Friday, April 13, 2018

hb to the mayor of poetrytown!

For so many years I had known his name, read his work, heard how the children's poetry world revolved around this venerable voice for children and their reading needs.  But it wasn't until 2009 that I had any opportunity to actually meet Lee Bennett Hopkins, and that was no small moment--it happened in front of dozens of the bright lights of children's poetry, gathered to celebrate Lee's receipt of the NCTE Poetry Award.

I posted about that event here and mentioned the poem that I shared at that festival in the "town square" which was really a large but windowless conference room.  What town do I speak of?  Poetrytown!  And who is the Mayor-by-Acclamation of that town?  It is Lee!

What did I read that day?  A poem which coincidentally--for I knew little of this feeling of community or of Lee's leadership until I walked into the room and felt it--described both my desire to invite others "into the house of my poem" and to be invited in.  And here is that poem, dedicated to Lee Bennett Hopkins on his birthday!

Stanza Means Room | Heidi Mordhorst
  for Lee Bennett Hopkins, again

Come into the house of my poem.
Knock on my title,
I’ll open the door--
Knock on my door and come in!

This stanza’s my parlor.  Come in.
Hang up your hat,
Settle in, stay a while—
I’ll tell you my story and you tell me yours.
Sit down in my poem and chat.

This stanza’s my kitchen.  Come in.
Are you ready to eat?
Belly up to the bard—
Sip at a simile, munch on a metaphor.
Dig into my poem and feast.

This stanza’s the playroom.  Come on,
Unpuzz all the packles!
Chant or sing, whisperSHOUT---
Giggle the riddles and chime all the rhymes!
Join in with the juggling and jokes!

This stanza’s the bedroom.  Come in.
Recline on my lines,
Doze off in my drift…
Pillows of imagery wonder your head.
Relax in my poem and dream.

This stanza’s the back door.  Farewell.
You aren’t the same now
As when you came in—
A guest in my poetry house.

There you are, and there I am, and there are all of us, citizens of Poetrytown--and all over this virtual town today (thanks to Robyn Hood Black, our host today) the houses of our poems will be festooned with balloons and environmentally-friendly confetti and colorful hoopla in honor of Lee!


  1. Unpuzz all the packles, indeed! This is so YOU, Heidi, and perfect for Lee's Birthday bash. Thank you! xo

    1. That's my favorite line, too! Perfect poem for Lee's birthday, Heidi - thanks for sharing.

  2. Terrific poem, Heidi! I'll be saving it. ("Environmentally-friendly confetti" :-))

  3. PERFECT, Heidi - somehow I missed this poem before, so I'm thrilled to make myself at home in it today, with Lee as special guest again! (And another raised cup to "unpuzz all the packles"!)

  4. Oh, this is wonderful, Heidi! I'm so glad you included it in the celebrations today.

  5. I love the idea that each stanza is a room. So fun.

  6. Wonderful, Heidi! I love the following lines: "Sip at a simile, munch on a metaphor." and "Unpuzz all the packles!" (Hahaha) and "Pillows of imagery wonder your head." Such fun!

  7. Heidi, this is a wonderful poem. I especially like these lines:
    Pillows of imagery wonder your head.
    Relax in my poem and dream.
    What a thought to dream with tonight.
    It is so much fun reading everyone's tribute to Lee.

  8. How lovely Heidi, what a wonderful lyrical poem! I love traveling through the rooms of your poetry house and being in poetry town–how novel, thanks for inviting us in!

  9. I enjoy visiting your poetry house anytime. Thanks for inviting us in.

  10. I'm glad you shared this again, Heidi. It is lovely to imagine visiting all those 'rooms'.

  11. Oh, this is such a good idea! Each room is a joy!

  12. I lovelovelove this Heidi. Printing it, keeping it, sharing it!

  13. This is fabulous! I'm glad I've been invited in to your poetry house!

  14. Your poetry house is so inviting I'd like to move right in!

  15. Talking about titles, stanza one stands out. Titles are invitation to enter-YES!


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!