Thursday, February 28, 2013

Poetry Friday: Drifting with a Sonnet

Hi, All! Poetry Friday is here today! (Of course, I"m posting it Thursday around 9:00 p.m. PST, but it's already Friday somewhere, right?) Add your links in the comments field below and I'll round-them up here.Scroll to the end of my post for the round-up.

It's launch day for The Poetry Friday Anthology: Middle School Edition. Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell do a wonderful job of seeking out and collecting poems (and adding teaching tips) for classroom use. Janet and Sylvia's production standards are always high for these anthologies. The books are a pleasure to hold in your hands - well-designed covers, lovely paper (can you tell I spent years as a bookseller?), real heft. I'm proud to have poems included.

I haven't been back to The Drift Record for awhile because I've been meandering over at Books Around the Table with friends/writers/illustrators  Laura Kvasnosky, Julie Paschkis and Margaret Chodos-Irvine. But the calendar says March 1st and spring is in the air, and I'm home at The Drift Record for Poetry Friday.  I'll be rounding the links up all day, all night, Mary Ann, down by the seashore sifting sand....Oh, I'm drifting to the Brothers Four!!! (If you're in the mood to drift, click on the arrow):

Can't wait to see what everyone posts as March comes roaring in! Here's a sonnet by the under-appreciated poet John Malcolm Brinnin (American, 1916-1999.) It's been on my mind with all the headlines from Rome and the Vatican in the the last few days. I guess it's not really a spring poem, though it does have to do with things coming alive. I just love how it moves between divinity and details. They say that's where God is, right? In the details? Of course, they say that's where the Devil is, too....

Creation of the Animals - Il Tintoretto - ca. 1550


Here that old humpback Tintoretto tells
Of six day’s labor out of Genesis:
Swift from the bowstring of two little trees
Come swans, astonished basilisks and whales,
Amazed flamingos, moles and dragonflies,
to make their lifelong helpless marriages.
Time is a place at last; dumb wonder wells
From the cracked ribs of heaven’s gate and hell’s.

The patriarch in that vicinity
Of bottle seas and eggshell esplanades
Mutters his thunder like a cloud. And yet,
much smaller issues line the palm of God’s
charged hand: a dog laps water, a rabbit sits
grazing at the footprint of divinity.

                              John Malcolm Brinnin


[Dept. of This-Matters-to-People-Who-Throw-Popcorn-Parties-on-Oscar-Night: I'm in Seattle and I had this scheduled to post at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Everyone on the East Coast would be in bed. My thinking was that if I have to watch the Oscars at 5:00 in the afternoon so everyone back there can watch it in prime time, posting late Thursday night would be fair. Then I thought, "Oh, heck. I'll go ahead and post it right now and show people that there are no hard feelings." So I 'm posting Thursday night....]

Note: Be sure to notice all the Slice-of-Life poems today 
and follow them day-by-day through the entire month of March.
There's a original Fibonacci poem about Coyotes at Poems for Kids Joy - and you can put your name in the hat there to win an autographed copy of Charline Profiri's new rhyming riddle picture book GUESS WHO'S IN THE DESERT.

Over at teacherdance, Linda's reflection on the idea of "convergences" inspires an original poem. 

Robyn Hood Black gives a shout out to The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School and gives us a look at one of the two poems of hers that were chosen to be included in it. 

Poets are invited to share the titles of their favorite old children's poems at Charles Ghigna's Father Goose blog. 

Diane Mayr is a busy blogger, with an original ekphrastic poem at Random Noodling, an Eve Merriam poem at Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet, and a quotation of Ms. Merriam's over at Kurious K's Kwotes to celebrate Women's History Month.

Earlier this week, April Halprin Wayland issued a writing prompt about monsters at Teaching Authors. You'll also find a note there about the March Madness competition, fast approaching! 

Also at Teaching Authors is Carmela Martino's interview of verse novelist Tamera Will Wissinger. You can get a glimpse there of Wissinger's work for Gone Fishin' (and sign up to win an autographed copy!)

Poems celebrating women's suffrage are posted at Tabatha Yeatt's The Opposite of Indifference today.

