THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY

THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
April 12, 2016

Thursday, July 23, 2015

World Poetry: Ireland

Greetings, Poetry Friday friends. We're crossing the Atlantic again this week to visit my good friend, Irish poet Siobhan Mac Mahon.

The lovely and talented
Margaret Gibson Simon
is hosting Poetry Friday today
at Reflections on the Teche.
Siobhan is Irish Performance Poet, Playwright and Poetry Activist living in England. She performs widely in England, Ireland and Europe. Her poems, powerful and often funny, celebrate our sacred connection to the Earth and the return of the Divine Feminine. She pokes fun at rigid, patriarchal religions and structures, giving voice to the outrageous, the silenced and the banished (and that’s just before she has her breakfast!)

I met Siobhan in Salerno, Italy, during the 100 Thousand Poet for Change World Conference last month. Her poems had us howling with laughter, especially the one about Rita, who goes on a quest to find herself and causes quit an internal tsunami.

Siobhan reading a poem
about Adam's first wife, Lilith.

Siobhan has been writing and performing her poetry, collaborating with other artists and creating mayhem/Spoken word projects for over 20 years. She has combined Spoken Word with music, with dance and with film, working with poets and artists from many different backgrounds and cultures.

Siobhan organizes poetry events, including a yearly event for the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Movement and a large gathering of poets for International Women’s Day. She Co-founded Wicked Words  - a long running Spoken Word evening in Leeds and is currently co-hosting a monthly poetry night in Leeds – Transforming With Poetry.

Siobhan’s poetry has been published  both online and in print including: Margutte,  Tadeeb, Leeds Guide, Print Radio and in a Bloodaxe/ Raving beauties Anthology – Hallelujah for 50 Foot Women.

Her workshops focus on writing poetry as a tool for self- expression, healing and creative growth, often working with marginalized, vulnerable or dis-advantaged groups, including:  homeless people, Those suffering with mental health, bereaved families, Immigrants, carers, long term unemployed, youth groups,  young mothers, stroke survivors, survivors of domestic abuse.


She has also worked in schools and with young people teaching creative writing and performance poetry.

Of the poem she is sharing with us today, Siobhan says, "The Poet is suitable for all ages and talks about the Poet's connection to a deeper reality/the other worlds and especially our connection to the earth as living, sacred and alive. It can be useful for encouraging pupils to get in touch with their  sense of a ‘magical reality’ and to write from that place as poets themselves. In Ireland the poet, in the past, was considered someone who could travel between the worlds."

THE  POET
by Siobhan Mac Mahon 

People often ask me what I do.
Well, I say, last week
 I decorated the downstairs loo’

‘No, no, they say
What is it that you really do?

‘Well, I say
I make a dam fine stew,
lamb and onions, carrots too’.

‘No, no, they say
what is it that you do all day?

‘Well, I say
I’ve been known to pray
and every day I take a walk
and I love to talk’

‘No, no, they say
what is it that you do for money?

‘Oh right, says I
I’ve got you now.
Well, sometimes I make a little honey.

‘Oh right, says they
(Pleased at last)
where is it that you keep the bees?

‘Oh no, says I, I don’t keep bees
I gather nectar from the wild,
distill it all in little jars
and call them verses
one two and three.

I sit upon the quiet shore,
stroke the sun warmed rocks
and sometimes they whisper songs to me,
hidden mysteries of the dark blue sea.

I watch the world unfold
I hear the lonely crying
of the lost souls
come keening down the winds.

I listen to the stories told
by the gurgling of the brazen stream
flowing wildly down the hill
in a rhapsody of ecstasy.

I glimpse
a holy rosary
of blue bells
ringing in the woods.

And I try to remember
all of this to thee,
In verses, one, two and three.

But mostly it’s
nothing much that I do.

Though as I say
I make a dam fine stew.


Literary girl power.
(L to R) Ann Bracken, Debby Kevin,
Siobhan Mac Mahon, Carla Bertola.
This poem makes a nice companion to Mary Oliver's poem "The Summer Day." If you work with high schoolers, pairing the two might prompt a good discussion about how two different poets address a similar theme.

Before she leaves us, I asked Siobhan to recommend an Irish poet whose work we might not be familiar with in the U.S. Her choices are:

Performance poet Maighread Medbh and quiet "radical" Rita Ann Higgins. Click on their names to check out each poet's website.

