Poetry/Haiku Thursday/Friday:
Cinnamon Geraniums and the Rainingest Rain

h1 December 9th, 2010 by jules

Well, okay. Goofy post title, I know, but I haven’t had coffee yet. Not to mention I just couldn’t make up my mind. Today’s featured poetry anthology includes haiku—not just traditional poetry—and I’m going to post before Poetry Friday begins, so there ya go. Hence, my funky post title is what I’m trying to say. Anyway. I never promised to be coherent. (Did I?)

“Come with rain, O loud Southwester! / Bring the singer, bring the nester; /
Give the buried flower a dream; / Make the settled snow-bank steam…”

I love it when it rains. Really. I’m one of those chuckleheads who grins to herself when the forecast calls for days and days of it.

In July of this year, Charlesbridge released a poetry anthology dedicated to such days, One Big Rain: Poems for Rainy Days, compiled by Rita Gray and illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke, a title “well suited to a drizzly afternoon,” as Publishers Weekly wrote.

Opening this post is an excerpt from Robert Frost’s “To the Thawing Wind.” Having organized the anthology by seasons (five poems for each)—and really and truly covering many forms of precipitation—Rita also includes some poems from Carl Sandburg, Eve Merriam, Lilian Moore, and many more, including a poem of her own:

As mentioned, there are many haikus, Gray even including a note in the beginning about the translations, as well as a brief description for child readers as to how haikus are written.

Left side of spread — a haiku from Sodô: “a lone watermelon / knows nothing of the storm / this morning after”; Right side of spread: Eve Merriam’s “Summer Rain”:
“…Like a cinnamon / Geranium / Smells the rainingest rain.”

Writes the School Library Journal review, “The short poems are distinctive and well chosen…The delightful oil-on-paper illustrations in muted colors wrap around the text and add whimsical details…This attractive collection offers a delightful introduction to nature poetry.”

Indeed. I like the artwork. Below are a few spot illustrations from the book. Enjoy.

And stay dry. But only if you want to.

The one and only Jama Rattigan will host tomorrow’s Poetry Friday gathering here.

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ONE BIG RAIN: POEMS FOR RAINY DAYS. Compilation copyright © 2010 by Rita Gray. Illustrations copyright © 2010 by Ryan O’Rourke. Published by Charlesbridge, Watertown, MA. Illustrations used with permission of publisher.

8 comments to “Poetry/Haiku Thursday/Friday:
Cinnamon Geraniums and the Rainingest Rain”

  1. I have the Robert Frost page (“To The Thawing
    Wind”) hanging on my writing room corkboard.
    I love that illustration!

  2. So beautiful and I really love the poetry-no the art-no the poems! Okay…I have to pick this book up! It’s amazing!

  3. Didn’t know about this one! Looks lovely :)! I don’t mind the rain either — better than ice.

  4. Jules,

    One of my friends who owns a children’s book shop recommended this book to me earlier this year. I really like the selection of poems in the book–many of which you won’t find in any recent anthologies–and the illustrations.

  5. Cats.
    Falling leaves.

  6. After all these years living in Ohio, days and days of rain (like we’re having now) still make me nervous. (I channel Noah — will it ever end or will we float away?).

    Growing up in Eastern Colorado, rains were mostly brief summer events. But we didn’t have a fireplace growing up, and sitting by the fire reading makes days of rain quite tolerable!

  7. I also love the rain. When we were looking to leave Fla 20 years ago, Seattle was one of our top picks!

    I haven’t even heard of this book, and it looks amazing! Thanks for sharing it. I just put it on reserve at my library.

  8. Thanks, everyone. Glad to know others with an irrational love of grey days (rainophiles?), too.

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