Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Monday Poetry Stretch

Imaginary gardens with real toads in them. ~Marianne Moore's definition of poetry, "Poetry," Collected Poems, 1951

This week on Miss Rumphius' Monday Poetry Stretch you are prompted to write a poem from a delightful image of a young boy building a sand mountain.

Here's my poem titled:


A mountain of sand,
Temporary, until
waves wash
this mountain of sand
My mountain
Is not built
Of sand.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Weekend Wordsmith

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason. ~Novalis

The Weekend Wordsmith for this weekend is prompted by the picture below of torrential rains. There are some wonderful words to be found at the site, so go and check it out...

The Veil

Peace settles

Behind a veil of




Friday, May 2, 2008

Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted. ~Percy Shelley, A Defence of Poetry, 1821

Hey! So I'm a couple of days late... I felt the need to do this week's Three Word Wednesday as the words seemed relavent to what has been going in my life right now. The three words for this week are, Empty, Highway, Ignored. So here is my first draft contribution...

Tumbled Signs

He ignored the signs
As we travelled
along our daily highway
Of sports, music, school and
time together.
He crashed -- the signs
Our life forever changed
Our highway empty
Until we find
A new roadway to travel.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

One Single Impression

"Almost everyone is as full of words waiting to sing as a forest is full of birds before sunrise." ~~Harry Behn

This weeks prompt over at One Single Impression is 'flowering'. Along with the word is a lovely picture of a flowering fruit tree. So head over and read some of the incredible haikus, and write one yourself. A great way to practice writing poetry...

Spreading their petals
To embrace the hope to come
Summer fruit follows

Monday, April 28, 2008

15 Words Or Less

Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes. ~Carl Sandburg

I know it's late for Laura Salas' 15 Words or Less, but better late than never. Feel free to join her weekly in writing a short poem based on a photo she publishes on her blog. It's fun and a great way to practice writing poetry.

Here's mine for the week of April 24th...

Parasol protection

from pressing sunbeams

prohibited from piercing

Onto my pale pallor.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Time Out

I'm sorry I won't be able to post for a while as my husband had a severe stroke this morning and we're not sure of the prognosis.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Weekend Wordsmith

"Never throw up on an editor." ~Ellen Datlow

The Weekend Wordsmith prompt is 'what's on the menu?' And I have chosen to do an acrostic. Not a very appetizing one !


Head cheese and

Artichoke with a

Tunafish milkshake

Sprinkled with sauerkraut

Octopus legs

Not attached, of course.

Tarantula roasted over

Hot ashes -- and for dessert

Earthworms and

Maggots, raw or fried


Now, and please don't



Friday, April 4, 2008

National Poetry Month

"Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history." ~Plato, Ion

A Lanturne is a five-line verse shaped like a Japanese lantern with a syllabic pattern of one, two, three, four, one.

My poem-a-day lanturne:

for the
curves along
the highway of

National Poetry Month

"You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you." ~Joseph Joubert

My poem-a-day for National Poetry Month.

A Lanturne is a five-line verse shaped like a Japanese lantern with a syllabic pattern of one, two, three, four, one.

like diamonds
waiting for spring

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Poetry Friday

"Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth." - -- Samuel Johnson

This week I have been reading a number of older children's poetry books. One of them I have picked up is Til All The Stars Have Fallen, Canadian Poems for Children, selected by David Booth and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. It is filled with many wonderful poems by Canadian poets; some funny, some serious, some spirited, some rhyming, some non-rhyming.

Many of the poems show Canada's varied landscape, weather, people, and nature. The artwork is varied, from soft watercolours to bold paintings that capture the essence of each poem.

I have picked out two I liked:

This I know

The light of day
cannot stay.
The fading sun
will not come
to anybody's calling.

The cold moon light
Is clear and white.
She will not go,
this I know,
til all the stars have fallen.

~Anne Corkett

The sky is falling

It's cool under the August
apple tree
and fun
lying on my back looking
at the sky
shaped into blue chunks
between leaves
between fingers
between eyelashes.
You can see a lot
everything but the apple
that hits your nose
and then nothing but

~Diane Dawber

Becky's Book Reviews is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup!

15 Words Or Less

"Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life." ~William Hazlitt

Go check out Laura Salas' blog for the pciture prompt to write a poem in 15 words or less. It's fun!

Her picture this week is a robin sitting on a spring snow covered branch. Here's my attempt for this week...

must be
in this maze.