In the World Poetry Series:

World Poetry: India, featuring Menka Shivdasani

World Poetry:Poland, featuring Danuta Kosk-Kosicka and Lidia Kosk

World Poetry: Israel, featuring Michael Dickel

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Laura's Bookshelf: My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights

One of the best parts about being a debut novelist has been connecting with other children's authors in the class of 2016.


Brooks Benjamin and I were in the same Pitch Wars group (I can't recommend the Pitch Wars contest/mentorship program enough). We ended up getting book deals around the same time and joining the Sweet 16s debut author group.

I already knew from our hysterical exchanges on Twitter and from working together in the Sweet 16s that Brooks has a kind heart and a big, quirky sense of humor. Plus, he shares my love of interesting socks.

Another benefit of being in a debut author group is Advanced Reader's Copies. Many of us are sending around ARCs for fellow 16ers to read and review.

Brooks Benjamin's debut novel is MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS. 

This contemporary middle grade book launches on April 12. (The same day as THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY, and Melanie Conklin's MG debut, COUNTING THYME. We have dubbed  4/12/16 "The Harmonic Convergence of Books.") 

I was lucky enough to be high up on the list for Brooks' ARC tour. After it stops here at Author Amok, I'll send the book along to another Sweet 16 author.

Sam says Brooks' book passes inspection.
Proceed to read!
Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

LIVE IT.

All Dillon wants is to be a real dancer. And if he wins a summer scholarship at Dance-Splosion, he’s on his way. The problem? His dad wants him to play football. And Dillon’s freestyle crew, the Dizzee Freekz, says that dance studios are for sellouts. His friends want Dillon to kill it at the audition—so he can turn around and tell the studio just how wrong their rules and creativity-strangling ways are.

WORK IT.

At first, Dillon’s willing to go along with his crew’s plan, even convincing one of the snobbiest girls at school to work with him on his technique. But as Dillon’s dancing improves, he wonders: what if studios aren’t the enemy? And what if he actually has a shot at winning the scholarship? 

BRING IT.

Dillon’s life is about to get crazy . . . on and off the dance floor


This book is filled with hilarious moments, but it also has a tender heart. Dillon's dance crew or solo performer dilemma is clearly laid out by page two. True to middle school, our MC takes a winding path as he figures out how to keep his friends AND get the dance training he longs for. Dillon has to cope with well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) advice, adults and peers who have their own agendas, a secret crush, and an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction. 

MY SEVENTH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS is appropriate for most middle grade readers, fourth grade and up. Dillon is so likable and funny that readers will wish they were part of his Dizzee Freekz dance crew. Thumbs up for an unexpected romance between two of the supporting characters.

Who will like it?
  • Kids who love funny books.
  • Dancers and fans of reality TV dance shows.
  • Middle graders who like to read about groups of friends solving problems together.
  • Children who are beginning to make life decisions (e.g. Do I want to continue with this sport or activity?) for themselves.

What will readers learn about?
  • What its like to be part of a tight-knit group of friends.
  • How to stand up to friends and do what's right for you.
  • You can work  hard and be committed, but still have fun.

The poem I'm pairing with MY SEVENTH GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS is from the teen e-journal Teen Ink.

Hip Hop
By Tajahniya S.BrooklynNY

 What is it about you that is so different?
Is it that booming bass,
Or is it those wavy synthesizers?
Maybe it’s the way you flow,
Or how you say what you mean and mean what you say?
Or it could be your wide range of influences.
From rock and soul to jazz and reggae,
Across the globe you are inspired.
What is it?
It’s the change you’ve made.
From beat-boxing, DJ-ing and breakdancing,
You went on to become an activist,
Standing up for what you believed in.

Read the rest of the poem at Teen Ink.

MY SEVENTH-GRADE LIFE IN TIGHTS is available for pre-order at Amazon. Thank you to Brooks for making the ARC available.



IN THIS SERIES: Laura's Bookshelf

God Particles, by Thomas Lux

Thursday, July 16, 2015

World Poetry: Israel

Happy Poetry Friday, poetry lovers!


This week's host is Kimberley Moran.
Stop by her place to find poetry posts
from all of your Poetry Friday pals.
I'm continuing my trip around the world, visiting with poets who originate from or live in countries other than the United States. Many of the poets I am featuring in this series were part of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change World Conference. Last month, we spent a week together in Salerno, Italy, talking about poetry, politics, and about being poetry advocates in our home communities.

