As humans we do a lot of talking--in my house especially!--and it's easy to imagine animals and plants finding language to express their views and emotions. But it's a little more of a stretch to put words in the nonexistent mouths of things, to hear the voices of the objects around us, and when they come through clearly it's an exciting look into another world.
Here's one from my collection of poems in the voices of folk and fairy tale objects. I had fun trying to get the vocabulary and speech patterns to fit the station and style of things like Cinderella's glass slipper, Rapunzel's hair, and the Third Pig's bricks.
Little Bricks, Little Bricks,
Let Me Come In
We’re thick thick thick
We’re dense dense dense
There’s only one thing that makes sense:
We stick stick stick
We stack stack stack
We do not crack when wolves attack
Side to side and back to back
We stand we stick we sit we stay
Huff and puff at us all day, wolf!
But bricks don’t budge
They don’t cave in
Not by the straw of our chinny-chin-chins
Heidi Mordhorst 2010
all rights reserved
Laura Purdie Salas has also played with this idea in her recent volume, BookSpeak (Clarion, 2011). We went to the library last night in preparation for a Spring Break trip to Arizona; just listen to this globe-trotting book speaking.
Whenever I’m checked out, it’s like a vacation.
I’m scanned and I’m packed for a new destination!
I’ve floated in airplanes. I’ve lain on the beach.
I’ve hidden in bunk beds — just out of your reach.
Been stained by spaghetti, been splashed at the lake.
I’ve shared your adventures. I’ve kept you awake.
At night in your sleeping bag — too dark to see –
you whipped out a flashlight to keep reading me.
I never quite know where my reader is bound,
and hundreds of times I’ve been lost and then found.
It’s good to get home, look around, see what’s new,
but before long I’m antsy . . .
A trip’s overdue!
Copyright © 2011 Laura Purdie Salas.
All rights reserved.
Look for more talking-object poems throughout April, and if you have a favorite, let me know.
And now, let the wild round-up begin!
Robyn posted early this week and features a really fun new abecedarian from Nancy Raines Day called A is for Alliguitar at Read, Write, Howl. Go try out a tromboa, a saxofox or a wolbourine!
Jone at Check It Out has a useful little listing of National Poetry Month blog celebrations. Our friends are serving up such richness! Jone herself will be featuring thirty days of poems by students.
Joy's celebration is of Janet Wong's new collection Declaration of Interdependence, and she's giving away four autographed copies! Visit her at Poetry for Kids Joy.
Amy LV has a darling (but also clever) poem about baby dreams at The Poem Farm, along with info about her plans for April both on the Farm and at her Sharing Notebooks blog.
Myra and Co. at Gathering Books are lingering in Women's History Month before leaping into [American] National Poetry Month--with the help of Walt Whitman and a piece of Leaves of Grass I don't recall seeing before. Wow!
At The Drift Record, Julie has an original poem from the point of view of a kite, as well as news about Sylvia Vardell's new book and words from Janet Wong again--this time calling us all to agitate for a higher profile for poetry! [This formerly incorrect link is now fixed. Sorry, Julie!]
Mary Lee is posting today at A Year of Reading on all the ways she WON in the March Madness Poetry Tournament. We all won just by reading poems like "Saffron Harvest."
Renee hosts guest poet Miranda Paul--from the crocodile pit!--today at No Water River, and will be sharing videos and interviews with a lovely assembly of poets throughout April.
Tabatha's got the second installment of her Fictional Favorites series, featuring Irene Latham's poem picks in honor of characters from The Hunger Games. This could be too wonderful for one post! Go to The Opposite of Indifference to catch fire.
Irene herself at Live Your Poem has written an Ode to Mary Lee (yes, our Mary Lee!) and thoughts on her experience as a reader and writer in the March Madness tournament. I think it has been a novel experience for many of us, and we're all looking forward to the Final Four.
Two of my favorite Lauras are posting today: Local Laura Shovan, who shares an interesting visit with fellow Marylander Kay Weeks and her online Senryu Journal at Author Amok.
Minnesota Laura [Purdie Salas] has her 15 Words or Less results, as usual, and Janet Wong again! (Did I miss the memo about how March 30 is Janet Wong Day?] It's her Polar Bear poem from the e-book Once Upon a Tiger at Writing the World for Kids.
Your host will now pause to celebrate Spring Break by reading aloud pages 382-405 of Harry Potter VII and posting poetry in the halls of a certain middle school. More round-up around lunchtime!
