Poetry Friday: A Bowl of Poetry Candy

Welcome to my candy dish! 

In honor of

my very first Poetry Friday hosting duties, I’ve set out some big bowls of poetry candy. Please leave your sugary links and blurbs in the comments, and I’ll refill the bowls throughout the day so no one’s sweet tooth goes un-sweeted.

Before we get to the goodies, however, I have to announce that I am thrilled in a most poetic way to have been appointed a Round Two judge in the poetry category for the 2012 Cybils awards! I join a fabulous panel that includes several Poetry Friday peeps, so I’m really looking forward to working with them to choose this year’s poetry champ. Here’s the lineup:

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Carol Wilcox: Carol W’s Corner
Jone Rush MacCulloch: Check It Out
Anastasia Suen: Booktalking
Tricia Stohr-Hunt: The Miss Rumphius Effect
Irene Latham:Live Your Poem
Misti Tidman: Kid Lit Geek
Mary Lee Hahn: A Year of Reading

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Sylvia Vardell: Poetry for Children
Ed DeCaria: Think Kid Think
Renee La Tulippe: No Water River
Diane Mayr: Kurious Kitty
Linda Baie: Teacher Dance


Nominations will be accepted October 1-15, so be sure to get your favorites in. You can find out everything you need to know right here.

Now back to the sweets! I’m pleased that we have several new PF contributors, so please do check out their links below.

In my bowl today

is a mix of poetry candies, some sweet, some sour, some chewy, some melty, and who knows? There might even be some that give you the willies, just like that one candy flavor you can’t abide. I hope none of you put black licorice in your bowls today!

As I was swiffling through my notebook this week, I was surprised by the number of little 5-minute poem-lets I’ve written over the last few months, most in response to challenges or prompts or comments, and all of them sprinkled over the cupcake that is the Internet. So today I thought I’d gather them up, throw them in a bowl, and pass them around.

Some sweet shoutouts to the bloggers who inspired these little skittles: Susanna Leonard Hill (Short & Sweet prompts), Laura Purdie Salas (15 Words or Less Poetry), David L. Harrison (the couplet challenge on the theme of “line”), Pat Lewis via David Harrison (the One-Worder challenge: wordplay fun!), Rena J. Traxel (Poetry Month prompts), Lee Wardlaw via Katie Davis (petku), Joy Acey (PF prompts).

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Straight lines didn’t tempt him much,
preferring swirls, a twisty touch.

My lineage bids me say adieu
to slender lines: Salut, au jus!

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Pity that your fine toboggan
met its ruin on my noggin.

I’m a straight line, and it sticks in my craw!
Eh, but I guess that’s the luck of the draw.

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See this here
determined snout?
Take me
Take me

Break me out.

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She bats coins, spins dimes,
makes them dance like her eyes, those
glinting silver spheres.

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PENGUIN:  a ditty

Pottle wottle
No eats
Go fish
Under snow
Icy wish (I
Need love)

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Bummer to get sucked
Up like a
My life slurped out,
Extracted as a
Robin’s snack.

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A horse by the name of Kerplunk
had a wee problem — he stunk!
He put on a diaper
and used a bum-wiper
but nothing could unstink his funk.

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and out.
Take it around.
chocolate brown.
Minutes slipping,
hardly a sound.
That’s how I lay my colors down.

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I am the dragonfly
cerulean as sky
with delicate wings of mesh
flittering, dizzying
over sunbathing water lilies
dipping into nectar
drifting on wispy breeze
dancing on golden sunbeams
a flicker of fire

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is a smug sloth
slouching along in his slumbering way
in the solace of rain forest trees,
thumbing his nose at hurry-scurry
with a savvy smile
and his own sort of swagger.