This week, I'd like to introduce you to my dear friend, Michael Dickel.


Michael Dickel reading at the 100 TPC World Conference.
Photo by Adelia Parker-Castro
One of the realities of meeting people from around the world is learning about the political conflicts that affect many of their lives. It's one thing to read about these issues in the newspaper. But reading a poem about war, written by someone I know, feels much more real than the news.

This is true of Michael, who was born in the U.S., but has lived for many years in Israel.

Michael Dickel is a Jewish-American dual-citizen of the United States and Israel. He was born and grew up outside of Chicago. He lived in the Twin Cities—except for two years in Connecticut—until moving to Israel eight years ago. In his early adult years, he worked with runaway teens and urban youth, with children at an in-patient psychiatric evaluation unit, and at a crisis intervention and suicide prevention center. 

Michael started writing poetry in grade school. He holds a masters degree in creative writing and a doctorate in English literature. For over 25 years, he has taught in higher education in the U.S. and in Israel—writing and literature, as well as English language and education. He also directed writing centers in the U.S. 

His maternal grandmother taught in a one-room school house; his mother taught elementary school; his father, high school; and many first and second cousins also teach—teaching is probably in his genes.

Michael has done word-play workshops for elementary school children in Minnesota and poetry workshops for high-school students in Minnesota and Israel. Most recently, he conducted poetry workshops related to peace at The Jerusalem School in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The school's motto is "Peace begins with me," and the workshops coincided with its annual Peace Days.

He wrote “Overlook” for the first of these workshops. In the workshops, students were asked to use their senses to describe peace, or how they imagined it. One Palestinian young man wrote this sad, powerful response: “I never smell peace. / I never taste peace, either. / Nothing I hear sounds like peace. / Nothing I touch feels like peace. / Anywhere I go, I never see peace.”

Michael’s third book of poetry, War Surrounds Us, came out this summer. 

Find it on Amazon.

The book contains poems written during the 2014 Israel-Hamas war. Many of the poems, which focus on his family and everyday life during the conflict, are suitable for mature high-school students. 

However, the poem we are featuring today is appropriate for older elementary schoolers and up.

Overlook

Along the Alon Road, near
where we once glimpsed
an Athena owl, the road
widens for cars to rest.
The look-out holds two old
olive trees together, friends.

New maps show new divisions.
Old maps recall old boundaries.
Stone fences, barbed wire
come and go. Land mines
lay sleeping. But the olive
branches don't see these.

Standing guard by the road,
the two see open land: valleys,
wadis, and fields from here
to Jordan's distant mountains
and beyond—slow-moving possibility.

                        —Michael Dickel

Glossary / notes

Alon Road—a winding, two-lane road on the West Bank. It is named for a person but alon also is Hebrew for the live oak tree.

Athena owl—a small, brown owl native to the region

Michael was kind enough
to share this photograph
of the owl (the actual owl)
that inspired the poem.
Wadi—Arabic for gulch or eroded canyon, adopted in Hebrew. Wadi is distinct, here, from valleys because a wadi has steep sides whereas the Jordan River valley is wide with rolling hills, not a canyon. The plural with an “s,” wadis, is an Anglicized usage that also occurs in Israel among English speakers.

Dickel, M. (2013). Overlook. Fragments of Michael Dickel. Blog. 30 April.
http://mydekel.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/overlook-a-peace-poem/


Thanks for visiting today, Michael!

In the World Poetry Series:

World Poetry: India, featuring Menka Shivdasani

World Poetry:Poland, featuring Danuta Kosk-Kosicka and Lidia Kosk

Thursday, July 9, 2015

World Poetry: Poland

Happy Poetry Friday! First, in case you missed my happy screams on Wednesday, it was cover reveal day for THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY. Check out these adorable kids.


Don't be spacey, head over to
The Logonauts.
Katie is hosting this week's
Poetry Friday blog-roll.
Now on to Poetry Friday.

Last month, I traveled to Salerno, Italy for a world poetry conference. For the next several Poetry Fridays, I am featuring poets from around the globe. Some of these poets are people I met in Salerno and others are part of the literary community here in central Maryland.

On Monday, I was at a reading to celebrate the launch of two news books by today's poet, Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka. Her website is here.



