April 12, 2016

Friday, August 6, 2010

Poetry Friday Is Here . . .

and I'm saying, Not again!  Not about hosting -- it's been a long time since I played Poetry Friday hostess -- but about the poem I'm sharing today.

"A Giraffe Is Not Standing Beside Me" is one of my favorite Not Poems. It's by Jean Meyers, a longtime New Jersey educator who was one of my first poetry pals.

This is a great one to share with children.

Jean's delicious descriptions reveal the power that language has over our minds. With her evocative guidance, your brain can't help but imagine the nonexistent giraffe.

Lots of fun to talk about this concept with your children and students.
I hope you will enjoy this poem as much as I do.

A Giraffe Is Not Standing Beside Me

by Jean Meyers

The nature of linguistic negation makes it virtually impossible to draw a picture of such a statement. PBS "On Language"

No knobby antlers nudge my shoulder,
no demure eyelashes shade the brown eyes
in the horse-face that peers into mine
from atop a bending neck.

No rounded-square brown markings
dot the hide that ripples
under my tender tentative hand,
no spatulate hooves support
slender legs.

No leaves drop around me
from rubbery browsing lips,
and no sharp grassland smell
rides the wind.

The fact
that a lion
is not lurking
in the shrubbery
has nothing
to do with it. 

Thanks to Jean Meyers for permission to post this poem.

Thank you for joining the poetry party. I'll be checking in and posting comments/links more throughout the day.

Charles Ghinga has a lovely metaphor poem about the month of August at Father Goose.

Happy birthday to Amy at the Poem Farm. She is on Day 128 of her poetry journey -- wow! Amy is sharing a one of her poems about poetry -- poetry as a gift.

Jama Rattigan reminded me today that poetry is gift that grows more rich when it's shared. A few weeks ago, I sent her a food poem by Washington state poet laureate Sam Green. Jama contacted Green and learned the story behind his poem, "What the Culinary Arts Teacher Knows About Grace. You've got to read her amazing post at Alphabet Soup!

The Shell by James Stephens at Bildungsroman reminded me of Kat Falls' YA novel, Dark Life, which is set in a future undersea Earth colony. The poem and book would make an interesting pairing.

Toby has links to several poetry-related articles at The Writer's Armchair today. Former national PL Robert Pinsky's piece on poetry for kids (he doesn't like the saccharine stuff) is a must-read.

At The Opposite of Indifference, Tabatha has a funny Billy Collins short that she heard on NPR's Marketplace.

Mary Lee is sharing a poem about why it is better to be a cat than a human.The cats in the poem are in permanent vacation mode -- no busyness about them.

Julie Larios has been away for a while. Let's welcome her back. Julie is thinking about the anniversary of Hiroshima. She has a verse from Byron's Don Juan at The Drift Record.Some day I'll have to tell you all my family chestnut about Lord Byron.

Diane Mayr has three posts for us, an original poem about Facebook at Random Noodling , a look at previous national poet laureate Kay Ryan's newest collection at Kurious Kitty , and a quote by Ryan at Kurious K's Kwotes.

Thanks, Diane for also posting on behalf of traveling Andy at The Write Sisters, who has "Morning on the Desert" by Katherine Fall Pettey. It's another "take a breather" poem. Seems like everyone wants to hold still and enjoy what's left of summer today.

Ruth has a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay (my birthday buddy!) Here it is.

Alison Stevens wrote about Four Brown Toes, which I assumed were tanned tootsies but Alison's much more creative than that in her fun bed-time conversation poem.

Like me, Doriane's been struggling and juggling schedules this summer. She's sharing a Psalm to remind us all to take a breath and enjoy the days we have.

The Stenhouse Blog features "Backyard" by Mary Oliver. The back yard in the poem could be my back yard after we returned from vacation. Fried marigolds -- I haven't had the heart to dig them up.

Sherry has a Wordsworth poem about the mysterious Lucy, subject of a series of his poems -- yet no one knows who (or if) she really was.

Jeannine Atkins is turning prose into poems at her blog. She asks, "What's too much and what's too little" when using poetic devices like alliteration and symbolism.

"Children's Poetry and the Cinderella Syndrome," which Elaine is reposting at Wild Rose Reader. The article is about children's poetry awards. Elaine -- thanks for including the comment from editor Alvina Ling and your response.

It's not easy to write a poem that "records" a conversation, "James Tate's poem Her First Novel", does so and will make you laugh. Thanks, Karen Edmisten, for sharing that poem.

Looking forward to going back to school? Janet's sharing a brief review of Marilyn Singer's poetry picture book, First Food Fight This Fall at All About the Books. The poems follows a group of elementary schoolers through their school year.

