Thursday, April 23, 2015

NPM 2015: What Are You Wearing, Jan Godown Annino?

What are you wearing for Poetry Friday readers?


Wearing this week's Poetry Friday host tiara
is the one and only Renee La Tulippe
of No Water River! Put your party clothes on
and go ring on Renee's doorbell. There will be plenty
of poetry sweets and treats for all. 
Today, I'm wearing a paisley scarf in black and Poetry Friday green in my hair. The scarf belonged to my grandmother, who was my first and dearest mentor. She died in 2003 and I treasure the Nanny Joy treasures that were handed down to me. They include a few pieces of clothing: the scarf I'm wearing, a corduroy jacket in plum.


Author Amok (circa 1972) and a super-stylish Joy
wearing a plum leather ensemble.
Throughout April, guest bloggers are dressing up in their poetry finery as Author Amok features poems about clothes. Why clothes? Read this post.

In addition to the guest bloggers, every Friday in April I'll post a round-up of original and recommended clothing poems. (Send those via email to laurashovan at gmail dot com or leave them in the comments). You'll find this week's writing prompt at the bottom of this post.

Today's guest blogger is Jan Godown Annino of Book Seed Studio

After I read Jan's original poem for today, and some of its back-story, I told her about my grandmother. No wonder Joy's clothes carry so much meaning for me. There's an intimacy to clothing, because we layer it on our physical forms and wear it against our skin. After Joy's husband died in 1977, she adopted his button down shirts and wore them until she passed away nearly 30 years later.
Joy in one of Poppy's shirts.
The little guy is my soon-to-be high school grad!
Like me, Jan has a piece of clothing that belonged to someone who was important in her life. So, Jan, what are you wearing?

Cloth Rainbow
©Jan Godown Annino, all rights reserved
honoring the Memory of Medicine Woman Ada Tiger,
her daughter’s first teacher

Betty Mae Tiger Jumper (1923-2011)

by Jan Godown Annino

She sits
sits and may feel a stitch
Bending to a small black machine                                        
she makes the Singer sing
Foot pumps a thread and needle
thrums a song of stitches

She stitches
sits and stitches colors
hides the stitch in her side
sits minutes making hours
strip sewing cloth into clothes

She stitches
sun yellow sky blue sun red night black
sits stitching cotton strips
Crawdad four directions lightning snake
hides the stitch in her side

She sits
wears a flowing skirt like one she stitches
orange bands aqua bands black bands
red diamonds purple diamonds yellow triangles
stitches a reservation rainbow

She sits
remembers 1937
boarded in cold mountains
sat for class
wore first store-bought dress
longed for Dania, Florida skirt
sang silently off cloth rainbows
hid the stitch in her side

©2015 Jan Godown Annino, all rights reserved

In Jan’s child days her father made a marionette stage for her stringed puppets. She lives in North Florida with her family and delights in the mysterious hurricane lily of their autumn yard.

©Jan Godown Annino, all rights reserved

After knowing Betty Mae Tiger Jumper for many years, this legend-keeper Seminole Indian leader authorized Jan to write about her for young readers in She Sang Promise. It is a Florida Book Awards winner and on national reading lists. Connect with Jan on twitter, JGA@BkSeedStudio and her site Bookseedstudio. Newish to PF Jan appreciates the morsels gleaned from PF posts.

You'll find the Kirkus review here,
but you have to scroll down!

Thanks so much for spending Poetry Friday at Author Amok, Jan. Your poem gave me a lot to think about and reminded me how much my grandmother's clothes mean to me, just like Betty Mae Tiger Jumper's beautiful rainbow skirt is meaningful for you.

ICYMI: In our poetry closet, you will find...

Jane Elkin looks in her childhood closet. Poems by Mark Irwin and Ron Koertge.
Linda Baie's outfit would not be complete without a poem in her pocket.
Robyn Campbell is showing off her favorite vintage clothes with a poetic picture book from Mary Ann Hoberman.
Donna Smith twirls her poetic skirts for us.

Thanks to Tabatha Yeatts for suggesting a clothing-related rap song for us this week. Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" is awesome, but the non-radio version has a lot of non-kid-friendly language. I'll leave it to you to look up this ear worm if you're interested.

*Your suggested clothing poem prompt for Friday, April 24: Vintage
Tell the story of an old article of clothing. It might be the oldest thing currently hanging in your closet, something you found in a vintage or second hand store, a Christening gown passed down through your family (I have my grandfather's, from 1898), or an old concert tee that you can part with, even though it no longer fits. Begin with "It reminds me of the time when..."

