Friday, October 4, 2013

The Mortimer Minute - My Turn with the Children's Poetry Blog Hop!

It's my turn to answer questions for The Mortimer Minute, the current Children's Poetry Blog Hop. Renee La Tulippe took The Hop last week and tagged me for The Hop today, and I'm tagging poet Diane Mayr for next week (see below.)

Right now, I have to take care of this charming bunny who keeps asking me questions.  Mortimer is sweet, but he's a twitchy guy. I think his whiskers make him curious. That's my theory, anyway (I am curious about where curiosity comes from....) All Mortimer knows is hopping, eating, twitching and poking his nose into interesting places.

[Hmmm. I've had some temporary formatting problems - sorry - a poem by Yeats seems to be haunting Mortimer's first question and ..well, I have no idea why it's there!!! If you see it, try clicking on just the title of this post (not The Drift Record in general) and that will take you to a clean copy of it, minus the ghost of Yeats. Yeats is tricky, you know.  Hard to master him. ]

Here are the rules for The Hop: 
  • Answer three short questions, one of them taken from the previous Mortimer Minute.
  • Invite another blogger (or two or three) to take part on the following week - writers, teachers, or anyone who loves children's poetry is the perfect choice.
  • Link to the previous Mortimer Minute and to your choice for next week. 
That's it. Now let's take care of the curious bunny.

Question #1 (multiple parts):
M: Do you eat grass?
JL: No.
M: Carrots?
JL: Yes.
M: Lettuce?
JL: Yes.
M: Rabbits? (shuddering)
JL: Oh-oh. Well, not often. And never a snuggly one.

Question #2: 
M: Look at me - I am very cute. Why don't you have whiskers? Why don't you have sunshine coming through your ears?
JL: Oh, I have some whiskers - don't look too close! They are cuter on a bunny than they are on me. As for my ears, my grandson will tell you that if you put a little flashlight up behind my ear lobe, light comes through it and makes it shine. Believe me, he and I have tried it many, many, many, many times and it always works and it always gets a laugh.

Question #3:
M: What children's poem do you wish you had written?
JL: Oh, that's a hard one. There are so many! I love "Bell" by Valerie Worth, because I think it describes just exactly what a poet does. And I love "The Stolen Child" by W.B. Yeats, because it's the kind of poem that makes a child fall in love with poetry - it's haunting and hypnotic. But if I could only choose one, it would be this one by John Masefield:


I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Yeah. Nice.

The Mortimer Minute/Children's Blog Hop moves next week to Diane Mayr's Random Noodling
You will like Diane, Mortimer - she's curious, too, and she really does have whiskers...
...though I think they are kitty whiskers (as in Diane's other blog, Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet.)

By the way, Mortimer....

Mortimer is on his way to do some random noodling around....(and I think I need to write a poem about sunshine coming through the ears of a rabbit.)


  1. Love the whiskers--ha!

    What a gorgeous, gorgeous poem. The poem I almost shared by Esbensen is about seagulls and the sea. It's called "The Return," and if you click here: Yikes, sorry that is so long! But if you click on that and then search for "wedge," you'll see this poem, which might be my favorite of hers. Dark and haunting verse is perhaps my favorite kind of poetry. I love it in this Masefield poem--it may not seem as dark to some people, but to me there's a deep loneliness and inevitability of man's smallness and death in it. But it's beautiful and celebratory at the same time. I need to figure out how some poets make that magic!

  2. TEE HEE! Oh, and GUFFAW!

    What an adorable Mortimer Minute this is. And I LOVE that you are being haunted by a Yeats poem. We should all have such problems.

    SEA FEVER has been on my list of classic poems to perform for two years now. I recently noticed that all the classics I do are "dark and haunting," as Laura puts it, so this would fit right in. And I have the perfect setting for it.

    Thanks for having Mortimer over for a spell. You should definitely write the ears poem!

  3. I think you REALLY need to write a poem about the "flashlight behind the ear lobe" trick, Julie! And then post a little reading (and demonstration) on YouTube!!!

  4. Hi Julie! I'm excited to have tagged by you and I'm looking forward to next Friday. (Although I don't think I can match the glowing ears!)

  5. Took some time and effort jumping through several links to get here, but I was rewarded with such a thoroughly enjoyable Mortimer Minute! Thanks Julie... and to Mortimer as well, who was undoubtedly responsible for all the jumping around. ;)