It’s Poetry Friday This time next week, I’ll be basking in the poetic glow of the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. Here are the highlights of the 2008 lineup: Chris Abani, Coleman Barks, Coral Bracho, Billy Collins, Lucille Clifton, Mark Doty, Martín Espada, Joy Harjo, Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, Edward Hirsch, Jane Hirshfield, Ted Kooser, Maxine Kumin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Sharon Olds, Linda Pastan, Charles Simic, C. D. Wright, Franz Wright.
Find more info at http://www.dodgepoetry.org/. Festival organizer Jim Haba always invites several international poets to the event. At the last festival, 2006, Taha Muhammad Ali was one of those poets. I heard Ali speak several times during the four-day festival, but it was his poem, “Revenge,” that made a lasting impression. The poem begins with Ali’s desire to meet and duel the man who killed his father. It goes on…
But if it came to light,
when my rival appeared,
that he had a mother
waiting for him,
or a father who’d put
his right hand over
the heart’s place in his chest
whenever his son was late
even by just a quarter-hour
for a meeting they’d set—
then I would not kill him,
even if I could.
Read the rest of the poem here: http://www.grdodge.org/2006festival_revengetext_english.htm I’m sure many felt, as I did, echoes of our own country’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as Ali and his translator read “Revenge.” Ali has the gravelly, enticing voice of a storyteller. But don’t take my word for it. The Dodge team has a video clip of the reading that you can access here: http://www.grdodge.org/2006festival_revenge.htm Writing Exercise (Recommended High School and Up) Poem: Revenge is a Desire Ali begins his poem with a strong desire for revenge. He argues himself out of action without losing any of the power of his desire. Your desire might be for brownies, or to say what you really think to a neighbor. It could be a need for revenge, or to steal something. Can you argue yourself out of acting on that desire without losing any of its sweetness or sting? Poetry Friday Friends: I’ll do a procrastinators’ round-up early Saturday AM. Visit next week for an interview with Electronic Arts lead designer Rex Dickson about how realistically (or not) video games are portrayed in current MG and YA fiction.
Your Poetry Friday Round-Up:
Linda has an original poem about feeling different at http://ldkwritetime.blogspot.com/.
Check out Julie Larios's blog "The Drift Record" for a poem by May Swenson: http://julielarios.blogspot.com/
John Mutford has a review of Randall Maggs' "Night Work The Sawchuk Poems" – a verse biography of a hockey goalie. http://bookmineset.blogspot.com/2008/09/readers-diary-397-randall-maggs-night.html Gregory K. is getting creative with a very clever original poetry today: I'm Pretty Well Connected.
Michele at Scholar’s Blog has some topical Keats! An ode written on September 19, 1819. At Reading Year, Mary Lee is contributing a review of Judy Sierra's Beastly Rhymes. Looks like a great collection to share with kids: http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2008/09/poetry-friday-review.html
Visit twowritingteachers for a school-related poem: http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/pf-getting-to-know-the-teacher/
Andrea -- Just One More Book!! Podcast is in with a podcast review of a book my kids and I love, Stella, Unleashed! The poems are in the voice of a sassy rescue dog. Janet has a post and poem about Johnny Appleseed: http://acrossthepage.net/?p=242
Shelf Elf offer us Mark Strand’s "Lines for Winter,” hauntingly read by actress Mary Louise Parker. Thanks for sharing a poem in performance. http://shelfelf.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/poetry-friday-mark-strand-read-by-mary-louise-parker/
jama is in with a Stephen Dobyn’s poem, “How to Like It" http://jamarattigan.livejournal.com/177475.html
Jules at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast is offering a William Stafford poem that’s new to me: “You Reading This, Be Ready.”
Ruth's poem this week is To Night by Joseph Blanco White. Tricia must have been reading my post “Questions.” I’ll be pining for England after I read Wordsworth’s Upon Westminster Bridge.
Sara at Read, Write, Believe has something exciting… Poetry Foundations series of poems as comic strips.
Kelly has news. The Cybils blog is announcing the 2008 Panel of Poetry judges: http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils/2008/09/the-poetry-pane.html
laurasalas has an interview with both the poet and the illustrator of Pirates! http://laurasalas.livejournal.com/95226.html You’ll want to see more of this book, so head to Sylvia Vardell’s post in honor of "international talk like a pirate day." She reviews PIRATES at http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/ Elaine Magliaro at Wild Rose Reader is reviewing three children's books with autumn poems and DAPPLED APPLES, a picture book written in verse. http://wildrosereader.blogspot.com/2008/09/fall-into-poetry.html
At Blue Rose Girls, you’ll find a poem by Bruce Weigl entitled HOME.http://bluerosegirls.blogspot.com/2008/09/poetry-friday-home-by-bruce-weigl.html ellsworth is sharing a vintage children's poem, "September," by Helen Hunt Jackson, an amazing woman. http://ellsworthsjournal.blogspot.com/2009/09/poetry-friday_19.html Today barbarah has a poem today called "Grandmother's Beatitudes," and/or "Beatitudes for friends of the aged." It’s here. Maybe we should vote on which is the best title.
