Friday, March 30, 2012

poetry friday is here! object voices

Welcome to's still dark out, but it's sounding like a beautiful day in Bethesda.  I know it's not quite April, but National Poetry Month starts today here at my juicy little universe.  This month I'm going to be exploring poems in the voices of the inanimate world (and I hope there will be some guest poets later in the month, also).

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
Our shoulders square   our faces flat
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, 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!


  1. Hello Heidi, our poetry offering is not an object poem unfortunately, but a poem about womanity in celebration of the remaining days of women's month. Fats is posting for Poetry Friday in behalf of all of us. Here is the link:
    Many thanks for hosting this week!

  2. Thanks for hosting, Heidi! Over at The Drift Record I took your advice and posted an original "object" poem from the point of view of a kite that has broken loose. I also have some news up about Sylvia Vardell's new book and a call-to-arms from Janet Wong.

  3. Hello Heidi, thanks for hosting (and nice to meet you/your work via March Madness)!

    I have guest poet Miranda Paul up today, with her poetry video straight from the crocodile pit in the Gambia, Africa.

    I'd also like to mention that for Poetry Month, I've got poetry videos and interviews every Monday and Friday with the following:

    J. Patrick Lewis
    Julie Larios
    Michael Rosen (UK)
    Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
    Lee Wardlaw
    Irene Latham
    Kenn Nesbitt
    Laura Purdie Salas
    Deborah Diesen
    Greg Pincus

    Thank you!

  4. Hi Heidi! I've got the second in my Fictional Favorites series, featuring Irene Latham and The Hunger Games:
    See you soon.

  5. Hi Heidi - I love your bricks poem! Also love Laura's book and thought of it before you mentioned it in your post. :) I'm in with and original Ode to Mary Lee (yes, our Mary Lee!) and some thoughts on my experience as writer and reader at Ed's March Madness. Thanks for hosting!

  6. Good morning, Heidi! Thank you for hosting and for sharing these wonderful point of view poems.

    I am visiting with Maryland poet Kay Weeks, who keeps an occasional online Senryu Journal. In the classroom, a Senryu Journal would be a great way to reflect on a field trip, project, or science lab.

  7. Heidi, I love your brick poem and the way it looks on the screen! And thanks for sharing one of my poems, too!

    I'm in with Polar Bear from Janet Wong's ebook, Once Upon a Tiger, at

    And 15 Words or Less poems at

    Thanks for hosting!

  8. Hi Heidi,

    Looking forward to Poetry Month here -- great theme, love your bricks poem :),and BookSpeak is wonderful!

    At Alphabet Soup, I've announced the Poetry Potluck Menu/Guest List and details about a special giveaway and door prizes. I'm also sharing a Mary Oliver poem since the Potluck is dedicated to her this year:

    I've also posted a list of Kidlit Poetry Month events:

    Thanks for hosting today!

  9. Good morning! Thanks for hosting, Heidi! I'm in today at with thoughts on being part of online writing communities. I'm glad to hear it's looking like a beautiful day in Bethesday, it feels like it's going to ba a great day here in Frederick too.

  10. Today, at Random Noodling I'm sharing a spring poem by Wm. Allingham, "Four Ducks on a Pond."

    Kids of the Homefront Army has a poem called "This Close."

    Kurious Kitty honors Earl Scruggs, who passed away on Wednesday, with the words to "Old Salty Dog Blues."

    Kurious K's Kwotes' P.F. quote is by Adrienne Rich, who also passed away this week.

    Thanks for the grand opening to National Poetry Month, Heidi!

  11. Heidi, Thanks so much for getting my post in. Feeling better today and will enjoy popping in and out of PF posts as I pop in and out of sleep. I LOVE your "Bricks" poem and might talk to you about permission to share in a wolfy school visit? (Love Laura's library book poem too - I'll be "booktalking" with her in a couple of weeks.) HAPPY POETRY MONTH! :0)

  12. My poem for Poetry Friday is Poe's The Raven. Enjoy, and thanks for hosting.

  13. Heidi,

    Thanks for doing the roundup this week. Over at Wild Rose Reader, I have an original animal mask poem titled "Trunk Talk."

    I also have an announcement about my poetry book giveaway during National Poetry Month.

  14. Heidi,

    Thanks for doing the roundup this week. Over at Wild Rose Reader, I have an original animal mask poem titled "Trunk Talk."

    I also have an announcement about my poetry book giveaway during National Poetry Month.

