Poetry Friday: Featuring Mrs. Brown’s “I Come From” Poems

IMG_1077

Thanks to Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass for hosting Poetry Friday today.

I’m subbing in my former school today. the class I’m subbing in has poems up. While I didn’t do the lesson, I love seeing poetry in the school and this teacher loves poetry. Enjoy.

Advertisements

Poetry Friday: Sneak Peak at Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle

IMG_1077

Thank you Carol W. at Carol’s Corner for hosting today’s Poetry Friday. A couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have Margarita Engle send me an ARC of SOARING EARTH. This is the companion memoir to ENCHANTED AIR.

Now if you haven’t read ENCHANTED AIR yet, stop by your local library and borrow it. It was nominated for a CYBILs Poetry Award in 2015.

SOARING EARTH continues as Engle begins high school just as the social issues: Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, environmental concerns are heating up. In Engle’s lyrical language, she paints a landscape of what it’s like for a teen during the late 60’s.

Despite not being allow to travel to Cuba (thanks to the revolution there), Margarita finds other way to spread her wings through friends, writing and education.

Readers of both books are in for a treat of rich and delicious language. It’s sure to make your spirit soar.

Available in the world in February. Give youself the Valentine of a book and purchase a copy or make sure your local library has it in their collection.

Title: SOARING EARTH
Author: Margarita Engle
Illustrator:
Published: Available, February 2019
Pages: 192
Reading Level: 7th gr and beyond
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781534429536
Source: ARC sent to me by the author

The ARC I have is available for the next reader. If you’d like to read it and share the love, leave a comment and I’ll draw a name next week.

Poetry Friday: Voices in the Air by Naomi Shihab Nye

IMG_1077Thanks to Irene at Live Your Poem for hosting Poetry Friday this week.

This week, I want to show case the title I nominated for the CYBILS Poetry Awaed:  VOICES IN THE AIR, POEMS FOR LISTENERS by Naomi Shihab Nye.  If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I consider her a mentor.  Last April, I attended the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture given by Naomi Shihab Nye.   I, of course, bought her latest book.

What if we were the listeners of all the voices in the air? Those who came before us or those we have yet to meet? What if we took the time to listen? What would we notice?

VOICES is divided into three sections: Messages, Voices in the Air, and More Worlds.

Nye begins with an introduction, a pondering of making sense of the strange world we currently reside in with a quote by Galway Kinnell, “To me, poetry is someone standing up to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.”

She reflects on a conversation student at the Yokohama International School in Japan. She said listening and writing poetry give us more yutori– a place to stand back to contemplate what we are living and experiencing…more spaciousness in being and more room to listen. I love this!

This ninety-five poem collection is contemplative and we should listen to one another read these poems aloud. Many of the poems were written for specific people. At the end of the book, Nye includes Biographical Notes.

We should take the time to slow down and listen.

Some of my favorite poems in this collection include: “Twilight”, “Train Across Texas”, and “Where do Poets Find Images, and For the Birds”.

Here’s the first few lines of perhaps my favorite (I’m not sure I can really choose)

Reserved for Poets
(Signs on first rows of chairs at poetry festival. La Conner, Washington)

Sunsets.

Trouble.

Full moons.

No really–they’re everybody’s.

Nothing is reserved.

I highly encourage to find this book, read it, and listen.

Title: VOICES IN THE AIR, POEMS FOR LISTENERS
Author: Naomi Shihab Nye
Illustrator:
Published: 2018
Pages: 190
Reading Level: YA
Publisher: Greenwillow
ISBN: 978-0-06-269184-2
Source: Personal purchase

Poetry Friday: H IS FOR HAIKU Book Talk

IMG_1077

Thanks to Linda B. at TeacherDance who is hosting Poetry Friday today. It’s going to be great.

This week, I’m starting a new chapter on this blog. The last few years, the blog has focused more on student work and less on book reviews/talks/ recommendations. Over the last month, I’ve been mulling over what to do with this blog. Certainly, when the opportunity presents itself to showcase student work, I will.

So I’ve decided to feature poetry books on this blog for Poetry Friday.

I am please to share with you H IS FOR HAIKU A TREASURY OF HAIKU FROM A TO Z by Sydell Rosenberg today. Rosenberg was a chartered member of the Haiku Society of America (HSA). She was a public school teacher and used her experiences as a springboard for haiku.

In Amy Losak’s introduction of her mom’s book, she speaks of the small moments that haiku makes big. This is what I love. It’s the very reason I write haiku and teach students about the form. In a society where the small moments can be missed, slowing down for discovery is so necessary.

H IS FOR HAIKU begins with Rosenberg’s definition. My favorite part of her explanation? “Haiku can’t be gimmicked; it can’t be shammed. If it is slicked into cuteness, haiku losses what it has to give.”

Here are a few examples as page spreads.

adventures over
the cat sits in the fur ring
of his tail and dreams

first library card
and a promise to read all
authors A to Z

queuing for ice cream
sweat-sprinkled office workers
on Queens Boulevard

Whether you are a first grader practicing a recorder or Xavier at the beauty parlor or seeing children with umbrellas as mushrooms, each haiku is a fresh small moment that still resonates today. It’s difficult to believe that the original haiku were written long before the publishing of the book. Rosenberg’s word choice is impeccable and rich.