Daily Lanturne

"Freedom is poetry, taking liberties with words, breaking the rules of normal speech, violating common sense."- Norman O. Brown

Today's lanturne and my contribution to a poem-a-day for National Poetry Month...

reach for the
sky. Canvas of

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Three Word Wednesday

Poetry is what gets lost in translation. ~Robert Frost

Go and check out Three Word Wednesday for a prompt. Lots of fun stuff to read. The three words for this week are: parallel, bounce, mysterious.

The first thoughts that came to mind when I read the three words were parallel universe and a mysterious bouncing ball, but then I looked out the window and wished I could play some outdoor tennis, but alas there is still way too much snow here! Anyway, that's when I changed my train of thought for this week's poem. Tennis

swing and miss
ball takes mysterious bounce
between parallel lines

National Poetry Month-Day 2

"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." ~Leonard Cohen

I will be posting a poem-a-day for National Poetry Month. It will be in the form of a lanturne. A Lanturne is a five-line verse shaped like a Japanese lantern with a syllabic pattern of one, two, three, four, one.

Miss your
smile and touch.
Wish you were here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

National Poetry Month 2008

"Poetry Refreshes The World" ~title of Book One from Pass The Poetry, Please! by Lee Bennett Hopkins

The month of April is National Poetry Month and beginning today I will do my best and committ to writing a poem-a-day. I plan to write a daily Laturne. A Laturne is a five-line verse shaped like a Japanese lantern with a syllabic pattern of one, two, three, four, one.

In the heart
Find blank space to
If you go visit A Wrung Sponge you can see what's going on for the month. Also over at ReadWritePoem there is a master list if you take on the challenge of writing a poem-a-day. To join in let them know what you are doing.
You can also add this button to your blog. Get the button code here.
Happy National Poetry Month!

One Single Impression

"Poetry is where every line comes to rest against a white space." ~John Ciardi

This weeks prompt over at One Single Impression is 'laughter', such a wonderful word and feeling to write about. So head over and read some of the incredible haikus and other forms of poetry, as this is the first day of National Poetry Month.

Here are two of my laughter poems:

sometimes laughter hides
the pain and the loss inside
life force explosion


muscles tighten
face blossoms--teeth glisten
new laughter lines

Monday, March 31, 2008

Non Fiction Monday

"Read, read, read, read, read...... to be a writer it's a must." ~Marianne H.Nielsen

The above is a fact we've heard in many different forms as writers. It's often the first piece of advice given by well known, published writers. And I have discovered it is the most valuable piece of information, even though it's taken me a while to understand how important it is!

I have always read, but I can honestly say that I have not devoured books as I have since taking Anastasia's Suen's online non-fiction course and Laura Salas' online poetry course. In the past two months I have read several hundred books. I currently have stacks of books on my office floor amounting to about seventy-five. The library loves me! My youngest son is also thrilled with these stacks as he enjoys reading non-fiction. He comes into my office and goes through my books, reading and looking at all the photos. It's like my office floor is his own personal library!

What I want to share is that through all this reading I have done, I discovered how I want to present and write my non-fiction, and also my poetry. It somehow built confidence in me because I know I can do what other writers have done. It will take a lot more reading and writing of course, but I know I will get to where it is I want to be, and the more I read, I believe, the faster I'll get there.

So, now I understand the amount of reading that's required to be a writer. Reading is as full time a job as writing is. So get down to your library with a bag in hand and fill it up!

Come and check out the Non-fiction round-up at Anastasia Suen's blog.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Weekend Wordsmith

"Nothing one ever experiences or feels is wasted." ~Lynne Reid Banks

Go check out Weekend Wordsmith for this weekend's writing prompt. This is my first time. As usual I tend to come up with a poem, and this weekend it's an acrostic. That's what popped into my weekend mind, so that's what I did.
Here it is:

April Fool

Prank time
Ready to
Laughter and

Frolick with
Others. Play tricks
On teachers, friends

~Marianne H. Nielsen

Friday, March 28, 2008

Poetry Friday

"If a writer isn't a reader, he's in the wrong profession." ~Marion Dane Bauer.

And isn't that the truth! The more we writers read the more we learn, and besides it's fun to read and I love going to the library and just pulling out books from shelves, randomly!

Earlier this week that's exactly what I did, and I came upon The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell and illustrated by Connie McLennan. It's poetry, non-fiction and song. What more could one ask for a book fot children. The words are written based on the song The Green Grass Grew All Around. Susan Mitchell builds on the the ecosystem in the rainforest and comes full circle, from seed to seed. It is fun to read, even to yourself. The art work is lovely and makes the reader feel as though they are in the colourful and alive rainforest.

