Yes, this week’s Poetry Friday is here and we’re very excited to be hosting for the first time (and how great to be gathering together so many treasures of National Poetry month in the US too!). Please leave your links in the Comments Section below – I’ll be checking them throughout the day and updating this post.
My offering comes from David Bouchard‘s recent book, The Secret of Your Name/ Kiimooch ka shinikashooven (Red Deer Press, 2010). David only found out about his Métis roots relatively recently. In this poem he addresses his Nokum, his Grandmother. There is apology and regret for all that has been lost in the passing years – but there is hope too, because now that he does know, there is still time to discover his heritage and to proclaim it to the world. The beauty of this poem is that it is very personal to David’s own heart but also speaks for many, many Métis today, who did not, or still do not, know of their First Nations blood. And look very carefully at the beautiful cover (although I know it’s hard in a small picture like this) – Dennis J. Weber has drawn together in this one image all the longing, regret and eventual harmony with the past that comes through in the poem.
I’m sorry that I cannot sing
The songs that were passed down to you
The songs you heard your mother sing
The songs that I should own…
I’m sorry but I cannot sing
I did not know so I did not learn
I have yet to hear a single song
Sung by a Chippewa…
But I will go and seek them out
Then teach them to my children [...]
Our family will come to learn
You were a Menominee.
The book comes with an accompanying CD, with narration in English by David and in Michif by Norman Fleury, and with accompanying music, played by David on the flute and the “Master of the Métis Fiddle”, John Arcand. You can listen to the English version, including the insightful Foreward, here, while viewing the stunning illustrations. Our current issue of PaperTigers focuses on Canadian Aboriginal Children’s Literature and features a fascinating interview with David – definitely worth reading!
And now for the feast of verse that is Poetry Friday…
Danika from TeachingBooks.net shares audio of Robert Frost himself performing his poem “Birches”. How exciting to share this poet’s voice and rhythm with students – and indeed for all of us to hear him! -
and Tabatha has another audio offering, with Maggi Smith reciting Matthew Arnold’s “Mortality”: what a combination! And she also has a little Alan Rickman bonus too!
Mary Lee, from A Year of Reading, who is one of those awe-inspiring bloggers posting an original poem throughout this Poetry Month of April, has a beautiful poem today inspired by “something a child said to me at recess” – and it’s already inspired a poetry risposte in her Comments; I’m sure there’ll be more before the day is out. Don’t miss this post, either, for all the links to other National Poetry Month enterprises around the Kidlitosphere.
Laura Salas has an excerpt from “Hotel Deep” by Kurt Cyrus in a post entitled The Belch of a Blowfish - that should give you some idea! – and she is also host to “some great 15 Words or Less poems based on a ghoulish book cover” and invites you all to share yours too…
Jeni Bell continues her daily (wow!) children’s poem through April with this “Haiku-ish poem”, “At My Grandpa’s House“…
and Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s inspiration for her Poem #9 of the month, “Cat-Dog Secret” comes from an equally beautiful photograph of her cat and dog – plus she cites two books about teaching poetry, one of which she loved so much, she named her daughter after the author!
Ruth at There Is No Such Thing As A God-Forsaken Town focuses on Odysseus, with an extract from Louise Glück’s “Parable of the Hostages” and her own thought-provoking “Penelope Thinks It Over”.
Sara Lewis Holmes over at Read Write Believe has been collecting quotes about poets and poetry for National Poetry Month, and today features J. Patrick Lewis’ fifteen different definitions of poetry in his poem, “Poetry Is…”. “Which one speaks to you?” she asks – for me it’s 13, 15 and maybe 8…
Jama has, as ever, a mouth-watering post at Alphabet Soup, continuing her Poetry Potluck Series with Julie Larios’ “Domingo.” - and she shares Julie’s recipe for Tortas Mexicanas – I know what we’ll be eating over the week-end, and trying to remember the patter of Julie’s poem at the same time, no doubt!
Diane Mayr highlights poet Dorothea Grossman over at Random Noodlings; and Kurious Kitty looks at Wendell Berry’s latest book, Leavings: Poems. KKs Kwotes has a beautiful quote from Wendell Berry, too, from his poem “The Silence“.
David brings together in a single post, at his blog Fomagrams, all the haiku and limericks he has written this week – he’s aiming to tweet three!!! haiku and a limerick each day through April! Little Brother is already quoting the limericks – we love the nautical theme!
Jeannine Atkins writes about creating poetry from images drawn from history.
Christine Marcianik at The Simple and the Ordinary shares another installment of an original poem by her 13-year-old daughter, called Tessa in Wonderland.
