Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Gift for Me and Now for You

Tabatha Yeatts, at The Opposite of Indifference, is our host this Poetry Friday, and I know I will learn something new, as I do often when visiting Tabatha's posts.  Thank you, Tabatha!



          Some days it’s not so easy to choose the topic for Poetry Friday.  I’ve been thinking about the passing of Nelson Mandela, wondering how to share more that hasn't already been written, and eloquently.  Did we lose something of much value, or will his legacy be more powerful now?  Will there be someone else who takes up the message?  Although it is always on my mind, at this Christmas time of year for many, I think about those military women and men who will miss being with their families, are missing their growing children, their aging parents, the changes at home.  On our television, we have more than one military person saying hello to their families here, so I send a thought and a prayer to them across the miles, wishing they could come home, and soon.  I wish for peace.
           And then, today, a dear friend and colleague with whom I trade books back and forth brought me a book to read, which I want to share with you. Maya Angelou’s Amazing Peace, A Christmas Poem was published in 2005.  The dedication says: “For my great-grandchildren, Caylin Nicole Johnson and Brandon Bailey Johnson.  For all the children of the world, who, in order to grow healthily, need our love and poetry.”  The message is written, and I cannot write it better, only agree.



           This book of Maya Angelou's poem, Amazing Peace, is illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher with full color paintings.  The scenes focus on people in various settings, all kinds of people, both few and many, gathering in wintery scenes, lighting candles, showing joy at the sound of the season that Angelou interprets as “peace”.  She writes, “Hope spreads around the earth, brightening/ all things./Even hate, which crouches breeding in/dark corridors.” and “We clap hands and welcome the Peace of/Christmas./We beckon this good season to wait awhile/with us./We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and /Muslim, say come.”  
           Finally, “And we say without shyness or apology or/ hesitation:/Peace, My Brother./Peace, My Sister./Peace, My Soul.”  You can read the entire poem here, but I urge you to find or purchase the picture book so you can enjoy all the beauty in the illustrations with the beauty in the words.

24 comments:

  1. Gorgeous pictures in that book. I'll have to check it out. And I did read "Counting by 7's in a day and a half. It was a wonderful book. Thanks for recommending it. I don't often get wrapped up in a book any more, but this was one I couldn't put down.

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    1. Hope you'll find the Angelou book, and so glad you loved Counting By 7s. I did love it, too! Thanks, Donna.

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  2. I will have too find a copy of this lovely book, Linda. And, how perfect is her message:
    For all the children of the world, who, in order to grow healthily, need our love and poetry.
    She is a national treasure, I believe - wisdom and grace, always.

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    1. I had to share that dedication, too. Isn't it just great? Thanks, Tara!

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  3. Thanks for featuring this book, which I didn't know about till now. What a beautiful message; will have to find a copy soon.

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    1. Hope you do, and will enjoy it! Thanks, Jama.

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  4. It looks like a gorgeous book and what a powerful poem! Thanks for sharing it, Linda...and Peace to you this season.

    Violet N.

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    1. Thank you Violet, & I wish you a lovely Christmas too.

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  5. I didn't know this book either - what a perfect gift to share with us; thank you. We enjoyed an interview with Maya Angelou on Bob Schieffer's program Sunday morning, as she reflected on writing a poem honoring Nelson Mandela. Wonderful poem & interview. Thanks, Linda!

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    1. That must have been terrific to hear, Robyn. That poem was wonderful, too. Thank you!

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  6. I just put it on hold at the library. Thank you for the recommendation!

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    1. Thanks Michelle, terrific that you found it!

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  7. I enjoyed your lead-in to the book very much. Good thoughts, Linda. The illustrations look just right for this nourishing poem-book.

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    1. Thanks, Tabatha. Yes, the illustrations are lovely.

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  8. Did you see Maya Angelou's poem for Nelson Mandela?
    http://tinyurl.com/n3pd4jt

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    1. Thanks for the link, and I did read it. She is amazing.

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  9. I haven't heard of this book, Linda, but it looks lovely. And I completely agree with your thoughts about that dedication. Poetry is powerful. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  10. We have a small hardcover book, with the poem unillustrated, in our adult poetry section at the library. I didn't realize there was a picture book version, too! I'll have to see if it's still available and purchase it for next year.

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    1. I didn't know this book either, Diane, until my friend brought it to me. Hope you'll be able to find it!

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  11. A beautiful poem. I'll look for this book. Wishing you peace this season, too.

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    1. Thank you! Hope you find and enjoy the book!

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  12. What a lovely poem. I will definitely need to look for this book. Thanks so much for sharing it.

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    1. You're welcome, Tricia. It is a beautiful book, the illustrations really enhance the poem.

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