Monday night's reading was at LitMore.

Danka came to the U.S.  in 1980 from Poland on a postdoctoral fellowship from the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She writes in English, but also translates from Polish to English. One of her ongoing projects is translating the work of her mother, the Polish poet Lidia Kosk.

Two books at the same time?! This year has been an abundance of riches in Danka's writing life. First, her book Face Half-Illuminated was accepted by Apprentice House Books, our country's oldest student-run independent press. This is an unusual book, because it combines Danka's own poems and essays with her translations of her mother, the Polish poet Lidia Kosk. (A previous book, Niedosyt/Reshapings, is bilingual, and includes Lidia Kosk's poetry in Polish, side by side with Danka's translations.)


Available from Apprentice House books.
On the heels of that acceptance, Danka found out that a chapbook of her own poems won the 2015 Harriss Poetry Prize and would be published by CityLit Press. The book is titled Oblige the Light.


A list of Harriss Prize winners is here.

Danka reminded me that the two of us met in 2010, when my Harriss Prize chapbook Mountain, Log, Salt, and Stone was published. She and her husband attended the launch reading at CityLit Festival. We have been friends since then. I'm a fan of Danka's work and, as editor, have selected it to appear in one of my anthology's and multiple times in Little Patuxent Review.

Danka didn't start her career as a poet until later in life. She came to the U.S. to work as a biochemist, eventually doing research at Johns Hopkins in Maryland. Her arrival in America occurred just as a period of political upheaval began in Poland. Many of her poems express the history of war in Europe and political oppression in her native country that Danka and her family witnessed.


If you'd like to read more about Danka's fascinating background, you'll find my interview with her here. 


From Niedosyt/Reshapings


Lidia Kosk

Z okna mojego mieszkania

Nad domem naprzeciwko,
co oknami patrzy ku memu oknu,
zawiesił się księżyc,
wśród skał i kamieni z obłoków.
I wisiał długo, wytrwale,
aż zapomniałam, że z nim zerwałam
na stałe.
Aż zapomniałam, że w duszy
już tak dawno brak grania,
aż cała byłam z zapamiętania.


Translated by Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka

From the Window of My Apartment

Above the apartment house,
whose windows exchange looks with mine,
the moon got stuck
among the rocks and boulders of clouds.
He kept hanging there, stubbornly,
until I forgot that I had broken with him
permanently.
Until I forgot that my soul
did not sing anymore.
Until all of me was a song.



From Oblige the Light

Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka

My Mother at Twelve
Minkowice, Poland, 1940
Hours of waiting at the bakery,
all my money for a last loaf of bread.
Now, cycling kilometers to hunger at home.

Near the hamlet where roads cross,
I see German soldiers rounding up people,
my friend Hana among them.

I jump off the bicycle, run toward Hana
with the still-warm bread. “Death for helping Jews,”
the soldier points his gun at my chest. I trip and fall;
a bullet wails.

When darkness lifts,
I see trampled bread on the empty road.

Here is Danka reading one of my favorite poems of hers, "The Movie in My Head," at a Little Patuxent Review event. Please visit https://danutakk.wordpress.com/ to read more of Danka's work.




In the World Poetry Series:

World Poetry: India, featuring Menka Shivdasani

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cover Reveal

Good morning!

That boom you heard at 2 am wasn't thunder. It was the sound of me falling splat out of bed.

I was having trouble sleeping, because today is *cover reveal day* for THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY.

The big moment is here! What are you waiting for? Go meet Ms. Hill's fifth grade class at 100 Scope Notes. I'll wait right here.

.
.
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You're back! Aren't they the cutest?

The cover would not exist (or be so adorable) without hours and hours of work from some very important people. Here are the details:

Illustrator: The amazing Abigail Halpin
Website
Etsy Shop
(Do you have a favorite character on the cover? Mine is Katie.)

Art Director: Kate Gartner (Random House)
Senior Designer: Trish Parcell (Random House)

Kate and Trish worked so hard on my manuscript. Poetry can be a bear to lay out on the page and they did a great, great job making the book feel cozy and inviting.

Thanks also to Travis Jonker at 100 Scope Notes for hosting the reveal. Travis' kid lit posts are funny and smart -- he needs a librarian superhero cape, STAT. I'm honored to have my book featured at his blog.

So, why did I fall out of bed at 2 am?

