Poetry Friday: Playing with the “Zeno” Form

Pat Lewis introduced the world to his new poetry form, the “zeno” on Monday at The Miss Rumphius Effect.  It is a mathematical pattern featuring syllables of 8-4-2-1-4-2-1-4-2-1 with an “abcdefdghd” rhyme scheme.

Timing is everything.  This week with parent teacher conferences and that spooky holiday tomorrow, it provided opportunity to play with the form.

I worked with three classes, two fourth grade classes and one fifth grade class. After sharing the examples of Lewis’ poems,  each group thought of rhyming words, and counted syllables while writing  down lines and revising.  Here are their efforts(with thanks to Pat Lewis for a first line idea):

Ms Padden’s fifth grade class:

One dark, windy night, too frightful
cheers from monsters
when they come out
they are coming

Mr. Baker’s fourth grade class:

A dark windy night so frightful
Bats fill the sky
Predators hunt
black cats stalk prey

Mrs. Fisher’s Class:

A dark windy night so frightful!
sweet trick or treat
flying fiercely
running around
with black

Found it helpful to have the students begin with a list of rhyming words to begin.

My own zeno is here.  Poetry Friday is hosted by Jennie at Bibliofile

Happy Reading.


Poetry Friday: Goblin Market


In honor of Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo’s National Book Award nominee, Lips Touch Three Times I present “Goblin Market” by Christina Rosetti:

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
‘Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpecked cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheeked peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;–
All ripe together

Read and hear the rest here.

I have just started reading this delicious book.  So remember the evening two years ago when I held a book party for Blackbringer.  Laini talked about this project, a book and the seed which started it all this wonderful Christina Rosetti poem.  After she left I looked it up as the only Rosetti poem I remembered was “Who has Seen the Wind?”

Listening to “Goblin Market”  while writing this post, brings to mind the richness of that era in literature and why I am drawn to it.  Reading from Lips Touch this morning while covering a class reminds me how lucky we are to have wonderful writers who will reach into the past and bring it forward with modern day tales with creepy kissing, goblins and the supernatural. 

BTW, Jim’s illustrations prior to each story in the collections creates a new way of looking at the graphic novel format.  This book is groundbreaking in its style.

Poetry Friday is hosted by Kelly here.  BTW  I actually wrote a double dactyl yesterday. I really didn’t believe I could do it!

Happy Friday.  Happy Reading.


Double Dactyl! I Wrote One!

Tricia proposed that we write a “double dactyl” poem at Poetry Stretch .She stretched me. I did it. Quality not guaranteed.

Thanks to the new Skippyjon Jones book, Lost in Spice, for inspiration.

holy guacamole
Judy Schachner author
Siamese cat chihuahua
Skippyjon plots

he bounces big boy bed
closet is planet Mars
perritos amigos
book checked out lots


More can be found at Miss Rumphius Effect.

Happy Reading.


Sharon Creech Evening

Getting her new book, An Unfinished Angel, signed.

Sharon Creech visited Portland, Oregon on Tuesday! What a great evening. She talked about her writing life, how  she gets her ideas from words, poems, and everyday events. Still thinking about her comment that two poems collided together and thus Love That Dog was born.

Her new book, An Unfinished Angel, began with a story from her granddaughter: “Once upon a time in Spain, there was an angel and that angel was me.”   Creech’s story takes place in Switzerland.  Her blog, Words We Say, has videos about her writing process as well as some wonderful photos of the setting of the book. 

My friend, Kathleen, doing Readers’ Theater with Sharon Creech and her new book.

I just had to buy the book after listening to an excerpt in Readers’  Theater form.  Laugh out loud funny but you know there is some serious in it.

DSC_0044I read the part of “Gramps” in Walk Two Moons.

An inspiring moment came when I participated in a “Readers’ Theater” for Walk Two Moons.  Now, I know about RT but haven’t gotten into doing them. However, being on stage, reading, and seeing how simple it is, I have ideas for my reader awards books this year.

What have you been reading?

Happy Reading.


It’s Teen Read Week, Oct 18-24, 2009

Even though I am a K5 library media specialist, I love reading YA and supporting YA authors.

On Sunday, I did exactly that!  LK Madigan, a Portland YA author read from her debut book, Flash Burnout. Powell’s in Beaverton was packed and the book sold out!


It’s always interesting  to hear about how a book is born.  LK did not disappoint.  FlashBurnout was the result of a conversation about another story she wrote and was getting no where with it.  A “have you considered this” question was asked and it led LK on a different path.

The protagonist,high school boy, loves photography (and each chapter begins with a photography quote, loved that!).  It is a fabulous blend of humor and serious issues; the inner conversations of a teenage boy with his first serious girlfriend while another friend struggle with family secrets.

I will be lending my copy out to my YA library friends to get the word out. (After all, I really cannot place it at elementary).  It ‘s a real hoot though to read YA (and be thankful in some ways that high schools was a long time ago).

Happy Reading.