Mitali Perkins brings us an original poem about solitude at Mitali's Fire Escape called Evening Walk. http://www.mitaliblog.com/2008/09/poetry-friday-evening-walk.html Jim D was inspired to share a lovely original children's poem after rare sightings of a hummingbird in his yard. http://jdwrites4kids.blogspot.com/2008/09/poetry-friday-original-hummingbird.html
My buddy Tabatha Yeatts is having technical trouble, too. She can’t post a comment, but asked me to share this: “I'm in with some poetry postcards (I saw that you are going to be sending poetry postcards soon -- these ones I am sharing are literally cards!)” http://www.threeleggeddragon.com/tabatha/poetryfriday.htm
Wow! We’re going multi-sensory today. If you’re overloaded, visit Karen E. for a poem by Billy Collins called “Silence.” It's here.
It’s cooler here in Central MD today. slayground has an autumn poem, Mnemosyne by Trumbull Stickney. http://slayground.livejournal.com/418838.html Becky at farmschool is also thinking fall. She’s got a scarecrow poem at: http://farmschool.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/poetry-friday-harvest-edition-2/
Liz in Ink said... “I spent my first book advance on a trip to the Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival.” Bet she left feeling richer, despite the lighter wallet. She posted Norman Dubie’s “Of Politics & Art.” http://liz-scanlon.livejournal.com/83677.html
Becky made me hungry with Alien Conspiracy, Or The Cheese Song by Andrew Peterson. Be prepared for a cheesy photo.http://blbooks.blogspot.com/2008/09/poetry-friday-alien-conspiracy-cheese.html Yat-Yee is going multi-sensory with a Taylor Mali poem about music: http://yatyeechong.blogspot.com/. She also reminds us, “Don't forget to enter the free book giveaway of Red Glass.”
MotherReader has more animal poems in her review of The Seldom-Ever-Shady Glades. The children’s book is illustrated with beautiful quilt-art that you can check out at: http://www.motherreader.com/2008/09/poetry-friday-seldom-ever-shady-glades.html deowriter has a Lucille Clifton poem from a collection edited by Naomi Shihab Nye. http://maclibrary.edublogs.org/2008/09/19/poetry-friday-from-what-have-you-lost/ Both poets will be at Dodge this year. Meehumm at Semicolon has an original poem by her nine-year-old “misspellings and lack of meter abound. Mom, of course, thinks its precious.” So do I! http://www.semicolonblog.com/?p=2672 barefootinhighheels is one of several people new to Poetry Friday. Follow the link to a poem from a Barefoot Books collection, “Someone I Like, Poems About People.” Find a coupon at this blog for Barefoot Books -- a wonderful series of themed folklore, poetry and short story collections for kids. http://barefootinhighheels.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/poetry-friday/
Kim of Page After Page is also new to Poetry Friday. She’s giving us “The Moon,” courtesy of Robert Louis Stevenson. http://pageafterpage-kim.blogspot.com/2008/09/moon-moon-has-face-like-clock-in-hall.html
Kelly Fineman is better late than never with an Emily Dickinson autumn poem. http://kellyrfineman.livejournal.com/334927.html Janet at The Write Sisters introduces the poetry of Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel with some powerful poems, including “Roster.”http://thewritesisters.blogspot.com/2008/09/wilma-elizabeth-mcdaniel.html
A counterpoint to “Stella Unleashed,” Anamaria (bookstogether) has a quote from and a comment about Catherine Lazo's rhyming picture book “Someday When My Cat Can Talk”:http://bookstogether.squarespace.com/blog/2008/9/19/pf-someday-when-my-cat-can-talk.html
Charlotte discusses an update of “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” This one’s called “I Know an Old Teacher,” by Anne Bowen: http://charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com/2008/09/i-know-old-teacher-by-anne-bowen.html david elzey has a beautiful prayer for Easter Island, which he says current occupants call: Te Pito O Te Henua http://fomagrams.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/poetry-friday-from-the-belly-button-of-the-world/
Suzanne at Adventures in Daily Living has another seasonal poem, Applesauce. (It's by Ted Kooser, who will also be at Dodge.) And I’ll close with a welcome to Fiddler at Rockhound Place. She’s bringing J.R.R. Tolkein’s “Far Over the Misty Mountains” to her first Poetry Friday. Thanks, everyone, for your comments and links. Hosting was a blast! See you next Friday.