Friday, February 13, 2015

POETRY FRIDAY: Celebrating Eleanor Farjeon

Thanks to Cathy at Merely Day by Day for hosting Poetry Friday today!
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Last week I returned home from a trip to France, where I had a wonderful time visiting friends, sightseeing, and taking in the details of a different culture. I learned so much about the stormy, often tragic history of northwest France, where I was staying, and enjoyed the bread and chocolate immensely! I will share more about my trip later, but today I am happy to rejoin the Poetry Friday party and catch up with my writing friends! ☺

Today just happens to be the birthday of a poet that I admire very much, Eleanor Farjeon, who was born on February 13, 1881. During her career, Farjeon published numerous books, stories, and poems for children and adults, and earned several honors, including the Hans Christian Andersen and Carnegie Medals. One of my personal favorites by Farjeon is “Morning has Broken.” Farjeon was commissioned to write the lyrics for this hymn in 1931 for the hymnbook “Songs of Praise.”
I love this photograph of Ms. Farjeon!
Since Valentine’s Day is upon us, I thought today would be a great time to share two poems by Farjeon that celebrate two of her great loves—books and poetry. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!  

by Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965)

What worlds of wonder are our books!
As one opens them and looks,
New ideas and people rise
In our fancies and our eyes.

The room we sit in melts away,
And we find ourselves at play
With some one who, before the end,
May become our chosen friend.

Or we sail along the page
To some other land or age.
Here's our body in the chair,
But our mind is over there.

Each book is a magic box
Which with a touch a child unlocks.
In between their outside covers
Books hold all things for their lovers.

by Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965)

What is Poetry? Who knows?
Not a rose, but the scent of the rose;
  Not the sky, but the light in the sky;
Not the fly, but the gleam of the fly;
  Not the sea, but the sound of the sea;
Not myself, but what makes me
 See, hear, and feel something that prose
Cannot: and what it is, who knows.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and Happy Writing!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Intentions for the New Year

2015 is rolling right along—I can’t believe it is already January 21st! This year promises to be exciting and fun, but very busy, both personally and writing-wise. In anticipation of this, I’ve been contemplating and prioritizing my commitments, and making adjustments where necessary. I have a tendency to over schedule myself, and I’m hoping to find better balance in 2015.

So besides the writing goals that I have set for this year, I am setting the intention to guard my time more carefully, both my writing time and my family time. This means planning my schedule more mindfully and not cramming too much into one day. I am also working on not saying “yes” so much to commitment requests from others. While volunteering in different capacities is very important to me, “no, thank you” has always been difficult for me to say. But this quote from Carl Sandburg says it best:

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Image courtesy of Phaitoon at

I am heading off on a grand adventure tomorrow and will not be blogging again until February. I hope the rest of your January is calm and cozy! Happy Writing!

Friday, January 16, 2015

POETRY FRIDAY: Marjory Wentworth, SC’s Poet Laureate

Thanks to Irene at Live Your Poem for hosting Poetry Friday today!

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Happy (belated) New Year! I am jumping back into Poetry Friday today with a nod to SC’s Poet Laureate, Marjory Wentworth. If you haven’t already heard, this week during Governor Nikki Haley’s second inauguration, Ms. Wentworth was not allowed to read the poem she prepared for the occasion. A rep for Governor Haley cited “time constraints” as the reason. Since it is traditional for our Poet Laureate to write and present a poem for each gubernatorial inauguration, this has caused somewhat of an uproar here in South Carolina (and elsewhere).

Wentworth’s poem, “One River, One Boat,” is a beautiful and intelligent tribute to South Carolina’s unique and often tragic history. Acknowledging past mistakes doesn’t forgive them, but can help move us forward along the path toward healing and progress. But not allowing this voice to be heard pushes us backward a step, instead.

So please read Wentworth’s poem today. I am hoping that this omission will ultimately bring the poem to more readers than if it had been read at the inauguration—wouldn’t that be a happy irony? Wentworth has already been invited to read her poem at the SC NAACP chapter's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march this Monday, January 19th!
One River, One Boat                                                                                                    by Marjory Wentworth
I know there’s something better down the road.
-- Elizabeth Alexander

Because our history is a knot
we try to unravel, while others
try to tighten it, we tire easily
and fray the cords that bind us.