Head over to Gathering Books for Fats Suela's celebration of the poetry of Janet Wong.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has a sweet dog (a sweet-dog poem, that is)  visiting The Poem Farm

I'll continue with the round-up in the morning -  when the sun comes up over Seattle!

Tara at A Teaching Life features a poem by Rita Dove about Rosa Parks, as well as a look at the new statue honoring Parks in Washington D.C.

You'll find a postcard poem about "Alligator Wrestling" and an invitation to participate in a National Poetry Month project called "Exploring the TechnoVerse" at Author Amok.

An original poem about a young Haitian girl with AIDS, based on a prompt from a Wordlab writing workshop,  is featured at Reflections of the Teche,

Laura Purdie Salas is in with an original poem - and a video of her reading it! - along with suggestions for teachers about how to use the poem in the classroom. 

Steve Peterson sings an operatic ode to his ax over at Inside a Dog

Using Ralph Fletcher as a mentor poet, Ashleigh Robek wrote a poem titled "The Good Old Days," posted by her mom over at Enjoy and Embrace Learning.

Hooray for the spoken word! I love to see/hear audio presentations on more and more poetry blogs - Matt Forrest Esenwine recites an original poem over at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme.

Katya Czaja at Write. Sketch. Repeat. offers up a poem about spiders by Emily Dickinson.

At Live Your Poem, Irene Latham invites you to sign up for her annual KidLit Progressive Poem, which was such fun last time around!

Poems our mothers shared with us or hung up framed in our house somewhere - there's one today called "Children" over at Across the Page.

"Porkers, oints and grunts" -- poems in honor of National Pig Day over at Jama's Alphabet Soup, where Jama hams it up, of course!

There are three (yes, three!) original limericks from Liz Steinglass over at her blog today.

News of both the March Madness competition and the Slice of Life challenge comes to us from Mainely Write.

Betsy at  Teaching Young Writers returns to Poetry Friday with a Slice of Life-challenge poem.

You'll find an original poem inspired by a story in the Bible over at Violet Nesdoly's blog.

An original poem about a yoga disaster? Yes, and it's called "Yoga Gone Awry" - find it at Wee Words for Wee Ones today.

Be sure to check out Ed DeCaria's March Madness selection video where he seeds the competition - fascinating stuff, and it is causing shouts of delight along with a monumental rash of nerves and hand-wringing all over the kidlitosphere.  For Poetry Friday, he begins a series about his Top Ten Poems of 2012. Check it out at Think Kid Think.

Buffy Silverman practices her free throw with an original poem at her aptly named Buffy's Blog.

Bildungsroman gives us  a poem by Erica Westcott titled "Enigma."
There's a tribute to Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham plus a link to Eric Van Raepenbusch's Happy Birthday Author blog over at Renee LaTulippe's No Water River.

A poem by Robert Hershon is featured at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town. (Every time I read the name of that blog, I think of Barstow, California, and wonder if it's true....)

Steven Withrow has an interview of poet Kate Coombs for us over at Poetry at Play. 

Lori Ann Grover offers us a poignant original poem inspired by the a viewing of the last episode of M*A*S*H (among other things.) Find it at her blog, On Point. I felt like I lost a friend when M*A*S*H ended - 30 years ago?? Oh, my.

Check out Check It Out, where you'll find that Ms.Mac has posted some pretty sophisticate haiku by 5th graders! 

Cathy at Merely Day by Day is in for her first post of 2013 with an original poem about small moments, inspired by a visit from some old 1st-graders.

And Janet Squires has posted a review of Paul Janeczko's The Place My Words Are Looking For: What Poets Say about and through Their Books over at All About Books. 

Catherine Flynn and her class took on Rachael's Challenge and wrote about kindness and compassion. Read about it at Catherine's blog, Reading to the Core.

And that's the way it is, March 1, 2013 - another Poetry Friday put to bed (though I"ll add you in if you're still on the fly later tonight.)

Thanks, One and All!




  1. And I'm up too in Colorado, Julie! I have an original poem of these next three days, many things converging together-a crazy time! I love the way this poet (under-appreciated as you say) makes the lines work that are more complex, yet seem so simple: "dumb wonder wells/From the cracked ribs of heaven’s gate and hell’s." Thank you for hosting!