Send your poems any time. I'll post original work and recommended poems on Friday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NPM 2015: What Are You Wearing, Donna Smith?

What are you wearing for National Poetry Month 2015, readers? How about today's find, an upcycled denim skirt with ribbons of poetry embroidered on it?

Colors of the Snake River poem skirt
with poem hand-painted on silk ribbon
available at Etsy.
Throughout April, guest bloggers are dressing up in their poetry finery as Author Amok features poems about clothes. Why clothes? Read this post.

In addition to the guest bloggers, every Friday in April I'll post a round-up of original and recommended clothing poems. (Send those via email to laurashovan at gmail dot com or leave them in the comments). You'll find this week's writing prompt at the bottom of this post.

Time to stop skirting the issue and get to today's clothing poetry post. Guest blogging for us is Donna Smith of Mainely Write.  So, Donna, what are you wearing?

“What are you wearing for NPM?” they asked.
“Once I had a tutu or two”, I trilled, skirting the question addressed to me...
Quote by Elle MacPherson: “I wanted so badly to study ballet, but it was really all about wearing the tutu.”

For me it was not just about the tutu (though a good tutu can take attention off many a misstep).  I loved dance, especially ballet.  I began lessons when I was in first grade, but even before that, I would dance to any music playing...even the music playing in my head.
Alas, as I got into my middle teen years, I realized that I did not have that long, lean dancer’s body that I thought I should have, and gave up that dream.

My first poem offering here is an original, paying homage to my younger self, and my older self, who gave up becoming a dancer:
Skirted

when I was but a little girl
I loved to twirl
and swirl
my spinning skirt would billow out
I had no doubt
about
my dream that I was born to dance
as in a trance
I’d prance
with leaps and bounds, my pointed toe
smooth rhythm flow
aglow
upon my stage of grassy glade
in verdant shade
a maid
in skirt with pleats of flower hue
one day time flew
and blew
into the now my skirt was swept
no promise kept
I wept.

©Donna JT Smith, 2015
In some ways I think writing poetry and dancing are very similar.  You need a music and a rhythm, you need a flow, you need heart and soul, and you need to breathe it in and out.  I gave up dance, but found a new dance in poetry.

My daughter also learned to dance, (and sew). I wrote this poem for her when she sent me a picture of herself twirling out on the sunny green lawn in her new dress she made from a bed sheet: 
 


A Tyburn to a Twirl

Whirly
Twirly
Curly
Girlie
Spinning in her whirly, twirly dress
Is my little curly, girlie lass.

by Donna JT Smith, 2013

Just had to include this picture of my daughter’s skirt that she made from old neckties! It has been in storage, so it needs a little steaming perhaps, but you get the idea!



One of my favorite poets of all time, and probably greatest influence in my own writing is Robert Louis Stevenson.  He was one of the first poets of whom I was made aware as a child.  My mother gave me the book, A Child’s Garden of Verses (first published in 1900), and I read it over and over savoring the smooth and easy rhythms and rhymes in each poem.

There are two poems in this volume that have “skirts” mentioned in them.  Women always wore long skirts back then, and even in my childhood, skirts were the norm for women.  Even as a child in school, girls could not wear slacks, unless it was winter...and then only under your skirt outside at recess.

Check out (http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/  Lit2Go.  It is a free collection of stories and poems in audio and pdf formats.  There are also many that have a word count, the reading level and activities for your classroom.
Auntie's Skirts
By Robert Louis Stevenson

Whenever Auntie moves around,
Her dresses make a curious sound,
They train behind her up the floor...


The Wind
by Robert Louis Stevenson
I saw you toss the kites on high 
And blow the birds about the sky; 
And all around I heard you pass, 
Like ladies' skirts across the grass-- 
                   wind, a-blowing all day long, 
                   wind, that sings so loud a song! 

Hymn to the Night
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I heard the trailing garments of the Night
      Sweep through her marble halls!
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light
      From the celestial walls!


Putting Tu and Two Together
Skirts,
Tutus, 
Dresses,
Muu muus
Require
you have
the proper
hair-dos,
And on
your feet
the right (and left)
shoe-shoes.

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

Donna has recently retired from teaching, having taught first, second, third and sixth grades; and computer technology. She has written many poems and has produced two photo/poem collection books: “The Fall of the Leaves of Fall” and “Winter Ways”; and has had her poem “Two Rainbows and the Moon” published in an online poetry collection by Shadow Express. Her blog, Mainely Write, has much of her poetry collection online.

