share, and because I find it tragic to post without art, I’m going to include a couple of spreads from a picture book, to be released soon, with art that makes me happy — and with art I think is fitting for this post.

This is from debut author/illustrator Susan Gal’s picture book, Night Lights:

(Click to enlarge the spread and see its wonderful details.)

More on the book below. But, first, my Poetry Friday contribution this week:

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Poetry Friday: Ex Libris

h1 Friday, September 18th, 2009

“Fall Stream” by dkelly - click for link. Happy Fall, ya’ll. This is my very favorite time of year, and I just want to revel in it. So I’m not going to say much here, I’m just going to share a lovely little jewel of a poem with you that evokes the beauty of the season, with just a wee tinge of melancholy over the winter to come. It’s “Ex Libris” by Eleanor Wilner:

By the stream, where the ground is soft
and gives, under the slightest pressure—even
the fly would leave its footprint here
and the paw of the shrew the crescent
of its claws like the strokes of a chisel
in clay; where the lightest chill, lighter
than the least rumor of winter, sets the reeds
to a kind of speaking, and a single drop of rain
leaves a crater to catch the first silver
glint of sun when the clouds slide away
from each other like two tired lovers,
and the light returns, pale, though brightened
by the last chapter of late autumn:
copper, rusted oak, gold aspen, and the red
pages of maple…

Click here to read the rest. Enjoy.

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Looking for more? Becky’s Book Reviews is hosting this week’s Poetry Friday round-up.

Poetry Thursday and Friday: Louisa May Alcott

h1 Thursday, September 10th, 2009

“When she returned {from Europe}, a publisher asked if she could write a ‘girls’ book.’ She said she would try. The result was Little Women, published in 1868. Louisa didn’t feel too hopeful about her latest work. ‘Never liked girls or knew many, except my sisters; but our queer plays and experiences may prove interesting,
though I doubt it.'”
(Click to enlarge spread.)

Here’s where I admit, with my librarian’s head hanging low and my face scarlet, that I have never read Little Women. Oh no, I haven’t. There. I’ve admitted this before quietly in comments at 7-Imp, but I’ve never said it so loudly here ’til now. And, of course, with two girls who are fairly soon going to be at a very good age for listening to this novel, I’m going to hold off even more, I think, and experience it then. With them.

But I’m not here today to talk about only Little Women. I’m here to tell you about—and share some art from—Yona Zeldis McDonough’s Louisa: The Life of Louisa May Alcott, illustrated by Bethanne Andersen (Henry Holt, August 2009). And this would be for an early Poetry Friday entry (a bit of a spotlight on Louisa, the poet, that is) and in my attempt, begun last week, to tell you about some more new picture book biographies currently on shelves.

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Poetry Friday: Burn like that.

h1 Friday, September 4th, 2009

Photo by Starfire - click for link. / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

First, an apology: I have bailed on Poetry Friday for the past two weeks running. I know! Shocking! Two weeks ago, I just flat out forgot. No excuse. And then last week, I burned my finger and thumb on a hot baking sheet and couldn’t type, what with all the bulky gauze and searing pain and such. So, I’m sorry. But I’ll try to make it up to you, by sharing something extra good: it’s “A Young Woman, A Tree” by Alicia Ostriker.

This poem gained a bit of notoriety a few years ago, because Kurt Cobain quoted it above a self-effacing caricature in his published journal. But this is a poem that deserves all kinds of notice on its own merit. Check it:

Passing that fiery tree—if only she could
Be making love,
Be making poetry,
Be exploding, be speeding through the universe
Like a photon, like a shower
Of yellow blazes—
She believes if she could only overtake
The riding rhythm of things,
Of her own electrons,
Then she would be at rest
If she could forget school,
Climb the tree,
Be the tree,
Burn like that.

Read the rest here. I love it for the vibrant imagery, for the driving pulse created by that litany of verbs, and for its strangely affirming twist of an ending. But what do you think?

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Today’s Poetry Friday Round-up is brought to you by the uber-classy Kelly Herold at her blog Crossover. Thanks, Kelly!