Friday, December 31, 2010

Poetry Friday: We Have a Song....

I think the photo above (via friend and VCFA-colleague Louise Hawes) is a poem in itself- no text necessary. But since I'm on the subject of the moon, here is something Italo Calvino said about the work of Giacomo Leopardi, the great Italian poet:
          ...he simply takes the weight out of language, to the point that it resembles moonlight.

Now that seems like good writing advice to me - Attend to lightness. Shoot for moonlight. I sang lots of songs about the moon to my grandson these last two weeks while he was staying with us in Seattle. Oh, Mr. Moon, Moon, bright and shiny moon, won't you please shine down on me? and When the moon comes over the mountains, every beam brings a dream, dear of you....and we read the lovely story in Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel which contains the lines, "Oh, Moon, you have followed me all the way home. What a good round friend you are!"

2010 seems to have been the Year of the Moon for me. I wonder what 2011 will be? Here is a small poem about the moon by H. D. (Hilda Doolittle).


Will you glimmer on the sea?
Will you fling your spear-head
On the shore?
What note shall we pitch?

We have a song,
On the bank we share our arrows -
The loosed string tells our note:

O flight, 
Bring her swiftly to our song. 
She is great. 
We measure her by the pine-trees. 

New Year's Resolution 2011: I will measure my work by the pine trees.

Hope your year is wonderful.  Here is a small poem (2010 was a year of small poems, too) by Robert Herrick about the good luck I wish for you in the new year. I'm passing it along - it came to me via the wonderful owners of Open Books, Christine Deavel and John Marshall (they have a calendar of strong readers coming up...if you live in the Pacific Northwest and love poetry, check it out.)  

"The Coming of Good Luck"

So good luck came, and on my roof did light
Like noiseless snow, or as the dew of night:
Not all at once, but gently, as the trees
Are by the sunbeams tickled by degrees.

The Poetry Friday round-up this week is over at Carol's Corner.  Head over there to see what other people are posting.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Poetry Friday: Toast, Butter, Kings and 3-Year-Olds.

A.A. Milne, looking a bit fussy
My 3-year-old grandson has been staying with me for the last week while my daughter and her husband take a long-overdue vacation. I've been immersed in Lego's, Lightning McQueen race cars (and tow trucks), tents made of sheets over the dining room table, and gingerbread-cookie-making sessions. There have been rubber ducks in the bathtub and six stories at bedtime just about every night because I can't resist it when he begs, "One more...please?" Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel has been a favorite, ditto Make Way for Ducklings.

Just about all of it has been glorious. I'd forgotten, though, how specific 3-year-olds can be about what they want to eat- I mean, down to the smallest details, the way an egg is scrambled, the amount of milk on cereal, the proper way to cut pizza. the way a piece of toast is buttered ("Nobody /  he whimpered / "Could call me / a fussy man....")   Here's one of my favorite A.A. Milne poems - I've been thinking of it while fixing meals this week:


The King asked
The Queen, and
The Queen asked
The Dairymaid:
"Could we have some butter for
The Royal slice of bread?"
The Queen asked the Dairymaid,
The Dairymaid
Said, "Certainly,
I'll go and tell the cow
Before she goes to bed."

The Dairymaid
She curtsied,
And went and told the Alderney:
"Don't forget the butter for
The Royal slice of bread."

The Alderney said sleepily:
"You'd better tell
His Majesty
That many people nowadays
Like marmalade

The Dairymaid
Said "Fancy!"
And went to
Her Majesty.
She curtsied to the Queen, and
She turned a little red:
"Excuse me,
Your Majesty,
For taking of
The liberty,
But marmalade is tasty, if
It's very

The Queen said
And went to his Majesty:
"Talking of the butter for
The royal slice of bread,
Many people
Think that
Is nicer.
Would you like to try a little

The King said,
And then he said,
"Oh, deary me!"
The King sobbed, "Oh, deary me!"
And went back to bed.
He whimpered,
"Could call me
A fussy man;
I only want
A little bit
Of butter for
My bread!"

The Queen said,
"There, there!"
And went to
The Dairymaid.
The Dairymaid
Said, "There, there!"
And went to the shed.
The cow said,
"There, there!
I didn't really
Mean it;
Here's milk for his porringer
And butter for his bread."