There are sidebars throughout giving the reader information about the various plants and aminals the author writes about. It is truely a great way for children (and adults) to learn about the jungle!

The book also won the NAPPA Honors and the 2008 Teachers' Choice Award

This is an excerpt from The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell; the last verse...
and I wish I could surround the words with the artwork for you...

there blew a seed...
the fluffiest seed that ever did see
The seed from the pod,
and the pod by the bat,
and the bat near the bird,
and the bird by the frog,
and the frog in the plant,
and the plant by the sloth,
and the slothnear the and,
and the ant by the snake,
and the snake by the vine,
and the vine near the cat,
and the cat in the tree,
and the tree from the seed,
and the seed in the gound,
and the rainforest grew
all around, all around;
the rainforest grew all around.

Please check out the Poetry Friday Roundup at Cuentecitos

Thursday, March 27, 2008

15 Words or Less

"So much can be said and felt through poetry in just a few words or lines. A poem can have as much impact in ten, twelve, or fourteen lines as an entire novel." ~Lee Bennett Hopkins

Thursday, an opportunity to write a short poem in 15 words or less. Head on over to Laura Salas' blog and have a bit of fun. There you will find a picture and the rest is up to your imagination... Here's the small version of the photo from Laura's Blog, and the poem I wrote.

Shake, Shake,
So much at stake,
One and four,
One roll more...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Three Word Wednesday

"What can a poem do? Just about everything." ~Eve Merriam

Okay, this is my first go at 3WW. This week's words are: glass, question, token.

I have decided to write a Septolet. It is a two-part poem of seven lines with a break between the parts. The total word count is fourteen words. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture. Click here for definition and examples.

Question intent!

Token of anger

In rock hurtling midair.


Glass pane,



Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Miss Rumphius's Poetry Stretch

Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes. ~Carl Sandburg

And today I had to dig deep to find some invisible keepsakes as it's Miss Rumphius' poetry stretch again. This week she has challenged poets to write a tanka.

In short, a tanka is a Japanese form of poem written in 5/7/5/7/7, but there are variations. She explains them well at her blog.

I wrote mine this week from the picture below as I like to write poetry inspired by a photo. Photo from Google Images.

Alone. Surrounded

Soles sink in smooth, soft, soothing, sand

One with music

Notes exposed--on the the wings of wind

An ocean's magic carpet--Surrounded. Alone.

Monday, March 24, 2008

One Single Impression

A haiku is the expression of a temporary enlightenment, in which we see into the life of things. - R. H. Blyth (from Paul David Mena's "Haiku Definitions" (Haiku in Low Places)

This week's prompt at One Single Impression is 'spring'.

Suns rays spread shadows
Across quilted snow patches
A purple crocus

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Non-Fiction Monday

The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new. ~Samuel Johnson

Isn't that such an appropriate quote for writing, and in particular for non-fiction writing? I am somewhat new at writing non-fiction and this quote seems like a great thing to keep in mind when writing. I am currently taking Anastasia Suen's young non-fiction course, and as anyone who's taken her course knows, a large part of the learning process is reading many,many books. So while I have been reading many, many books I have come across books of similar topics but written in different ways, whether it be from a different focus or just a different way of presenting general information.

One of the recent books I've read is Marilyn Singer's book Venom. It is full of brilliant photographs of beautiful, dangerous specimans. And the information is so interesting, especially if one likes to read about such venomous animals.

One of the reasons I bring this book up is that this weekend while in Toronto we visited the Toronto Zoo. And there I saw a number of the venomous animals I had read about in this book. It was so neat to know a little about these animals upon seeing them. I saw the blue poisonous dart frog, which is small, and a stunning dark royal blue with black. Then there was the emerald green boa. It was the same brilliant emerald green in real life as the photo in the book. And a butterfly, the passion vine butterfly, with black wings and a dash of fuschia pink and white on each wing. Such a beautiful butterfly, and toxic!

What I realized by being at the zoo is that there is still so much to learn from all these animals even though there have been many books written about them. There is still so much to write whether it be newly presented old information or brand new information to teach children.

Come and check out the Non-fiction round-up at Anastasia Suen's blog.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Poetry Friday

"The longing for the dance stirs in the buried life." - Stanley Kunitz from, "Touch Me"

The above quote reminded me of some of the poetry I read in Wind in my Pocket by Ellen Bryan Obed. Illustrated by Shawn Steffler.This is an older book but still well worth the read.

