Thursday, March 31, 2016

Poetry Friday - No Fools, Only Flutters

         Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is hosting Poetry Friday today, and just in time for me to celebrate her new book, Everyday Birds. Thanks for hosting, Amy, and for this beautiful book! Come on over to The Poem Farm for the first day of the 20th anniversary of April as Poetry Month.

There is so much going on this April, and you can discover much of it if you also travel to this post by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

You can take another path to Laura Purdie Salas' blog, Writing The World for Kids, to see the very first line of Irene Latham's poetic idea, the Progressive Poem. I have also posted the entire list of writers on the lower right column of the blog.

I'll be out of town for some of April, so have decided not to write a poem everyday as I have in the past, but may join other invitations, or sneak in some of my own poetry when I can. Happy Poetry Month to everyone writing those magical words called poems!
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           I loved and could identify birds since I was a little girl, mostly because of grandparents' influence. One grandfather in particular and I would sit on his back porch and watch birds fly in for evening meetings as they grabbed last bites and settled in for the night. Their murmurs at that time of day still touch me. My first adult awakening came when I read about the passenger pigeon from John Muir's memoir, My Boyhood and Youth. I was shocked that people didn't realize that these millions of birds could disappear, in an earth's instant, from unchecked killing. Other experiences through the years, many with students, brought me to the realization that I love birds, am fascinated by their habits and their evolution into fabulous unique capabilities. To watch a small phalanx of brown pelicans fly low over the ocean and dive for a meal never fails to make me stop and watch in awe. I have seen the last dodo, stuffed and sad at the end of a hallway at the Harvard Natural Science Museum. I have seen and counted sandhill cranes, among which were six whooping cranes, perhaps the only time I'll ever see them. And I have seen and shouted when I spotted my first blue footed boobies in the Sea of Cortez. I love birds.


      Here's a recent encounter I've tried to capture in my first poem for the month:


stoplight view
nest supplies on their way
crow fly by

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

          Amy's new book that celebrates twenty everyday birds in poetry is perfect to help young children begin their journey to knowing and loving birds. Each page gives the bird's name, and its identifying characteristic behavior or sound becomes the memory of what they do. The illustrator Dylan Metrano's cut paper illustrations give a perfect bird's eye view of each bird's look. You can see from the cover how clear it would be to identify a bluebird from that picture, and inside, Amy writes: "Bluebird sleeps at meadow's edge." Each four line stanza in rhyme includes four birds, four pages, simply done, beautifully presented.  And the poem is given at the end in its entirety.


There is a letter in the back from Amy, and additional information about each of the twenty birds. It is a book to savor, with young children or if you are a bird lover, like me!

During my writing, I took a break and took out some trash. There on a nearby column sat one of "my" robins. They show up every year, and they've been back a few weeks, even enduring our blizzard last week.  He must have known I was writing about birds because he stayed there for a long time, while I grabbed my phone to take a picture, and remember Amy's robin words: "Robin puffs his chest." Indeed he does!

         

32 comments:

  1. Linda, Thank you very much for your generous review of EVERY DAY BIRDS today. I love your puffy robin here, and the stories of your adventures with birds (from listening to murmurs with Grandpa to counting cranes) would make a wonderful poem series. I think each of us is lucky if we have someone who helps us fall in love with birds. For me that was Mark, and I hope that the book might be that someone for a child somewhere. Happy Poetry Month and travels to you! And again, gratitude. xo

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    1. You are welcome, Amy. I love the book, and have begun to read it with Ingrid and Imogene, their "start" of a love of birds!

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  2. Much to love about birds and poetry and Amy and that fat robin! Happy National Poetry Month. April is a favorite month of mine.

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    1. Mine too, Margaret, poetry and spring, who can dislike it? Thanks.

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  3. Enjoy your month--both the travels and the poems!

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    1. Thanks, Doraine, I'm sure I will.

