I'm welcoming winter with an original poem. An Absolute Vista Our six year old climbed a snow bank at the back door to walk and meet his father. The snow was too deep. White erased everything – fences, sandbox. Ground was something to imagine. Why would he go? His weight was too sleight to puncture the icy crust with his boots. Our son floated on the surface, a dark form crawling away from the house. Midway he stopped. No one near but the wind, racing. My husband left off sweeping pear branches, strode deeply toward our child, and lifted him off that shifting surface. One body, they turned for home, each step sinking to the good, solid ground. I wrote this poem – about the blizzard of 2003 -- in response to William Stafford’s, “With Kit, Age 7, At the Beach.” His poem is set during a different kind of storm.
The rawness of Stafford's landscape gets at the elemental nature of being a parent. That’s how his poem reminded me of my son stranded in all that white (the kid is standing full height in this photo). We had 40 inches, the worst recorded snowfall in Baltimore.You can hear Stafford read his poem here: Contribute winter welcome poems, warm weather wishes, Hanukkah book reviews, holiday verse, bah-humbugs (“ha-bumbugs!” if you’re a Runny Babbit fan), or anything else you’d like to share. Please leave a comment with a link. I’ll be rounding up throughout the day. Winter Welcomes Liz in Ink has “Picture Books in Winter” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Stacey from Two Writing Teachers has Billy Collins Poem, "Snow Day." Collins' poem is a popular one today. You'll also find it at Karen E's blog and at Shelf Elf. Check all these blogs out to get three different views of the poem. You’ll find some icy concrete poems by Heidi Roemer at Laura Salas’ blog. Those of us traveling during the holidays will want to take some of the poems from her “15 Words or Less” blog along for the ride. If you're travelling with little ones, Lorie Ann at Reader Totz shares "Horsey Horsey" for the ride. Sara at Read, Write, Believe is brightening the longest night of the year with Aretha Franklin's A Deeper Love. Fiddler at a Habit of Reading is also thinking about the solstice with a poem by Susan Cooper. And "my first ever holiday-themed original poem in the blogging world." Ruth is sharing a traditional Christmas Carol today: Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Another traditional carol from Kelly Fineman, who's posting Greensleeves. And another holiday rocker, Karen E. has Bruce Springsteen's "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." She says, “My six-yr. old loves it. :-)” Bruce is from Jersey – what’s not to like? Little Willow also wants us to get up off that cozy couch by the fire and onto the dance floor. Visit Bildungsroman: Poetry Friday: Dare You to Move by Switchfoot If dancing doesn’t warm you up enough, learn to be a “Rock Star Reader” at Just One More Book. At Write Time, Linda's holiday post is a must-view for cat lovers. Jennifer at Ink for Lit opened an early holiday gift, Gardener's Magnetic Poetry. The resulting found poem is here. 7-Imp is in with "Sonnet in the Shape of a Christmas Tree" by George Starbuck. At Wild Rose Reader, Elaine offers us an original poem about her grandmother making Christmas babka. At Blue Rose Girl, she has a link to George Bush's Nightmare before Christmas. Elaine says, "In the video, an actor impersonating Bush recites a parody of Clement Moore's classic holiday poem." Tiel Aisha Ansari says, "I also have a winter-inspired original: December Idyll." It's a lovely sensory poem. Nadine at Kiddos and Books has Alvin Tresselt's opening poem from Caldecott Winner "White Snow Bright Snow." At Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia is reading Douglas Florian’s Winter Hues with her family. Kurious Kitty has poetry in the news -- W.S. Merwin's interview on Fresh Air and his winter poem, “The Cold Before Moonrise.” She asks us to visit her quote blog also. Kelly has an original snowy poem with a sad ending (if you're a kid hoping for a Snow Day). And an original winter haiku (very cute -- you've gotta love the word "sashay") from Lorie Ann Grover at her site. Scrub-a-Dub-Tub has a great post about the joys of reading "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." Seems there are as many poets writing Christmas poems as singers who do holiday CDs. Kevin Conder brings us "Old Angel Midnight" by Jack Kerouac and "Christmas Night" by Conrad Hilberry. Tributes & Celebrations Yat-Yee Chong has a beautiful poem about marriage by Arthur Conan Doyle. She is celebrating her own 20th wedding anniversary. At The Drift Record, Julie’s celebrating a wedding anniversary, too, with a spicy original poem. HipWriterMama is celebrating her blogiversary with Incantation by Czeslaw Milosz. Carol's Corner has a tribute to her wonderful 10-year-old student poets and some of their original poems -- many with winter themes. David Elzey’s tribute to a high school friend ends with a parody of Frost’s “Stopping by Woods.” Everything Else Mary Lee has news this morning, a post about the announcement of the inaugural poet. So you didn't get invited to be the inaugural poet, and you're wondering: "How Do You Know You're A Poet?" There's an answer at the Write Sisters. Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children has news about poet Helen Frost receiving an NEA Fellowship. jama at Alphabet Soup is ruminating about Kenneth Koch’s, "You Want a Social Life, With Friends" and the stresses of a writing life. I hear that! Stenhouse author Jeff Anderson is also thinking about a balanced life with "You Can't Have It All" by Barbara Ras. RM1(SS) says, “I'm in with an assortment of silly stuff” – all recommendations for his daughter’s poetry memorization assignment. Florian Café posted one of my favorites, Allen Ginsberg’s "A Supermarket in California." At What Adrienne Thinks about you'll find Marvin Bell's "I Didn't Sleep." Sarah Reinhard has a religious themed haiku. Still trying to find the perfect gift? If you have a writer on your list, check out how meaningful a pencil can be with Lisa Chellman's original poem, "Sharpen Your Pencil." My buddy Tabatha Yeatts bring us the real meaning of "Giving," with a poem by Khalil Gibran. Jill Corcoran wrote, "In these tough economic times and frigid cold weather I bring hope and warmth together with Langston Hughes' uplifting words." His poem, "Dreams," is a wonderful way to end our holiday Poetry Friday. I'm finally home from school parties, wrestling practice, and a friend's Hanukkah service. Time to relax with some hot chocolate and poetry. Thanks for the poems,everyone, wintry and otherwise. P.S. There was so much snow in ’03, we were inspired to make Snow Ice Cream. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow. It’s fun to make with kids.