The queen took the butter
And brought it to
His Majesty.
The King said
"Butter, eh?"
And bounced out of bed.
"Nobody," he said,
As he kissed her
"Nobody," he said,
As he slid down
The banisters,
My darling,
Could call me
A fussy man -
I do like a little bit of butter to my bread!"

                      A.A. Milne

Poetry Friday this week is being hosted by Amy over at The Poem Farm. Go visit and see what people are posting!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Poetry Friday: Juncoes and Jujubes

Tricia over at The Miss Rumphius Effect issued a challenge via her Monday Poetry Stretch to write about something that inspires us. Since inspiration is such a large thing, I decided to go small with my sources for it. Here's a poem about a small thing that inspired me:


Just a little junco in the apple tree
this morning was enough to make me fiddle
with my plans, make me wait & see
(just a little)

what the day would bring. I put the kettle
on, rethought my errands, made a cup of tea,
settled in by the window. The junco's whistle

(just the hint of one, no bigger than the middle
letter of September) – his busy ee-ee-ee—
was Greek to me. But I love an autumn riddle
(especially if it's little.)

The Poetry Friday round-up this week is over at Jama Ratigan's delicious blog, Alphabet Soup. Click over there to see what other people are posting! (mmmm.....alphabet soup......that's a small little inspirational thing, too.....) 
Here are more photos of small things that inspire me: 

Alphabet soup....either "Toot Toot" or "Otto Otto" 
Netsuke Nest
Jujubes for You and Me's

The Latest and Youngest Fan of Imaginary Menagerie - Sweet Zia!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Poetry Friday: Congratulations to J. Patrick Lewis

J. Patrick Lewis, Poet

A few days ago, I read that J. Patrick Lewis was named the recipient of this year's Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English (this news came via Elaine Magliaro and her informative blog, Wild Rose Reader - Elaine also has a wonderful interview with Pat from 2008.) And a few weeks ago, I got a copy of Pat's book of poetry for adults, Gulls Hold Up the Sky: Poems 1983-2010. Today, I just want to say hooray to Pat, and huge congratulations!

Pat joins poets like Richard Wilbur and X.J. Kennedy who see no problem straddling the fence between the two worlds of writing for children and writing for adults. Talent, a love of language, an observant eye, a sense of humor (which is often a sense of non-sense), and a willingness to work hard. No matter who the audience is, that's what it takes to produce the poetry, and Pat has these qualities.

For Poetry Friday, a silly and wonderful poem from this new book of his (though many are serious, and I thought I should share one of those, no - I can't resist the silly ones): 

Crime and Punishment 

Student, mad, 
Runs amok --
Murders two,
Worse luck. 
What then? 
Long discussion --
Guilt, more guilt
(It's Russian.)

Pat Lewis, Bubble-Gum Blower!
Today's Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Tricia (thanks, Tricia!) over at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Head over there to see what people have posted!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Book Covers - Masks on Faces, Maps on Hands, Food on Fork, Etc.

The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel (book design by Nicole Gastonguay)
The lovely people over at Jacket Knack are asking for opinions about Favorite Covers of 2010, and I went a little nuts, suggesting maybe 25-30 of my favorites (on their Facebook page.) I was having fun, and I was a little out of control. I love cover art. I love design - wanted to study it at Berkeley until politics got in the way (it was the '60's - and Design seemed elitist....)  But oh, my, maybe if I'm reincarnated, I'll come back as a book cover designer.

That, or an otter.

Here are some of my favorite book covers of the year (some for adults, some for kids):

Keeper by Kathi Appelt
Socksquatch by Frank W. Dormer
In Front of My House by Marianne Dubuc

Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman (illustrated by Rick Allen)

Wild Alphabet by Dan Green (book design by Julie Frolich)

Freefall by Mindi Scott (book design by Mike Rosamilia)
Dinosaurs? by Lila Prap
Ubiquitous by Joyce Sidman (illustrated by Beckie Prange)
Farm by Elisha Cooper

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper(book design by Debra Sfetsios)

They Called Themselves the K.K.K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
(book design by YAY Designs - who also did the fabulous cover of The Secret of the Yellow Death)
Chicken Big by Keith Graves
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch

Boss Baby by Marla Frazee

Moral Ground edited by Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Wilsson

Milk Eggs Vodka by Bill Keaggy
The Luzhin Defense by Vladimir Nabokov (design by Paul Sahre)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Poetry Friday: Apples and Indirection

Laurie Lee, photographed by Bill Brandt

Sentimentality is regarded, properly, as lethal when it comes to poetry. What you want in poetry (maybe I should say what I want) is not overt sentiment but the observable world; that is, not grief but "for all the history of grief, / an empty doorway and a maple leaf." (Archibald MacLeish.) Not abstractions, but the world of birds, bugs, rivers, pearl buttons, ginger snaps, the muscles of the arm, a suspension bridge, a peony, oars in a rusty oarlock. 