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profound monk: deep-friar
middle-aged dog’s problem: menopaws
tearful weaving: basketbawl
eloped wildebeests: gnulyweds
diabolical feline: satanicat
know-it-all journalists: knewsies
citrus assistant: lemonaide
go shopping for contact lenses: eyebrowse
favorite dance at the asylum: berzurka
silly entrails: flibbertigiblets

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pessimistic bird: toucan’t
folk-singing flutterer: strummingbird
bird in charge: bosstrich
bird on vacation: skiwi
procrastinating bird: wouldpecker
toast-eating bird: melbatross
funky bird: flamingo-go
aggressive bird: spartridge
ornithological orthographer: spellican
hardworking bird: choriole
punctual bird: peaclock
dour foul: tacitern
Vegas flyer: bird-of-pair-a-dice



Now go give these poetry candies a lick:

Early bird David Harrison starts us off with his new Sunday Poets feature, in which he shares poems by Catherine Johnson (“Never Go Picnicking with Elephants Loose”), Steven Withrow (“Cassowary”), Julie Krantz (“Mr. Moon”), and Charline Profiri (“The Birdies’ Cafe”). And he invites all of us to send him a poem or two to share, too.

And that’s not all: David also invites us to take a look at the mayhem J. Patrick Lewis created with his one-worders challenge. They’re like peanuts, so take a beverage!

The delightful Joanna Marple joins PF for the first time with her enlightening A-Z Haiku of Endangered Species series. This week she is on letters P (Piping Plover), Q (Quokka), and R (Red Wolf), and includes fascinating facts for each animal. Take a gander at the rest of the alphabet while you’re there.

You know when you get stuck for ideas and have nothing to write about? Well, that’s what happened the other day to Iza Trapani, another new PF face. She was stuck, stuck, stuck until a curious hummingbird whirred in and looked her straight in the eyeballs — and inspired Iza’s charming poem, “Tiny Hummer.” 

Over at A Penny and Her Jots, poet (and yet another PF first-timer) Penny Klostermann shares her Metaphor Monday poem, in which she weaves together metaphors and phrases contributed by her readers in response to photographs. This week’s exercise is on the theme of trees — and what a magical and truly beautiful poem Penny creates in “Fathom Forest.”

Matt Forrest offers a lovely poem and some “Perspective” to anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky to ponder life, the universe, and just who might be looking back!

Over at Gathering Books, Myra shares the sweet story and wistful remembrance of her love affair with Pablo Neruda, and takes us on a float down Neruda’s “river of words.”

Diane Mayr has lots of goodies for us! Just look what’s in her bowl:
At Random Noodling, Diane looks at poetry on a special day in 1949.
Kurious Kitty has “The Floral Apron” by Marilyn Chin.
KK’s Kwotes Poetry Friday quote is by John Ashbery.
At The Write Sisters, she’s sharing the book Between Two Souls.

Another new contributor to Poetry Friday is Catherine Johnson, who has filled her bowl with cotton candy and her delightful shoeless poem “Dundeed!”

We’ve got Laura Purdie Salas in the house — another one of those bloggers who inspire me to just write something, already! Today Laura is sharing “Charm Bracelet,” a poem by Charles Waters from the new Poetry Friday Anthology by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. Have you gotten your copy yet? Laura has all the info you need.

And don’t miss this week’s bowl of tasty poem-lets in Laura’s 15 Words or Less Poetry feature – including Laura’s own stuck and plucky tree frog!

Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff says he’s not sure if he’s filled his bowl with a piece of sour lemon or a circus peanut. I think it’s definitely a skittle, but you can decide for yourself after reading “A Tired Teacher Types No More This Evening.”

At Teacher Dance, the wonderful Linda Baie takes inspiration from a professional book she’s reading about using good words in teaching — Choice Words by Peter H. Reynolds. Linda thinks it’s prime advice for writing poetry, too, so she went ahead and wrote the thoughtful poem “Best Words.” And she’s got candy, too!

Charles Ghigna really gets into the spirit of things at Father Goose with his lip-smacking peanut butter poem “Even Peter Pan and Skippy Can Learn to Write Poems in a Jiffy.”

It’s no surprise that there’s lots of sugar to lick over at Jama Rattigan‘s Alphabet Soup, where she’s featuring a new rhyming picture book by Liz Garton Scanlon and Vanessa Newton called Think Big. And in true Jama fashion, this Friday feast post is packed with pics, interviews, links, goodies, and a giveaway of the featured PB! Don’t be late to this party!

WOW! Talk about great minds…Today at The Poem Farm, the always fabulous Amy Ludwig VanDerwater shares her response to the inspiration piece she received from SPARK 17…a photograph from Poetry Friday mistress Diane Mayr. And you won’t believe what her poem “Taking Stock” is about…go ahead, guess.

