Saturday, April 30, 2016

Celebrating The Good

         Every Saturday (or Sunday) I celebrate with Ruth Ayres at Discover Play Build.  and link with others who share their celebrations, too. Ruth has made it a wonderful weekend of celebrating parts of our week. 

         This year's Progressive Poem, Irene Latham's Creation, the collaboration of 30 poets, ends with the final line by Donna Smith at Mainely Write. She's done an awesome job finishing the poem. Be sure to go to read and see!
         This poetry month has been filled with poets sharing so many clever and creative poems, many of them writing a poem every day. I didn't write every day because of travel and the dental 'thing', but enjoyed writing when I could, or celebrating other's words. 

         Heidi Mordhorst, at her blog, My Juicy Little Universe, has been sharing poem and music pairings all during April. My idea of a pairing is on her blog this final day of April.

            Here's my final poem for April, and some pictures to capture the celebrations for this week.

Week's Bookends

patio lunch,
sunshine abides-
topsy-turvy snow   
upends April
 Linda Baie (c) All Rights Reserved
My bleeding hearts are back!

Lunch on Monday in the warm, warm day
with my daughter.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Poetry Friday - Noticing April

      The final Poetry Friday of April is here, and hosted by Buffy Silverman at Buffy's Blog.  Thanks, Buffy!
       I haven't written a poem every day this month, but have written some, and shared  books of poetry, novels and anthologies. Remember that Laura's Shovan's beautiful verse novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, came out just a couple of weeks ago! And I've enjoyed the goals of other Poetry Friday bloggers and their lovely writing. Also, all of us will remember this year's Progressive Poem, Irene Latham's Creation, the collaboration of 30 poets, for a long time! What a mysterious poem it has become, with one line added today by Sheila Renfro here, and the finale by Donna Smith at Mainely Write.
       My April's weather has included eighty degrees, blooms and blizzards. It was warm last week and we had snow today, more coming on the weekend. The light shows springtime is here, however, thus my poem today.

Morning Parade

Shade’s parade marches at sunrise.
Porch rail slats stripe the porch:
notebook paper lines
wait for me to write.
Tree branches ripple with the breeze;
their shadows change places.
Light glitters the trees.

Shade struts with the music
of geometric shapes- round pots,
rectangle chairs, triangle windchime.
At the end, mysterious flower wisps wiggle-
like people parade-watching,
impatient at streetside.

Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

photo credit: first snow via photopin (license)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Slowing Down for Learning

              Thanks to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at Kidlit Frenzy, everyone shares wonderful non-fiction picture books.

             Be sure to go here to Mary Lee's post at The Poetrepository for line number twenty-seven of the April Progressive Poem created by Irene Latham.

        I was reminded of the final line from a poem by Eve Merriam when I read this book:

A Lazy Thought
There go the grownups
To the office,
To the store.
Subway rush,
Traffic crush;
Hurry, scurry,
Worry, flurry.
No wonder
Grown ups
Don’t grow up
Any more.
It takes a lot
Of slow
To grow.

           April Pulley Sayre has included such a myriad of topics in this new book that I had to take it slow in order to absorb the information. (Perhaps it was her goal?) She writes of Mayflies living only a day, and wonders how time feels to them. Then there are the sequoias, growing slowly, but lasting long, so long that a timeline showing some "time" highlights of a tree ring go all the way back to 574BCE, before Athens became a city! There are pages about "slow stomachs" (digestion) and the speed of snails. I was mesmerized by the facts, and also by the way the information is presented with extraordinary creativity by Kelly Murphy. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Poetry Slice of Teaching

                                 I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today.  
            Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Betsy, Dana, Kathleen, Beth, and Deb, we keep going! I'd also like to offer a 
special thanks this time for all the support, work and learning shared from Tara and Anna who are leaving the group, but who will return occasionally. Best wishes to you both.

Be sure to go here to Renee LaTulippe's post at No Water River for line number twenty-six of Irene Latham's Progressive Poem.  There are only five lines left, and the story is still quite a mystery!

Sometimes for sharing a slice of life, I am inspired to talk about a teaching time I loved. Today, spending time with my daughter, out to lunch, to various shops, I took a picture that I would have used with students if I were still teaching. All through the years there are certain topics that have inspired amazing poems. With other mentor poems, or photos, these particular subjects always, always brought great stories, usually in poem or prose poem form.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Monday Reading - Books of Kindness

   On Mondays, it's a pleasure to link up with a group that reviews books they want everyone to know about. If you visit, you'll be sure to find a book or more that you know you'll want to read! 

          Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who link up.   

Be sure to go here to Mark's post at Jackett Writes for line number twenty-five of her own creation, the April Progressive Poem.

Beautiful new poetry!

      Reverso Poetry, invented by Marilyn Singer, the author of her third book-above-of reverso poems, has managed to tell some well-known myths in these poems. They are clever, of course, and will be a new way to introduce myths to children, or a new form of poetry to try with students. Once reading these brief looks at the stories, everyone will want to know more. They are full of tragedy and triumph, drawn in bold colors by Josee Masse, who creates her own reverse paintings to illustrate the myths.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Little Thing-A Sweet Memory

         Every Saturday (or Sunday) I celebrate with Ruth Ayres at Discover Play Build.  and link with others who share their celebrations, too. Ruth has made it a wonderful weekend of celebrating parts of our week. 

             The twenty-third line of the Progressive Poem created by Irene Latham is here today from Ramona Behnke!

