Friday, January 17, 2014

Poetry Friday: Cabbage, Friendship and Facebook

My Poetry Friday post this week is posted over at Books Around the Table, the blog I contribute to along with friends and fellow writers Laura Kvasnosky, Julie Paschkis and Margaret Chodos-Irvine. Head over there to see what's up -

It has something to do with this: 

and this: 

and this: 


The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted this week by Keri at Keri Recommends.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Poetry Friday: Brrrrrr

Firemen work in arctic temperatures to put out a recent fire in Chicago....

I know, I know, enough about the weather, the polar vortex, the wind chill, the snow, right? But for Poetry Friday this week, I can't resist sharing a weather poem. Here's one written by Anonymous, who wrote so many wonderful poems:


Whether the weather be fine
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be not,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.

                               - Anonymous

I'm sending a hug and hello to all my sweet colleagues and friends gathering today at the January 2014 Writing for Children and Young Adults residency at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
VCFA - College Hall in the Snow

Hope you have a ball over the next ten days, and that you hear the usual bunch of fascinating lectures, and that the sun up in a bright blue sky shines down on all that snow, and that you have many exciting conversations about writing. Pause for at least a few cups of good hot cocoa!

And for those of you interested in the poetry of Marie Ponsot, here's a link to my latest essay at Numero Cinq ("Marie Ponsot: Wandering Still")  in which I take a look at her work, her choices and her life. She's a wonderful poet - one of my favorites - and truly deserves a wider audience. You'll find examples of several of her fine poems in my essay.

Marie Ponsot with five of her seven children....
The Poetry Friday round-up this week is being hosted over at Mainely Write. Head over there to see what other people are sharing.

Friday, January 3, 2014


    Hailey Leithauser - Winner of the Emily Dickinson First Book Award 2013 for Swoop

One of my New Year's resolutions was to post more Poetry Friday poems written for kids. After all, it's not called the KIDlitosphere for nothing. Well, now it's the first Friday of the year and I'm breaking that resolution (my track record with Resolutions Kept is not good) because I'm smitten with the work of a new poet whose debut effort won the Emily Dickinson First Book Award from the Poetry Foundation this last fall. The poet's name is Hailey Leithauser; the book's title is Swoop (Graywolf Press, October 2013.)  For those of you who read (and maybe write) both kids' poetry and poetry for adults, or for those of you who ask  only - no matter who the audience - for a fine combination of sound, image and idea ("only" that!) this is for your reading pleasure. Next week, I resolve to post a poem written for kids. This week, I offer a poem kids can love the rhythm and rhymes of without quite understanding, and an adult can love, period. It was first published in Pleiades, a review put out by the University of Central Missouri. (By the way: The cover art for Swoop is wonderful. It's Paul Klee's "Blumenmythos" - Flower Myth - painted in 1918. Perfect choice for the book.)

The Old Woman Gets Drunk with the Moon 

The moon is rising everywhere;
The moon's my favorite easy chair,
My tin pot-top, my green plum tree,
My brassy buttoned cavalry
Tap-dancing up a crystal stair.

O watch them pitch and take the air!
Like shoo fly pies and signal flares,
Like clotted cream and bumblebees,
The moons are rising.

How hits-the-spot, how debonair,
What swooned balloons of savoir faire,
What purr of rain-blurred bright marquees
That linger late, that wait for me,
Who'll someday rest my cold bones there
In moons that rise up everywhere.

                                                 - Hailey Leithauser
If you love words and wordplay, don't miss her dizzying series of short poems inspired by words from The Grandiloquent Dictionary. Leithauser's techinical skill dazzles, and her imagination just doesn't quit. Don't be lulled by the humor. Some of the poems are quite dark, and most ask you to turn them over in your mind and come back to them several times, as the best poems do. The poet honors wit, heart and self-interrogation  - all three.
This week's Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Betsy at I Think in Poems. Head over there to see what other people have posted. And thanks, Betsy! And Happy New Year, One and All!

Getting Drunk with the Moon....