Karen Edmisten joins in with The Thought of Something Else, by Wendell Berry.
Carmela from TeachingAuthors.com points to a poem by April Halprin Wayland and reminds us that they are sponsoring a poetry anthology giveaway (US residents only) in honor of National Poetry month.
At Enjoy and Embrace Learning, Mandy Robek shares Pairs and Clusters, an original poem about her backyard in Spring, inspired by Mary Lee’s “a poem a day” undertaking.
At Wild Rose Reader, Elaine Magliaro has a number of her original animal mask poems, two poetry book recommendations, and an invitation to readers to write and submit their own animal mask poems.
Sheri Doyle is in with an article she wrote for Appleseeds magazine, “Get Your Poems Into Shape!” So fun to see her words turned into objects like a kite, a light bulb, a guitar…!
Sylvia Vardell continues her glorious Poetry Tag over at Poetry for Children – today Marilyn Singer is IT – this is definitely a National Poetry Month game worth following! -
…and it just so happens that Stella at My World-Mi Mundo highlights Marilyn Singer’s book Mirror Mirror, “a great fun book of reversible verse.” I love the idea – we’ll be looking out for this one!
…as does Jennie at Biblio File, who quotes “Bear in the News” from Mirror Mirror – a double-take on Goldilocks – yes, we will definitely be looking out for this delightful-sounding book – and I like the look of Josée Masses’ illustrations too…
Tiel Aisha Ansari has a beautiful original rondeau that encompasses changes in perspective, called A Postcard Full of Sky, over at Knocking From Inside.
Doraine Bennett at Dori Reads has a poem about polar explorers, “I Had Been a Polar Explorer” by Mark Strand: “When they once set foot in frozen lands, they always wanted to go back. This poem… captures the longing.” – it certainly does…
Gregory K. has a new original poem by Alan Katz called “Ch-ch-ch-check, Please” over at GottaBook – and since last Poetry Friday, he’s also posted new poems from Laura Purdie Salas, Calef Brown, Carole Boston Weatherford, Jorge Argueta, Susan Marie Swanson, and Ralph Fletcher, too, “so I hope folks will come on by and check ‘em all out (Friday poems or not!)” – all part of the Thirty Poets, Thirty Days extravaganza of original poetry that he’s hosting.
Meanwhile Kelly Fineman over at Writing and Ruminating brings us an old, much loved poem, John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn“.
Jet over at The Write Sisters is in with “A Man Alone” by Stephen Orlen.
Julie Larios features heart-stopping poems over at The Drift Record, taken from The Wishing Bone Cycle, an anthology of poetry from the Swampy Cree tribe, gathered and translated by Canadian poet and novelist Howard Norman.
Mary Ann Dames features Julie Larios’ Imaginary Menagerie and says this: “Today I challenged my readers and myself to write about two animals as one. Read about wharks, birees, and rhinopuses. And, from Recipe Wednesday, you can make a Beetle Bop Salad to go along with the book of the same name by Denise Fleming.”
Mary Ann at Great Kids Books has a review of Nest, Nook & Cranny, by Susan Blackaby – a wonderful blend of nature and poetry.
Fiddler focuses on the links between poetry and music over at Rockhound Place with a celebration of “The Lark Ascending“: George Meredith’s poem and a video featuring Janine Jansen playing Vaughan William’s music.
breannep raises a smile at Language Literacy, Love with the heart-felt “If I Were in Charge of the World” by Judith Viorst.
Megan at Homeschooling on the Run shares a poem that is particularly special to her: “Oceans” by Juan Ramón Jiménez.
Heidi Mordhorst over at My Juicy Little Universe talks about taking part in Thirty Days Thirty Poets with her class and mixes seasons and metaphors with David McCord’s “Snowflakes”.
Janet Squires shares three fun/informative garden-themed poetry books: Busy in the Garden, I Heard It From Alice Zucchini: poems about the garden, and Slugs in Love over at All About the Books.
Becky at Becky’s Book Reviews has a review of Think Again by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Julie Morstad, and shares two poems from the book about Time…
Diane White shares the poem “Dean’s Tree” by Nancy Bo Flood. She says: “It seems providential, somehow, that the poem I chose to post is by my good friend Nancy Bo Flood. By pure coincidence, Nancy was a guest on PaperTigers just yesterday.”
[Sunday] A huge thank you to everyone for making this a bumper Poetry Friday roundup – I have really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts, both on Friday and, with a bit more time, over the week-end. What a fantastic introduction to hosting Poetry Friday this has been for PaperTigers – thank you!