She is newly discovered for me. Sometimes, when I'm short on time, I walk into the library, head for the children's poetry section and randomly pull out several books I have not read yet. Then I leave and wait for the surprise when I get home. Well the Wind In My Pocket was a nice surprise. Her tribute says:

for the children of
and the Quebec North Shore

and for my uncle
Robert A. Bryan
who first introduced me to them

Her poetry is written in rhyme, soft heartfelt rhyme. The art is colourful, and filled with children in relationship with family, friends, weather and life.
I had many favourites in this book but I chose the following, even this s the first day of spring!

Winter Journey
Ellen Bryan Obed

In goose-down fields
we leave our tracks
while black-crow cliffs
look down our backs.
Over porcupine hills
we make our way
to the red fox sun
on the side of day.

Elaine at Wild Rose Reader as the Poetry Friday roundup today.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

15 Words or Less Day

"The writing of a poem is like a child throwing stones into a mineshaft. You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation." - James Fenton

And the reverberation is different for us all.
It's how we interpret the poem
How we feel the poem
Our mood
The noise surrounding
And our love
For words.

Today is Thursday, and that means it's 15 words or less day. Yeh!!! This week I have posted an 'or less' poem. Go over and give it a try. It's for fun to do and there's lots of cool poetry written.

Today's picture is a Canada goose glinding low over the water...go check it out!
My 15 words or less poem is:

Gliding in
With spring's
Until winter's

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Miss Rumphius' Poetry Stretch

" I thought poems were songs for people with bad voices." - Lorna Dee Cervantes

This week's Miss Rumphius' poetry stretch is very much a stretch...my brain muscle is feeling a little sore right now, kind of like my thigh muscles do after a hard run.

She has asked us to write a terza rima. In easy terms it's a three-lined rhyming stanza in the following pattern: aba bcb cdc ded ee. You can make it as long as you like, and the definition I have says there are 11 syllables per line.

So here is what I came up... I've written better, but I have also written a lot worse. Besides this was a fun challenge.

Return to Sender

Mom came home from the hospital on Monday
In her arms lay two little bundles of joy
Those were Dad's words--mine were "Please send them away".

For a while I behaved like a choirboy
But soon enough I would be as sly as a fox
I'd come up with a plan that I would enjoy.

I could return them--put them in the post box
And the twins could go back to where they belong
Then I would ask Dad to install new door locks.

Even though I am four, I knew it was wrong
So I decided to behave good as gold
Because one day I'd need them to play along

For now I'd listen and do as I was told
And just wait for the twins to get really old.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Non-Fiction Monday

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

The above quote is something I remind myself of when writing non-fiction, too. It's not just in fiction we show, don't tell. Although, in non-fiction there is more telling, we can still add a bit of sparkle to our work by showing the glint of light.

I plan to begin working on a biography in the near future, so I have begun reading a number of children's biography books, one being Mark Twain, Author of Tom Sawyer, by Carol Greene ( I couldn't find a cover, anywhere). What a great introduction for a young child to learn about an author who's had such an impact on children's literature. The book is filled with pictures of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain throughout his life.

What I found most interesting about the life and death of Mark Twain was the day he was born Halley's comet welcomed him to this world. And the night of his death, once again 75 years later, Halley's comet bid Mark Twain a farewell.
The round-up for Non-fiction Monday is over at Picture Book Of The Day with Anastasia Suen. Come and check it out!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

One Single Impression

"Poetry is to do with moments...." - Robin Marchesi

The picture below is from this week's One Single Impression. Come and join in and read many other beautiful circle poems.

in search of a home
nestled within each pattern
safe, loved, together

Friday, March 14, 2008

Poetry Friday

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. ~~Carl Sandburg

I found this treasure at the library last week, and it caught my eye because I am doing some research on the snowshoe hare. The Midnight Dance of the Snowshoe Hare, Poems of Alaska, by Nancy White Carlstrom, Illustrated by Ken Kuroi.

This is a delightful book, for children, of non-rhyming verse. The word pictures the author captures in each poem are astounding. She uses many forms of poetry and is able to allow the reader entrance to her special world in Alaska. There are 14 poems included in this collection each written about the seasons as experienced by nature. I had many favourites but the one that touched me most was as follows:

When Night Is Bright Like Day
Nancy White Carlstrom

In summer
When night is bright like day
The stars we see
Are wildflowers.

But if we close our eyes
We see winter sky
And stars shining in darkness

In summer
When night is bright like day
The sun we see
Cuts a path to the river.