What a busy Friday! Jama's announcing her Poetry Potluck plans in honor of Mary Oliver and her own list of Poetry Month events at Alphabet Soup.
Linda's ruminating on being part of online writing communities, and I hope is not as disappointed as I am that the sun lasted approximately 15 minutes this morning in our part of the world! Visit her at Write Time.
As usual, Diane offers a plethora of poetry at Random Noodling (a spring poem by Wm. Allingham, "Four Ducks on a Pond") at Kids of the Homefront Army (a poem called "This Close"), at Kurious Kitty (the words to "Old Salty Dog Blues" in honor of Earl Scruggs, who passed away this week), and at Kurious K's Kwotes (a quote from Adrienne Rich, who also passed away this week).
Sherry reminds us of the delights of Poe with The Raven" at her Semicolon blog.
Elaine shares her original mask poem "Trunk Talk"--go see which kind of trunk is talking at Wild Rose Reader. She also announces her book giveaway during April...goodies, goodies!
At On Point, Lorie Ann offers "Offering," a haiku. Nice to have you, Lorie Ann.
Violet takes us to Canada for thoughts on the demise of the Canadian penny and some nursery rhymes at Line upon line.
It's a windy end to March at The Write Sisters with Jet and "Only the Wind Says Spring."
Ed has two posts for us today, some cool miscellaneous data on the Madness and one on waking up, both at Think Kid, Think.
In a pleasingly smooth segue, at Carol's Corner Carol features Charles R. Smith, sports poet superstar and author of five books of basketball poems. Folks, let's make sure Carol (and all the other poetry lovers who also love sports) understand that all passions are prime poetry impulses!
Katya also remembers Adrienne Rich with "Diving into the Wreck" and some links to more information about this most distinguished American poet. Find her at Write. Sketch. Repeat.
Tamera Will Wissinger is one of quite a few authors with debut books coming out in 2012. They're all blogging at The Lucky 13s, and Tamera's post today is on Why Poetry Matters. Thanks for stopping by, Tamera!
Donna shares a neat little poem along with some very nice crafting related to it at Mainely Write, and another one here!
At A Teaching Life, Tara's featuring Laura Purdie Salas as well today (making it officially Janet-Wong-AND-Laura-Salas Day), again putting the delightful BookSpeak into the spotlight.
Janet returns to the timeless classic Hailstones and Halibut Bones at her All About the Books blog. She's feeling purple today!
Ruth made me laugh with her teacher's intro to a hopeful poem with a wonderful title, "Horses at Midnight Without a Moon." Enjoy it at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town.
Linda at TeacherDance is featuring Renee LaTulippe and her awesome (and I do not use that word lightly) poetry video blog project. I didn't quite understand what Renee is up to, rushing to round up this morning. Please go see what a service she's providing to the community!
Lately risen to the Final Four of the March Madness Tournament, the heroic Greg is sharing his playground acrostic poem from Round 3, using the inspiring word "truce." Enter the battle at GottaBook.
Susan wades back into Poetry Friday (how we've missed you!) with her own March Madness contribution at Susan Taylor Brown, as well as her plans for Poetry Month. I loved this poem, not least because of its pantoumian structure.
At bildungsroman (a fine title for a blog), Little Willow shares a D.H. Lawrence poem in honor of the recently published book Joe Golem and the Drowning City. I think Little Willow ought to check out Tabatha's Fictional Favorites above!
Kerry froths things up with a review of the classic Barnyard Dance (4 million copies in print!) over at Picture Books & Pirouettes. Everybody ready?
Gosh, I love Poetry Friday when I have time to enjoy it properly! Time now for your hostess to attend to more of those mundane matters...cat-feeding, laundry, supervising "Granny Wars" on the trampoline...I'll round up any last posts much later tonight. Thanks for stopping in, everyone!
Our friend at Books 4 Learning joins us with a review of If Peas Could Taste Like Candy, a collection
by Crystal Bowman. I'm confused, though...don't peas already taste like candy? ; )
Marjorie at Paper Tigers shares photos and an interview with Dutch photographer Taco Anema.
To close the evening, Sylvia stops in to plug what is surely a must for every poetry-loving, poetry-teaching, poetry-promoting one of us--her new Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists! Get the full story at Poetry for Children.
That's it, everyone! I'm looking forward to making a second round to read more carefully, and I'm grateful to be a part of this community. Until next time, my neighbors in PoetryTown!