Monday, September 27, 2010

ban banns banner banned...bananas!

There's something rotten in the state of the union when we still (or again) have to worry about books being banned or worse, burned. To those who would apply a banal coat of Ban to any book whose smelly armpits offend their tender sensibilities, let us make this week a banner week and "publish the banns," making the announcement of a forthcoming marriage between ourselves and every reader's right to access the literature of her choice.

To do otherwise is contrary to the American ideal of freedom and is crazy enough to give innocent bananas a bad name.

Thanks to the Office for Intellectual Freedom at the ALA for leading the way; get on the bandwagon here !

Friday, September 24, 2010

figuring eight

My partner's father, Granddad Damian--a retired English professor--not only pops some British pounds into a birthday account for each of our children, but has gifted them each year with a clever handmade card and an "occasional" poem.

Yesterday Duncan turned 8 ("Well, I may be a year older, but I can still burp as well as yesterday: SOUNDEFFECCHHT!") and his card depicted an 8-shaped racetrack; Granddad's poem was the usual literary marvel full of enjambments and metaphysical turns. I won't post his poem here without permission, but it did remind me that when Daisy turned 8 she said some things about it that led to this poem. See what you think. The stanzas should be laid out in a figure of eight, with 4. at the "crossroads."

Figuring Eight
a continuous poem in eight stanzas

Everyone says
that “Eight is great!”
It’s easy
because of the rhyme.
But then I turned eight
and it IS great:

the shape, the sound, the place of eight,
8 the best snowman I ever built: a round circle on top
like my head, full of everything I know, balanced on a
round circle below like my body full of everything I can do.

I know
three different ways to write the date;
that gardening is mostly wait;
what it means when animals mate.
I can
roller-skate, and stay up late;
taste the soup I know I’ll hate;
slip the hook into the bait.

And 8 is made of
one long line that curves and turns
and crosses itself in the middle;
eight is
not too young and not too old
not too little and not too big.
Eight is great.

And here’s another thing about 8:
that one long line that curves and turns and keeps going
around and around—
a train on a track that never ends—
take that one long line and lay it down on its side and it means

8 lying down is the sign for
numbers counting themselves on and on
into the distance, a line of time that never ends.

So this is what I wish at night:
that I, lying down, am
8 to the power of infinity,

falling asleep
and waking up eight and great
every morning until time never ends.

~Heidi Mordhorst


Enjoy this week's panoply of poetic posts at TBWTSCT with Karen Edmisten!

*I'm amused by typing ARR instead of All Rights Reserved, and then I feel I have to finish it off piratically...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

more, more, more (how do you like it?)

I made a fine discovery this week--my daughter's new reading teacher is a writer with a YA novel , Falling for Hamlet, coming out next year. I also found that in addition to her personal facebook page, Michelle Ray has a new "writer" page that she's using like a miniblog, if I'm reading it right.

This makes some sense to me, especially since purchase of a cell phone for said daughter has resulted in a new phone for me--a smartphone which is considerably smarter than I am at the moment--and which has downloaded all my facebook contact info.

So I find myself asking, in the interest of a more consistent online writer presence, what goal makes more sense: to double the number of posts to this blog to a whopping TWO per week, or to try and comment more briefly but more frequently on facebook? And (importantly): comment on what? My fervent desire to snatch Hermione's time-turner from around her neck as D2 and I enter Chapter 6 of The Prisoner of Azkaban? And what would be the reason to want a more consistent online writer presence?

All reflections welcome....

Friday, September 10, 2010

another way to pose the question

Who Am I?

The trees ask me,
And the sky,
And the sea asks me
Who am I?

The grass asks me,
And the sand,
And the rocks ask me
Who I am.

The wind tells me
At nightfall,
And the rain tells me
Someone small.

Someone small
Someone small
But a piece

~ Felice Holman

Friday, September 3, 2010


This is rather a good little poem and is even more fun as a song--and it's certainly the right way to begin [ahem-TWO!] new reading classes full of children with first names from Farhan to Manuel, from Dayrin to Bronx, from Fumiya to Jaisa.
How nostalgic it made us, singing it blearily before dawn with my freshly-minted middle-schooler, for the days of nursery school and Dragon Tales...

The Hello Song
from PBS "Dragon Tales"

Get up on your feet
And to everyone you meet
Say hello, hello, hello, hello

When you meet somebody new
The first thing you should do
Is say hello, hello, hello, hello

Say it high
Say it low
Say it fast
Say it slow

Get up on your feet
And to everyone you meet
Say hello, hello, hello, hello

Cause when you wanna make a new friend
Give a great big smile
And say "Hi, hello, my name is
[Zak! Wheezie! Ord! Cassie!]"

And before you know it
You'll have a brand new pal
True-blue, till the end
A brand new friend, say it again

Say it high
Say it low
Say it fast
Say it slow

Get up on your feet
And to everyone you meet
Say hello, hello, hello, hello

Say it high
Say it low
Say it fast
Say it slow

Get up on your feet
And to everyone you meet
Say hello, hello, hello, hello

Check out all the goodies at the Poetry Friday round-up, hosted today at Susan Writes by (funnily enough) Susan!