But if we close our eyes
We see winter sun
Struggling to sit up
Above the horizon.

In summer
When night is bright like day
The river we see
Rolls over with boats and fish.

But if we close our eyes
We see winter river
Solid ribbon of ice
Winding through silence.

In summer
When night is bright like day
The trees we see
Wear sunshine and Red Squirrels.

But if we close our eyes
We see winter trees
Asleep in snow
Kissed by the moon.

In summer
When night is bright like day
We think the midnight sun
Will last forever.

But if we close our eyes
We see winter light
Dim, short-lived
And weaving its own magic.

The artwork of Ken Kuroi blends with the words, and is soft, gentle, yet crisp and filled with the colours of summer, spring and fall, and the white ice crystals and mist of winter.

This book is out of print but if you go to the author’s website
you can order directly from her.

This week's Poetry Friday's roundup is at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup , where you will notice she is honouring the work of Bob Dylan, which this post is obviously not doing! Oh well, another time...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Poetry Stretch

Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted. ~Percy Shelley, A Defence of Poetry, 1821

This week's Miss Rumphius poetry stretch is photo-based. Writing poems from captured moments is one of my favourite, but most challenging, poetry exercises. So here goes...

framed in the window
contemplate dreams far afield
one day to be touched

Well haiku is what came out, one of my weaker forms of poetry. But as I practise them I come to appreciate them so much more. What makes them a stretch for me is writing about that one moment. It is so much easier to write about what came before or after, but capturing the moment is what makes haiku so beautiful, in my opinion.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One Single Impression

A poem is never finished, only abandoned. ~Paul Valéry

This week at One Single Impression the prompt is kindness. Please take this opportunity to practice your haiku and to read many wonderful picture poems. Here is my contribution this week:

alone unsmiling

happy sounds fill the playground

a hand reaches out

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Non-Fiction Monday

Always be a poet, even in prose. ~Charles Baudelaire, "My Heart Laid Bare," Intimate Journals, 1864

I am posting this on Sunday as we will be leaving for the ski slopes of Quebec in a couple of hours, not to return until Thursday.

I absolutely love reading animal books. Even books about animals I’m not crazy about, like creepy spiders, slimy earthworms, or evil looking bats. I don’t mind snakes and reptiles for some reason, and I love wild cats and animals from the African reserves and deserts.

This past weekend I picked up a book, at the library about starfish. It’s a non-fiction book written in non-rhyming verse, titled Starfish by Edith Thacher Hurd, illustrated by Robin Brickman.

The first printing was in 1962 and the updated version in 1990. In the updated book there were a few changes made, none apparently effecting the poetic verse or the telling of the information. The artwork is a creation of unique collages.

As I read the verse I felt like I was floating alongside a starfish, being given lessons on its life cycle, what it eats, and how it eats.

This book is a Stage One Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out About series. So simple, yet full of enough information to fill the minds of young readers, and stimulate their desire to learn more about starfish. And maybe even about poetry!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Poetry Friday

“Writing a poem is discovering.” ~Robert Frost

Not only is writing a poem discovering, but so is reading a poem, as I discovered!

I am not a horse person. It’s not to say I don’t like horses. I do. But I don’t ride them, dream of them or even think of them. So I’m not exactly sure why I picked up a poetry book filled with horse poems. Maybe it was the cover. There’s a shadow of a horse with a woman riding it and the shadowed fields make me want to jump into the picture and forget about all my cares and woes.

What I learned from picking up My Kingdom for a Horse, An Anthology of Poems About Horses, Edited by Betty Ann Schwartz, Illustrated by Alix Berenzy, is that it doesn’t always matter what the topic is, it’s the beauty of the written word that draws me to love poetry. Especially, such simple yet powerful word pictures. I had many favourites and there were poems by authors such as, Robert Frost, Christina Rossetti, Jack Prelutsky, Ruth Feder and many more including one by William Shakespeare.

Two poems which spoke to me and eased the stress out of my shoulders (which reading poetry out loud tends to do) were:

White Horse by Moonlight

Santo feeds
while the moon
comes up
curved like the bowl
of a silver spoon,
buries his nose
in silver
the color
of moon.

~Tony Johnston, all rights reserved

Retired to Pasture

The meadow moist with morning dew
Is calling me to canter through
Its oak lined paths of pasture grass.
The brook beside it, as I pass,
Invites me down to quench my thirst.
To think that I had once been cursed
To trot upon the city streets
With honking cars in sweltering heat!
Refreshed am I as wind blown wheat.