  2. Thank you for hosting, Julie! I love your selection for today and your comments - the art, too!
    - "line the palm of God’s charged hand" - delicious.

    I'm celebrating The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School and sharing my "Locker Ness Monster" poem.
    Happy Spring!

  3. Hi Julie! Thanks for hosting. We're inviting poets to share the titles of their favorite old children's poems at the FATHER GOOSE Blog

  4. Hi Julie! Nice to see you back here! I have an original ekphrastic poem at Random Noodling.

    Kurious Kitty has "Two from the Zoo" by Eve Merriam. While at KK's Kwotes, there's a quote by Eve Merriam to begin a month of celebrating women.

  5. Well, hello, Julie--thank you for inviting us in!

    At TeachingAuthors we're busy bees! Today Carmela Martino posts an interview (and book giveaway) with a mystery verse novelist about her latest book (I'll let Carmela give you the details.

    Earlier this week I posted a poetry prompt and original poem(personify your greatest fear into a MONSTER...then write a poem about him/her!):

  6. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for hosting! Your poem makes me want to look up more by Mr. Brinnin.

    I have a post in honor of woman suffrage today:

  7. Hi, Julie, and thanks again for hosting!

    TeachingAuthors update:

    Carmela Martino's interview of verse novelist Tamera Will Wissinger, including a tercet from her book,Gone Fishing, is now up:

    And readers have a chance to win their very own autographed first edition of Tamera's book!

  8. Hi there. Fats is in today with poetry from Janet Wong. Here's the link to her post:
    Thanks for hosting, Julie!

  9. "And yet, much smaller issues line the palm of God’s charged hand: a dog laps water, a rabbit sits grazing at the footprint of divinity." Wow. I do love this.

    Today at The Poem Farm, I have a poem about loving a dog...

    Thank you for hosting...happy drifting! a.

  10. Thanks for hosting today, Julie! I'm sharing a poem about Rosa Parks - and my students preparation for seeing her new statue at the Capitol building:

  11. Hi, Julie. Beautiful language in the poem you shared!

    Today, I have a postcard poem about "Alligator Wrestling." Also, there is an invitation to participate in my National Poetry Month project: Exploring the TechnoVerse.

  12. I'm in for Poetry Friday with a moving prompt, a portrait of a Haitian child born with AIDS.

  13. What a gorgeous sonnet--

    from the bowstring of two little trees Come swans


    vicinity Of bottle seas and eggshell esplanades


    Just got my copy of PFAMS--so proud to have one poem in it, and I can't wait to read the whole thing!

    I'm in today with "Say Yes," a poem by me, and I'm trying something new for educators to use in their classrooms--posting a video of me reading the poem and suggesting a poem starter. It's at

    And 15 Words or Less Poems this week are at

    Thanks for hosting, Julie!

  14. Thanks for hosting the party, Julie. In the poem you shared (and like Amy L-VD above) I especially liked the ordinary activities that happen at the feet of the divine. Along those lines, and after chopping wood last weekend, I have an Ode to My Ax for this week's poem, though perhaps this is the divine happening at the foot of the ordinary activities!

  15. Thanks for hosting, I have an original poem by daughter using mentor text by Ralph Fletcher.

  16. Thanks for hosting, Julie - and I love that poem, especially the concept of 'grazing at the footprint of divinity'...because it's something all of God's creatures do, not just the rabbits.

    I'm offering a recitation of an original poem here:


  17. Good morning, Julie. Thanks for hosting!

    I love the line "a rabbit sits grazing at the footprint of divinity".

    This morning, I've got an Emily Dickinson poem about my nemesis, Spiders.

  18. I posted on an older poem called "Children" here:

    I love your comment about the balance between divinity and details. ("God is in the details" -- what architect said that? I can't remember...) Anyway, thanks for the poem and thanks for hosting!

  19. Thanks for hosting today, Julie, and congrats on being included in the new anthology. It sounds terrific!
    I see my co-blogger April has already shared a link with you about my post today and our giveaway. Now to check out everyone else's poems!