The cord is a slow moving river,
spiraling across the land
in a succession of S’s,
splintering near the sea.

To read the rest of Ms. Wentworth’s poem, click here. And tread more on this topic, check out these articles:
Have a wonderful holiday weekend! Happy Friday, and Happy Writing!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Everything!

This holiday season has passed in the blink of an eye, and once again I am wondering where the time went. Every year I decide that “next year” I’ll cultivate a slower holiday tempo, but then December rushes in and takes over (again). It’s been a fun month, though!

Yesterday, while taking a much-needed break to refocus on writing-related endeavors, I came across this post by fellow writer and blogger Tabatha Yeatts. I recognized a kindred spirit in Tabatha and especially love the poem that she shared, which I am "resharing" below. Thanks so much, Tabatha, for introducing me to this lovely, soothing poem! 
Reflections on a Scottish Christmas
by Johnny Cunningham

The dark of winter wraps around us tight.
The lamps are fired, and flickering light
beats time to the fiddle as notes float softly down, like the years' first snow.
While outside the window a blast of late December wind
whistles harmony to the drone of the pipes.
We push the old year back against the wall
so we can dance a jig for Christmas and welcome in the new.
 So on this Christmas Eve, I wish you all a little more “Silent Night” and a little less “Fa la la la la.” Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Joyous Kwanzaa, or whatever else you and your loved ones may be celebrating this week! And Happy Writing!

Friday, December 12, 2014

POETRY FRIDAY: Celebrating Emily Dickinson

Thanks to Paul at these 4 corners for hosting Poetry Friday this week!

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Several weeks ago, I read a wonderful blog post by Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup about great gift ideas for poetry lovers. I found much that I coveted, but one item in particular caught my eye—a pendant necklace with the first stanza of one of my favorite poems inscribed upon it—so I ordered it as a gift for myself. (Which is not something I do very often, by the way.☺)

Here is a picture of the necklace, and below is the poem inscribed upon it, written by Emily Dickinson, who was born on December 10, 1830.
You can order this necklace here.
“Hope” is the Thing with Feathers
by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Emily Dickinson is one of my favorite poets of all time, and I’ve loved this poem from the very first time I read it, which was sometime in high school if I remember correctly. “Hope” is so important in our lives as writers, teachers, parents, etc., and the words of Dickinson’s poem remind us to hold on to hope despite the obstacles that arise so often in our paths.
In this crazy, busy, fun, hectic holiday season, HOPE is a necessity and a gift. Have a wonderful weekend, and Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

POETRY FRIDAY: The Poetry Friday Roundup is here this week!

by Becky Shillington

Once again it's Roundup time,
So wrangle up a bit of rhyme.
Or rope a rhythm ’round the beat,
Then clap your hands and stomp your feet! 
If smart free verse is more your speed,
Let that lively prose stampede.
Just lasso in your favorite style,
Then hang your hat and stay awhile! 

I am so excited to be hosting my first Poetry Friday Roundup this week! I hope you’ll grab your favorite hot drink, settle in, and enjoy all of the wonderful poems and poetry-related fun our writer friends are sharing this week! I’ll be enjoying my favorite writer’s hot toddy today, a (non-alcoholic) ginger tea warmer:
For the quick and easy recipe, click here.

Please comment below and include your name, topic, and website. I will add them to the list throughout the day. I look forward to visiting you all! Have a beautiful Thanksgiving and happy writing!

