To participate in the Poetry Blog Hop, simply:
1) Make up three questions you've always wanted to be asked in an interview about children's poetry and then answer them on your own blog;
2) Invite one, two or three other bloggers who write poetry (preferably children's poetry, but we're broad-minded) to answer any three questions that they make up on their own blogs (they can copy someone else's questions if they'd like)
3) In your post, let us know who your invitees are and when they're are going to be posting their own Poetry Blog Hop questions and answers...if you know the dates.
I'm ready to do part 1 today and I'm working on parts 2 and 3...there doesn't seem to be any need to rush the hopping, and I don't have time to rush anyway! Here are my questions for myself:
1) What's your favorite Children's Poet Laureate project?
2) Which poems from it do you love?
3) Which poem would you have contributed to it, if you had been asked?
1) Before I answer this directly, I must release a short rant on the fact that when one searches for a LIST of children's poet laureates, selected by the Poetry Foundation rather than the Librarian of Congress, as the [adult] Poet Laureate is, one finds no such useful list, no Wikipedia page, no helpful overview. I feel the Poetry Foundation oughta do something about this tout de suite.
Now then: I adore The Tree That Time Built, an anthology selected by Mary Ann Hoberman and Linda Winston and published in 2009 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 250th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species. I am always particularly tickled by connections and integrations, and I love it that the Children's Poet Laureate looked outward into the world of science (and, unavoidably, social science) to find a subject for her anthology, and then selected and arranged poems that light up that complex subject for young readers.
Another thing I like about The Tree That Time Built (and you can see my previous post on it here) is that it draws on the work of past and contemporary children's poets like David McCord and Marilyn Singer but also on the work of adults' poets like Sylvia Plath and Wendell Berry. The more we children's poetry people can convince "adult" poets that their work can speak to young people, the more chances we have to show that our work is worthy of adults. And when the topic is science--deep, knowledgeable, informative science--the "seriousness" of our work comes through especially loud and clear.
2) Here's one from Mary Ann Hoberman herself, perfect for the CP Blog HOP and which showcases Hoberman's terse blend of rhyme, rhythm, imagination and information.
Frog | Mary Ann Hoberman
Wet bog …
And here, from Felice Holman, a favorite of mine for pinning down that feeling that is at the core of middle childhood, that key to Growing Up, that moment when you see yourself suddenly from outside, as just one thread in the interdependent web of all existence.
Who Am I? | Felice Holman
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
And the rain tells me
But a piece
3) Say Mary Ann had asked me for a poem for The Tree That Time Built...I'd have sent her this one, from Pumpkin Butterfly, also published in 2009.
Charles Darwin’s Garden Party
fragrant white water lily
red bat pup
beebalm and bluebonnets
I just never get tired of all the wild diversity in the world! Thanks to those who invited me to hop along. I "hop" to invite some others to participate in the coming week. Now let's all hop on over to The Poem Farm with Amy for today's roundup!