But wanting a poem to be heartfelt - that's what I've been puzzling over for the last year or two: how to make room for sentiment without becoming sentimental. It's hard to stay balanced. What needs to be done is to talk about something by talking about something else - it's basic, it's what metaphorical thinking is all about, it's what a magician does with sleight of hand - misdirect the audience's attention.

For this week's Poetry Friday, the day after Veteran's Day, I'm offering up a poem by Laurie Lee, an English poet whose memoir (Cider with Rosie) I read because a close friend insisted I should (he was right - I loved it.) This poem is just what I'm talking about when I say "indirection." It's a poem about apples, and it is about apples, thank God -  but also about much more. I gave this poem to my mother when my dad died - it said more than I felt able to say about her grief, though maybe a combination of both (direct, indirect) is how you best handle "the season's dole." Mom married my dad just before he shipped out for the Philippines during WWII. I think of this poem when Veterans' Day comes around each year.

The last of our apples have fallen to the ground now - it's November, how did November happen? - and I've been putting the rotten ones into the compost. Windfall apples are on my mind. So is my mom. So are boys eating apples, growing into young men who go to war.  November thoughts.


Behold the apples’ rounded worlds:
juice-green of July rain,
the black polestar of flowers, the rind
mapped with its crimson stain.

The russet, crab and cottage red
burn to the sun’s hot brass,
then drop like sweat from every branch
and bubble in the grass.

They lie as wanton as they fall,
and where they fall and break,
the stallion clamps his crunching jaws,
the starling stabs his beak.

In each plump gourd the cidery bite
of boys’ teeth tears the skin;
the waltzing wasp consumes his share,
the bent worm enters in.

I, with as easy hunger, take
entire my season’s dole;
welcome the ripe, the sweet, the sour,
the hollow and the whole. 

                        Laurie Lee

"Wanton" apples....ready for that stallion Lee mentions....

Laurie Lee continued his memoir with two other volumes, taking him from childhood to manhood - and since one of them deals with his war experiences (As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning: A Moment of War) his poem seems especially appropriate for the Veterans Day we just experienced yesterday (see also my last post, which addressed Veteran's Day more directly - well, there was some indirection there, too - it talks about Robespierre and chocolate rats.) I'm hoping that some veterans come home from the current wars still able to see the sweet and the whole, not just the sour and the hollow.
UPDATE: I'm keeping this post up for a second week, so for today, November 19, the Poetry Friday round-up is over at Random Noodling. Go there, follow the links to other poems, other blogs. And definitely read the poem Diane has posted there by Kevin Young. It's wonderful

Poetry Friday for 11/12 is being hosted by SCRUB-A-DUB-TUB - go there, take a, I mean go there take a look at what people are posting.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Poetry Friday: War, Love, Poets and Chocolate Rats

Edward Thomas

In honor of Veteran's Day on the 11th, I'm posting a love poem written by Edward Thomas, a Welsh poet, friend of Robert Frost, who was killed in action in France during the Battle of Arras, April, 1917. Arras is also known as the birthplace of that architect of the Reign of Terror, Maximilien de Robespierre. It was also laid siege to in 1640 during the Thirty Years War. It's equally famous for being the town where 250 suspected Resistance fighters were executed by the Germans during WWII. Hitler's favorite general, Erwin Rommel (aka The Desert Fox) was decorated with an Iron Cross for his role in capturing Arras, and the fall of the town led to the British evacuation of soldiers from the beaches at Dunkirk (described so agonizingly in Ian McEwan's Atonement.) Not a good place for a soldier to pass the time of day,  no matter what the century.  The town is well-known now for its heart-shaped cookies, Couers d'Arras, which come in two flavors, ginger and cheese, and for little chocolate rats stuffed with pralines. There are probably German and British tourists (with no desire to kill each other) all over the town each summer, shopping side by side for heart-shaped biscuits and nibbling away at chocolate rats. I wish one of the strolling tourists could be Edward Thomas, alive and well , an old man, but still writing poetry.  

Robespierre, Who Looks a Bit 
Like a Rat Stuffed with Pralines


After you speak
And what you meant
Is plain,
My eyes
Meet yours that mean---
With your cheeks and hair---
Something more wise,
More dark,
And far different.
Even so the lark
Loves dust
And nestles in it
The minute
Before he must
Soar in lone flight
So far,
Like a black star
He seems---
A mote
Of singing dust
That dreams
And sheds no light.
I know your lust
Is love.
                 -Edward Thomas
 Poetry Friday this week is rounded-up over at Teaching Authors. Head over there to see what other people have posted.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Poetry Friday: Big Weather, Continued

Yesterday I posted a photo of a terrifying but beautiful scene, thinking at the time, "Isn't it remarkable that something can be built of such seemingly contradictory elements - beauty and terror?" The photo shows a storm cloud/tornado over a peaceful landscape, and it seemed to me that this photo produced what a good novel or a good poem can produce - thoughts of lives lived under (or changed quickly by) the special circumstances evoked.  Literature does this - conjures up stories where human lives intersect with mysterious, uncontrollable forces.  Here's the photo again, in case you missed it.
Today, for Poetry Friday, I hunted up a poem titled "A Hermit Thrush" by Amy Clampitt which I remembered from a few years back - I first read it after a big wind storm in Seattle. It's the final four stanzas of the poem which stuck with me:

the longest day take cover under
a monk's-cowl overcast,

with thunder, rain and wind, then waiting,
we drop everything to listen as a
hermit thrush distills its fragmentary,
hesitant, in the end

unbroken music. From what source (beyond us, or
the wells within?) such links perceived arrive--
diminished sequences so uninsistingly
not even human--there's

hardly a vocabulary left to wonder, uncertain
as we are of so much in this existence, this
botched, cumbersome, much-mended,
not unsatisfactory thing.
I love those adjectives at the end, especially the surprise of the very last one: botched, cumbersome, much-mended, not unsatisfactoryDespite the flaws, we love life. Despite that storm cloud, a hermit thrush's unbroken song.

The whole poem can be read here. Notice the first line, too - "Nothing's certain." I'd like my creative writing students at Vermont College of Fine Arts to think about that a  bit, because writing for children, which is what I teach, can be a little pedantic - a little too certain of the rightness of the message.  Maybe I'll lecture on the value of uncertainty (negative capability = living in uncertainty) next July.

Poetry Friday today is being hosted today by Toby Speed (oops, I mean by her cat, Kashi) over at The Writer's Armchair.You'll find there what other people are posting around the Web!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Big Weather

This strikes me as remarkably beautiful. Terrifying, yes. But beautiful, too. Look at the small objects under the cloud - are they just trees? Maybe a house in the distance, a barn? For me, this is what great fiction or great poetry can do -help us visualize the huge forces at work in the world, whether they are physical or emotional, and add particular lives. Take a look at the whole scene again. I think THAT is what storytelling can do. Conjure up forces that are mysterious, beautiful, terrifying, and uncontrollable, and then say, "Into this picture, insert a life...."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Fracture of the tibia at the medial plateau....."

Right there, at the medial tibial plateau - that's where my husband's leg was broken in a car accident a few hours after I posted my last Poetry Friday poem. Two operations later, he's home now and I'm trying to be a good nurse. Our month-long trip to Spain, scheduled to start a few days after the accident, was canceled. And Nando's retirement, which was to be celebrated by our trip, is not off to a great start. Life goes upside down fast, but we're looking for the positive - we know we're lucky it was only a broken leg. And we're in recovery mode. And I'm looking for a word that rhymes with tibia (amphibia? inhibia? Nambibia?)

Will be back to drift around here soon - after "aggressive range of motion therapy."

Friday, September 24, 2010


This poem was the result of a poetry challenge that involved drawing a picture (I drew a woman singing "La La") and passing it around a circle with a new person drawing it after only seeing it for a few seconds. Kind of a "Cranium" (the board game) challenge, or a written game of "Telephone."  My drawing went around the circle  without changing too much, except that the original words "La la" which I had written next to the woman's mouth had morphed into "Blah blah." Assignment: Write a poem about what changed. So here is what I wrote, taking a few liberties with one La and and one Blah:


By the time La turned into Blah
she had left Woo-Woo so far behind
it had become Woe.  

It's so easy, we all know, 
for La to get lost, 
at least for awhile. 

And adding Tra to the La
only goes so far. About as far
as she could throw it on a gray day. 

Now she knows in her own way
it's a mood, and she wants to shake it
the way she shook a rattle and cooed
for her first born. 

But the urge to mourn is winning.
La, she has decided,
belongs at the beginning.

Karen Edmisten is in charge of the Poetry Friday round-up today. Head over to her blog to see what's up.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Poetry Friday - Time for Recess!

Girls on the Playground, Pittsburgh PA, 1950

Tricia over at The Miss Rumphius Effect continues to be my muse, via her Poetry Stretches. When she asked this week for a poem made entirely of questions, I fell into the rhythms of the playground - counting games, jump rope rhymes - and tried to capture them, with a dash of adult heartache, which is what a question mark does to me now.

Jump Rope Rhyme

Why go fast?
Why go slow?
Why say I know
when I just don't know?
Is it really why,
or is it why not?
And who is the how
and when is the what?
Clock doesn't tick?
Tick untocked?
Who will make a key
for a heart that's locked?
Is it you, is it me?
One potato, two potato,
what do I see?
Do I see a baby?
Do I see a hearse?
Do I see a lady
with an alligator purse?

The wonderful Elaine Magliaro is handling this week's Poetry Friday roundup. Head over to her blog, The Wild Rose Reader, to see what people have posted.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Poetry Friday - Contradictions


Sure, sometimes I'm in a contradictory mood. My friends might say I'm often in a contradictory mood (I'd try to contradict them - no, maybe I wouldn't.) This week, the Poetry Stretcher over at  The Miss Rumphius Effect asked us to write a poem beginning "They say..." and then to contradict what it is they say. In the comments over there, someone said they'd had a bad summer, that all hell had broken loose. Which inspired me to write some light-hearted (as opposed to dark-spleened?) contradictions.

Two Contradictions

They say all Hell breaks loose. 
I'd say some nights
it draws in tight
as a hangman's noose. 

They say that Paradise 
rolls out like Heaven-come-eleven. 
I'd say some days a pair of dice
won't do, though mint tea would be nice.
Poetry Friday this week is being hosted by Anastasia Suen over at Picture Book of the Day. Head over there to see what poems are being posted.

Game of Craps, Las Vegas, ca. 1940

Friday, August 27, 2010

Poetry Friday - The Joy of the Puzzle

This week, I asked my students at Vermont College of Fine Arts to come up with a poem based on these rules: The poem must have two separate voices. One voice will use only keys typed naturally by the left hand. The second voice will use only keys typed naturally by the right hand. Numbers and symbols may be used, too, as can capitals, as long as you stick to the left hand/right hand division for these, too.

I wrote one of these poems once, and I still take it out and tinker with it. It's rough, but here it is as an example.

Conversation for Two Hands

We were grass
We were trees
We were a sea

I’ll moon him & milk him.
I’ll pun. Noun up on him.
I’ll nil him.

We awed fast
we were fated

Jump on him.
John him, junk him.
I’ll null him, unlimn him.
Look, I’m Hun.

Safe safer
sad sadder, I’ll join him.
Pull him in. Uphill him
& hum him. Look, I’m kin.

We were targets
We created a war
we traded faces

If you come up with one, I'd love to see it in the Comments field (my comments require moderation, so your comment will have to be approved before it shows up. That's not going to be based on my aesthetic reaction to the poems! Just a precaution against crazies that sometimes post craziness....) These don't have to make total sense (as mine does not) - they just have to tease and intrigue. Think of it as Word Sudoku. Only there's no right answer. Just the joy of the puzzle.

Poetry Friday today is being hosted by Kate over at The Book Aunt. Head over there to see what other people have posted.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Poetry Friday: Sierra Nelson - Sine Qua Non

Sierra Nelson in Rome 2010 - Photo by Rebecca Hoogs

For Poetry Friday today, I offer you a poem by Sierra Nelson, who is the sweetest Force-to-Be-Reckoned-With that I've ever met. I've known her since graduate school, where a mutual professor of ours, Richard Kenney, encouraged a long look at the weirdness and delight of nursery rhymes, curses, blessings, riddles and proverbs. So here's a jump-rope-rhyme-ish poem for you, pure Sierra-style, with a concluding couplet that absolutely shines. The poem first appeared in the literary journal CRANKY:


You said, “It makes you wonder,”
And I knew just what you meant.
The waitress had a shiner.
You had one more cigarette.

Someone said, “In Wichita,”
And the guy in the kitchen laughed.
The toast had extra butter.
I stacked the half-n-halfs.

Plate of pancakes, plate of eggs,
Water, coffee, poured in rounds.
You had a watch but we’d lost track –
“Why don’t we skip town?”

But we did nothing of the kind.
Cherry.  Jelly.  Valentine.

When I know I'm going to see new work by Sierra, I'm delighted, because I can't predict what it will be like - her work is always fresh, full of heart but not sentimental, always slightly quirky. And she has energy to spare: She writes for the Kenyon Review blog, she co-founded the performance groups The Typing Explosion and The Vis-a-Vis Society (video link - not to be missed) and she teaches classes in creative writing - if you live in the Seattle area you should not miss opportunities to hear her read or to study with her. Here are links to some upcoming events and classes:

Fall Course at Hugo House:"Exploring the Esoteric: Borrowing from Everything to Write New Work"

Performance at Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival with Vis-a-Vis.

Reading for the PLOP Literary Series. Note from Sierra: "Free delicious pie"!

Oh - one more accomplishment worth mentioning: Sierra is one of the organizers of the Seattle Cephalopod Appreciation Society. Just what it sounds like. They work to increase the appreciation of squid, octopuses, chambered nautiluses and cuttlefish. Their last meeting was on June 13th, but I'm sure they'll have another in the fall - definitely attend. These are occasions for cephalopod-themed celebration - recitations, songs, and (sometimes slightly eerie) octopus movies.

Sierra Lighting a Candle in Rome 2010 - Photo by Rebecca Hoogs

Poetry Friday today is being hosted by Laura Evans at Read Poetry K-12. Definitely head over there to see what other people have posted.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Poetry Friday - Reaching Back to Byron

Back after a long summer hiatus and much drifting this time seem to be Lord Death, Lord Sheep, and Lord Byron.....
 Trinity - The First Moment of the Atomic Age - Lord Death

Today marks the 65th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. I usually think silence is the only thing that makes sense when contemplating such a thing, or I look for a poem that's directly about the effects of war. But this year, I found something a little more subdued, a little less direct and more complicated. It addresses science and "perfect Knowledge" - at least this one stanza of the poem does - and then it goes such a strange direction that I don't know quite what to make of it. I suppose that "Julia's eyes" are a way of turning away from large mysteries (like how "Man the wonderful" can engage in warfare) and coming back to the pure pleasures of the physical, touchable world? Well, I'm still working at figuring out what it means - and isn't that what a good poem does? Makes us (or lets us) come back to it again and again, looking for more/

Here's Canto 1, Stanza 92 of Byron's Don Juan - I ran across it while reading Richard Holmes' marvelous book, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discoverd the Beauty and Terror of Science (whew! that's quite a title....) I don't often turn to Byron....though I do turn to science...for my poetic inspiration. It's amazing to me how modern this sounds:

He thought about himself, and the whole Earth,
Of Man the wonderful, and of the Stars, 
And how the deuce they ever could have birth;
And then he thought of Earthquakes, and of Wars,
How many miles the Moon might have in girth,
Of Air-balloons, and of the many bars
To perfect Knowledge of the boundless Skies;
And then he thought of Donna Julia's eyes.

Poetry Friday today is being hosted by Laura Shovan over at Author Amok. Drift over there to check out what other people are posting! [And since Laura posted a great close-up (VERY close-up) photo of a giraffe, I'll post my favorite close-up of a sheep. ....oh, shoot, I can't find it in my files. Well, maybe next week.] Here's Lord Byron on a t-shirt, instead.

[Found my sheep - this was taken in Shropshire, England. Will load both pictures.]
Lord Sheep
Lord Byron