Poetry Friday: Postcard from Japan

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

 Speaking from my current abode here in Japan, I’d like to introduce a short bilingual book of haiku I discovered recently at my local picture book library.  Haiku no Ehon or A Picture Book of Haiku by Toshio Suzuki (Rin Rin Kikaku, 1993)  is a wonderful book of haiku by well known poets Basho, Buson, Issa, Kyoshi and Kyorai.  The illustrations of the poems are quite stunning — traditional images done in sumi-e ink with some very colorful embellishments.  The book was produced post-humously; Suzuki was suffering with cancer when he worked on the paintings done for this book.  Suzuki belonged to a group of painters who are referred to as ‘juvenile painters.’  Juvenile painting is a kind of illustration done for childrens’ stories and songs.  Suzuki challenged himself as a juvenile painter by trying to illustrate classically known haiku in a way that he felt would be accessible to children.  I think he succeeded admirably!  

And speaking of Japanese poets, fellow PT blog contributor Corinne, sent me this link to a post with video by Sylvia Vardell on her blog, Poetry for Children, about a recent poetry book by Tanikawa Shuntaro whose work I wrote about a while back for Poetry Friday for PaperTigers.  Check it out!

Andromeda is hosting today’s Poetry Friday at A Wrung Sponge – head on over…

Poetry Friday: Poems wanted for New Sun Rising charity anthology

Friday, March 18th, 2011

In the wake of last week’s disastrous earthquake and tsunami in Japan, efforts are underway everywhere to raise funds for the victims and survivors.   A few days ago, Marjorie mentioned in her post an initiative called New Sun Rising which is a charity anthology to which you can contribute writing.  They have a short deadline: April 11, so get your work in soon!  They are definitely taking poetry and if you are interested in submitting haiku, you might want to take a look at their post on the form.  For poetry submissions, their guidelines are as follows:

Poems should be no longer than 40 lines, and please no more than 3. (Unless it’s haiku. Then you can send us 5—and it’s still only 15 lines!)

So if you have any poems sitting around in a file somewhere, now’s your chance to submit them for a worthy cause!

Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Andi at A Wrung Sponge.

April is National Poetry Month

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

We’re on the cusp of April and so now is an apt moment to announce National Poetry Month.  Check out this American site for information and this site for events in Canada.  The kidlitosphere will be active with blog posts celebrating the month.  Check out A Wrung Sponge‘s blog post for a tour of bloggers and their poetic activities for the month.  Have any events or activities to announce?  Leave a link in our comments section!

Poetry Friday: Celebrating Locale

Friday, August 14th, 2009

British poet John Betjeman was a great lover of place; he celebrated locale in a way that greatly endeared him to his readers.  The local parish church, the small town, city neighborhoods and gardens — all fell under his wry and sensitive gaze.  A Ring of Bells is a collection of his poems selected for young readers by Irene Slade.  It’s an old book, published in 1962, but definitely worth perusing to get the flavor of a poet deeply ensconced in his local world. Here’s a playful example with place names from his poem “A Lincolnshire Tale:”

Kirkby with Muckby-cum-Sparrowby-cum-Sphinx
Is down a long lane in the county of Lincs,
And often on Wednesdays, well-harnessed and spruce,
I would drive into Wiss over Winderby Sluice.

Betjeman’s focus on place was explored in prose as well as poetry.  He wrote numerous books about church architecture and English towns which are also worth perusing.  In honor of Betjeman’s centenary in 2006, a poetry competition for young people was launched.  The John Betjeman Young People’s Poetry Prize is now in its third year and is open to 11-14 year olds living in the United Kingdom.  Entrants are to submit one poem about their local surroundings.  The competition was launched to encourage young people to think about the importance of place. This year’s deadline is coming up soon on August 31.

What about where you live?  Are you inspired by the buildings of your city or by the natural settings of your cottage or farm?  Have you ever wondered about your city or street’s name?  Are there poets who have wrested those familiar sites of your world into words that resonate and move you?

Today’s Poetry Friday host is Andromeda Jazmon at A Wrung Sponge.