Friday, July 29, 2016

Poetry Friday - More Moon Love

Almost August, wow! Because we have so little rain, and mostly late in the day, the cicadas have become our vocal storm, exactly at dusk. Visit Margaret Simon at Reflections On The Teche for all the Poetry Friday links today. Thanks for hosting, Margaret!




Christopher Morley is not really known as a children’s poet. I’ve researched him only because of the poem I discovered in an old book found at the used bookstore where I volunteer. He seems to be best known through adult literature, has published over 100 books, articles and essays during his lifetime, according to his brief bio on The Poetry Foundation site.
         Most interesting to me were these final words from his obituary, written by Morley himself: “Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.”




           The book is Literature for Reading and Memorization - Book Four, Poems for Children, published in 1929They write that there are six volumes in the series. The foreword states, in part, “Through literature, the stage of life is set before the child and his own experiences are deepened and broadened by sharing the experiences of others.”  And later, “Particularly is childhood the age when the right presentation of wisely selected poems arouses a love of poetry that grows and strengthens with the years.” 
         The foreward is a sort of advertisement for teachers, telling how the poems have been especially selected for each level for appreciation of the beauty of poetry as well as the importance of language acquisition.
         The book really is a treasure, full of lovely poems from poets I already know and of those new. I’ve long kept a collection of moon poems, and loved moon-journaling with my students where we watched the moon for a month, journaling each night to record observations and feelings, art and poetry. So I found a new moon poem, and want to share it with you. Perhaps you’ve seen these words before; I have not. I do love the new “look” Christopher Morley has given to our old friend, the moon.

The Moon-Sheep
                      by Christopher Morley

                             1.
The moon seems like a docile sheep,
She pastures while all people sleep;
But sometimes, when she goes astray,
She wanders all alone by day.

                             2.
Up in the clear blue morning air
We are surprised to see her there,
Grazing in her woolly white,
Waiting the return of night.

                              3.
When dusk lets down the meadow bars

She greets again her lambs, the stars!

41 comments:

  1. How lovely. And that is the image I will take with me as I go (much too late!) to bed.

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    1. I love that you'll take the moon with you into sleep! Thanks!

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  2. Linda, the moon as a sheep grazing in her wooly white is a new image I will think about when viewing the night moon. Thanks for sharing this treasure. The quotes from the Literature book are very interesting.

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    1. I loved finding the book, Carol, will probably be sharing other poems in the future, poems from so long ago! Thank you!

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  3. What a treasure! I absolutely love poems about the moon. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Oh, happy to hear from another who loves these poems. Thank you!

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  4. The Moon-Sheep is charming and your post sent me scrambling through my bookshelves, muttering "Christopher Morley, Christopher Morley!" I was sure I'd picked up a book called The Haunted Bookshop years ago (loved the title but tucked it away to be enjoyed later but I can't find it anywhere now) and I was pretty sure that the author was Christopher Morley. A quick Amazon search confirmed my suspicions. So, now I'm really motivated to find the book and read it! I'm also motivated to start collecting all these wonderful moon poems in one space. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. I think the book title was on the list of his work in his bio, & now you've found that it is his work. Hope you find the book, Molly, & your moon poems! Thanks!

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  5. Lovely. I like that -- I try to set my own course as well, away from the traditional and toward the mysterious. :-)

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    1. It might be a bit dry each day to do what everyone else is doing, I agree, Brenda. Thanks for coming by!

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  6. I think we should get a group together for a month of moon journaling. It sounds so fun. And I love the image of the moon as a sheep, and her lambs, the stars. Absolutely delightful poem!

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    1. Isn't it great! When I did moon journaling, of course students had to do it at home, and several of their parents did it with them. It was fun, and I agree, I'd love to do a month of moon watching with you, Ramona. I can't see the moon well from my new house, so it would get me out & to a park every evening! What fun!

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  7. This is a treasure, Linda. The moon as a sheep isn't a connection I would ever have made, yet seems so obvious now. I love Ramona's idea of moon journaling together!

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    1. Will have to think about that moon journal idea, Catherine, maybe in the autumn after school begins? And yes, I was happy to discover this poem and the book!

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  8. What a find, Linda! I love that quote - especially as we go into election season and we NEED to get people to think! Lastly, I love the moon poem, too - and the noting of moon journaling. I just might have to steal that idea :).

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    1. There is a teacher book that started this idea, Tara, & of course my students all journaled often anyway, so it was an easy transition, included so much reflection, poetry & art. The book is Moon Journals by Joni Chaucer.

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  9. A great example of an extended metaphor. Like Tara, I want to steal the moon journal idea.

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    1. Thanks, Margaret, I hope you do explore moon journaling.

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  10. What wonderful advice from Morley's self-written obituary! I, too, love moon poems and this one's terrific! Thanks for introducing us.

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    1. You're welcome, Michelle. It's quite a nice book of poems, fun to discover new ones. I agree, Morley's words are lovely.

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  11. Wow. I love the sheep-image of the moon - it's fabulous. And his quote about reading. I will be tracking down more of Christopher Morley. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem, Sally and the quote, too. They were a nice surprise.

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  12. I like the poem, but really love that quote of his!

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    1. Me, too, Matt. I'm glad you like those words, good ones to remember! Thanks!

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  13. This is lovely, Linda. Reminds me of my favorite poetry book from that era: Silver Pennies.

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    1. I "vaguely" remember that title, but don't have the book. Thanks Katie, will look for it!

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  14. I always love finding a new (or in this case, old) anthology!

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    1. Me, too, Ruth, & am happy to find this one! Thanks!

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  15. Linda,
    I love, love this poem. "her lambs the stars" so sweet. Journaling about the moon is a great adventure we all can have. Universal access! You have me thinking about next year (in a few weeks) possibilities.

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    1. I'm sure many have thoughts running around about the coming year, and many are starting! Moon watching & journaling is certainly "universal access", Julieanne. Fun to imagine! I am reminded of the book Same Sun Here!

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  16. Moon = sheep and Stars = lambs!!! LIke Julieanne, I would love to have your advice about how to conduct moon journaling--we do something like that in 2nd and your approach sounds so lovely.

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    1. I love that you do something similar, Heidi. If you look above I did share the book that I used for support, and I can send you the original assignments with the support that happened in class too. Glad you enjoyed the poem too! Thank you!

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  17. Oh, twinkly little lambs! I love this image! Now I'm going to be looking for that book. :-) You found quite a treasure. I agree with Matt -- that quote takes the cake!

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    1. Thanks, Keri, glad you enjoyed both.

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  18. All right, the moon will forever be a sheep grazing in the sky now! Thanks for the new view!

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  19. I've not read this before, but as a child I would have loved his poems, as I loved R.L.Stevenson's. I've found a few older books of poems. They are such treasures!

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  20. Thanks Mary Lee and Donna, I was excited to find this new "old" book of poems, especially the moon grazing.

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  21. I'm 'mooning' over this poem, Linda! And I love Morley's quote "bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity" - so true!

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    1. I love both, Bridget, hence my sharing. Glad you enjoyed them too, and love the use of that verb, "mooning"! Thanks!

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  22. I'm SO glad you pointed me to this post in your comment at my place today, Linda - Late to this moon-gazing party but I love this poem and that spunky quote, too - and, of course, the old book! Swoon. Moon swoon.

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    1. I usually don't refer back, but knew that you would enjoy my "find" as I enjoyed yours, Robyn. It is a delightful book, and I do love the poem, too. Thanks for checking it out!

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