This Week's Roundup:
To kick off our party this week, Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy is sharing a fun Thanksgiving poem and poetry prompt. Please visit Joy at:

Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge reflects on season of change and the blessings of friendship, and shares a wonderful Thanksgiving poem from an anthology complied by Lee Bennett Hopkins. You can check out her beautiful post at

Iphigene from the Gathering Books blog shares a moving original poem titled "Monsters in the Darkness" at

Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup is showcasing 21 Cool Gifts for Poetry Lovers! Please visit Jama at

Diane at Random Noodling has a fun poem by Robert Francis called "O World of Toms" on her blog:

At Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet, Kurious Kitty shares a wonderful poem from the 1949 anthology My American Heritage: A Collection of Songs, Poems, Speeches, and Other Writings Dear to Our Hearts 

At Today's Little Ditty, Michelle has two special guests, Bridget Magee (who's written a great limerick about a turkey) and Tom the Turkey:

Linda at Teacher Dance has a contemplative poem about a horse that she will be sharing with her class soon:

Bridget at Wee Words for Wee Ones celebrates National Adoption Day at her blog:

Matt at Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme shares his original poem "Steam Train" on his blog:

Carol at Beyond Literacy Link has a monster-inspired poem to share today:

At Charles Waters Poetry, Charles recaps lots of fun literacy- and poetry-related goings on at!POETRY-TIME-BLOG-#18/c23vc/A57E4F53-09AF-4EC8-9420-45B325DBD4CB.

Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference has a poem by Rose Solari to share today:

On her blog today, Liz has an original poem about the cold weather that has been so prevalent this week:

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche shares a poignant poem about the bunk bed her girls shared when they were small:

Amy at The Poem Farm shares her poem "Morning Song" on her blog today:

At Hope is the Word, Amy shares a wonderful review of David Elliot's By the Sea:

Katie at The Logonauts talks about poetry memorization with kids and discusses a poetry anthology entitled "Forget-Me-Nots, Poems to Learn by Heart":

On her blog today, Karen shares a poem by David Kirby about the magic of poetry:

Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town shares "Ode to a Box of Tea," by Pablo Neruda:

Mary Lee at A Year of Reading has a review-ette of J. Patrick Lewis' and Douglas Florian's Poem-Mobiles at

At her blog Check it Out, Jone celebrates fellow Poetry Friday participant Margaret Simon, blogger at Reflections on the Teche and winner of the 2014 NCTE Donald H. Graves Award! Congratulations, Margaret!

At her Bildungsroman blog, Little Willow shares the beautiful lyrics to Brooke Fraser's "Brutal Romance."
Doraine at Dori Reads shares a pumpkin poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, and a resting posture to revive the pre- and post-holiday mind and body!

At On Point, Lorie Ann shares an original haiku titled "Fluttering Past."

And at readertotz, Lorie Ann shares a beautiful bird poem from On the Wing, a poetry collection about birds by David Elliot.   

JoAnn at the Teaching Authors Blog has a Thanksgiving thanku to share today:

Melissa at Here in the Bonny Glen shares a funny story from the Poetry Club she hosts for homeschoolers:

At Pleasures from the Page, Ramona discusses Manger, the new anthology from Lee Bennett Hopkins:

On her Booktalking blog today, Anastasia Suen shares a fun excerpt from Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott's new book, Dino-Boarding:

Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe posted live from NCTE today about the Newtown Poetry Project, a program that began in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. Please visit Heidi at:

Friday, November 14, 2014

POETRY FRIDAY: An Autumn Haiku

Thank you to Keri at Keri Recommends for hosting Poetry Friday this week!

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The weather has definitely changed this week! Two days ago, it was almost 80 degrees where I live, so my boys and I set out for an afternoon hike with our dog, knowing that a cold front was coming and that it would likely be our last warm fall afternoon of the year. Well, it turned out that we weren’t the only ones who thought hitting the neighborhood trails was a good idea—the woods were teeming with people enjoying the afternoon, and we met joggers, walkers, dogs, and lots and lots of children playing in the woods. As we walked, we admired the leaves blazing in the sunlight. Most of the colors this week were deep gold and bright yellow, with occasional blazes of red. It was spectacular!

I’m a bit late for the Poetry Friday party this week, but wanted to share a haiku I wrote following our walk. I hope you enjoy it!

Yellow leaves break free,
Drifting, dancing in the breeze;
Autumn’s final fling.

I am so excited to host Poetry Friday on my blog next Friday! Have a wonderful weekend, and happy writing!