BTW: Donna wears a skirt every day.  Yes, literally, every day. 

She has a skirt for every day;
She owns no slacks, no jeans for play -
And even in the snow they stay;
She likes the way they swish and sway!

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

Thank you for visiting Donna. I love that you are an unapologetic skirt-wearer. Skirts are my go-to in the summer months. And I still remember a favorite skirt from childhood that was nearly floor-length, quilted, and brown. What can I say, it was the 70s.

ICYMI: In our poetry closet, you will find...

Jane Elkin looks in her childhood closet. Poems by Mark Irwin and Ron Koertge.
Linda Baie's outfit would not be complete without a poem in her pocket.
Robyn Campbell is showing off her favorite vintage clothes with a poetic picture book from Mary Ann Hoberman.

*Your suggested clothing poem prompt for Friday, April 24: Vintage
Tell the story of an old article of clothing. It might be the oldest thing currently hanging in your closet, something you found in a vintage or second hand store, a Christening gown passed down through your family (I have my grandfather's, from 1898), or an old concert tee that you can part with, even though it no longer fits. Begin with "It reminds me of the time when..."

Send your poems any time. I'll post original work and recommended poems on Friday.

Monday, April 20, 2015

NPM 2015: What Are You Wearing, Robyn Campbell?

"The Raven" Infinity Scarf is available at Etsy.
What are you wearing for National Poetry Month 2015, readers? Will it be a pair of Emily Dickinson tights, or today's find: An infinity scarf printed with Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"?

Throughout April, guest bloggers are dressing up in their poetry finery as Author Amok features poems about clothes. Why clothes? Read this post.

In addition to the guest bloggers, every Friday in April I'll post a round-up of original and recommended clothing poems. (Send those via email to laurashovan at gmail dot com or leave them in the comments). You'll find this week's writing prompt at the bottom of this post.

We touched on hand-me-downs when Robyn Hood Black tried on Alice Schertle's "Hand-me-down Sweatshirt" for size. Today, guest blogger Robyn Campbell is taking another look at "not-so-new" clothes with a poem by Mary Ann Hoberman.

So, Robyn, what are you wearing?

I am thrilled to take part in Laura's brainchild for National Poetry Month. Everyone needs clothes (I hope). :-) Clothes can be our statement. They can show the world who we are. What our personalities  look like. What is deep inside our souls. Watch what people wear. It will give you a zoom lens into their identities. Thank you, Laura for letting me take part in your lovely blog this month. 

What I'm wearing today is old vintage clothes from Mary Ann Hoberman's picture book, I Like Old Clothes, illustrated by Patrice Barton. 

As you'll see when you read the text, the words stand on their own. No need to see the charming illustrations (although I recommend you own a copy of this endearing picture book) but her word choice is exquisite. I have used it as a mentor text. The illustrations are different from the original ones published back in 1976. What a fun story. I was a little girl who loved old clothes so this is especially meaningful to me. I loved shopping for clothes someone else once owned because I knew there was a history with them. After all, they might have been worn by a princess or a movie star. No matter who wore them, they had to have had an interesting life before I got them. So for me, this is more than just a symbol, it's a way of life. Even today, I love shopping in the stores that sell hand-me-downs. Just as the story says, I like old clothes. :-)

From I Like Old Clothes
by Mary Ann Hoberman

I like old clothes,
Hand-me-down clothes,
Worn outgrown clothes,
Not-my-own clothes.
When somebody grows
And gives me her clothes,
I don’t say, “What, those?”
And turn up my nose
The way some people do
When their clothes aren’t new.
I like old clothes.
I really do.
Clothes with a history,
Clothes with a mystery,
Sweaters and shirts
That are brother-and-sistery,
Clothes that belonged to a friend of a friend,
Who wore them to school when she lived in East Bend.
“You lived in East Bend once, Blue Sweater,” I say.
“Just think, you are living in my town today.”

To read the rest of the poem, visit your library,
or find your own copy of I Like Old Clothes
from Amazon
 or Indibound.
Mary Ann Hoberman has written forty-five children's picture books, almost all of them in verse. She's a former United States Children's Poet Laureate who wrote the wonderful middle grade novel entitled Strawberry Hill.

As a contrast to Mary Ann's poem, I offer another take on old clothes. A haiku by Anni Morris.

Toothless zips, wrong size.
Tired elastic with no spring
Loose threads, color drained

So there are always two sides to the old clothes argument. Which side are you on? 