Imagine: adrenaline, toss, turn, check phone. Then THIS this happened:




!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mr. Schu noticed my cover. Get a spatula, 'cause you're going to have to scrape me off the floor.

I'm off to write with the Wordplay campers at Green Row Books today. Picture of us tasting baby powder to follow. Yum.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Laura's Bookshelf: God Particles

This morning, I was looking for a friend's poetry chapbook.

(The friend is Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka, this year's Harriss Poetry Prize winner. She has a reading at LitMore on Monday evening and has asked a few friends, including me, to choose one or two of her poems to read.)

I checked the stack on my dining room table in my satellite office. I checked both bookshelves and the bedside table in my bedroom. It was until I started pulling down the three large stacks of books on top of the old wardrobe, waking my husband, that I began to confront the truth.

I have a book problem. Except not really a problem, I said out loud, because they are books. This was the point where my half-asleep husband started to laugh. And I said, What I really need is more bookshelves.

I finally located the book, Oblige the Light. (Not on the shelves above my desk, but on the wall of shelves opposite, which is dedicated, mainly, to poetry.)

The cover image is a photograph by the author,
poet and artist Danuta Kosk-Kosicka.
You can read my interview with Danka here.
Occasionally, when I have fits of book madness like this, I declare to my husband: I am going to read every book in this house before I make another trip to the library or buy another book! And then I remember that my children both have shelves and stacks of their own and their rooms are, technically, in this house, which extends my declaration by at least a hundred titles, I'm sure.

Reading is more fun, and the poems and narratives more deeply experienced, when we share the stories and concepts in a book with one another. Since I plan to put a dent in our home library this summer, I will post about the books as I go, with special attention to books of poetry. We'll see how far I get in the Laura's Bookshelf series.

First up is God Particles, by Thomas Lux. 

Find it at IndieBound.
Lux is a mentor and friend of my mentor and friend, the poet and physician Michael Salcman (you can read my interview with Michael here). Michael introduced us at CityLit Festival when Lux was a headline speaker in 2012. I was familiar with a few of his poems, but hearing him speak and perform his poems, I wanted to read more. I bought God Particles, had it signed, and dipped in from time to time. It became my nightly poem book a few months ago. 



I love the sense of humor in these poems, how they dip into the surreal. Trains of thought veer off the rails, but never end in a tangled wreck of ideas. Instead, they travel somewhere unexpected and often profound.

Here is Lux reading one of my favorite poems from the book, "The Happy Majority."



The piece in this book that stopped my heart was "Early Blur," a short, eloquent love poem. It has not been published online. You'll have to buy or borrow the book to read about "Mary of the late slant light of autumn."

Read more about God Particles on NPR.
Thomas Lux's bio at the Poetry Foundation.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

World Poetry: India

Happy Poetry Friday!


Thanks for hosting this week's poetry links,
Donna Smith. See you at Mainely Write!
It has taken me a few weeks to recover from process my trip to Italy last month. One month ago today, my two travelling companions and I were arriving in Salerno. We quickly settled into our B and B and set off through the narrow, cobbled streets of the city, to find the other poets.


Salerno's waterfront
Debby Kevin, me, and Ann Bracken
were at the conference
to represent Little Patuxent Review.

Ann, Debby, and I had come to Salerno for the first 100 Thousand Poets for Change World Conference. I've blogged about 100 TPC before, but this was my first time meeting other organizers. There were 80 of us from 21 countries!

When people ask about the trip, I can honestly say that the food was AMAZING, especially in Salerno. Since we were in old city Salerno, which is a port town just south of Amalfi, you can imagine that the sights were incredible. But the most important thing that I carried home with me is the friendships we made with other poets.

For the next few weeks, I am going to feature poets who live and work outside the U.S. or are immigrants to this country. Many of these poets are people I met in Salerno, but a few will be local authors who were born in other countries.

To kick off my World Poetry series, I'd like to welcome poet and journalist Menka Shivdasani, of Mumbai, India. At our first formal poetry reading in Salerno, Menka read an amazing feminist piece, "Hinge." 


Menka Shivdasani's third book of poems is
Safe House: A Poetrywala publication.
She is also the editor of If the Roof Leaks, Let it Leak:
A SPARROW publication (fourth in a series
of five volumes featuring Indian women
writers from 23 languages).
The two of us also had time during the conference to chat about our work in the schools and writing poetry with children. That's what we're going to focus on today.