         It turned out to be a nice week after our big snow last weekend. I had my big dental thing Tuesday. I admit that I was dreading it, but I did it, and it's done! I had Tuesday and Wednesday free to rest, a good thing. I will return for check ups periodically, and am hoping that's it for a while.

         Imi came on Wednesday and we had a nice visit, playing, reading, having dinner together. It's always a pleasure. BTW, she adores The Night Gardener!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Poetry Friday - Moon Again!

Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup is our host today for Poetry Friday, with a marvelous review of Laura Shovan's middle grade verse novel,  The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, just arrived on April 12th!  Wow, there is a beautiful poem shared, and recipes from that poem, passover treats! Thanks for the wonderful post and for hosting, Jama!

Don't forget to visit here for Robyn's post at Life on The Deckle Edge for line number twenty-two of the April Progressive Poem created by Irene Latham.

Yesterday was Poem In Your Pocket day, and I gave poems during my time at the used bookstore where I volunteer.  Most people don't know about this day because it is mostly celebrated in schools, so it was fun to surprise people with a poem gift. The poem I kept in my pocket is from a favorite children's poet, Karla Kuskin, "Write About A Radish".  The entire text is here, but the second line after the title line is "Too many people write about the moon."

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Poem In Your Pocket Day

What’s In Your Pocket?

I’d love to hear the words today
pushed into your pocket.
Is the poem a favored tale,
or new words you won’t forget?

Does it speak of trees or blooms,
something growing in the ground?
Does it keep a rhythm when
you tap tap out the sound?

I hope you’ve memorized the lines,
kept close these treasured works of art.
Instead of tucked in folds of cloth,
you’ll keep them tucked inside your heart.

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

Be sure to go here to Jan's post at BookSeed Studio for line number twenty-one of the April Progressive Poem created by Irene Latham.

Non-Fiction-Always Learning

              Thanks to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at Kidlit Frenzy, everyone shares wonderful non-fiction picture books.

Be sure to go here to Ruth's post at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken Town for line number twenty of the April Progressive Poem created by Irene Latham.

              Three wonderful books for classrooms. 

Here Come the Humpbacks - April Pulley Sayre and Jamie Hogan

Oh, it’s great to read about these beautiful whales, and their long journey from south to north, and back again. Each double-page spread begins with a caption like the title or one featuring another part of their lives, like “Here breathes a humpback!” Sayre follows with a short paragraph of introduction, then further explanation on the facing page. And that same spread is filled with ocean and the beauty of the whales, showing how they breathe, eating habits, escape from enemies, and about their songs. A whale and her baby are followed on their way north in their yearly migration. It’s a good introduction to the humpback, with quite a lot of information, including the challenges faces with ocean pollution.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Monday Reading - Wonderful Poetry

          On Mondays, I connect with a group that reviews books they want everyone to know about. Here's a fabulous way to discover books worth a look. 

          Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who link up  

Be sure to go here to Irene Latham's post at Live Your Poem for line number seventeen of her own creation, the April Progressive Poem.

      I've been writing a poem most days, but this time want to share an extraordinary verse novel just out last week, and other recent books who deserve the description, poetic. All wonderful books to read and love!  

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary - Laura Shovan
       I do love verse novels, and in the past few years, numerous ones have been published that have touched me, made me laugh or cry, entertained and inspired. I’ve waited a long time for this particular one by Laura Shovan because she is a blogger and poet friend and I knew when she announced the book was going to be published, was coming out, when the party was, and knew I would love it. I didn’t teach fifth grade, but 6th, 7th & 8th graders for a lot of years, and Laura has shown these “ready-to-be” adolescents in perfect ways. They still play, a little; they want to “like” another, and be “liked” by someone, but not too closely; and perhaps most of all, they want to be listened to.

           Emerson Elementary is going to be torn down at the end of the year, and this fifth grade teacher, Ms. Hill, has asked her students to write a poem each quarter reflecting on the change and on their personal lives. The poems will be placed in a time capsule, opened in twenty-five years. Laura moves the reader through the year, a quarter at a time, introducing each student through his or her poems, with a tiny label and snapshot pic at the top of the page. It helps, because it’s hard to know the students at first, except stereotypically: the girl who bosses her friends, the boy who is new, the boy whose father had left the family, the girl who wears a hijab and on. But Laura’s trick is to show so much of each student within the poem, one soon begins to think, “Oh, that’s the one who’s bossy, maybe needy, and now she’s lost a friend.” or “How sad that he believes he doesn’t have anyone to talk with.”  One early line I love is when Katie complains about writing time again! She writes, “My words are still/crawling out of bed.”  And a girl named Sydney with a twin (but not in all things) talks about her own clothes on picture day, that she hates skirts. “It feels weird when I walk.” The poem shows beautifully how everyone feels on picture day choices: “I thought a purple shirt would be okay,/but I look like an exploding grape soda/or a purple blob.” Another feels more comfortable writing her poems in Spanish, and classmates help her translate them into English.
      As I read, I began to know the students, just as a teacher begins to “know” her own students when the year moves from quarter to quarter. The thread that binds the story is the hope of these fifth graders, the last ones at Emerson Elementary, who realize that like their teacher who has participated in sit-ins, fighting for her own cause, they too can join together to try to stop the demolition of their school. Certain students take the lead, and the class begins to see that words and actions matter-even from fifth graders.

A Spring Recipe

It's April, Poetry Month, and I'm trying to write a poem when I can, probably not every day this month, but some days when it feels right. I might visit other challenges too, and share a favorite poetry book. I want to enjoy and celebrate poetry as much as possible.

             Go here to Kim at Flukeprints for today's line of the Progressive Poem created by Irene Latham.

Poem # 12