~by Anita Wintz, all rights reserved

The Poetry Friday round up is at The Simple and the Ordinary

Thursday, March 6, 2008

One Single Impression

I've written some poetry I don't understand myself. ~Carl Sandburg

This is my contribution to One Single Impression. This week's word is Change. Haiku is one form of poetry I find challenging, so this is a great opportunity for me to practice.

surrounded by silk
world opens infinitely
golden wings set free

I look forward to next week's haiku prompt.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Chant Poem

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~Elmore Leonard

There is nothing to skip in Trout, Trout, Trout! (A Fish Chant) by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Trip Park (NorthWord, 2004).

April Pulley Sayre was recommended to me by my poetry teacher, Laura Salas, while I attended her online class, because one of the poems I had submitted for critique, she said, felt like it could be either a list poem or a chant poem. And as every writer knows the best way to learn is to read.

Unfortunately, my library did not have any of Ms. Sayre’s chant books. They had lots of her non-fiction work, though. So I did the next best thing I ordered one online. And, I loved it so much I just might have to add another to my library of children’s books.

In Trout, Trout, Trout! Sayre has done amazing things with rhyme and rhythm using fresh water fish names found in North America. I never knew there were fish called Gar, Shad, Loach, or Yazoo Darter. The words jump off the page as do some of the fish in Trip Parks magnificent artwork.

I don’t have a most favourite chant but here’s the first page:

Threespine Stickleback,
Freshwater Drum.
Lake Chub, Creek Chub,

Trip Park has captured fish face personalities. Even the added dragonfly, bear, and worms dangling on hooks have been given their own persona.

There is also a glossary describing each fish she used in her book.

A great book for children (and adults, too). Fun to read, fun to look at, something to learn, and nothing to skip. Can’t beat that!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This Weeks Poetry Stretch

A poem should not mean
But be.
~Archibald MacLeish, Ars Poetica, 1926

This weeks Miss Rumphius' poetry stretch is about writing mask poems. These are poems written in the point of view of a person, an object, an animal, a condition, anything for that matter.

Mask poems are fun to write and important because they take youout of yourself and you get to be someone or something else for a bit. So close your eyes, pick something to write about and then feel what it is to be that something.

Here's mine, inspired by a picture of a lioness carrying her cub.

Another Home

Another preditor
Another move
Another home

HIgh above the ground
I dangle from
Mom's mouth

Swaying to the beat
Of her trek
To our new den

Her teeth embedded
Into my furry skin

Another predator
Another move
Another home

by Marianne H. Nielsen, all rights reserved

Monday, March 3, 2008

Reading, Researching, Learning

"The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book. "--Samuel Johnson

I have now immersed myself in a non-fiction workshop which is something new for me. Needless to say, I am reading many, many non-fiction books for young children. And surprise! I’m loving it and learning all kinds of cool things that I never knew before. Or if I did I had forgotten them. Happy

I have read about chameleons in Chameleon, Chameleon by Joy Cowley, killer bees in Outside and Inside Killer Bees by Sandra Markle, spiders in The Jumping Spider by Alice B. McGinty, the Great Barrier Reef in Wonders Of The World, The Great Barrier Reef by Peggy J. Parks, and many more.

For one of my assignments I have to submit part of a manuscript, so I knuckled down to do some serious research. And that’s fun too. Anyway, I spent a few hours yesterday reading up on my topic, and felt like a part of my brain, which hadn’t been used in a while, was now operating. I was feeling like Spring had arrived (alas, it hasn’t yet SmileyCentral.com). A little later in the day my youngest son came to me and began asking me some questions about the animal I had been researching. And I could give answers. This was a summer feeling now SmileyCentral.com

So often when my children ask me questions, especially educational type ones, I don’t always have the answer for them. Sometimes we look it up together, but invariable these questions get asked when I’m in the middle of something and they have to go in search of the answer themselves, so I don’t always find out the answer. But now I’m ready! Watch out here I come…

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Apostrophe Poem

Here's my apostrophe poem, a first for me and fun to write. It still didn't give me the motivation to go for my run. Oh well! Maybe tomorrow?

To My Self-Motivation

Nowhere to be found
Have you slipped
Into sleeping
My enemy
My friend
Perhaps your message
Do something else
your body needs a rest
Instead of
The snow covered pavement.

Marianne H. Nielsen all rights reserved

Go to Miss Rumphius Effect: Monday Poetry Stretch to add your apostrophe poem.