  15. How fun to visit your blog! Love the title and image. And thanks for the object poems. So fun!

    At On Point, I've written a haiku, Offering.

    Thank you!

  16. I've put up a little post called "Penny blues," ruminating on the demise of the Canadian penny (yesterday's federal budget) with references to a few nursery rhymes that talk about the penny. It's here:

  17. Dear Heidi: If only my husband and son would realize that today is "Janet Wong Day" . . . but since they don't, thank GOODNESS for Poetry Friday and friends like you, Joy, Julie, and Laura! All best, Janet

  18. The Write Sisters offer up some wind today with Only the Wind Says Spring by Helen Janet Miller.

    I'm not sure it will be strong enough to take down those bricks of yours. It's a really wonderful poem!


  19. Hi Heidi/everyone. Glad to be back at Poetry Friday and can't wait to visit all of your sites again.

    I posted a short new poem this morning about waking up and another last night with some miscellaneous madness.

  20. Thanks for hosting, Heidi. Love your object poems and can't wait to read more! I especially love the image of books going on vacation- I've been wishing for beaches and books all week! I'm probably not supposed to admit that besides being a poetry lover, I am also a basketball lover. Seemed only appropriate, then, to feature the work of sports poet, Charles R. Smith, Jr.

  21. Good Morning Heidi!
    This week I've got part of my favorite Adrienne Rich poem, Diving into the Wreck over at Write. Sketch. Repeat. as well as a couple of links to her poems in The New Yorker and The Nation.

  22. Hi Heidi,

    Happy Poetry Month! I love that you’re starting the celebration early – I’m starting early, too. And I love your brick poem and seeing Laura’s vacation poem here - persona poems are fun!

    Irene Latham introduced herself to me today through my blog post “Why Poetry Matters” over at the Lucky 13s group: Irene suggested that my post might make a good addition to your roundup.

    Take care,


  23. Elsie at Elsie Tries Writing wrote a couple of poems using the letters from a word...decided to try some myself. Getting past the intro blog, my poem/s are at the bottom of my post at Mainely Write.

  24. Thank you for hosting today, Heidi. I'm celebrating our own Laura Salas and her new book today:

  25. Thanks for hosting.
    My selection is the classic "Hailstones and Halibut Bones" by Mary O'Neill with illustrations by John Wallner.

  26. Thank you for hosting! My contribution for today is here.

  27. Hi Heidi, thank you for hosting. Today I have the pleasure of introducing Renee LaTulippe's plans for very special guest poets during poetry month. She mentioned a little of this above. And thank you for the inanimate object poems. So clever to imagine "who" they are in their words.

  28. Hi, Heidi. I'm up with one of my poems from the Madness -

    Rise to the Challenge (This Means War)

    Thanks for hosting!

  29. Thank you so much for hosting, Heidi. I'm wading back into Poetry Friday by sharing an original pantoum (from the March madness tournament)

    Also for National Poetry Month I will be sharing poetry exercises and tips on teaching poetry with original poems throughout the month.

  30. Hi, Heidi. I love your poem about the bricks (and the photo at the top of your post) and also enjoyed reading the poem by Laura Salas. This week, I review a popular board book written in rhyme--Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton. Thanks for hosting, and happy Friday!

  31. You rock! Just thought I'd pass that along.

  32. Thanks for hosting. Please add my review of If Peas Could Taste Like Candy.

  33. Thanks for hosting, Heidi - and Happy Poetry Month. I'm squeezing in there at the end of the day as usual... I was struck by the photograph as soon as your post appeared on the screen - and love your poem. I read it before reading your text around it, or even the title, and it's interesting that I thought of the three little pigs before it became obvious. I'll have to try doing that with your other object poems and see if I can make the connection :-)

    I have some beautiful photos in my post too, and an extract from our new interview with Dutch photographer Taco Anema, author of a stunning book called Tales of Water: A Child's View - yes, poetry can crop up in surprising places!

  34. Hi, Heidi. Thanks for hosting. Love your poetry "animation" theme. My posting today is a shameless plug for my new book, a poetry resource book-- The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists, 155 different poetry bibliographies and lists of research-based strategies featuring 1500 poetry books for children and teens (ages 0-18).

  35. Hi! I'm a latecomer this evening, but here's my link:

    Thanks so much for hosting!

  36. Those stalwart little bricks are great! I love talking inanimate objects...they make me very happy, and your poem does too. BOOKSPEAK is a gem, and you certainly did a lot of work hosting today...thank you for kicking off such a great month! And thank you, too, for your message. Yay! a.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!