Welcome, Menka!


Note from Menka Shivdasani
Coordinator, Mumbai, 100 Thousand Poets for Change

The 100 Thousand Poets for Change festival in Mumbai, which takes place over four days at the Kitab Khana bookstore, includes one programme for children every year, which is put together by Mrs. Rati Dady Wadia, former principal of Queen Mary School, and a teacher with more than 50 years' experience. She works with children across Mumbai schools to conduct poetry competitions based on themes of peace and sustainability, in tune with the themes of 100TPC. 

The children then present their poems publicly as part of the programme, in a session that includes music and theatre performances as well. Organisations such as The Writers' Bug have also expressed an interest in participating and some of their children had also shared their poems in 2014. [Check out The Writers' Bug website -- it's adorable!]

Last year, we asked children to write about India as well as about other countries for a session titled 'We are the World'. The titles are chosen in a way that children can relate to immediately, and they did, in fact, sing the popular song as well during the session.

While putting together this concept, I wanted children to start thinking about themselves as people who were proud to be Indian, but who also considered themselves as citizens of the world. The idea -- tenuous though it might seem to some -- was that if children started thinking of themselves as world citizens, they would be more amenable to the idea of peace between countries. 


The 2013 100TPC Music of the Spheres event,
photos courtesy of Menka Shivdasani.

This picture shows an enactment
of Gieve Patel's poem On Killing a Tree.
Watch a video about the poem here.
The first step towards this, in my view, was for them to become familiar with other countries and cultures. The children were free to write about whichever country they wished to, and many of them did some research before writing the poems, adding to their knowledge of other global regions. Some children even came to the presentation wearing costumes that represented the countries they were writing about.

When Mrs Wadia introduced the subject, this is what she said:
"India, the land of many religions and cultures – the land that nurtures so many diverse points of view and welcomes people from all walks of life; we are proud to be Indian but also believe that we are one with the world. Ours is a land that has been known for its tolerance over the centuries, and it is that makes India so special. We must all contribute towards keeping this ethos alive and not allow ulterior motives and political gain to overpower this amazing trait.

In a world that is increasingly getting divisive, we can learn to build bridges and break down walls."

She then brought in the concept of peace between countries, and of how it was important, even as we took pride in being Indian, to ensure that we lived in harmony with the rest of the world.

In the previous year, we had asked the children to write about nature and the environment, and these poems are represented in the book as well. The skit by Katie Bagli, 'The Earth Summit', which was performed by the children last year, brought in this theme too.

Menka and Mrs. Rati Dady Wadia
at Kitab Khana bookstore,
which hosted Mumbai's 100TPC poetry event.
Thank you, Menka, and Mrs. Wadia, for telling us about your poetry celebration. I'm pleased to be able to share a student poem from the book THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES. Prachi Jain's poem "Rome" had special appeal for me because last month was my first visit to Italy. The poem made me think about the way certain places, especially historic ones, exist as a landscape in our minds -- even if we have not visited them.

ROME
by Prachi Jain
Activity High School, Class 9

What have you achieved if you have wandered earth's band
But never attempted to venture Rome's heavenly land?
The city with vast treasures of history
Which on Earth, indeed remains a mystery.

Nursed by a wolf -- two abandoned twins
Who great and fought to see who wins
Romulous stood over Remus, with pride and valour
And ruled over the land, showing off his glamour.

The picturesque city of Venice,
Where fires are breathed into every furnace
Where water flows from how to home
And gondolas row to every dome.

The Colosseum of Rome, known for its gladiator fights
Which today, is known as the land of lights.
It has an enormous underground circular base
The ruins of which still adorn the place.

So that's all I have got to say about Rome.
After all, I can only dream of it from home.
All I can do is persuade you to visit this scenic land
And while going, take me along, hand in hand.

Anthology of student poems written for 100 TPC


Thanks for visiting, Poetry Friday friends. If you have any questions or feedback for Menka, please leave them in the comments.

Enjoy this photo gallery from Rome. I hope Prachi has a chance to visit this city of wonders some day.

The Colosseum just before sunset.
Griffin doorknob in a Roman church

Modern art on the doors of
Santa Maria degli Angeli


Writerly sculpture at the Vatican museum

"Here there be dragons"
in the Vatican's Map Room