Multitalented writer and artist Robyn Hood Black has some totally lickable news: she’s just launched artsyletters — art for your literary side! And as if her bowl wasn’t already overflowing, she’s also poured in “The Poet,” an original found poem. Lots to savor here today!

At Poetry for Kids Joy, Ms. Joy Acey treats us to a “Galaxy” poem and another great writing exercise. As I noted at the beginning of this post, Joy is one of the folks I mentioned as inspiration for some of my 5-minute poems. She’s always got good ideas to try!

You know when you’ve written that poetic masterpiece and you can hardly contain your excitement over how you’re about to take the literary world by storm? Well, our clever friend Vikram Madan at 1000 Poems captures that feeling for all of us with his poem “Ode to the Best Darn Poem What I Ever Did Write.”

Marjorie at Paper Tigers has a lovely post dedicated to today’s International Peace Day. She shares her peace experience with her Cub Scouts and the wise 2500-year-old poem by Lao Tzu, which is part of the collection Let There Be Peace: Prayers from Around the World by Jeremy Brooks and Jude Daly.

The wonderful Julie Larios at The Drift Record is honoring a recent trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new Art of Arab Lands galleries by posting the poem “Poetry and I” by Mauritanian poet Mbarka Mint al-Barra’, translated from Arabic into English. Plus she shares some beautiful works from the exhibit!

At The Opposite of Indifference, Tabatha Yeatts features “Dimension” by Flora Brovina, an Albanian poet, pediatrician, politician, and activist who is now a member of the Kosovo Parliament. And don’t miss Tabatha’s roundup of her own poetry candies from earlier in the week!

Lots of caramels to chew on over at Author Amok, where Laura Shovan offers a fascinating and informative interview with Mark Reibstein, author of the poetic picture book Wabi Sabi. And what a sweet book that is!

Liz Steinglass at Growing Wild brings us a breath of spring air with her fluttery poem “Butterfly.”

Maria at Teaching in the 21st Century asks, “Is your class celebrating Poetry Friday?” — and then tells us just how she started celebrating poetry this year. This is an eye-opening and heart-warming view into how many kids feel about poetry and how just the right approach can change their thinking.

Over at Live Your Poem, the beautiful Irene Latham shares a poem she says she swore she’d never write..but then she did. “The Tornado” takes us into the eye of the storm and gives us hope for when the winds die down. PLUS, there’s a dramatic reading of the poem, which of course I love, so this is a don’t-miss post!

Aha! Another chocolate-minded soul! That would be Mary Lee at A Year of Reading, who shares the poem “A Passing Hail” by James Whitcomb Riley. Sounds like Mary may have had a rough week, so let’s all go share some bon-bons with her in the chocolate shoppe!

Over at Write. Sketch. Repeat., Katya takes us down the river (but this one has water in it!) with two poems about canoes and canoeing: “Skin Canoes” by Carolyn Forche and a snippet of “Hiawatha’s Sailing” by Longfellow. You can just hear those paddles slooshing into the water…

Look! It’s another new face for Poetry Friday! I’m so pleased to have Cathy Ballou Mealy join us from her blog Bildebok, where she’s been engaged in a series of original poems inspired by modern art at the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Garden. If you’re a bit parched and need something to wash down all the candy, Cathy is offering some “Tea House” poetry based on, yes, a tea house constructed of plastic stirrers, aluminum tubing, timber, and tea. Fascinating!

Ruth at There Is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town is back this week with more goodies about poet Elizabeth Alexander, including her poem “Neonatology.” And don’t miss Ruth’s own powerful poem “November 7, 2008, Port-au-Prince.”

The talented Violet Nesdoly puts my paltry poem-lets to shame with her nostalgic villanelle “sorting photos” — and it’s a prize-winner, too!

Over at Musings, Joyce Ray shares her haibun “Japan,” which was just published in the online magazine A Hundred Gourds. I learned something: Haibun is a Japanese form that combines prose and haiku. Delectable!