Miss Erin will not tell a lie in her powerful original poem.

For those of you enjoying Shark Week on TV, Theresa at Looking for the Write Words also has an original poem, one she co-wrote with a student in the voice of a great white shark.

You'll find another student-written poem posted by Maureen, with some lovely sensory lines about snow to cool you off on this humid summer day.


Little Willow said...

Have you seen the new commercial with the baby giraffe? It makes me crack up every time I see it!

The Shell by James Stephens at Bildungsroman. Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday!

Tabatha said...

That's a terrific poem by Jean Meyers!

I have Marketplace Minute on my blog today:

Mary Lee said...

The end of the poem makes me smile, but so does that close-up of the giraffe -- those eyelashes! that furry prehensile lip! that hidden black tongue!

My poem today is about Two Cats and about why it is better to be a cat than a human.

Julie said...

Thanks for hosting! In honor of your close-up of the giraffe, I'll post my favorite close-up of a sheep! And after a long summer hiatus, I'm finally chipping in with a poem for Poetry Friday - it's a verse from Byron's Don Juan, and it can be found at The Drift Record

Diane Mayr said...

I love your choice for today!

At Random Noodling I have an original poem about Facebook.

Kurious Kitty looks at Kay Ryan's newest collection, The Best of It, and, Kurious K's Kwotes has a quote from Ryan.

Keep cool!

Diane Mayr said...

My buddy, Andy, is traveling out West, so I'm going to post a link for her. Visit The Write Sisters where Andy shares "Morning on the Desert" by Katherine Fall Pettey.

jama said...

What a fun poem. Love it!

Guess what I'm sharing today? The poem you sent me by Sam Green!

Thanks again for the poem and for hosting today, Laura!

Ruth said...

Thanks for hosting. I've got some Edna St. Vincent Millay today.

Alison Pearce Stevens said...

Thanks for hosting, Laura!

What a great poem. :) I'll read it to my kids when they wake up.

I have a poem about Four Brown Toes today.

Alison Pearce Stevens said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ruth said...

Oops, forgot the link. Here it is.

Doraine said...

Love the poem. And thanks for hosting.
I'm wrestling with schedule--again. My poetry Friday thoughts on time at

Stenhouse said...

Good morning! This week on The Stenhouse Blog we have "Backyard" by Mary Oliver. Enjoy!

Sherry said...

I've got a little Wordsworth today. Thanks for hosting.

Jeannine Atkins said...

Laura, I love the poem, and it can teach so much: don't the Buddhists call this "monkey mind?" Whatever is named, you chase, whether or not it's real or necessary.

I wrote about turning prose to poems at

Thanks for hosting on this so-far gorgeous August day.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks so much for doing the roundup this week!

At Wild Rose Reader, I have "Children's Poetry and the Cinderella Syndrome," which I originally posted at Blue Rose Girls in 2006. Betsy Bird's post "Baby Wants Another New Award: Poetry Time!" at A Fuse #8 Production in which she discusses an ALA/ALSC award especially for poetry got me to thinking it might be a good idea to repost my article and keep the discussion about a poetry award going.

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks for hosting, Laura!

I'm in this week with a poem I think every writer can relate to and laugh with -- "Her First Novel" by James Tate. It's here.

Author Amok said...

Hi, everyone. Thanks for leaving the comments. I'm working through them and reading all of your wonderful posts.

Jeannine, great connection with Jean's poem. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for hosting.
I'm sharing a book of school related poetry titled" First Food Fight This Fall: and other school poetry written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa.

Erin said...

thanks for hosting the roundup!! i'm in with an original poem, "i cannot tell a lie":

Looking for the Write Words said...

Thank you for hosting the gathering this week. I have posted a poem that a student and I wrote together.

Happy Poetry Friday!

Looking for the Write Words said...


What a fun poem. I love the photo of the giraffe face at the end. How can you not smile after looking at that?

Author Amok said...

Theresa -- glad you liked the photo. It makes me smile, too.

mchugh said...

Thanks for hosting! I have been looking at a lot of student writing lately, and came across a poem written several years ago by a 5th grade student seeing snow for the first time. Maybe it's the hot, hot weather that inspired me to share it (or maybe it's just the beauty of the student's writing!)

Anonymous said...

I especially love that last giraffe photo - such a great perspective! Thanks for hosting!

I'm in with "Take O Take Those Lips Away" by William Shakespeare. Here's the link:

Ben Curran said...

Laura, thanks for hosting. And thanks for sharing that fabulous poem. I can't wait to share it with my students in the fall.

I know I'm pretty late to the game, but maybe I can get in under the wire. I'm in Georgia this week and I found a poem by a Georgian poet that is exquisite: