Friday, February 10, 2012

Poetry Friday: Books Around the Table

I want to let readers of THE DRIFT RECORD and contributors to POETRY FRIDAY know that I'll be posting occasionally (once a month) over at a new blog put together by my writing critique group and called BOOKS AROUND THE TABLE. My introductory post went up there today, and it joins the initial posts of fellow children's book writers Laura Kvasnosky, Julie Paschkis and Margaret Chodos-Irvine (all three of them are talented artists - and I struggle making stick figures!) 

I spend some time in my post contemplating poetry, metaphorical thinking, postillons, brass horns, people at the gates to the city, magicians, sleight of hand, doves, indirection, introductions, the Postal Museum in Prague, champagne and writer burn-out. Here's a teaser:

As a poet, I like metaphorical thinking and the sneaky way it makes its point via indirection, in the same way a magician performs sleight-of-hand, making people look at one hand while the other does the actual trick. Look, a dove!

Head over there to get a picture of how BOOKS AROUND THE TABLE came about.

In honor of Poetry Friday, I'm going to post the following poem by Laurie Lee. It continues to be one of my all-time favorites: 


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
The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted this week by lovely Laura Purdie Salas at writing the world for kids.  Head over to her blog to see what other people are posting.


  1. Love this poem! I would pick out my favorite part, but there are too many. Thanks, Julie.

  2. Thanks for the heads up! I love that poem, too. *going over to follow the new blog now*

  3. Oh, that's a gorgeous poem, Julie! Laurie Lee is someone I only know vaguely from a survey of British poets I once took, but I'll rush out and find his books. Thank you for your excellent post -- and congratulations on your new blog venture!

    Steven Withrow

  4. What a wonderful, delicious poem! And thanks for the invite to pull up a chair and listen in at the new blog table - what a talented bunch. Sure to be delicious as well!

  5. Steven - I got to know Laurie Lee's work through his autobiographical work, CIDER WITH ROSIE(in the U.S. it was published under the title EDGE OF DAY: A BOYHOOD IN THE WEST OF ENGLAND.)

  6. Oh, I love poems that so viscerally make me feel the violence and glory of our world. Thanks, Julie!

  7. What a fabulous poem - I love the cadence of it. And congratulations on the new blog venture - I enjoyed learning about the post horn and the way you used it to signal your brave new venture!

  8. I love apples, eat one each day, sometimes two, so loved the poem as much for its content/taste as for its words! Best wishes on your new blog. I am envious of your group and will look forward to what you all have to say!

  9. Like Linda, I love apples. Often, when my students ask me what is my favorite food, that is the answer I give. I am learning to seek out heirloom apples at the farmers' market in season. Arkansas Blacks are my favorite favorites.

    Julie, are you going to join Ed DeCaria's March Madness?

  10. CIDER WITH ROSIE is such a great title... why the US change, I wonder? Will check it out. Thanks for this poem.