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  4. I'm looking forward to reading Amy's book. It sounds lovely! Have a great month of reading and writing poems, of traveling and sharing Amy's book with your girls!

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    1. Thanks, Iza, I'm sure I will. Amy's book is a delight.

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  5. Your robin is very cooperative. Sweet stoplight poem, and enjoyed hearing about your love of birds. I love watching them too whenever possible. Once I got so distracted watching some blue herons at a park that I took a step back to snap a pic and fell into a pond -- inches away from a copperhead. Close call.

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    1. Oh, Jama, what a story you have to tell! I was thrilled when that robin kept on posing for me! Thanks!

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  6. I just picked up Amy's new book from the library last week! I also picked dup Subirdia which is something you might enjoy. My first thought was, "That's a very fat robin," but you're probably right, he's just puffing out his chest for you. Happy travels!

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    1. It was rather cold, so I believe he was puffing his feathers for warmth, Ramona. Thanks for the book title. I think we would make such good book neighbors.

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  7. I found another book to check out! Visiting Amy's site and yours I think it's a double reminder to get it soon! Looking forward to reading your poems and love your poem about the work of birds that we may have time to check out! Happy Poetry Month Linda!

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    1. Thanks, Amy, it's such fun to see you here on Poetry Friday. I do love Amy's book, and like all her poems, so good for young children, like my granddaughters.

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  8. Oh, the dog is going absolutely crazy over the robins all over our yard. She is grinning and whining and waving her tail at them to get their attention. And the phoebes are back today. Love their "phoebe" bark!
    Do you remember Hitchcocks "The Birds", though? I couldn't look at a flock of birds for quite some time without wondering what they were up to!

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    1. Yes, of course, and some of my students in these past years had also seen it, still frightening after al these years. Birds are fascinating. Love that you have phoebes. I don't think they're here at all.

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  9. Thanks for sharing your poem and for sharing about Amy's book which I'm looking forward to reading.
    I love that the robin "posed" for you :-)
    Happy April!

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    1. Thanks, Penny, that robin "posing" was so interesting, as if he wasn't sure his "next step" was going to be, and was thinking about it.

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  10. The crow I saw today was harassing a hawk!

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    1. They are brave souls. In my other house I saw one chasing off a hawk that was aiming for a smaller bird.

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  11. Terrific post, Linda, and happy that you and I were "flocking together" on Poetry Friday this week with Amy's book! Your puffy robin must have known what you were up to, posing like that. ;0) Happy NPM!

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    1. Thanks, Robyn, I love Amy's book and finally found a way to include its celebration. I love everyone's response to it.

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  12. I would like to be able to identify birds by their calls. Can you do that too, Linda? Enjoy April building lots of poems!

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    1. I can only identify a few, the most common ones, Violet. I need more walking in the woods! Thanks!

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  13. How very nice to read your review and meet your puffed up robin, Linda! Your haiku also hit home with me since the nest in our front door wreath now has two little ones which make me smile each time I hear their hungry little cheep-cheep-cheep.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. this crow "flying over" was carrying a large piece of something, and was rather high, had some ways to go I think. I wish I could find where these robins nest!

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  14. I love it when I see birds flying by with building materials! I hope you enjoy your travels this month.

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    1. Thanks Liz, that crow was flying fast to somewhere important!

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  15. I, too, love the description "nest supplies on their way" in your poem - makes me wonder if you were at a stoplight near a Home Depot? hee hee =)

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    1. Ha! No, I was near our Museum of Nature & Science, better? Thanks, Bridget.

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  16. Hi Linda,

    Lovely review of Amy's new book. I read it also, and I love how inclusive and sweet it is. Highlights something unique about each bird species. We had snow today, and the Canada geese were very unexcited. :-)

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    1. I heard about the snow. I think that was our storm from last Wednesday. Winter keeps trickling in! Thanks Brenda. Yes, Amy's book is wonderful.

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