Sawsan Chalabi’s illustrations are a bright complement to the text. Did you know she was responsible for the lettering of the haiku? To me it adds to the structure of the book. I’m not sure the book would work as well had the lettering been a standard font and size.

I would recommend getting this book if you need a mentor text in haiku. Losak addresses the English interpretation of haiku as being the 5-7-5 structure while explaining that many writers (including her mom) aren’t so strict about the syllable count. I think this is important when teaching young writers. I’ve been told that rules were created to be broken and the hard fast syllable structure should be broken when appropriate.

H is FOR HAIKU is nominated for the CYBILS Award in Poetry.

Title: H IS FOR HAIKU
Author: Sydell Rosenburg
Illustrator: Sawsan Chalabi
Published: 2018
Pages: unpaged
Reading Level: 3rd grade and up
Publisher: Penny Candy Books
ISBN: 978-0-9987999-7-1
Source: Personal purchase

Poetry Friday: Third Installment of “I Come From” Poems

Thank you to Brenda Davis Harsham at Friendly Fairy Tales for hosting Poetry Friday this Friday.

This is the third of three Poetry Fridays featuring a second grade class and their “I Come From” poems inspired from the work of George Ella Lyon.

I Come From

I come from the ocean that waves

I wonder why teachers could spank*

I hear a mermaid whispering

I see the sun shining in my eyes

I want a troll, happy always

I come from the ocean that waves

I pretend I’m a ghost

I touch a mermaid’s scales at night

I worry to die from Chuckie

I cry from spiders

I come from the ocean that waves

I understand everything

I say I can even if I fail

I dream about mermaids

I try again when I fail

I hope I will live for a long time

I come from the ocean that waves

By Ava, 2nd grade

* when I asked her about this, her reply, “You know, back in the day.”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I Come From

I come from the 1980’s

I wonder about beards

I hear kids screaming their heads off

I see kids

I want to be fast

I touch an apple

I cry for my papa

I come from the 1980’s

By Hunter, 2nd grade

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I Come From

I come from my Mom’s belly

I wonder when my Mom is coming back

I hear dogs barking a lot

I see my kitten

I want Fortnight games

I come from my Mom’s belly

I pretend to be a cat, meow

I worry about my brother

I cry about my brother being mean to me

I dream about being king

I try to teach my brother

I come from my Mom’s belly

By Hunter St, 2nd grade

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

I Come From

I come from Utah where it’s hot

I wonder mermaids will disappear

I hear mermaids in my dream

I see my sister on her phone

I come from Utah where it’s hot

By Kenzie, 2nd grade

+++++++++++++++++++

I Come From

I come from California

I wonder if the world can be a better place

I hear people laughing

I see clouds

I want to get the Beyblade

I come from California

I pretend I’m a Marine

I touch my dog

I worry about bad guys

I cry when I get hurt.

I come from California

By Ben, 2nd grade

Poetry Friday: Because of Libraries by Naomi Shihab Nye

IMG_1077
Thanks to Michelle at Michelle Kogan for hosting Poetry Friday.

I think this is a fitting poem for the end of the school year.  The last stanza speaks to me the most.

Because of Libraries We Can Say These Things by Naomi Shihab Nye

She is holding the book close to her body,
carrying it home on the cracked sidewalk,
down the tangled hill.
If a dog runs at her again, she will use the book as a shield.

She looked hard among the long lines
of books to find this one.
When they start talking about money,
when the day contains such long and hot places,
she will go inside.
An orange bed is waiting.
Story without corners.
She will have two families.
They will eat at different hours.

She is carrying a book past the fire station
and the five and dime.

What this town has not given her
the book will provide; a sheep,
a wilderness of new solutions.
The book has already lived through its troubles.
The book has a calm cover, a straight spine.

When the step returns to itself,
as the best place for sitting,
and the old men up and down the street
are latching their clippers,

she will not be alone.
She will have a book to open
and open and open.
Her life starts here.

– from Fuel, by Naomi Shihab Nye

Check It Out will be on hiatus as I figure out what the content of this blog will be now that I’m retired (weird for me to say).

Poetry Friday: Surprise Ode

IMG_1077

Thanks to  Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge for hosting Poetry Friday.

On Monday we had our last Family Library Night.  It was a celebration of reading and saying goodbye to my fabulous families.  It was so wonderful.  I am grateful for my advocation.

20180604_175340The half-sister of the second grader who tragically died in 2004.  Her brother’s accident planted the seed of the manuscript I am working on.  As a fifth grader she just read my manuscript and in her card to me, she called us family.

I was gifted with a signed collection of the odes that Poetry Rocks wrote.  In it was a surprise ode written bt Avery.  Here it is:

Ode to Ms. Mac

I see Ms. Mac reading a book.
I hear Ms. Mac reading a book.
I feel relaxed by Ms. Mac reading
a book out loud so everyone can hear it.
I wonder if she is reading an Eric Ode
Yes she is.

Ah, Avery, this is wonderful and such a gift.  Thank you.