Thursday, November 12, 2020

aubade, with apologies

Dear Sunday Swaggers,

I'm sorry.  Last week I very consciously made a decision to pass on Poetry Friday in order to focus on my work for the NCTE Poetry Awards Committee meeting on Friday evening. My beleaguered brain was unable to recall that on THIS particular Friday, I was committed to our monthly group challenge--this time from Linda Mitchell, to write an aubade (here's a good one by Philip Larkin).  So you came here on Friday morning and found only...


No song or poem
greets this dawn.
Nobody bids a
fond adieu to a love.
There is no parting here
this morn, for neither 
was there joining...

except the joining 
of an early riser 
and her books. She rose
to read, to join with eyes
of love wide open, wise,
to read what the world
would put before a child.

She read to see that words
played music like the dawn,
like rays of light and veils 
of cloud removed, illuminating
extraordinary news.

She read to see that promises
were kept, that what the
poem claimed would be
delivered, along with
extra unexpected joy.

She read to keep familiar
voices honest. She read to
thresh fresh voices from 
the throng. She read and
wrote her morning love
a song, a song to guide
the ones who choose 
the books, who spread
the poems out before 
the child.

draft ©Heidi Mordhorst 2020

Please accept my apology, Swaggers. Our committee is excited to be participating at the NCTE Annual (Virtual) Convention, reviewing last year's picks, introducing this year's choices, and announcing the biennial NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children!

And in case you missed my fellow aubadeers' work last week, here are links:

Our host for Poetry Friday this week is Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge. I hope there's haiku!


  1. Your poem was worth the wait, Heidi. It's lovely.

  2. I love how your poem praises the work you and your committee are doing for the world of Kidlit and poetry. Thanks! (No apologies necessary)

  3. Heidi, your poem is joyful and full of the energetic work of those who believe reading matters: She read to see that words
    played music like the dawn,-What beautiful lines.

  4. So grateful for the work you do, so well described in your "Naubade."

  5. I'm rather happy that you waited. This is the work you & your committee do for which I am grateful, Heidi! "She read to see that promises/were kept" Thank you!

  6. What a beautiful and playful response, a naubade! ha! You make me laugh...but then you write a perfectly beautiful poem about the work you are doing, which is not small thing and I have a little lump in my throat at the end. Again, still you are a poetry genius. I'm so glad you are on the reading committee. I know you are making the world a better place with your reading and sharing. Thank you, Heidi.

  7. I knew you'd make it all the better for the wait! You are amazing! Thank you for working "with eyes of love"...
    "to read what the world
    would put before a child."

  8. Only you could turn a dropped stitch into such a beautiful quilt of words and ideas.

    I love this:
    "She read to keep familiar
    voices honest. She read to
    thresh fresh voices from
    the throng."

  9. Thanks for the intense Philip Larkin, too!

  10. What a loving post, Heidi—a gift to your fellow swaggers, to your students, and to us. The illumination of you poem is like the dawn despite the poem's clever, but less-than-true title. :)

  11. (Mary Lee said it best!) Well done, Oh-So-Talented One, with appreciation for the important work you do in several spheres! :0)


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!