  20. So nice to have you drift back here for PF, Julie :). Thanks for the intro to Brinnin and congrats on being included in the new anthology!

    I'm celebrating National Pig Day at Alphabet Soup with a few good porkers, oinks, grunts, and a Hymn to Ham by Roy Blount, Jr.:

    Thanks so much for hosting today!

  21. Thanks for hosting on this first day of March. I have three original limericks...

  22. Thanks for hosting, Julie! I was up, but I checked in before you posted. But now I'm up again, in Maine. There's a lot going on in the writing world this March...and I'm in for everything! I have my short March Madness Poetry 2013 submission poem today.

  23. Thanks for hosting today. I have been away from blogging on Friday for a while and I am glad to be back today with a poem about moving on, moving forward.

  24. Thanks for hosting. What a wonderful poem you posted. Brinnin is new to me.

    My offering today is an original poem called "Tabitha" It's HERE

  25. Thank you SO much for hosting Poetry Friday on this first day of March! I have an original poem about a yoga disaster called "Yoga Gone Awry" at
    Thank you! =)

  26. Hi Julie,

    Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday this week! Brinnin’s poem is powerful and I love seeing the artwork that inspired it – I’m fond of any poem that has both “astonished basilisks and whales” and “a rabbit (that) sits grazing at the footprint of divinity.” Very striking, and I’m glad to know this poet’s work.

    I’m just popping in here to say ‘hi’ and thanks for today’s roundup. As April mentioned above, Carmela is featuring one of my poems today at Teaching Authors. (Thanks Carmela, April, and the team at TA!)

    Happy March!

    Tamera Wissinger

  27. Two PF links from me today.

    1) The Selection Sunday video for #MMPoetry2013 for anyone who missed it ...

    2) Part 1 of my new ten part series, Ed’s Top Ten Favorite MMPoetry2012 Poems: #10 ...

    Thanks for hosting, Julie.


  28. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for hosting and for the wonderful sonnet. I'm in today with a short poem and thoughts about practicing my free throw.

  29. Thanks for hosting! Have a great weekend!
    I posted Enigma by Erica Westcott at my blog, Bildungsroman:

  30. Julie,

    Did I mention that my limericks are original?

    Liz Steinglass

  31. Hello, Julie! Where have you been? :) I'm still missing in PF action due to work overload, so I'm bringing something back from the blog archives today in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday. This is a post from last year before I was part of Poetry Friday, but it includes not only a huge dash of Seuss, but also an interview with Eric Van Raepenbusch from, one of the hardest-working kidlit bloggers out there who does amazing picture book extension activities.

    P.S. I'm so excited to be in the PFAMS with you and all those marvelous people! Giddy as a schoolgirl today!

  32. I have a poem today called "Superbly Situated," by Robert Hershon.

    Thanks for hosting!

  33. Today I have an interview with Kate Coombs at Poetry at Play:

  34. Julie! Oh, I wish our paths would cross again soon. I love to hear you read poetry.

    Thanks for today's poem. What brilliant language!

    Today, at On Point, I'm celebrating the 30th Anniversary of M*A*S*H ending and my ebook release of my first novel, Loose Threads. I've shared the first poem M*A*S*H. Thanks for your hospitality today! xox

  35. I am late but here. Student work:

  36. I can't wait to tell my husband and daughter, both middle school teachers, about the new anthology. I have the first grade version and love the collection. When January 1st arrived I said, "I resolve to join Poetry Friday every week."'s March and this is my first post. A visit from some old first graders inspired the poem I wrote for today. Here's my post:

    Thanks for hosting! You are right, March is here --- spring and poetry are in the air.


  37. Thanks for hosting.
    My selection is "The place my words are looking for: what poets say about and through their work" by Paul B. Janeczko.

  38. Another great post and a terrific summary of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School! I have an ear worm (thanks to your poem about the visit to the panaderia) that goes: "Tio Chepe / Tio Chepe . . . buy me, please, an Ojo de Buey"!

  39. Very late, I know, but it has been a very busy day! My Poetry Friday/Read Across America/Slice of Life Mash Up is here:…f-life-mash-up/
    Thanks for hosting, Julie! I love your poetry, and your choice for today's post.