Thank you for reading. 

Robyn Campbell loves writing poetry and picture books and wearing old clothes. She's currently revising her middle-grade novel, writing a poetry book for kids and she plans on self-publishing a writing book for 8-12-year- old children. She lives in NC on her farm, and when not writing or homeschooling, Robyn can be found at the barn with her horses. She blogs at robyn-campbell.blogspot.com.
  
Robyn, I have had some beloved vintage finds over the years. In high school, I was rarely seen without my black and red check men's suit jacket. (It looked great with jeans and a black beret. I thought.) More recently: this leather coat for $12. (Great for cosplay!)

Remember when I was
The Fourth Doctor
for Halloween?
ICYMI: In our poetry closet, you will find...

Jane Elkin looks in her childhood closet. Poems by Mark Irwin and Ron Koertge.
Linda Baie's outfit would not be complete without a poem in her pocket.

*Your suggested clothing poem prompt for Friday, April 24: Vintage
Tell the story of an old article of clothing. It might be the oldest thing currently hanging in your closet, something you found in a vintage or second hand store, a Christening gown passed down through your family (I have my grandfather's, from 1898), or an old concert tee that you can part with, even though it no longer fits. Begin with "It reminds me of the time when..."

Send your poems any time. I'll post original work and recommended poems on Friday.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NPM 2015: What Are You Wearing, Catherine Johnson?

Let's talk verbs, writerly friends. Active, meaty verbs.

We're celebrating National Poetry Month
at Life on the Deckle Edge this week.
Thanks, Robyn Hood Black, for hosting
the Poetry Friday round up!
How many verbs does it take to get dressed for the day?

Maybe you:
                     pull off, push down, lift up, or peel away

your jammies, then you:
                                             select, admire, organize, create

the day's outfit, and finally you:
                                                            slide on, zip up, button, brush off, smooth, layer

your clothes.

Throughout April, guest bloggers are dressing up in their poetry finery as we feature poems about clothes. Why clothes? Read this post.

In addition to the guest bloggers, every Friday in April I'll post a round-up of original and recommended clothing poems. (Send those via email to laurashovan at gmail dot com or leave them in the comments). You'll find this week's writing prompt at the bottom of this post.

Today, we're talking about the act of getting dressed. Carefully chosen verbs, like a carefully chosen outfit, can help set a poem's tone and voice. Let's hear more about style (poetic and personal) from our Poetry Friday guest blogger, poet Catherine Johnson. 


When Laura said she wanted poems about clothes I thought:  Interesting. I love clothes! I dressed better in my teens that at any other time, but let's see ... I had  couple of small jobs and still lived a home, so my mum bought us nice stuff and we had spare money to get nice clothes too. We lived within an hour of York, Doncaster, and Leeds. All great cities for shopping. 
 
My favorite clothes shop was The Warehouse. It was funky! Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share a few photos. I'm afraid I can't find one of me in brown patterned pants and brogue shoes, or the time I wore purple doc martins and purple flared corduroys. Those were the days. These days I just go to Walmart and a second hand store where people drop off super nice clothes they bought in the nice shops ;) I also hit the closing down sale at Target for a nice dress for a wedding.
 
I came across this poem real quickly in my search for a clothes poem and I love it. I hope you do too.
 
Getting Dressed
by Alexander Resnikoff
 
Isn't dressing depressing?
 
Button the buttons
Snap the snaps
Hook the hooks and
Zip the zippers
Tie the ties and
Strap the straps and
Clasp the clasps and
Slip the slippers
Buckle the buckles and
Knot the knots and
Pin the pins and
Lace the laces
Loop the loops and
Lock the locks and
Belt the belts and
Brace the braces-
 
What I like the best is my own skin-
That is the dress I'm always in.
 
Catherine Johnson is the author/illustrator of three books of poetry for children: Weirdo Zoo, The Everglades, and Zompoems.

Catherine's zombie is wearing a vintage,
hand-distressed T-shirt in snot green.
I am enamored with this poem, Catherine. I love the idea that getting dressed takes so many verbs! And loving the idea made me slow down and think about the act and complications of wearing clothes.


*Your suggested clothing poem prompt for Friday, April 17: Secret Identities.
Have you ever had an outfit that made you feel like a super hero? Or a pair of boots that, whenever you wore them, made you feel powerful? Whether it's a lucky shirt or a pair of jeans that fits you to perfection, write about a piece of clothing that makes (or made) you feel like you could take on the world.

Send your poems any time. I'll post original work and recommended poems on Friday.