The Lunchbox Doodler, a.k.a. Samuel Kent, is here from i.droo.it (how cute is that?), and boy, does he have a full bowl of candy corn. Check out these six new kid-ready poems and original doodles: “I Know an Anteater,” about a musical menagerie; “Springing Garden,” wherein he laments the sessile nature of his veg; “Tiny Termites,” concerning what he’d do if he were a wood-eating bug; “Mister Russell’s Class,” about Ireland’s coolest fourth grade teacher; “Drip,” with a despicable drain problem; and “Bill the King,” wherein a cow is fooling no one, but who are we to judge? Thatsa lotta candy!

Ready for another poem from the marvelous anthology Dare to Dream…Change the World, edited by Jill Corcoran? Me too! And Kelly Ramsdell Fineman of Writing and Ruminating is here to give it to us with her poem “A Place to Share” about the founders of YouTube – one of my favorite places, of course!

Ed “The Brain” DeCaria — one of my fellow Round 2 Cybils judges — has prepared a Cybils pop quiz for us! Head over there for a complete list of the Cybils poetry award-nominated finalists from 2006-2011 and take part in his poll.

Over at The Drawer of M.M. Socks, Mr. Socks himself has his own party going on. Go have a taste of his “Fiesta for Fractions,” a veritable dessert tray of poetry, math and National Hispanic Heritage Month. Delish!

Let’s hear it for Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong and their wonderful Poetry Friday Anthology! Today they are sharing David Harrison’s Week 4 poem “My Pet,” along with the Take 5 classroom activities for the poem. And don’t forget about their mini-grant offer — details on the site!

Tara at A Teaching Life is celebrating autumn in the sweetest, juiciest way — with a look back on the joys of apple picking. She also shares the poem “Apples” by Laurie Lee, perfect for the first day of fall.

At Sweetness and Light, Meredith shares an oldie but a goodie — Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” And who can resist a bit of Frost-ing?

Andromeda at a wrung sponge shares her original “Train Track Trimeric,” a poem that incorporates two Miss Rumphius Poetry Stretches. It’s a double-fluff poem!

Ooh, here’s something tasty! Ben Curran at The Small Nouns is sharing one of his favorite poetry resources, Poetry 180, along with the poem “After Us” by Connie Wanek, which is part of the collection. Poetry 180 was started by Billy Collins and the Library of Congress, so give it a gander.

This just in! Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is back for a Poetry Friday second edition. This time she’s got a delightful poem by second-grader Trevor from Mrs. Luft’s class in the Spencerport School District. Trevor enlightens us with a clever new use for “Swimming Goggles”!

Anastasia Suen from Booktalking is sharing one of our favorites for fall — the poetry picture book A Leaf Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas!

Oh, I’m sorry Doraine Bennett had such a nutty morning, but then again…it means she’s sharing one of my all-time favorites! Head over to see why Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art” is the perfect poem for Doraine today.

SPECIAL REPORT from Janet Wong:  Did you know that Barbara Chatton, poetry advocate and author of Using Poetry Across the Curriculum, writes poems? Visit our new Pomelo Books page to read The Best Poem on Poetry Friday and the Common Core – written by the ever-clever Barbara. She sent it to me and Sylvia yesterday and we LOVE it. I promise that you will love this poem, too. (And please LIKE our page while you’re there!!)

Fun classroom activity alert! Amy Merrill at Mrs. Merrill’s Book Break shows us how she uses poem posters to celebrate poetry with her students. Sweet!

A big welcome to another new Poetry Friday contributor, Julie Hedlund! Julie brings us into autumn with “Inspired by Aspen,” a lovely poem that came to her on a drive in her beautiful home state of Colorado.

At Poetry for Children, Sylvia Vardell has updated her list of 2012 poetry for young readers that’s been planned or published this year. So far, there’s a total of 75 poetry books for young readers for this year — not bad!

Mandy at Enjoy and Embrace Learning is sharing Patricia Hubbell’s “Happy Song for the First Day of School” from the Poetry Friday Anthology. She also gives a teacher’s perspective on all the extra goodies the anthology contains. Happy!

Don’t miss Irene Latham’s poem “Stingray City” over at Steven Withrow‘s PACYA blog Poetry at Play. This post is part of Steven’s informative Poet of the Week series, in which each poet shares a poem and a note about the writing process or other aspect of the poem.

Thank you all for making this such a great party! What a bunch of sweeties!


[heading style=”1″]NEXT WEEK: Will William Butler Yeats finally get to Innisfree, for cryin’ out loud?[/heading]



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